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1) Offer tastings or wine flights: Many restaurants offer wine tastings or flights that allow customers to try different wines before committing to a full glass or bottle. Wine brands can work with restaurants to feature their wines in these tastings, which can help customers discover new wines and increase the likelihood of a sale.
2) Train restaurant staff: Restaurant staff, especially servers, and sommeliers, can play a crucial role in wine sales. Wine brands can offer training sessions for restaurant staff to help them learn more about their wines and how to sell them effectively. This can include information on the wine's taste, origin, and food pairings.
3) Provide point-of-sale materials: Wine brands can provide restaurants with materials such as wine menus, table tents, and posters that feature their wines. These materials can help raise awareness of the wine and its unique qualities, increasing the chances that customers will order it.
4) Offer promotions: Running promotions such as discounts or buy-one-get-one-free deals can encourage customers to try a new wine or purchase an additional bottle. Wine brands can work with restaurants to develop promotions that highlight their wines and incentivize customers to make a purchase.
5) Host events: Wine brands can host events at restaurants that showcase their wines and provide customers with a unique experience. This can include wine dinners, tastings, or meet-and-greets with the winemakers. These events can help create a buzz around the wine and increase its visibility in the restaurant.
Image: Andrew Yingst, Winemaker at Grace Winery
Andrew Yingst, Winemaker at Grace Winery, United States: The winemaker can be, for better or worse, the face of the business. He or she can excel at teaching the public their trade and being an ambassador for the brand. The consumer, more so than most industries, wants to know the ins and outs. A blend of education, promotion, and personability can do wonders.
6) Provide marketing materials: Wineries can provide restaurants with marketing materials such as wine menus, table tents, and posters that feature their wines. These materials can help raise awareness of the wine and its unique qualities, increasing the chances that customers will order it.
7) Offer wine dinners: Wineries can host wine dinners or tastings at restaurants, which can showcase their wines and provide customers with a unique experience. This can include wine and food pairings or a presentation by the winemaker or a representative from the winery.
8) Establish a relationship: By establishing a relationship with a restaurant, wineries can ensure that their wines are prominently featured on the wine list and recommended by staff. This can be achieved by regularly visiting the restaurant, providing samples, and being responsive to the restaurant's needs.
9) Customize wine offerings: Wineries can work with restaurants to develop customized wine offerings that meet the restaurant's specific needs. This might include exclusive blends or limited-edition wines that are only available at the restaurant.
10) Social media and tagging restaurants.
Image: Josh Kessler, Associate Winemaker at Swedish Hill Vineyard, United States
Josh Kessler, Associate Winemaker at Swedish Hill Vineyard, United States: Being present on social media. Informed consumers would love to know what winemakers are thinking when making certain decisions, all we have to do is talk about it! It is also important for the owner to help facilitate the media presence because, at the end of the day, it is the business you are representing.
11) Featuring the winemaker: One way to increase the amount of footfall into a restaurant is by hosting one-of-a-kind events on a regular basis. One such event is a “meet-and-greet” with the winemaker for a particular wine brand. This strategy is particularly effective when a restaurant is looking to highlight the winemaking prowess of a local winemaker. A recent high-profile award, for example, or a recent media article might be all that’s needed to turn a relatively unknown winemaker into a local celebrity. Perhaps a local winemaker is leading the charge when it comes to organic or biodynamic wines - that might be a fantastic opportunity for a restaurant to host a special wine education dinner featuring the winemaker on the topic of organic wines.