How Wine Storage Can Lead to Profitability
Wine is one of the biggest drivers of profit in restaurants and bars. Bottles of wine, in particular, can fetch margins of around 70 percent, making a critical impact on an operation’s bottom line. This means storing and serving wine is an important function of success.
Creating Space for Wine Storage
In restaurants and certainly in bars, finding space to properly store wine can be one of the biggest hurdles to a successful wine program. Improper storage can also lead to expensive waste. Where and how wine is stored can directly impact how much wine is ultimately sold and enjoyed.
One of the most popular and profitable options for creating wine storage space is to look under the counter. In bars and restaurants, an undercounter wine refrigerator can lead to maximizing the revenue-generating potential of an available footprint with one of the highest-margin items.
Creating Conditions for Wine Storage
Red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines all require unique storage and serving conditions. Reds should be cellared between 45 and 65 degrees with the most common storage temperature being 55 degrees. Lighter white or rosé wines are ideal to serve at 50 degrees or slightly colder, while fuller-bodied whites or rosés should be served at 50 degrees or slightly warmer. Sparkling wines are best served chilled between 42 degrees and 50 degrees. Simply put, having the ability to hold wines at diverse temperatures is ideal for a more robust wine program.
Another thing to consider when creating storage space is the profile of the bottles. Wines like pinot noir and most sparkling wines will be in wider bottles with sloping shoulders, while California cabs and white wines like pinot grigio will typically have high shoulders in thinner bottles. Creating racks with diverse sizing options can help make storage easier.
When looking for a built-in wine refrigerator, restaurants and bars should consider units that allow for a diverse temperature range of temperatures to account for different wine varietals. Undercounter wine refrigerators with adjustable racks can accommodate different bottle styles. U-Line commercial wine refrigeration allows for temperature ranges from 34 to 70 degrees, and with U-Adjust™ Interiors, they offer 19 possible positions for their slide-out wine racks to provide storage for all types of different bottle shapes and sizes.
Creating a Great Wine Experience for Guests
The final thing to consider is how well a wine program is received by guests and customers. If the ultimate goal is to create satisfaction, the elevation of the service itself can go a long way toward creating an amazing experience. And, ultimately, wine is an experience, not just a beverage. Over the course of a meal or a dining encounter, the temperature of wine within the bottle will often change and migrate toward the ambient temperature of the room. For whites, in particular, this can be problematic. Even using an ice bucket can be problematic, since the bucket plummets the wine temperature, diminishing its flavor.
Holding wine during service doesn’t have to be inconsistent or messy, though. With a U-Chill built-in wine cooler, bottles can be stored directly in a counter, bar, or serving area so it’s easily accessible. And the bottle maintains its temperature within two to four degrees, providing consistency in flavor. With unique lighting options, they’re also great for creating an elevated experience that contributes to the overall enjoyment of the wine-drinking process, which can lead to higher pricing.
Learn more about storing wine in a bar or counter, and explore all the unique benefits of the innovative U-Chill units