January it would seem is becoming the month for re-evaluating things. In the post-christmas carnage that is the sales season, we are gradually slowing down, and now we look back on the xmas festivities with a critical eye to see where we can improve, what changes are needed and believe it or not, begin to put together our 2008 package.
For me, Ive re-evaluating the stock, taking a look at certain wines that for some reason or another have failed to meet expectations, that havent delivered what was expected of them. We had quite a few over xmas, mostly burgs, roughly half white and half red. It is something of a disappointment when you open a bottle that really ought to be pretty good, to find it lacking, falling short, just missing the mark. It puts me in a difficult position, especially if I have "sold" the customer on selecting this wine. On the one hand, such is wine, thats the gamble you take, but on the other hand, our whole raison d'etre is customer satisfaction. Now while I dont believe all that bullshit that the customer is always right, I do believe that our purpose is to create a satisfying environment where the customers can enjoy their meal to the fullest extent. And these days wine is an integral part of that experience. So when chef has gone to the effort to source the best produce, expertly prepared it, delicately presented it, then it really deserves the best wine to complement it. So how to handle such a scenario?
Ultimately it is all down to balancing everyones needs. It boils down to communicating with the customer, gauging their response to the wine and in the end it may involve adding a "sommeliers discount" to the wine to make it a more reasonable value. There are a few wines on the list that are relative steals because I feel that they just arent shining in the way that they ought to and so Ive underpriced them a bit to compensate. So get shopping, read the list and you might be getting a bargain you werent expecting.