Currying favour with wine list

27 July, 2007

Q I'm about to supply a range of wines to a new Indian restaurant. To help with my stock ordering/flow, how much wine would a 100-cover restaurant

use in a week/month? I have already asked the restaurant and they have no idea .

A Ben Furst, of the Sussex Wine ≠Company in Eastbourne, urges you to be cautious, at least at first.

"If you are the sole supplier to the restaurant, bear in mind that Indian restaurants don't go through a lot of wine - they get through far more beer," he says.

"The restaurant will go through maybe a case or two a week of both red and white basic entry-level wine. Anything above that will be slow-moving in an Indian restaurant. I've been into curry houses and seen things like Gevrey-Chambertin and you just know they're not selling.

"I would suggest not holding too much stock at first because you don't even know if the restaurant has any customers yet."

Q I stock a handful of non-alcoholic beers and wines

and some customers are asking if we do non-alcoholic spirits. Is there such a thing?

A There are certainly some products on the market that purport to be alternatives to spirits

and are packaged and marketed as such.

Two examples are Whissin and Ronsin, which bear similarities in their respective packaging to whisky and rum.

Whissin is described by online retailer the LoNo Club as "a wonderful blend of the same ingredients that go into making whisky, but it is not fermented or ≠distilled. Whissin cannot replace whisky, but it provides the background flavours". Internet rival The Alcohol Free Shop warns customers

the drink is "very sweet".

LoNo describes Ronsin as having "rough and tangy gold rum flavours" and says it is made from brown cane sugar, honey and natural rum essence. "Try it with ice and a slice of lemon or use it to concoct a fantastic pina colada," it adds.

Both products are made in Spain by Industrias Espadafor, whose website you'll find at

Pernod produces a version of its ≠pastis which is free of alcohol, called Pernod Pacific.

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