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Kali Mireva

Hotel Restaurants and Wine Lists: How They Go Hand in Hand

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When creating a beverage program for a hotel, it’s crucial to think about the wine lists. Having a good selection of quality wine can boost customer satisfaction in hotel restaurants like nothing else. In fact, it's a part of the customer portion of hospitality risk management.

Wine is one of the most preferred types of alcohol and it’s for a good reason. Its only rival can be specialty coffee. However, wine's wide variety allows for great pairing options with different foods, which appeals to customers. Although the drink menu design may be challenging, it’s worth investing the time and money to curate it well. 

Every business owner in the hospitality industry should put more emphasis on their wine lists. QR code menus and other hotel technology can improve the quality of service. Serving the best cocktails around is also a way to bring more value to customers, as well as seasonal drinks and CBD beverages. Creating drinks that work with you banquet table setup ideas is a wonderful plan. But, nothing beats serving a great meal with the right type of wine!

Why is serving different varieties of wine important for hotel restaurants? To get more details, keep on reading!

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Hotel Restaurants And Wine Lists: Why Are They Important?

Not too long ago, hotel minibars were all the rage. They were providing something that was then missing. Guests were not able to enjoy hotel beverages in the comfort of their rooms before the rise of the hotel mini bar. Instead, they would have to go to the hotel restaurants or out of the hotel to get what they want. 

Fast forward to now, minibars have lost their shine with the majority of travelers being Millennials. A well-curated food and wine pairing menu provides an improved experience for a traveler, which is what the average Millennial is looking for. 

The age group of the customers is not the only reason why hotel restaurants should have a list filled with roses, reds, and various types of white wine

Key Takeaway: Well-curated wine lists are going to make a huge difference for all hotel restaurants. Offering a variety of wines will make dining a unique experience, which is what the modern travelers seek.

Wine Types Based on Flavor

People’s mouths can distinguish five flavors - sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and umami. All of them have a different effect on the wine and can expose different undertones in the flavor palette. 

1. Sweet

Getting a nice glass of wine with dessert is a treat many people crave. As a restaurant manager, one needs to make sure there is an array of dessert wines to choose from. 

Dessert wines go with cakes and pies, gingerbread, pancakes, berry rolls, and muffins. As a rule of thumb, the wine should not be sweeter than the dessert. 

Knowing the desserts in your restaurant menu and their sweetness, you should explore different wine options. Curating a list of a few dessert wines to go with what’s on the restaurant’s menu will create a better experience for the customers. 

2. Salty

Wine and cheese pairings are a true classic for a reason. Salty foods give body to the wine and helps reduce its acidity and bitterness. 

Cheeses are a great pair for high-acid wines. If cheese is a part of the menu, supplying a variety of wines that goes with it is a must. 

Cheese platters and wine are a great way to end the day. Create a memorable customer experience by helping them select the right type of wine for the platter!

3. Sour

Sour foods boost the wine’s sweetness and fruitiness while decreasing the acidity. Wines with a low acidity will appear sluggish and will lack focus when paired with sour foods. 

Making sure you have enough wine options with higher acidity is the way to go when creating hotel restaurants wine lists. Customers who love sour-tasting foods will appreciate the good wine pairing options the servers offer!

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4. Bitter

The bitterness of the food increases the bitterness of the wine. If both the meal and the wine have a bitter taste, the combination will not be pleasant for the consumer. Bitter wines are better combined with other flavors of food. 

5. Umami

Umami is known as monosodium glutamate is one of the core fifth tastes including the other four. Umami means “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese, and its taste is described as the meaty, savory deliciousness that deepens the flavor. 

Salted and smoked seafood dishes contain umami, as well as hard Parmesan-like cheese. These foods pair great with wine. 

Local Wines for a Unique Wine List

One sure way to entice customers is by getting more local alcohol on the restaurant beverage menu. Choosing locally-made alcohol doesn’t make sense just because of easier logistics, including shipping and handling. By getting more of what your local area has to offer, you give the customers a more well-rounded experience. 

Trying foods and beverages that are made in the area helps people dive into the atmosphere of the place. Get to know it better and really appreciate its uniqueness. Pairing the wine with local foods is what will set your business apart from the other hotel restaurants. 

The Concept of the Hotel and Restaurant

The concept of the hotel and restaurant is a crucial factor to keep in mind when curating the wine list. For hotel restaurants with Italian food, wine lists should have more Italian wine options. A seafood restaurant should focus more on white wines and flavors that go well with their most famous meals. 

If the restaurant has different types of menu options and serves more international food, pairing the dishes with quality international wines make sense. Classics like Bordeaux red wine, Italian white wine, or rose from Provance - all incredible additions to international wine lists. 

Another thing to keep in mind is the glassware you use to serve the wine. Make sure you choose quality, stylish glasses to take the customer experience to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Restaurants and Wine Lists

Curating wine lists for hotel restaurants requires proper drink menu engineering. Quality food needs great wine pairings. Proper thought and research have to be put into the wine lists to increase customer retention and satisfaction. Just how you would get the help of a cocktail expert to craft your cocktails menu.

Create a memorable experience for all hotel guests who dine in the restaurant. Here’s more information on how to do that!

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How to Match Food and Wine? 

Wine has to be as sweet or sweeter than the meal. This is a general rule of thumb. 

Sweetness also balances out the saltiness of the foods. For that reason, salty foods are typically served with sweeter wines. The right balance of flavors creates an enjoyable experience like no other. 

Don’t forget about the acidity of the wine - more acidic wines are usually paired with oily foods. For meals with strong acidic contents, like a salad with a vinegar-based dressing, stay away from more acidic wine and choose something softer. 

What Types of Wine Go with Seafood?

Different types of seafood go with red wines and white wines, depending on their texture. Fish with a lighter texture, like sea bass, goes well with white wine, while tuna and salmon are better paired with reds. 

When it comes to shellfish, it’s better to select the wine according to the sauce in the meal. However, in general, shellfish is most commonly paired with white wines. 

How to Make Appealing Restaurant Wine Lists? 

Make the restaurant wine list simple, but include the country of origin, body, and price per bottle or glass. Offer a wide variety of wines to appeal to a larger audience and have wine for each meal on the menu. 

Don’t forget to stick to the concept of the hotel and restaurant. Choose quality and keep in mind all food and wine pairings that can be done with what’s already on the menu!

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