Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Online sommelier

Restaurants will routinely add 700% markup on a bottle of wine. Often they judge how well they are doing from how many bottles of expensive wine they sell. Some restaurants are very reasonable, even Michelin starred ones like this which charge £5 a carafe. But most restaurants make their money not from the food, but from the drink.
I'm not licensed so I've decided to get into bed with Ten Green Bottles. Not literally, more's the pity (a couple of handsome lads actually). Ten Green Bottles are a small bespoke wine company that offers an interesting and reasonably priced wine list. They've spent years in Italy and know the small producers. (Italy has had a reputation of keeping, rather than exporting, their good wine; Ten Green Bottles is changing this by sourcing great little regional wines).Each week I will tell them my menu so guests can order and pay for their wine from Ten Green Bottles and have it delivered directly here. I've tried several of their wines and they are all gorgeous, far better than the stuff you will get in your local offie or supermarket.
You can still bring your own of course but I charge corkage nowadays. I used to get pissed off at restaurants that charged corkage.
"What it to them?" I thought "it's not costing them anything".
Now I know better. The one thing that I hate more than anything else at The Underground Restaurant is providing glasses. They break easily and are a pain to wash, dry and store. Each guest uses at least three glasses. Do the maths. That's a lot of glasses.
But you can save on corkage if you order from Ten Green Bottles...
To order bottles for a Saturday meal you will need to order by 12pm on Thursdays.


  1. The great wine glass issue. I felt guilty the time I charged corkage..... but that's probably why I don't make any money.

  2. That's a fantastic idea!

  3. This is an unbelievably cunning plan - you are extremely clever :)

  4. What a good idea. Porperly matched wine form small producers. Do you think they could do that for me for my own meals at home? ;)

  5. Back when I was getting my master's, I was the President of the Wine Club. If I had known that being the President of the Wine Club meant washing 1000 glasses every other week, I never would have applied.

    Tip: We were able to find these special dishwasher trays for the glasses. At the end of the night, we'd put the dirty glasses face down into the trays. Pop the trays into dishwasher at home, and then when you remove the trays, you automatically have clean glasses AND wine glass storage racks! Like these

    Would require a dishwasher of course.

    Try a catering supply company?

  6. Maybe for next time! I want to bring my boyfriend in the New Year!It was a lovely dinner on Saturday and wonderful to meet you by the way! :) xxx

  7. PS Dedicated my last entry to you and the night we had at yours on sat - twas gr8 fun! xxx


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