Building Wine Lists

There are so many wines on the market to choose from. Whether you’re putting a wine list together for a shop, restaurant or winebar, there are different approaches you can take.

To create a wine selection which appeals to your customers we’ve put together five broad ideas you can consider.

Good foundations

You need to have good value, good tasting house wines. For example, here are some choices from Spain and Portugal:

Mesta Verdejo organic

Mesta Verdejo

Order Code: MESTAW
Refreshing, lemongrass, fennel, white pepper flavours. An excellent aperitif and house wine.

Vintage: 2013/14


Pinta Negra Tinto

Order Code: NEGRAR
Tempranillo, Castelao and Syrah, rich plummy fruit with supple tannins, a by the glass wine which delivers.

Vintage: 2012

Choose classics

The key is to get the right balance with the rest of the list. Depending on the list, classics such as Rioja, Chianti, Bordeaux, Riesling and many others can play a supporting or leading role.


Emperatriz Rioja Reserva

Order Code: FERESA
Tempranillo, Garnacha, Viura and Graciano, aged for 23 months in new American and French oak barrels.

Vintage: 2009


Chianti Classico

Order Code: MONCC2
Predominately Sangiovese 90% with Canaiolo and Colorino, this sees no new oak but is aged in large slavonian oak for 12 months.

Vintage: 2012


Sometimes lists try to do too much, and are too thinly spread. It may be better to be a specialist in something: Showcase a region or a variety or a style like sparkling or organic.



Order Code: SPFALO
This is the antithesis of overt fruitiness: It delivers an elegant wine, which is lightly nutty and savoury – and very refreshing.

Vintage: 2013

Mesta Tempranillo

Mesta Tempranillo

Order Code: MESTAR
This wine has notes of ripe red fruit, rosemary and some liquorice; it has supple tannins, is youthful and un-oaked.

Vintage: 2013/14


Paco dos Cunhas

Order Code: PACOCU
One of our best selling wines last year and listed in Wilson on Wine 2015. This new vintage has a new label.

Vintage: 2012

Add diversity

We believe that this is where our list is particularly strong – we can offer wines from less obvious grape varieties, regions and styles.



Order Code: NIROTU
Bramble fruit with fresh acidity, un-oaked.

Vintage: 2012


DMZ Chenin Blanc

Order Code: DMZCHE
Green apple, apricot, light honey and floral, use of some old French oak barrels and 4 – 6 months aging on lees.

Vintage: 2014


Mouchao Licoroso

Order Code: MULICO
A fortified Portuguese wine but not from Douro.

Vintage: 2014

Consider limited offers

Wines on a blackboard, monthly wines, or wine and food tasting menus all offer an opportunity to experiment with different wines and get customer feedback. They also give you flexibility to reflect seasons or specific times of year.

Blackboard wines also increase the average spend per bottle: In our analysis on restaurant sales, the average spend per bottle on a blackboard wine is 10% higher than a wine from a list.


Cuvee Vom Berg

Order Code: MNVOMB
A blend of Syrah and Blaufrankish this is a knockout wine, fruit focused with supple tannins and pure acidity, great finesse, quite pinot like in style.

Vintage: 2012


Redoma Branco

Order Code: NIREBR
An oaky white to appeal especially to Graves or Burgundy lovers. Grown in high altitude 60 year old vineyards at 400m to 800m – giving a longer and cooler ripening period. The main varieties are Rabigato and Codega.

Vintage: 2013


Piquepoul Frisant Blanc de Blancs

Order Code: MASSP
A refreshing alternative sparkling wine made in the charmat method.

Vintage: 2013