Catering professionals

The Five Pros & Cons of Selling Wine by the Glass


With customers wishing to consume less but better, the by-the-glass wine offering of restaurants and hotels can be inadequate for demand, often due to a lack of solutions for conserving wine once a bottle has been opened. This means lost earnings for food and beverage businesses whose sales, profit margin and coefficient are all lower than they could have been.

Why should your business sell wine by the glass? Find out the five pros and cons of selling wine by the glass.

The Pros of Selling Wine by the Glass

1. Wine by the glass satisifies a demand

Today, by-the-glass wine accounts for 68% of wine consumed in hotels and restaurants (source: C10/IRI Survey, 2017). Whether to cater for fine wine lovers, propose food and wine pairings, or adapt to more stringent drink driving regulations, offering by-the-glass wine has become a real need for hotel and restaurant owners. Failing to meet this demand means you could disappoint your customers and deprive yourself of potential sales.

2. By-the-glass wine is a means of up-selling

By offering by-the-glass wine on your menu, you will reach customers who wouldn’t otherwise have ordered a beverage – or in any case, not a bottle of wine. For your customers, by-the-glass wine has the advantage of being more affordable and economical. Drinking wine by the glass rather than by the bottle is often a more suitable option for business lunches, for trying new wines or for enjoying different food and wine pairings throughout a meal. Offering wine by the glass will therefore generate you additional sales by reaching customers who perhaps may have ordered only a jug of water.

The Cons of Selling Wine by the Glass

3. A mode of consumption with a risk of wastage

Offering wine by the glass can however create a burden for businesses. In serving wine by the glass rather than the bottle, you run the risk of not selling the whole bottle and having to throw away the rest. This risk of wastage is even greater, the larger your list of by-the-glass wines. The bigger the selection you offer, the more varied demand is likely to be. You need to be certain to sell the whole bottle via by-the-glass sales before the wine oxidises, otherwise it will end up down the drain…

4. A limited by-the-glass wine list

In view of the above, offering fine wines by the glass is even more of a challenge and a risk. Even if the demand is there, the risk of seeing the rest of a bottle of Grand Cru Burgundy end up in the sink could easily dissuade you from offering such wines. To avoid by-the-glass wine tying up too much cash and being too difficult to manage in terms of stock, it is easier to restrict your by-the-glass wine list to the detriment of customer experience. A menu with only a Côtes-du-Rhône and a Chardonnay probably won’t trigger any impulse buys though.

5. Proper service conditions are difficult to implement

Serving wine by the glass is no easy task. As well as having to manage the risk of waste and stocks, the wine requires the proper service conditions. While it is easy to decant a full bottle of wine, it is significantly harder to aerate a wine to be served by the glass, not knowing when the next glass will be sold. As a result, wines served by the glass generally receive no aeration. The wine is served directly from bottle and, where this has already been opened, can be oxidised.

Overcoming these constraints with the D-Vine

So wine by the glass can be deceptive for your customers and a source of constraints for your hotel or restaurant bar. However, although this increasingly popular mode of consumption is a challenging and risky option, it is one that is worth it.

For a successful customer experience without the hassle, there are solutions available for serving wine by the glass. Ever heard of the D-Vine? 😉

Trigger impulse buys

Propose higher range wines by the glass and widen your offer. Trigger impulse buys by tempting customers with wines that you didn’t offer before, and turn orders of water into wine.

With the D-Vine, access a selection of over 70 listings. Wines are selected by our chief wine adviser and approved by French Master Sommelier Laurent Derhé. Thanks to the flacon format containing the equivalent of a one-glass serving, you eliminate the wastage risk. Each flacon is opened to order, for the customer.

Promote wines better

With the D-Vine, you can offer a strong customer experience. Give your customers the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine served with the perfect temperature and aeration, at any time. Perfectly served wine every time, for guaranteed customer satisfaction.

To learn more

Want to find out more about the D-Vine and expand your hotel or restaurant’s by-the-glass wine offering? Read about our offer.

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