Wine Promotions We’d Like to See

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Certainly, I don’t get out all that much. I do visit about 200 restaurants a year and review the menus and wine lists of hundreds more, but that is really just scratching the surface of the tens of thousands of on-premise accounts offering wine. Apologies in advance to all of the wine-oriented restaurants for whom these recommendations are old news.  Please feel free to use these ideas gratis, or if you know of a restaurant doing imaginative promotions that we can report on, please notify me at

Wine Promotions We’d Like to See

By-the-Glass Promotions

  1. Precious Pours Promotion – offer 3 2 oz. pours of  wines priced over $60 on your list for $20
  2. Taste(s) of the Week – each week offer a special flight of wines from a particular region or variety. This would be a good way introduce new items on your wine list.
  3. Wine Treasures – on a slower weeknight, offer to pour an iconic wine (e.g. Opus One, Caymus Special Selection, etc.) for $20 or less per taste with dinner – one taste per customer.

Alternatives to the Wine Dinner – winemaker dinners build brand awareness and customer loyalty but require an investment in both time and money by the restaurant and the supplier – here are two low cost alternatives.

  1. Wine 101 Happy Hour
    Winemaker dinners require an investment in both time and money by the restaurant and often the wine company. Tastes of wine possibly accompanied by hors d’oeuvres lead by a supplier/distributor rep (you don’t need a winemaker or supplier rep for this one) Use a quiet section of the restaurant for a half- hour tasting and discussion. Educational, fun and affordable.
  2. The Self-Guided Farm-to-Table Small Plate Dinner
    Put together a selection of wines and small plates that comes with its own literature This will give your customer more in-depth information about your suppliers (farms and wineries) and build your reputation without the expense or formality of a farm-to-table dinner (3 small plates with one flight of 3 wines <$40)

Other Promotions

  1. Gather input on your wine program by offering a non-transferrable coupon for a free glass of wine or bottle discount in exchange for filling out a short survey on wine preferences. This will bring that key customer back for another visit while providing you with key information to manage your wine selection.
  2. Wine Upgrade Night – Buy a bottle of wine with dinner and get upgraded to a better, more expensive wine of the same variety.


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