Regardless of what type of food you sell, including a food and wine pairings menu can be a great way to upsell customers, create a memorable dining experience, and increase restaurant revenue.
While you could recommend a wine for every entrée on the menu, it might make more sense to start with a small plate menu. Not only does this allow you to try out new dishes before putting them on the regular menu, but it also prevents you from getting in over your head. You can even include your restaurant’s signature dish on the pairing menu, which can encourage people to try the meal and even upsell them on wine they may not have ordered.
Like a happy hour or late night menu, a wine pairing menu creates a fun, unique experience diners are sure to remember.
If you have a wine expert at your restaurant, they can help create a wine and food pairing menu for your restaurant, but if you don’t, there’s enough information online to help you make smart pairing decisions. Here are some general pairing ideas you can have your staff try out.
Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine that serves as one of the most versatile wines for matching food. Whether you’re serving steak, duck, or salmon, a pinot noir can complement the earthy flavors of the meat, creating a delicious combination. If you’re working with a vegan menu, mushrooms taste delicious when paired with Pinot Noirs. Plus, utilizing mushrooms is one of the hottest food trends of 2019.
A Malbec is a full-bodied red wine that pairs well with full-flavored foods. If you’re worried about your restaurant not being fancy enough for a wine and food pairing, consider this: Malbecs pair perfectly with barbecued meats. In addition to barbecue, you might try pairing Malbecs with lean meat dishes that feature pepper, sage, creamy mushroom sauces, and bleu cheese.
Pinot Grigio is a light, crisp white wine that goes perfectly with light fish dishes, including sushi, seafood pasta, and shrimp dishes. The acidity of the wine pairs great with subtly seasoned dishes, and the delicate grape flavor enhances the delicate flakiness of the fish.
Whether you’re serving Chinese noodles or Indian dishes, slightly sweet Rieslings tend to pair well with spicy, Asian flavors. The dryness of the Riesling helps tame the spices in the dish without neutralizing them, creating a delightful pairing experience.
Rosés fall somewhere between red and white wine, combining the acidity of white wine with the robust character of a red. Whether you’re serving a grown-up grilled cheese sandwich or a rich, cheesy risotto, a dry Rosé will help cut through the richness of the cheese while also providing a refreshing finish.
At McDonald Wholesale, we understand how hard it is to create the perfect menu, which is why we’re dedicated to providing menu analysis and development services for our customers in addition to providing high-quality, wholesale food products for your restaurant. Contact us today at 541-345-8421 to get started!