I have the pleasure of coming up with a wine list for a fine dining steakhouse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This is my first opportunity to do so and I want to do it right and impress! So my question for all of you, what is your absolute number one wine that needs to be on that list. Steak sauce add ons will include au poive, portuguese inspired chimichurri, brandy braised crab, nebbiolo demi. A focus will also be the marrow of the cow, featured in dishes and used to coat the steaks.There will be a rotating fish du jour option.I would just love to hear opinions from sommeliers around the world on what they think sells and works best in their restaurant. Thank you all so much, cheers!
Additional info that would be useful if you want the best recommendations:
- Does the restaurant have a sommelier or sommeliers on the floor? Will you be selling/opening bottles, or will servers?
- What currently sells well, either at this restaurant or similar ones nearby?
- What's your expected clientele? Do they want you to have wines they don't already know, or do they want the classics?
- How big of a cellar will you have? What kind of budget? What's the range on your list?
- What can you actually get? I know buying wine (or booze in general) in PA is super tough for restaurants, so that might also affect your options.Those caveats aside, I'd look to find some classic producers of Rioja, Barolo, and Brunello. You also might well be able to find some good-quality Bordeaux with age on it. All tend to do well in a steakhouse setting, and can be a nice alternative to Napa Cab at a similar price point.
This restaurant has only been a concept for a matter of days. I have to present a wine list to an investor by Wednesday so I'm kind of freaking out a little. I will be the sommelier, tending to a downstairs lounge as well as floating in the dining room. Servers will be in control of upselling, possibly opening as well. We have a diverse restaurant scene in Lancaster, so a wide range sells. People definitely gravitate towards Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, for whites the typical oaked Chardonnay, but people are willing to explore and try new things.
Our expected clientele would be an older crowd who generate a higher income. We would like a wide range, and the price list can vary. We would like to have the by the bottle option to lean towards $100-500+ a bottle. And I am not sure what I can actually get yet! I will discuss more details hopefully tonight. I am novice really, I am the sommelier for TE, a Forbes 5 star restaurant right now that focuses on Italian varietals. So I have a good grasp on wines, but not where I can source them from honestly. I am not allowed to order the wines at my current job.