#121-122: Smart Business Issue

  • Operation Profile: This Charleston hotel has an extensive wine program that was due for a makeover
  • Merchandising
  • 2008 On-Premise Wine Forecast
  • New Master Sommelier
  • 407 Wines Recommended
  • Restaurant Survey: Your Top Selling Varietal


Below is a summary of Restaurant Wine magazine issue #122, published in Sept/Oct & Nov/Dec 2007. This issue is available for purchase online by clicking “Add to Cart” below.

Buy This Issue:

An electronic PDF of this issue will be emailed to you upon receipt of payment.

Featured in This Issue

Operation Profile

This Charleston hotel has an extensive wine program that was due for a makeover. When a wine director was hired 2.5 years ago, he had his hands full overseeing the wines at a fine dining restaurant, the banquet department, room service, and two other outlets. In this story, detail what steps he took to make a very good wine program even better, while increasing per-cover wine sales by 15%+.


Some wine programs succeed from the start: carefully thought out, correctly targeted to their anticipated customer base, and “right-sized” from the beginning, they offer guests the number and caliber of wines expected in the restaurant, without overloading them, or servers, or management. This Scottsdale restaurant has a dynamic wine program, in which both the number of cases produced of each wine poured by the glass and ‘1/2 bottle carafes’ play key roles in how it markets itself to customers — and keeps them coming back.

2008 On-Premise Wine Forecast

What do we expect on-premise this year with respect to wine? Here we spell it out, quite succinctly.

New Master Sommelier

Congratulations to Michael Jordan, General Manager & Sommelier, Napa Rose Restaurant, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland, Anaheim, California. (Jordan and Napa Rose were the focus of a story in Restaurant Wine, issue #89, May/June 2002.) Here, this new Master Sommelier tells us his thoughts on favorite wine and food pairings and underappreciated wine types, among other things.

Wine Recommendations:

We publish only reviews of wines we believe are of very good to exceptional quality within basic price categories for their respective types. Price categories are: Low, Medium, High, Expensive, and Very Expensive. Only 20% to 25% of all the wines we taste for each issue make the cut — and 75% to 80% do not.

In this double-issue, we recommend 407 wines from 10 countries, including some of the top wines we have tasted from dozens of producers. More than 200 (or 50%) of the recommended wines sell for less than $200/case wholesale ($25 per bottle full retail). Some of the extraordinary wines recommended here: many superb California Chardonnays; top 2004 & 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots (and blends); exceptional new release Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, and Zinfandels (including some of the best we’ve ever tasted from California).

We love the wines and wine values coming from Argentina these days, and suggest 26 of them you can’t go wrong with, including several wonderful wines selling for less than $96/case wholesale ($12 per bottle full retail). We also recommend 27 excellent white and red wines from Australia, including one of the greatest Grenache-based wines we’ve ever tasted (in 35 years of tasting).

Chile, meanwhile, continues to blossom as a wine-producing country; 9 great values are singled out here. And 23 from France, including several values from the great 2005 vintage. Germany’s 2006 vintage was a very good to excellent one: 33 of the best 2006 Rieslings are spotlighted here, more than half priced at $200/case wholesale or less ($25/bottle full retail). There are also 47 wines from Italy recommended in this issue, 13 from New Zealand, and 9 from South Africa, including a Chardonnay that suggests South Africa will be famous for its cool climate Chardonnays in the none-too-distant future.

Restaurant Survey: Your Top Selling Varietal