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!
I realize that is what people want, I've served at a fine dining steakhouse and everyone really does go for the Napa Cab, which isn't a bad thing! I was just interested in what other wines work for other sommeliers clientele. But I'm happy to see multiple Douro recommendations! I've been considering Aglianico
Torbreck's Runrig from Barossa Valley would pair beautifully with those rich savory flavors, and spicy sauces.
Recognizable, great and delicious.
I'd recommend playing to the crowd. You can talk about wine pairings till you're blue in the face, and people are still gonna order Caymus SS with their oysters. Yes, grower champagne would be sublime, but those type-A businessmen would sneer. Prisoner, Caymus, Rombauer, white zin, moscato, Cloudy bay... give the people what they want, and just be glad they're not drinking liquor only.
I agree. I'll post my list in the next couple of days and see if I get ripped apart or not lol
Adding on to the advice Zachary gave. You will be presenting to investors who will ultimately want to know how they will see a return on the money they have invested. Make sure to include a few talking points on projected sales, projected profit and how your program will help to achieve this end. You could also include where you see different tiers of price points to allow for staff training to increase up-selling, a mock spreadsheet showing a theoretical inventory which can demonstrate inventory turnover rate and which wines (or price points) will be the drivers towards the bottom line. Investors will listen more to numbers than labels.
Thank you so much, great advice that I will utilize!
Also investors will most likely be the "type" of guests you will be seeing often - thats why you need the Jordan, Caymus, Shafer, Rombauer and Meiomi :-)
Yea Shafer hillside Select is I think in a steakhouse setting the most asked for of the "Very Prestigious" Cali Cabs that you have a good chance of being able to get. Harlan is more sought after but much more expensive and harder to buy, same for Screaming Eagle, Bryant..Shafer you can get your hands on..also maybe some Hobbs Beckstoffer cabs. Shafer also gets very high scores from parker, and other critics.
peri peri originated in africa, and south africa has some pretty bangin' wines too. just a thought
huge yes on the priorat call
I'm happy to help you. I know PA is a really tough market to build a great steakhouse list. I'm the wine director at Del Frisco's in Philly. Feel free to reach out to me.
Thank you! Will do. Right now I am in very beginner stages, but this is what we would like the list to look like as of now. We will probably shed about 10 from the list, and I am already making adjustments.
Cabernet Franc: 1 France (1)
Sparkling: Same as the glasses- 3
White: 7 $42-$98
Red: 9 $45-$99
Heavy Hitter: 8 $100-$500
If I may offer my two cents, having grown up in Eastern PA and now a resident in CA, even here it's hard to get people to try a VIognier and Torrentes. Especially Torrentes, which we even have trouble getting everyone to agree on one for tasting/study group that we all like. Also, throw a proper BTG champagne. You won't know how many people ask for it every day, like a Pol Roger, which is very nice, and fills that hole. Some people just need it, and more power to them.
I would also say on red BTG lose the Carmenere, Barbera, and Touriga. Again, hard sells, even in the Southern CA market. I personally would have at least 3 Cabs at different price points, and at least 2 if not 3 Pinots. I know some real Pinot hounds back there, who drink it like water.
Also, as odd as it sounds, look into the Finger Lakes, which is turning out some better and better wines, and I know a ton of people in and around Lancaster, Reading, Philly who take trips up there every summer. Pander to them a little and offer something to draw them all in.
But all in all, I think it's a good looking list to get going with!!!
Good luck, and I look forward to checking it when I get visit back home!
Kimberlin Baptista give Todd Shanks from the wine merchant a call, their list is great and he is knowledgeable to help with the list..