Time to Sparkle
Special occasions deserve the very best – which is why Champagne and sparkling wine sales reach a peak during Christmas and New Year. This is great news for the on-trade, as it gives you an opportunity to boost your bottom line, and put a smile on your customers’ faces.
Take Stock shows you how to sparkle up your sparkle…
The rise and rise of on-trade sales of Prosecco is well documented. However, according to CGA research, 61% of people who drink Prosecco in pubs and bars also drink Champagne – so the opportunity to upscale is definitely there. To give you the greatest chance of getting your customer to treat themselves, it’s important that your Champagne range covers entry level to premium price points. You should also have the option of higher quality sparkling wines, so that, whatever the customers taste or budget, they can tap into the excitement – something that’s especially important to younger drinkers.
With a wide range of offerings, ranging from real entry level up to the Grand Marques – it’s important to get this right. Look for a house Champagne that has consistent quality. Society of Vintners own brand Jules Feraud NV Brut is a former award winner and is also available in Rosé and Demi-Sec. Even more importantly for the hospitality market, it’s available in half bottles, magnums and jeroboams too! Then add names that your customers recognise – Mumm, Moet, Bollinger, Veuve Cliquot, etc – but get around customers retail market familiarity by opting for specials from their respective ranges. Consider having a draught offering, enabling quick and simple by the glass sales. However, for that special occasion, nothing beats the theatre of a popping cork.
To maximise eye appeal – and profitability – it’s important to have wines with good presentation and style. Nua and Famiglia Pasqua Treviso from Society Vintners are excellent examples. Then look beyond and stock something a little bit different. There are some excellent French, Italian, Spanish and Australian sparkling wines at a variety of price points that not only look good, but also are exclusive to the on-trade, for example Conte di Campiano. And banish any Brexit blues by listing some of the fabulous – and award-winning – sparkling wines being produced here in Britain. Look for names like Hambledon, Berry Bros & Rudd and Nyetimber, all of whom have beaten major French Champagne houses in blind tastings. Finally, make sure you include rosé derivatives as demand for pink drinks is very much in vogue at the moment.
Presentation is an essential part of the theatre surrounding sparkling wine and Champagne. Whether you use traditional saucer glasses or modern flutes, it’s essential your glassware is polished and dry – thereby maximising the bubbles within.
A special drink deserves special treatment. By all means have your sparkling wines and Champagnes in your wine list, but have a dedicated list too – both on and behind the bar and on a prominently sited blackboard. Run a sparkling wine and Champagne offer too. Offer a half bottle within a meal deal. This gives you an opportunity to up sell, and once your customer has started with a sparkler, there’s every probability they’ll want to continue the fun with another. Stock magnums. Offering maximum theatre these contain sufficient to fill 12 glasses – perfect for larger groups and guaranteed to get people talking and feeling good. Use drink glitters and shimmers to create really festive looking cocktails. Make sure the fizz you sell is properly chilled and bubbly! If you’re left with a part finished bottle, either use a professional stopper, or use what’s left in any one of the many cocktails that have sparkling wine within. That way everyone gets their drink in the best possible condition.