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Eduardo A Dingler on how to grow your restaurant wine sales

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06/08/2021 Everything you need to know about how to boost restaurant wine sales by the international wine, sake & spirits specialist- Eduardo Dingler.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you progressed into this role.

I was introduced to the wine world early on which led to a career in hospitality and later a professional wine career. That path continued through the Court of Master. Sommeliers where I became certified which enriched my wine career. About sixteen years ago I came across sake and became instantly enamored. I started to learn about it and later on I was hired to be the beverage director for Morimoto Napa which led to a position as Corporate Beverage Director for Chef Morimoto. During this time I started to get sake certifications and started traveling to Japan while continuing to grow in the wine world as a journalist.

Define your role and what all tasks are involved in your role

My role as VP of Wine at Wine Access encompasses sourcing wines through various experiences for the platform, social media and guest experiences. Shop Eduardo's favorites.  

Let’s say you were given a restaurant to fix its wine program and grow wine sales, where would you start and what would be your strategy.

I’m a firm believer on education, first I would fine-tune the list covering the main categories that need to be represented. I would ask the owner about the focus of the cuisine. Then after the list has taken shape and profitability is set I would train the staff applying the sections to the menu. 

How can suppliers work with you to drive sales?

Finding the selections that apply to the restaurant offering diversity and keeping an exciting focus.

Give us an example of a solid wine program with examples of wine names and why you have them.

If the restaurant for instance has a Mediterranean style I would focus on Italian wines like Benanti from Etna because of the versatility with the variety of ingredients as well as sake from Niigata like Imayotsukasa that highlight avante garde techniques focused on food pairings.

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Let’s dive deep into your restaurant wine program, break us down on why some elements were there in the wine menu and how it helps the bottom line.

Unique glass options are key because they offer a window into variety and based on the pricing you can offer patrons a mix of styles while having a healthy profit margin.

What are the four main things you focus on in your wine menu

1. Unique wines that have a sense of place,

2. Over delivering for the price range,

3. Discovery selections that expand the consumer’s knowledge, and

4. Educational selections that push the boundaries.

What are the points you look at when selecting a new wine for your wine program?

Does it take me to a special place, terroir and value

What is the difference between a sommelier and a wine director

Sommelier is on the floor creating experiences with consumers. The Wine Director focuses on the point of view and costing of the list.

Define a good sommelier and what qualities you would look for when hiring one

At the end of the day a good Sommelier creates an experience guiding the dinners without taking advantage of budgets.

What do you look for when you have to evaluate the effectiveness of wine program

Variety in regions, styles, and price ranges that make sense for the operation.