Wine choices can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together five tips on how best to put together a small wine list that will give patrons choice without being intimidating.

·         Keep it short and sweet – five red and five white wines, two sparkling and one or two Rosé by the glass, along with a couple of options in each category by the bottle, will keep the list easy to navigate.

·         Include the staples – For white wine you can’t go past a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling, while in reds a Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are must-haves.

·         Location, location, location – Include a mix of wines produced locally, from other Australian regions and internationally. Choose regions by what they are known for – the Barossa for Shiraz, Orange for Pinot Noir, Margaret River for Sauvignon Blanc etc.

·         Weight a minute –The list should show a gradual increase in weight of the style of wines in each category – starting off with light, more sessionable options, and ending with the heaviest and boldest styles.

        Basic info – James Hird, wine driector of The Dolphin Hotel in Sydney, says his number one tip is to include the name of the varietal, the producer and the location of the vineyard. It gives the customers another chance to recognise some aspect of the wine that they are familiar with.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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