London restaurants neglecting wine

  • Wednesday 17 January 2007

London restaurants are not doing enough to improve their diners’ wine experience, new research has revealed.

According to the study conducted by Wine Intellegence, the capital’s restaurants are not providing their guests with enough information or guidance when they peruse the wine list.

‘Only one third of restaurants offer tasting notes or any sort of guidance,’ said the report.

Although in recent years wine lists in London restaurants have grown, and become more adventurous, they continue to neglect wine as part of the dining experience.

‘Diners found that restaurants are more interested and enthusiastic about their food offering and as such fail to promote and maximise their customer’s wine experience,’ the report added.

Decanter’s acting editor, Guy Woodward, agrees.

‘Wine is woefully underserved by restaurant critics,’ he said in this month’s issue of Decanter magazine. ‘Yet wine lovers are routinely taken advantage of via exorbitant mark-ups, while wine novices are confronted with intimidating wine lists which rarely contain any guidance in terms of style or pairings. Yet restaurateurs gladly take a third of their profits from such laziness.’

The report, commissioned by on-trade wine show Wine+, taking place this week, also concluded that diners who knew their wines were more likely to have a better restaurant experience than those who didn’t.

‘Wine is an important part of the restaurant experience and this research shows how important it is for staff to understand their lists and ensure sensible pricing structures,’ said Gordon Ramsay’s head sommelier, Ronan Sayburn.

To read the rest of Guy Woodward’s column, see the February issue of Decanter magazine.

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