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The latest on the Harpers Wine Seller

Published:  02 September, 2009

Wine consultant Peter McCombie MW will be offering advice on wine lists as part of the Harpers Wine Seller, an on-trade tasting and advice service at The Restaurant Show, 2009, October 12-14.

Why are you giving your support?

Wine is a key opportunity for restaurateurs to add value for their customers and to their business. Sadly, too may operators don't know how to maximise the opportunity.

What sort of advice are you looking to give?

Anything to do with wine lists, wine selection, By the Glass programmes....the wine list clinic experts have a range of backgrounds and skills, from fine dining to neighbourhood restaurants, so if one of us can't answer a question, someone else is bound to help.

What sort of information do you need to help?

Obviously a copy of the list helps and a menu, but most important is for them to take a few minutes to think about what they might want to achieve and whether that is realistically possible. We like parameters. If visitors take the time to think things through in advance it will help us give them more meaningful advice.

Top tip for anyone looking to revise their wine list?

Restaurants don't seem to be suffering as badly as we thought they might. Nevertheless, we can't be complacent. Average spend on wine has gone down, so there is a real need to seek out value. Good values can be found in lesser known countries, emerging regions or unknown varieties, so look beyond the obvious. Remember, value does not normally equate to cheap.