advice on fine dining wine pairing

alright guys this may come off as a strange question, but a brunch restaurant I occasionally pick up shifts at is going to try and do their first fine dinning dinner for valentines day. 

they do not currently serve any wine but they will for this event, I've been asked to put together some wines that will work well for dinner. My dilemma is that the dinner has been advertised as a 3 course meal with complimentary wine pairings. I'm uncertain of the best way to execute this on the wine side. should there be preset wines paired with each meal or just a small list with recommendations? It's also important to note that the current serving staff is unfamiliar with wine so I have to keep things simple enough that it will not be overwhelming. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! 

  • Based on the circumstances, I would go pre-set.  If possible, have the chef prepare the courses for you and that way you can pair the wines accordingly.  Come up with a blurb or two that you and the staff can recite as the wine is served with the dish as to why it is a perfect/magical pairing.  Wine pairing and presentation is as much an art as it is a science.  Be excited about the pairings you choose in front fo the guest.  This is your opportunity to shine.  Good luck!

  • I agree that you should keep it simple.  Also, even though the pairings are complimentary, you should be sure everyone in management is on the same page about cost.  How much wine will be poured with each dish?  What is the overall cost to the restaurant for the pairings supposed to be?  You'll need to deliver financial results as well as provide guests with an amazing experience.  Also, will you have non-alcoholic pairings for people who do not drink?

  • The two most important factors are what does management want and what do the guests want. If your restaurant is like most the following is true:

    Management is looking to rake in some extra dollars on Valentine’s Day. 

    Your guests want to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

    Nobody wants for us to show off how perfect our pairings are. 

    Pick out wines for each course that you can pour for an excellent margin and will please people who don’t normally dine out. Maybe have a few supplementary options for a great value that savvy people will recognize so they’ll come back on a regular day. 

    Check in with your leaders to see what their expectations are.

    good luck!