1. Identify guests who want to share, are having a romantic evening or are celebrating-all great opportunities to sell a bottle of wine or champagne.
2. Know your wine list so you can respond to objections and offer alternatives.
3. Serve wine immediately after taking the order. Delay can lead to buyer’s remorse and canceled orders.
4. If guests are hesitant about splurging for a bottle of wine, suggest wine by the glass. If they are ordering more than one glass of the same wine, let them know the value of purchasing a bottle.
5. Always compliment the guest’s wine selection. Make them feel special, especially when many guests are intimidated about selecting wines.
6. Don’t ask, “would you like another bottle?” Instead, “would you like to continue with the ______ (wine name).
7. Pace your wine pour so the first bottle is finished at the end of appetizers and they want a second to accompany the meal.
8. Be sure to point out the wine list and direct the guests’ attention to a few target items.
9. Go online and learn about the wine varietals you sell. Be able to describe the varietal in general terms and properly categorize it as dry, sweet, semi-sweet or semi-dry. Learn about the residual sugar in the wines that are typically described in that manner (Rieslings for example).
10. Try the wines with items on the menu so you can experience what happens with the wine flavors with various foods and flavors. The best description is from personal experience.
11. Learn interesting facts about the wineries of geography of the wine’s origin.
12. Make wine-food pairing suggestions.