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BEVERAGE MEDIA
May 2013
THE BEVERAGE NETWORK:
What
is a current favorite pairing from your
menu and list?
JOHN DUNCAN:
Any of our new Euro-
pean whites with all the great fresh sea-
food we get, they all work great.
TBN:
What kind of special promotions
do you do?
JD:
Malbec and Meatballs on Monday.
Tacos on Tuesday, half off all Spanish
wines. Wine’d Down Wednesday; all wine
are half-price by the glass (this gives us a
chance to clear some dead soldiers be-
fore reprint). Pizza and Pinots on Thurs-
day (includes Pinot Noir, Gris, Blanc and
and Grigio). Fish Camp Friday; all sea-
food tapas only $5 and all beer half-price.
TBN:
What are some wines that have
done especially well by the glass?
JD:
All the Robert Foley wines are popu-
lar—The Griffin red blend, Kelly’s Cuvée
Syrah, Semillon. We own the sparkling
BTG selection in town, currently serving
11 from $7 [Simonnet-Febvre Rosé] to
$20 [Veuve Clicquot].
TBN:
What software do you use?
JD:
Positec POS and good old Excel
and Word.
TBN:
How many distributors do you
deal with?
JD:
I try to buy at least something from all
20+, but mostly from five to seven. I like
when they bring winemakers by to see
our system. We place orders each Mon-
day and Thursday; reps stop by to pick-up
their orders for next day delivery.
TBN:
What are some recent trends
you’ve seen in Charlotte?
JD:
Consumers are loosening up a bit,
$12-$15 for wine by the glass is not so
bad anymore. Big bottle sales are up as
well for groups of six or more. Around
Charlotte, a lot of restaurants are start-
ing to offer more wines by the glass.
New systems, dispensers, etc.—all
very expensive and impressive. We’ve
had 200 wines by the glass for 14 years.
TBN:
How does your service approach
change with so many wines by the glass?
JD:
We continue to aim for a table of
four, for example, to order a different
glass of wine for each of their courses.
Two or three glasses per person for a
four-course meal.
TBN:
What other wine programs do
you admire?
JD:
I admire anyone experimenting with
keg wine. I think it’s revolutionary and
could be the way of the future. Cuts
down on bottle cost, cardboard, ship-
ping expense—and they last longer
than an open bottle. I’m waiting on
someone to build a bigger wall of wine
than ours with taps on the wall.
Glass Act
John Duncan, Bonterra, Charlotte, NC
BY W. R. TISH
SOMM
SEZ
C
hurch wine was never like this. Wine lovers at Bonterra—housed
in a spacious, smartly renovated 110-year-old church in Charlotte,
North Carolina’s historic Southend District—have 200 choices of
wine by the glass. All of the glass pours are available by the bottle as
well (displayed on a veritable wall of wine), and 150 bottles beyond those
populate a Cellar List. We caught up with owner and wine director John
Duncan for insight regarding how he manages the dynamic program.
Cuisine:
Contemporary, seasonal,
Southern
Selections on wine list:
350
Bottles in inventory:
3,000
Price range of list:
$28 to $80; $75-
$1,800 on Cellar List (CL)
Average bottle price:
$60; $125 CL
Sweet spot on list:
$50; $150-$175 CL
Wine list strengths:
By-the-glass
program of 200 wines from a variety of
regions and grapes
Wines by the glass:
80 whites (42°F), 80
reds (62°F), plus Ports, dessert wines and
bubblies; about 10-12 entries turn over
every two weeks
Price range by the glass:
$7-$20
Stemware:
No particular brand; 16 oz.
white, 19.5 oz. red; specialty glasses for
“serious bottles”
Preservation system:
Nitrogen/argon
gas; bottles are tested for freshness and
thrown out if necessary (total waste is less
than $150 cost per week)
CORKBOARD
BONTERRA – BONTERRADINING.COM
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