Vino pours

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Senior Member
Apr 21, 2021
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As my research continues, I'm Curious about Pour size & quantity our commercial winery folks use in their tasting rooms. (I've included what I've come across at many wineries here in Michigan in parentheses.)

Taste/Sample - size & # (1oz and up to 5 selections)

Flight - size & # (2-2.5 oz and ranges from 3 - 5 glasses)

Single glass pour - size (typically 5oz)

Are you charging for a taste/sample if you are serving them? Here in Michigan, in the Traverse City area (atleast) - Most Wineries now charge for taste/sample - whereas 10/12 years ago they were free at many places. Many wineries have also done away with the taste/sample size option and only sell a Flight aka Tasting Flight.

Finally, for your Pours are you using a measured pouring method, if yes, what is it? (if seen different ways of doing this including measured bottletop pourers like used for liquors, pour into a measured "beaker" then into glass, and good old fashion eyeballying it via a free pour)

Thanks & Cheers!
See other post. Eyeballing makes the servers seem experienced. One to two ounces is optimum. Remember six one ounce pours is a six ounce glass of wine. You don’t want your guests drunk.

I’d go with one ounce pours. If there are other tasting rooms around, you will get the winery “crawlers”. In N VA there are limo services that haul large groups from winery to winery. The tours go from four to ELEVEN wineries- believe me, I’ve seen mini busses full of drunks roll into a winery. Not pleasant for other guests.

I’ve been to a lot of different wineries and have very set ideas about a good experience. Some big wineries are just catering to winos that don’t care about anything but drinking. Not my style! I like small intimate wineries run by the vineyard manager. But then, I’m a grower so I want to talk viticulture and a I’m a winemaker and I want to talk enology.

In fact I talk grapes so much; people yawn and doze off.
Use a consistent glass size and train the staff to pour consistently. I hadn't considered it until @VinesnBines mentioned it, but seeing the staff pour free-hand looks better, and in crowded situations, it's faster.

Years ago tastings were typically free -- now days it's $8 to $14 for 5 or 6 samples, with $10 being the apparent standard.

My first thought in considering tasting vs. flight is to do the math. How many oz in total are you pouring for each, and what are you charging for each? Let's use a tasting of six 1 oz pours for $10 as the baseline. If a flight is five 2.5 oz pours, you need to charge $20.83 to make the same per/oz revenue.

Then consider how many people will spend $10 for a tasting vs. $21 for a flight. Given human nature, I expect the tasting sales will far exceed flight sales, so the overall revenue is better for tastings, and the people probably have money left over to buy a bottle to take home.

Add to that sales by the glass -- let's say 5 oz for $7. That's $35 for a bottle, and if your bottles are typically in the $12 to $18 range, it's a helluva deal for you.

The number I'm using are for example. Adjust for real numbers.
A story on pricing (which isn't part of the OP, but may make sense).

A friend is a clown. As in "travels with the circus" clown, and it's been his job for over 40 years. He traveled with one circus for a decade, and one of his jobs was selling stuff -- coloring books, cotton candy, popcorn, etc. Everything sold for a buck, and he got $0.27 of each sale. Doesn't sound like a lot, but over the course of a week he sold a lot of stuff between his performances.

The cost of the coloring books went up, so the owner decided that everything was now $2. My friend would get $0.72 of each sale, over double his previous take.

Except sales dropped by 60%. Folks were willing to spend a buck per kid on popcorn and coloring books, but purchased far less for $2 each.

I don't have any advice in this area, other than to think about pricing, profit margins, and what produces actual sales.
I like to aerate Most of my Reds...

Ever seen that done in a tasting room? (I have Not!)

Cheers ✌
I like to aerate Most of my Reds...

Ever seen that done in a tasting room? (I have Not!)

Cheers ✌

Yes. I have seen a tasting room serve a long aging blend in a decanter.

I suspect some tasting rooms open their reds well before opening the tasting room to allow the bottles to breathe. Just my suspicions.

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