|"I'll have a glass of the Saint-Romain, please."|
Labrador OmniMedia, a company that runs iPad wine lists and keeps all the data from them, released a study last week that shows that 80% of all wine orders at mid-priced restaurants are by-the-glass, and 66% of all wine orders at high-priced restaurants (with average check over $60/person) are by-the-glass.
The company, co-founded by Jordan winery owner John Jordan, has 150 restaurants in 30 states. "Our biggest markets are Texas and Colorado," says CEO Josh Hermsmeyer.
It's not a random cross-section of US dining habits. In addition to the regional limitations, all of the restaurants have iPad wine lists, which must say something about them.
But it is an interesting snapshot of the way diners in forward-thinking restaurants drink now. Ten years ago it was hard to get interesting wines by the glass outside of New York, San Francisco and a few other cities. Now it's increasingly the way people expect to drink.
However, they're not lining up to drink Alvarelhao and Garnaxta Blanca in Denver and Dallas.
The No. 1 varieties sold at mid-priced restaurants are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. In cheap restaurants, people are drinking those along with Pinot Noir, Malbec and Prosecco. In high-priced restaurants, they're drinking lots of sparkling wine: 33% of all wines ordered. Chardonnay is No. 2 at high-priced restaurants.
It's also worth noting that the stats are wine orders, not total wine sold. In other words, in the mid-priced restaurant section, 18,341 bottles and 94,878 glasses of Chardonnay were ordered. I don't know how big the average glass pour is, but if you get 5 glasses from a bottle, that means about the same amount of Chardonnay was sold by the bottle and by the glass.
But still. A good by-the-glass list is key to a great dining experience, and it's good to see more restaurants and diners recognizing it.