In the early American colonies of Virginia and the Carolinas, wine-making was an official goal outlined in the founding papers. America has been producing wine for over 300 years and wine production in the United States has come a long way from when one settler was just making wine from the Alexander grape. At present, French-American hybrid grapes are the staples of wine production in the country’s East Coast. You can also check out menu templates.
Elements of A Good Wine Menu
The United States is the fourth-largest wine producing country in the world after Italy, Spain, and France, with the state of California making up 89 percent of all US wine being produced. Due to its very nature, wine is a drink that suits a wide variety of occasions and has practically been a part of the Western social life for hundreds of years. As a business, wine is more than profitable, amassing an estimated retail value of $35.2 billion in 2017. But if you’re in the wine industry or own a wine restaurant, you need to have a menu that would make people choose your wine selection over the rest.
Here are the elements it should include:
Obviously, the visuals in your menu design would be very important in getting the customer’s attention. However, your menu will make little difference despite no matter how aesthetically pleasing it is, if people cannot make out the text written in the layout. Overall readability should be given high priority for designing your menu so be careful in choosing your fonts and only go with those that are readable from a distance.
This is connected to readability. The excellent use of typography is nice and all since it also adds value to the design but if you overdo it and have your copy in complicated styles, chances are, it will be hard to read the menu. Choose letters and fonts that go with your background to make your letters “pop” or stand out. The textual content should also be in a language that is descriptive enough to be convincing so that people reading the menu would believe that you’re offering them not just a taste of good wine but a great experience. Just try not to cram in too much information or your menu will be messy to look at.
Imagery isn’t limited to the photos and it shouldn’t stop there. Your menu’s overall design should be welcoming and consistent with your restaurant’s theme. Consider this. If your wine menu gives people a hard time at reading the list of wine flavors and brands, your customers will bombard your staff with questions, delaying other tasks which are hardly productive or profitable for your business.
It’s good to have a sense of diversity in business and for restaurants, offering a diverse selection is especially a great idea. A narrow selection does not have to mean limited, and once you have decided which wines pair best with your cuisine, don’t simply feature five wines of the same variety or region. Experiment within a specific style of wine. Half the pleasure of developing a wine menu is being able to offer a good variety of wines that consumers may not be familiar with yet. Giving a little something for everyone is not just an exciting menu feature, it’s good business sense as well.
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How to Design An Excellent Wine Menu (4 Steps)
For the competitive nature of licensed wine premises and restaurants, the world over and the sheer number of choices available to customers, owners, and managers cannot risk falling into the trap of designing a wine menu focusing only on price points. Hard selling leaves a bad taste to the consumer’s mouth and you’ll do well not to suffer the pitfalls of forgetting why you opened a wine business in the first place. Here are some steps that can help you design the menu you need:
Step 1: Set yourself apart from the crowd
The most important element that will keep guests coming back is originality. There are enough restaurants out there, each pouring a stock list of wine that seem to come from the same obsolete wine program. As such, it is easy enough to set yourself apart from these restaurants simply by featuring unique selections from smaller producers on your list.
Step 2: Give your customers a great experience
This doesn’t mean that you have to search high and low for wines that are unheard of or the rarest kinds of wines and flavors available from your supplier. What it does mean is that you need to think about your menu and plan its design the same way as you have chosen the name of your business, taking into account the cultural influences and ingredients which the head bartender and the chef chose for the food and drinks being served.
Step 3: Categorize your menu
Dividing the menu into sections should have a standard look, with reds and whites, roses sparkling and dessert wines listed properly. Longer lists can follow the usual subsections created based on grape varietals or regions of origin. If your establishment is known for offering special or local wines, these sections should be highlighted and must be listed in a separate category. Consider letting your head chef, owner, or sommelier compile a section of recommendations, with a few words about best pairings and why the wines are favorites.
Step 4: Be descriptive
It’s easy to assume that the names and descriptions of a restaurant’s drinks and dishes are the centers of a menu since it’s what influences people’s buying or ordering decisions. This is why graphic designers often have to work or collaborate with writers in trying to appeal the diner’s tastes, using language and wording that is both evocative and appetizing. Describing a dish well makes it sound tempting and utterly impossible to resist thereby increasing sales according to restaurant and menu experts.
Tips In Designing A Wine Menu
A wine menu that provides the right prompts for customers who lack the knowledge or expertise when it comes to wine choices helps those who are uncertain as well as put diners at ease in your establishment. Also, regarding the menu as another opportunity to add a touch of style and class to your brand, with the following tips in mind:
Narrow your focus
There is nothing worse than looking at a wine menu in a grill restaurant and finding three Napa Harlan Estates offered by the glass. While it may seem obvious, the most important component to consider when determining which wines to include in your wine selection is the type of cuisine you serve. Consider what your guests will be ordering and which wines would pair best with the majority of dishes your establishment serves.
Price your items well
Having an accurate idea of how much items on your wine list cost is an important factor in making it as profitable as possible. The cost of the wine refers to the menu price of the certain wine versus the cost of the ingredients or variety which means the price you pay for the drinks will decide how much you need to charge for them.
Wine Menu Sizes
Although a menu can be edited and customized, they can be printed in these standard sizes:
- 4.25? x 11?
- 5.5? x 15?
- 8.5? x 11?
- 8.5? x 14?
- 11? x 17?
- 11? x 25.5?
Wine Menu FAQs
How important is a brand of wine or quality in the menu?
Wine for some is a luxury and for others, a financial decision that should be given careful thought. There are also people who are meticulous with their wine choices, having collected them for years, so generally, people who like a glass or two of wine with their favorite food, would only choose and pay for the wine they trust which means the wine on your menu should be consistent in its quality.
What else do I have to pay attention to, in my design?
To some extent, your menu design is also a marketing tool and so vocabulary is very important. You don’t have to have a rich vocabulary to achieve the best description for the items on your menu but it would be wiser to choose words which would best describe the dishes and wine flavors you’re offering. The language you use for describing food doesn’t have to be sophisticated either. It’s enough to have the capability to use words or adjectives in fueling a diner’s preference and convince them that you’re offering the best wine in town.
What are the top selling wine varietals that I can include in my menu?
According to data from Nielsen-measured US off-premises sales, the most popular wines are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blends, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Moscato/Muscat, Rosé and White Zinfandel/Blush with Rosé gaining phenomenal popularity high with sales growing up to 60% compared to previous years.
Research says that demographic trends play a significant role in wine sales. While some may argue that consumption has been flat over the last decade, wine sales have grown in line with the legal drinking age population. With this data, it’s safe to say that the while the wine industry isn’t necessarily booming, it’s still pretty secure and if you’re a wise businessman, you’ll be organizing the design of your wine menu in a way that gives visual priority to your premium items and describes your signature wine selection with clarity and emphasis to attract more customers and boost sales. Your menu would also help build your brand as an establishment that not only serves the best wine but also offers a great dining experience.