One of the ways a fine dining establishment is set apart from others’ is the extensiveness of the wine list and beverage menu. Certainly you find many more options at a place like vita nova rather than any fast casual or even casual restaurant nearby. If you have dined with us or worked there, you have certainly heard that, “Here at Vita Nova we offer an extensive beverage selection including 100 wines by the bottle and 20 by the glass.” What that means is that all of our knowledge coming from our other hospitality classes, such as beverage management, come into play when we are on the floor- wine sommeliers or not.
One of my favorite memories of applying this knowledge was when I was student wine sommelier one Thursday night for a table of two ladies. After tasting the featured wines, one asked if we had Moscato on our wines by the glass menu. I explained that we did not, but I happened to remember there was a White Zinfandel, another sweet, easy-drinking wine, although rose, and made a recommendation to her. She tried this new wine and liked it so much she got a glass of it for her meal. In this situation, knowing just a little about flavors and having knowledge of the wine list allowed me to make a sale when otherwise she may have been disappointed in our wine selection. This not only generated more revenue for the restaurant but also brightened the customer’s experience.
I came to college knowing that I wanted to study hospitality management, and now three and a half years later I am two weeks away from getting my degree. The more I learn about food and wine and all other beverages, the better service I can deliver, the more numerous customers whose evenings I can brighten, and the more confident I can be as I pursue my restaurant management training and career. And when the days get hard, there are always things to learn and samples of wine to taste. For that I am grateful.
Written By: Jenna Pekofsky