There are hundreds of wine varietals on the market ranging from dry to sweet, fruity to earthy, and with a range of calories in wine. Wine alcohol content varies, too. This can make it very difficult to choose the right wine for the right occasion, especially with all the wine marketing practices out there.
That's what makes wine flights so valuable-including when you're learning how to open a winery. Whether you're trying to craft a food and wine pairing menu to make some wine sales, want to become a wine negociant, or are just looking to learn about wine, you can experience a range of wines all in a convenient package. Keep reading to learn what a wine flight is, why they're good for businesses, and see some frequently asked questions about wine flights.
What Is a Wine Flight?
A wine flight is a term used to describe a selection of wine presented in a row for tasting. Often, this involves placing a few wine glasses with different types of white wine or red wine types on a special board for serving. The board has notches for the base of the glasses to keep them from spilling.
Wine isn't unique when it comes to tasting flights, many types of alcohol can be served this way. Beer flights are the most common and are often used to increase restaurant sales and get rid of excess inventory. Another major benefit comes in allowing customers to try different flavors and discover new favorites.
Wine Flight Ideas
Introducing a wine flight into your bar or restaurant doesn't have to be a daunting prospect. Whether you're looking to use up some bottles before wine goes bad, trying to test new wines, or are just interested in a new restaurant marketing idea, there's a solution for you.
Here are a few wine flight ideas to get you started:
- Regional wines. One of the most popular types of wine flight is built around showcasing a variety of wines from a particular region. This is a great way to showcase wine from local vintners or help expand your market for more niche wines. It's also a great marketing idea for national wine day.
- Young vs. aged wines. Many wine beginners have difficulty understanding what makes aged wine so valuable and beloved. By placing young wines and aged wines together on a wine flight, you can help show off the depth of flavors and aromas aged wines are known for. This is a great way to foster an appreciation for wine in new collectors. You might even be able to sell different wine bottle sizes you have in your cellar.
- New World vs. Old World wines. If you're really looking to start a debate about wine, a New World vs. Old World wine flight will do the trick. Old World wines are those that come from Europe or the Middle East and have been developed over generations. New World wines are those that come from outside the region and often include California wines. They're a great way to expose people to new wines and emphasize wine industry growth and quality abroad.
- Champagne vs. Prosecco. One of the longest-running rivalries in the wine world is between Champagne and prosecco (prosecco cocktails are a must-try!). While they are both sparkling wines, only wine made from a single type of grape grown in the Champagne wine region is used in one of them. This type of wine flight can help illustrate the differences between the two and you might be able to sell some Champagne, which has a great wine bottle price.
How to Organize a Wine Flight
Most importantly, the wine in a wine flight must all be related in some way. Perhaps it's a selection of different low calorie wine or gluten free wine. Try to make sure the theme is logical and will allow your wines to be presented in the best possible way. If a sommelier wouldn't present the wines together, neither should you.
In terms of layout, you can use a template, create your own, or use a commercial flight board. Regardless of what you choose, it should feature three to four circles a few inches apart where the wine glasses will sit. You can label the wines and the order they should be tasted or allow customers to explore them in their own time. A wine flight can work well on a menu fitting the a la carte meaning.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wine Flights
With so many wines on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start your wine journey and gain an appreciation for different types of wine. Instead of giving up entirely, you can try out some wine tasting and wine flights. Exploring wine pairing options, such as turkey wine pairing and wine pairing with salmon, might also be beneficial. You can also check out a few wine movies for some inspiration.
To help demystify this unique wine presentation model, we've pulled together some of the most frequently asked questions about wine flights. Take a look at the questions with our answers below:
Why Do They Call It a Flight of Wine?
While there is no single definitive answer, many believe the term flight was chosen because it means a "group of." However, another common explanation is that the name flight was chosen because the presentation reminds people of traveling.
Can You Get Drunk At a Wine Tasting?
Yes, you can get drunk at a wine tasting but you shouldn't. Wine tastings aren't intended for you to drink the wine, they're for you to experience it. Instead, you should be dedicating your time to enjoy swirling wine, smelling wine, and sipping it. This will give you the optimal experience.
How Much Wine Is In a Wine Flight?
Wine flights typically cost between $10-$25 and feature three or four wines. The pricing can be kept low because each glass only holds about 2 ounces of wine, less than half of the standard wine pour. However, higher-quality wine flights can be more expensive to cover the cost of opening the aged wine.
How Many Wines Are Typically Included in a Wine Flight?
Wine flights can vary in size, but they often include three to six different wines, each served in small tasting portions. The number of wines included may depend on the theme of the flight or the preferences of the establishment.
How Are Wine Flights Usually Organized?
Wine flights can be organized based on various criteria, such as grape variety, wine region, vintage, winemaking style, or food pairing suggestions. Some establishments offer pre-set flights with a specific theme, while others allow customers to create custom flights.
How Should I Approach Tasting a Wine Flight?
When tasting a wine flight, it's helpful to start with lighter-bodied wines and progress to fuller-bodied wines to avoid overwhelming your palate. Take time to observe the color, aroma, and taste of each wine, and consider how they compare and contrast with one another.
All Aboard The Wine Flight
Wine flights are good for both the winery and the consumer. Wineries can use them to show off new wines and increase their brand presence. Consumers can use them to explore new wines and gain more knowledge of wine.
Whether you're looking for cooking wine recommendations, or you want to experiment with new varieties of wine, we can help. We can also recommend some wine glasses with pour lines so you can learn to pour properly or even pick up some bartender tools, so you can expand beyond wine into other types of alcohol.