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Wine Service: A Beginner’s Guide to Serve Different Types of Wine in Your Restaurant

Restaurants serving different types of alcohol need to have proper resources to buy, store & serve them to the customers. And above anything, they need to have a proper understanding of all the different types of liquors & how they can use it to meet their customers’ needs.

The same applies to establishments serving different types of wine! Just like you & your staff, your customers too are often very much aware of their taste in wine. And if they don’t then it becomes your task to help them find their perfect match!

As a restaurateur serving different types of wine, you must understand the whole wine serving process and train your staff around it. 

Wine service is the service given by the sommelier or wine waiter who helps customers finalise their wine of choice & takes their order

The server performs wine service and includes a specific order with some rules in serving the wine to the customers. However, when people order a single glass of wine, you don’t need to follow these steps.

Know which steps to follow to serve different types of wine in your restaurant.
Customers might not expect proper wine service at a casual restaurant but fine dining restaurants will be expected to properly serve wine.

Wine Service: Steps to Follow

Proper wine service elevates an overall dining experience in a restaurant. It comes with specific rules of courtesy and etiquette. Follow these steps and pointers to do just that.

1. Store Your Wine Correctly

Store the wine in proper condition to enjoy the wine at its best. Different types of wine should be stored and served at specific temperatures to preserve their flavours.

  • Keep it at a constant temperature of 10-13 ̊ C. 
  • Store it lying down, so the wine stays in contact with the cork, keeping it intact and not dried out. It keeps the oxygen out and makes the opening bottle easier. 
  • Do not store the wine in kitchens or pantries, as smells may seep through the cork. 

2. Present Wine List, Take An Order

To make the ideal wine recommendations & take orders, your staff should be well-versed with the entire wine & food menu, & should have the knowledge to make the perfect pairs to enhance customers’ experience! A few more tips that the staff should be following to provide ideal customer service.

  • It’s recommended to present your wine list separately to each customer instead of placing a list on the table for a better and more convenient customer experience.  
  • Your staff should be able to answer customers’ questions about the wine and recommend them. 
  • Your recommendations should be based on what the customer is looking for.
  • When your staff takes the final order, they should repeat it for confirmation and ask customers for any clarifications (when needed).

3. Get the Right Wine Glasses

Wine glasses are designed to enhance the style and taste of wines – different types of wine are served in different glasses. 

  • Red wine: Served in large glasses with full, round bowls and big openings. It enables you to enjoy the aroma of the wine.
  • White Wine: Its design focuses on preserving the aroma of the wine with a slightly smaller, more u-shaped and upright bowl than a red wine glass. White wine glasses have longer stems to ensure your hand’s warmth doesn’t diminish the cooler wine temperature.   
If you own a fine-dine restaurant and serve wine, then it is highly important to serve different types of wine properly. Know how to do it.
Make sure to polish all your glassware, and inspect them to ensure they are free of chips and stains.

4. Serve at the Right Temperature

Wine can taste significantly different when served at different temperatures. A restaurateur must ensure their diverse types of wine are served at an appropriate temperature. 

  • You can use wine refrigerators to control the serving temperature of different wines. Customers may have preferences about the serving temperature, so be prepared to make those changes before serving. If you don’t have a wine refrigerator, adjust the temperature after the customers place their order and before presenting it to them. 
  • Red Wine: Works best if served below room temperature at around 12.5-15.5°C. Dial down the temperature before serving red wine to your guests, in case you are not using temperature control already. 
  • White Wine and Rose: These are served cold, best at 7.5-12°C. 
  • Sparkling Wine: While sparkling wine should be stored at a temperature of 10-12.7°C, it should be served chilled at around 4.4-10°C.
RECOMMENDED READ  Improve Your Restaurant Service With These 6 Staff Etiquette Tips

Wine refrigerators are temperature-controlled appliances designed for the storage of wine.

5. Open the Bottle

Familiarize your staff with the wine key to smoothly and confidently open the bottle using a wine key. They should also know the proper way of serving, the amount served per person, & serve it every time asked for.

A wine key is a type of corkscrew. It is easy to use and fits in a server’s apron pocket. 

  • Keep the bottle in the air when you open the bottle instead of keeping it on the table. 
  • Before opening the bottle, the server should present it to the guests so they can see the label and confirm. 
  • Cut the foil around half an inch from the lip of the bottle using a foil cutter or the small knife in the wine key. This way, the wine doesn’t touch the foil and prevents dripping.
  • Watch this video to learn how to open a bottle of wine with a waiter’s corkscrew.

6. Pour It Well

Once the bottle is opened, here are some pointers to ensure the pour of the wine impressively and appropriately. 

  • Take note of how many glasses you are supposed to serve to ensure you pour an equal amount of wine into each glass. 
  • You can wrap the bottle in a white napkin or cloth to control the temperature of chilled wines. You can also ask the customers if they want an ice bucket for the table. 
  • Pour from the guest’s right side, and finish each pour with a twisting motion. Wipe the lip of the bottle to avoid dripping.
  • Return to the table to check if they would like to refill the glasses or order another bottle of wine. 
Know how to serve wine properly in a fine dining restaurant.
Wine glasses are set on the right side of each guest if they’re not already on the table. The wine glass is set between the guest and their water glass.

Developing these processes for serving and storing special items can go a long way in creating an exceptional customer experience. We hope this blog helps make your restaurant’s customer experience better. 


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Abeera Dubey
Abeera Dubey
Abeera is a freelance content writer at Petpooja.

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