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Survey Shows People Stuck Ordering What They Know
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 05/16/2018

As the season of rose draws near, a new survey from digital wine platform CorkGuru, Pittsburgh, confirms drinkers typically default to the wines and beverages they know when dining out. Sixty-seven percent avoid asking staff for recommendations for a variety of reasons, including not wanting to bother anyone and fear of looking uninformed."

"The average mid-size restaurant could have dozens of varietals on their wine list, but only 15 percent of restaurant-goers say they look to try something new," said Danielle Gillespie, CEO and founder of CorkGuru. "That's a lot of wasted inventory, and a missed opportunity to deliver more exciting wine experiences to guests.

CorkGuru helps restaurants manage wine inventory, while offering pairing and exploration suggestions to diners. Gillespie, a wine lover herself, developed the platform after years of playing the wine guide to friends and family, realizing restaurants were missing out on the opportunity to connect with guests and improve their dining experience.

"You don't have to spend a lot for a good glass of wine, but if you don't know what to look for or are afraid to ask, you're probably not getting the value you want," said Gillespie.

Coupled with the use of CorkGuru, Gillespie advises diners to:

- Choose wine from largest section of the menu; it's an indication of what the wine director cares about most.

- If something is in French/Italian, ask the server for clarification versus guessing.

- Steer clear of young big, bold and tannic red varietals. Some things are truly better with age.

- When looking for good value, avoid the second-cheapest wine in a section. Restaurants know people will choose it to avoid the cheapest option so it may be overpriced.

- Still not sure? Stick to regions known for producing quality varietals like Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and Super-Tuscan red blends.

The CorkGuru survey also found 27 percent of diners tend to order what they recognize and trust, while only nine percent typically ask the staff for a recommendation.

"The fact people aren't asking questions is why money is being left on the table for restaurants, and people are getting stuck with what they already know or what they had last time," says Gillespie. "Life's too short for boring choices!"

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