1. Over-pouring - You may think you’re being generous, but over pouring wine can seriously spoil your customer’s wine experience. An over full glass won’t give the aromas in the wine a chance to circulate, so they can’t be properly smelt. The wine in the glass will get warmer if left on the table too long. Just pour to the widest part of the glass and top up when needed.
2. Serving at the wrong temperature - Serving wines at their correct temperature, means you're showing them off at their best. Wines served too cold are 'closed'; lacking aromas and flavours. Wines served too warm can seem flat and high in alcohol. As a good guide, serve sparkling wines ice cold, white wines fridge cold and reds at a cool room temperature.
3. Serving wine in the wrong glasses - there is almost nothing more disappointing than being served a great wine in a less than great glass. The right glassware gives your customers confidence in your professionalism, adds value to their experience and will make the wines taste better. People are more likely to order a second glass (or bottle) if they're impressed with how you serve it..
4. Not keeping your list up to date - Guests often spend a lot of time deciding on which wine to order, how it will work with their food, only to be told that the wine they've selected is out of stock! Keeping your list up to date will instil confidence in your customers, and will avoid delays and disappointments.
5. Not treating the wine with respect - Whether it is an entry level wine with a screw cap or a Grand Cru Burgundy that needs decanting, your customers have spent their hard earned money on a bottle of wine. Hold the bottle as if it is valuable, make sure the storage conditions are good and open the bottle with care.
6. Touching the top of the glass - This is the wine equivalent of a waiter putting their hands all over your plate of food. Try and use minimal contact when handling glassware. Hold glasses by the stem and keep hands away from the rim where your guests will be drinking from.
7. Incorrect spellings - You want to give your customers the impression that you really know and understand wine. They will be more likely to upgrade and spend more, because they know they will receive the best service. Spelling mistakes on the wine list ruin this. If a venue can’t spell the wine names correctly, why should your customer believe you can do anything else right? Easy to avoid and definitely worth the extra few minutes of checking before you hit 'print'!
Are there any other service habits (good or bad) that can make or break an occasion for you? Let us know in the comments section below...