Ok, readers! Buckle up, because here IT is.... Over the weekend I was in NYC visiting my sister and some friends. Saturday night we headed out for a somewhat low-key night of good old fashioned catching up. After we wrapped up our meal, we decided to check out one of the 3 different wine bars that has popped up in my sister's neighborhood in recent months. It was a great scene - low lighting, a phenomenally long, graceful bar, terrific bar snacks, a loungey thing going around us and in a back room....
But come on people, if you are going to be a wine bar, how about a little bit of diversity on your wine list?!
Let's reflect: wine bars seem to be all the rage, cropping up like wildfires. Any good business person should know the key to success (in a saturated market) is doing something that sets you apart from the competition. I get that and embrace it. By nature the wine world is quite diverse, regionally, varietally, etc. so already proprietors should have quite a bit to work with. I simply do not understand why it seems so many wine bars are actually doing the same thing: offering a very narrow wine list and then pretending they don't. It's like going to a martini bar and only seeing one brand of gin (re: white wine) and two brands of vodka (read: red wine).
This particular bar started out on the right foot. Their initial list of wines was categorized as "Under $40". That worked for me. There were a few red, white and bubbly options from around the world. But as soon as I turned the page, nearly all the wines listed were Italian. The "International Wines" section offered 5 wines total, 3 from Spain, 1 from Australia and 1 from France. It's one thing if you are going to be an Italian Wine Bar. It's another if you are going to mostly be an Italian wine bar and then pretend you're not.
It drives me crazy! At least let me know what you are about at the outset and promote accordingly. Then I can make a decision on whether your scene makes up for the fact that I'm in a French wines mood and only Italians are on offer.
Am I alone in this frustration? What are you hoping for from your "Wine Bar" experience?