Looking for some input on naming/verbiage choices for certain hard to define sections on a wine list - we all have those wines that defy categorization and happen to fall into sometimes jumbled groupings with names like 'interesting/off the beaten path/esoteric/indigenous reds/whites.'
How do you deal with these wines in your own program to make sure they don't get lost or forgotten? What verbiage have you chosen for their categories?
Would love to hear some feedback from the community!
I have a section in both reds and whites titled "The Island of Misfit Toys" That's where I put everything that doesn't fit my other categories. All things considered, which is a lot given that the wines are bound to not sell as well as Chardonnay, SB, Pinot, etc, we pull reasonably well out of those categories.
Mine is called "Wine Geeks Only" for red and white. It has stuff from Romainia, Greece, NC Petite Verdot, etc.
I do mine on a features page and rotate them often. I'm also in a smaller market so I put them at the start of the list so guests have to look at them before getting to more classic wines.
Feel free to bend the rules. Put the geeky stuff near the stuff that moves so it's easy to point out to a guest and sell it. If you have a section such as "Central & Southern Italy" rather than "Campania" You can bunch up your Pallagrello with familiars such as Montepulciano and Aglianico or maybe lump some oddballs in with other geographic or varietally labeled titles. The Consorzio or the EU isn't going to check you out so do what works best for you.
Remember, the wine list is a tool for you to sell wine, not a document for a museum.
Wine geeks only seems like a way to exclude people from ever buying wines from that portion of the list. It could alienate some people and turn away sales you might have had. For what it's worth.
I have seen wine lists recently categorized by flavor profiles, or structure, or the like. listing the country beside it. This, overall, could be a way to eliminate this issue and make the list more welcoming to novice guests. Not saying I would do it this way, but could be of use. Good luck!