Building A Wine List Is Not Easy!!

I’ve opened a restaurant. There I said it! I’m not quite sure what possessed me to lose my mind and agree to join Francois and Guillaume in opening La Ferme Primrose Hill, but I’m assuming alcohol had something to do with it. And once again I’m about to have a go at a part of the wine trade I’ve never done before and am way out of my depth; I’ve got to build the restaurant’s wine list!

Now before anyone starts thinking how much fun that sounds, just don’t! Honestly, don’t! It’s so much harder than you think.

Ok, so it is fun, of course it is, but it’s also really hard. Bear in mind this is a French restaurant, serving up “bistronomie” (gastronomic quality food in a bistro setting, all the rage in Paris apparently), so the wine list is obviously France focused. But for those wine-o’s out there, just start having a think about all the standards you’d put on a wine list as you go round France. There’s a lot, right?

I was aiming for 20 reds, 20 whites, and then a few bits and pieces here and there, but after a quick run through I’d made it to about 40 of each. I mean, how do you just pick 3 Burgundy whites? Two of which need to be an entry level Bourgogne Blanc for selling by the glass, and another has to be from Chablis because…well…it just does!

I think this is going to have to be a work in progress…




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