Wine Bars

If you walk into a wine bar, either free standing or as part of a restaurant, wouldn’t you expect a good selection of wines by the glass?  I certainly did, but found myself short about 15-20 wines! 
But not only that, the selection was a “play safe” basic offering.  In other words it had your sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot,
merlot and cabernet sauvignon.  Maybe one alternate or blended red.  In today’s easy access, variety and availability of wine, this is flat out bad!  But I face the same issue when dining out in restaurants.  Great selection of wine bottles, but can’t have just a glass of it. 
So, if I go out for dinner, I already know that I am most likely will have to battle with my wife about drinking a bottle of white or red.  Why, Because, I usually can’t find a decent choice amongst the wines that are offered.  I love red wine, but my wife prefers white wine.
Am I going to give in and drink white wine with my wife or am I going to force the issue and order a bottle of red?  I could, of course, simply order a glass of wine, but when the selection is so limited, boring and often overpriced, I rather get a bottle and know that I will enjoy that. 
The problem is, now I have to worry about drinking and driving and that my wife won't be happy.  Neither of which makes me want to go out for dinner in the first place, right?

It certainly makes business sense to push people into buying a bottle, but how many times are you pushing them out of drinking wine all together or them just having one glass all night?  I don't have any study materials to proof who is right here, but I got to believe that there are more people like me out there, who are just fed up with the limited and often boring offering of wines by the glass.

What should a wine selection by the glass look like?  I will talk about that tomorrow.


  1. At our wine bar in northeastern Connecticut (, we carry 48 wines by the glass. We personally love wines of all types - the more unusual the better. A white wine from Provence made from Clariette or an Italian Vermentino or Soave? A French Malbec from Cahors or a Cab Franc from Chinon? Yes please! However, as many of our customers that we've educated about the more unusual varietals, there are many more that just want the average merlot or chardonnay (and are very disappointed that we don't have Kendall Jackson chardonnay). It's a fine line that many restaurants have to walk with a by the glass program. Our BTG offerings are on a preservation system but most restaurants don't have this - so they're probably carrying what they think they can move in the most volume. It's a very unfortunate reality in many parts of the US.

  2. Rachel, I have to agree that it is very unfortunate. If you already invest into opening a nice wine bar, shouldn't you also invest in proper preservation systems? Anyways, can you please open a second store down here in Forida :) ?