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There is something unusually significant about liquor and restaurant menus that gastronomes take great pains to evaluate.

For restaurant owners, the worst faux pas they can make is to offer drinks that do not send the right message. Every choice on your drink list should be carefully considered so that customers can enjoy a unique combination of food and drink.

How to Select Liquor for a Restaurant Menu

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The first and most crucial step to select the best drinks compatible with specific menus restaurants offer is to coordinate foods on the list with booze that accent food ingredients.

For example, a rustic Italian restaurant menu that includes salted meats or fish in antipasto needs a sturdy, red liquor.

Italian menus are frequently served in several courses. For Italian restaurants, this may mean several types of vino to be served for the antipasto, entrée, salad, and dessert courses.

The general rule is to use the color of entrée ingredients as a guide for the liquor that will go with it.

If carpaccio is on the menu, serve a white type when carpaccio contains fish. If the main ingredient is beef, choose merlot or a pinot noir.

When pasta is on the menu of an Italian restaurant, consider the acidity of white or red sauce and then choose a white or red type such as Cabernet Sauvignon or a delightful Chardonnay, Prosecco or Zinfandel.

Know Your Wines to Enhance Restaurant Food Menus

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Knowing the types and brand names of drinks is essential. However, knowing their characteristics is a significant factor in the selection of restaurant menus.

Most dessert menus should be accompanied by types like Spumante or champagne, although many delicate rose types are also an excellent choice.

The Most Important Characteristics of Liquor

Once you study the characteristics of booze, it becomes much easier to develop a list that will satisfy your diners. The primary features include:

  • Tannin, which is responsible for the bitter punch that some types possess.
  • Acidity
  • Sweetness
  • Alcohol content

Other exciting and more scientific characteristics include the fact that it conserves its various organic compounds from grapes or other fruits from which it originates. These include:

  • Polysaccharides
  • Acids
  • Phenolic compounds, like flavonoids

These substances are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities. In the medical field, they are considered regulatory agents in the human cardiometabolic process.  That also varies according to grape and fruit varieties.

Wine Tasting 

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Taste buds are the best barometer of a drink`s quality. They can have hints of fruits, nuts, flowers, or herbs within their aroma and taste. That is why it is essential to taste a drink before buying it.

Regions Make a Difference

The regions from which grapes are grown affects the aroma, body, and taste. Climate plays the most significant role in the final grape produced.

Spanish grapes like Tempranillo grow best in sandy soil while the popular Chardonnay prefers clay soil.

Sauvignon blanc loves acidic soil. Whereas, Tuscany’s Sangiovese grapes adapt best in silty soil. An excellent Merlot grape needs a more chalky soil just as Pinot Noir does well in a loam-based soil.

Just as the climate affects the growth of grapes, the environment also affects the types of alcohol favored by restaurant patrons. In warmer climates, menus tend to be lighter in entrée selections. For example, southwestern restaurant menus tend to include a bit of heat in food preparation with the use of ingredients like rancho chilis, grilled meats, fish, poultry, corn husks, and taco shells. The obvious choice for this menu is Pinot Noir Rose, fruity Sangria, or a Malbec from Argentina.

How to Select Wines that Bring in Throngs of Diners

The truth is that a great selection can be a huge selling point with diners. And the more customers you attract with your drink menu, the more tastes you’ll have to meet.

An excellent place to start is by investing in your local wineries. That is a great way to bring in diners and promote a restaurant menu with local flavor.

In California’s famed Napa Valley, for instance, it is unlikely you’d find a restaurant that serves alcohol from outside this region. However, there is a way to create a local signature menu that marries well with your local, regional booze. 

If your restaurant is located in an area with a local liquor shop, consider at least two menu items that highlight the use of alcohol. Such as a regional wine-infused rack of ribs. Then serve the local booze with a fanciful garnish.

When in doubt, it’s also a wise idea to see how other restaurants pair their food and drink. Take Abacus Jaspers, for example, a restaurant chain in Texas; you can see from their menu that they offer a wide variety of wines in price, taste, and locality. 

Go Casual with Menus and Wines

Food and drink menus for casual dining restaurants needn’t be as formal as those of upscale restaurants.

Diners who prefer a more casual dining experience will also want the choice of drink to be part of their trendy lifestyles. Be aware that the type of wait service and specific food menu affect the optics that attract diners.

Note that on a casual dining experience, the bottle of wine is opened, and diners may pour their glasses of wine. In a more formal dining experience, wines are poured by sommeliers for that extra touch of elegance.

For most casual food menus, light to medium-bodied wine is a good selection. These wines should be paired for their taste and comparability to ingredients found in the food. White, dry wines like a Sauvignon Blanc do well for most chicken and seafood menus. A light, dry red wine accents beef and pork.

A Glitzy Brunch Food and Wine Soiree 

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If your restaurant serves brunch, you might want to give a splash of excitement to your brunch menu with a lovely mid-morning, fruity cooler, a champagne cocktail, or an orange-infused mimosa punctuated by a delicate rose or sweet Spumante.

The Dessert Menu and Dessert Wines

No matter what type of dessert a restaurant serves, there is always flavored alcohol to end a meal entirely.

Today, there are many flavored wines made from citrus fruits, berries, pomegranates, plums, pears, and apples. These wines are perfect for bread or rice puddings, fruit pies, and ice cream parfaits.

For chocolate-flavored desserts on the restaurant menu, select nutty-flavored types like Burgundy reds well known for their nutty aroma. Chocolate mousse might go well with Port or Madeira that have a lighter, milder flavor.

The More You Know About Food and Wines

Pairing food and drink isn’t difficult when you take the time and effort to study food ingredients. With the proper care and research, developing your list should be no trouble at all.