A high-quality and diverse drinks offering has long been an integral aspect of the hospitality experience. Just as guests have become more discerning about what they eat, they are equally as mindful about what they drink – and the glass it’s served in. The notion is of particular relevance to wine, with lists growing to showcase emerging producers and varieties beyond the norm.
RSN Australia Managing Director Mark Baulderstone says the shift is widespread, with venues across the country paying more attention to wine offerings. “Having a good wine list is important,” he says. “Gone are the days where you’d go to venues that have just ‘red wine’ and ‘white wine’.”
Baulderstone attributes the accelerated growth to the savviness of the modern consumer, who has become more educated when it comes to the landscape. “People have become very passionate about wine,” he says. “For example, they will tell you if they love or hate Chardonnay.”
A wide-ranging wine list has now become the standard, with customers expecting options. And while some venues have an in-house sommelier, temperature-controlled storage, or decant table-side, the most impactful and convenient way to demonstrate a high-quality wine offering is through glassware.
At RSN Australia, the idea of quality wine service is at the core of its brands RIEDEL, SPIEGELAU, and NACHTMANN. “If your consumer is going to have one good glass of wine, we want it to be the best glass of wine,” says Baulderstone. “We want to match the glass to the variety itself to elevate that experience. That’s what we’re looking for and that’s what we aim to do.”
While some venues opt for a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to wine glasses, Baulderstone suggests turning the focus back to the variety. “We’re talking to venues who were using what we would classify as standardised glassware, with maybe one or two glasses that pretend to do every drink,” he says. “The reality is consumers don’t drink that way and it’s not what they’re looking for.”
Selecting varietal-specific glassware ensures wines are served in an optimal manner that conveys the full profile of the wine to the consumer. “Consumers love the variance between all the different varieties that exist which means the only way to match this is to have the right glass,” he says. “It’s about matching the grape variety to the glass to enhance the experience.”
The first step of building your glassware range is to review your wine offering. “Is it at the price point you want to target, are you only aiming at bottles of wine $200 and above or is it more like $50 and above?” says Baulderstone. He also suggests thinking about the type of consumer your venue hosts as well as the style of service and food the venue offers.
RSN Australia’s three brands RIEDEL, SPIEGELAU, and NACHTMANN offer a vast collection of ranges that suit everything from small to large wine listings. “We can customise it and tailor it for you,” says Baulderstone. “We have lots of different ranges, all made with different manufacturing techniques and with a different feel and finesse in the hand.”
Baulderstone encourages operators to speak to the RSN Australia team to tailor your glassware offering today. “Depending on what you’re trying to achieve within your venue, we can give you different looks and aesthetics and therefore a different application and product to suit,” he says.
Investing in quality glassware will ensure consumers have a top-notch wine drinking experience each time they visit your venue. To view wholesale pricing for nearly 280 products, visit riedel.com/en-au/business