How The Pandemic Could Change The Way Restaurants Sell Wine

The culture around enjoying wine feels incredibly luxurious. According to Wine Cooler Direct, anyone looking to indulge in a glass or two of wine should set aside some time so that they can gently sip the beverage, indulge in the olfactory bouquet of scents, drink it out of the proper glass, and even imbibe the wine with the proper food pairing. This decadent method of enjoying your favorite wine could warrant a full evening to celebrate a good bottle, but due to the restrictions stemming from the pandemic, the etiquette around this beverage has had to change. 

According to wine educator Kyla Peal, writing for Bon Appétit, the former restaurant culture that centered around allowing customers the time to lengthily enjoy several glasses of wine now has to shift. Due to restrictions, diners can't mull over a bottle for several hours, so restaurants may start promoting quick and speedy glass-of-wine services that get customers in and out the door. Wine menus may also start paring down to the restaurant's top-selling list as well, making the selection choices much more straightforward. Miguel de Leon of Pinch Chinese in New York trimmed down his selection of natural wine from 300 choices to just 60, per the New York Times. This shift towards a tighter menu ensures that restaurants can't overstock and lose profits on wines that not enough patrons could enjoy. Despite the reduction in services and selection, Peal notes that the pandemic has actually created a savvy wine connoisseur out of many restaurant patrons.

A new era of wine consumption

According to Bon Appétit, the pandemic has encouraged diners to explore wine lists and sometimes has forced would-be wine enthusiasts out of their comfort zones. Some patrons have explored new drinks and, as a result, anyone exploring wine menus during the pandemic learned more about the beverage and about what they want in a glass. The pandemic's impact hasn't stopped wine lovers one bit. According to Sonoma Magazine, wine tastings have turned into Zoom classes, while wineries have delivered their signature products to fans nationwide to host remote tastings. Love it or hate it, experts believe that the remote tastings should stick around for some time to come, and could define the wine experience (via Bloomberg).

Due to the limitations of the pandemic, the entire way we drink wine has shifted to match the times. This drastic change has the potential to redefine the way we imagine this age-old beverage and guarantees to shape the future of the restaurant industry. With a bit of luck, restaurants should easily adapt to the new way of uncorking.