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Wine Bars/Wine Retailers... any owners out there? - Printable Version

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- rain4st - 06-17-2000 06:55 AM

Hello, I am new to this board. I am a boutique owner and have just created a new wine bar in a resort town due to open very soon. I have found that many distributors are unable to answer specific questions on pricing per glass as well as retailing. I have been a retailer for 25 years and have always had a basic formula for profit margin. Why is the wine industry not specific on pricing? confused: I have found it incredibly challenging to ask what would be the appropriate mark up per glass or bottle and receive the answer "it depends on the wine". Help! There are no wine bars in our area,so I would love to speak to other owners/or persons in the industry. I will also be selling packaged wines ( have customers asking about cases already )and want to do this correctly. Look forward to your help!


- Innkeeper - 06-17-2000 07:32 AM

The "fair" price per bottle is 2-2 1/2X the wholesale price. Depending on the size of your serving glasses, you should 3-3 1/2X the bottle and divide it by the number of glasses in the bottle for the by the glass price. If you do this, you will make a tidy profit, and folks will flock to your store.

[This message has been edited by Innkeeper (edited 06-17-2000).]


- winecollector - 06-17-2000 07:38 AM

First of all, let me start out by saying that we really don't have any "wine bars" up here in PA that I know of.

Secondly, I hate to say it, but I would be inclined to think that it does depend on the wine! (Sorry , but I couldn't resist!) I would think it also depends on the type (high income/ mid income) and size of crowd you plan to draw, what type of food you'll serve, what kind of a profit margin your looking for, your location, etc... Anyway, I've seen some pretty high markups at some restaurants- as much as 300% for a bottle of Opus one, and other times markups as low as 20-25% for the same wine.

This might be an area that Foodie or Randy may be able to help you a little better with.


- Innkeeper - 06-17-2000 11:28 AM

Winecollector is quite right in what he says. Now that we have two versions of multiples, let me illustrate before it gets too confusing. Say you have a bottle of wine that costs $6.00 wholesale (most of the wines under Best Buys wholesale in this neighborhood). If you wanted to 2X it, it would go for $12.00; 2 1/2X $15.00. 3X would be $18.00 and 3 1/2X $21.00. If you poured 4 oz of wine per serving (4 oz of wine, NOT a 4 oz glass) you would get six servings per 750 ml bottle. At 3X each glass would be $3.00 and at 3 1/2X each would be $3.50.

Winecollector's remark about Opus One is salient. Depending on your market, it is usually a good idea to reduce the markup as the cost of goods goes up. You almost always move more inventory that way. I remember one manager who complained that he never moved any of his Moet & Chandon White Star, Extra Dry. He had had four bottles in inventory forever. All his inventory had the same markup whether is was Fetzer Valley Oaks or the White Star. I asked him if he would be happy to make ten bucks on the White Star, which was well below his markup. He said it sounded like a good plan. A week or so later, he called and asked if I could get his White Star allocation increased.


- winoweenie - 06-17-2000 03:46 PM

Rain4est, Welcome aboard. We have several very successful wine bar-wine shops here in Phoenix. One you might talk to is Sportsman fine Wines Phone 602-755-9930. Talk to Brian the mgr, a really nice, knowledgeable wine guy. I`ve found the really successful wine-bars here in the west ( and restaurants)work on a sliding mark-up that maximizes dollar profit, not mark-ups.It takes as long and uses as much expense to pour a 6-buck wholesale bottle as a 50 dollar bottle.Figuring 6 four oz. pours at 3 1/2 times wholesale on the 6-buck bottle($3.50 per glass ) you have a gross profit of $ 15 for the bottle. Take $40 bottle at 2 1/2 mark and sell a glass for $ 16.50 and you`re looking at $ 60 gross per bottle with the same overhead. Lots of restaurants use the gross per bottle as standard which makes for greater dollar volume, faster turn-over, and a stronger relationship with their wholesalers. I know I personally frequent establishments that are aggressive in their wine pricing.Winoweenie


- rain4st - 06-20-2000 08:07 AM

Thank-you for responding. Your comments were very helpful. I will be posting more questions and look forward to seeing your replies.