It is now possible to go to a restaurant in Belgium and choose to try wines like Sassicaia or a Chateau LafiteRothschild by the glass. Since April this year, wine lovers have a unique opportunity at 2 Michelin star restaurant Pastorle, in Reek a few kilometres away from Antwerp.
Chef and restaurateur Bart de Pooter told Food and Wine Gazette the restaurant is now serving over 150 wines by the glass for their guests.
Using the Coravin system which keeps the wines at their very best even after they have been opened means that this is a win win situation for the restaurant and guests. This is still relatively unique in the restaurant world though Bart said that he first saw the system in Paris. “I saw the system at the restaurant of Yannick Alleno who was serving around 120 wines by the glass.”
“We thought a bit more about it and decided to offer different possibilities of serving even 8cl and 12 cl so that guests can enjoy two to three glasses of wine and still be able to drive.”
The Belgian chef and restaurateur said the time is over when guests would go to a restaurant and drink two to three bottles of wine. “We have one of the largest wine cellars for a restaurant in Belgium and we wanted to make our cellar more dynamic. We also looked at what our guests want which is to be able to enjoy a glass or two of wine and still drive the car. We decided that it would be great to serve top quality wine by the glass. We now have more than half of our cellar that can be served by the glass,” he said.
He said that since the introduction of the system, it has been very well received by clients. “Guests have their own budget of how much they want to spend on wine. Now they can decide to use that budget to try different wines by the glass so they are also very happy.”
They can also use that same budget to try a specific wine by the glass. The system is also interesting for business lunches since guests might not be willing to drink a full bottle of wine but could each choose a glass.
What is more important for Bart is also the cellar management. “We have around 3,000 bottles of wine in our cellars and sometimes it is difficult to move these wines over a two year period. Now we can move the wines using this method and know that the quality remains the same.”
He said that some restauranteurs might be afraid to adapt such a system but added that with a fixed staff who are attentive to the wines that are opened, they can guide the clients to the wines that are already opened. “We always have the same sommelier who knows the bottles that are open and who can meet the guests expectations,” said De Pooter.
Coravin uses technology to pour wine without removing the cork from the bottle so consumers can enjoy the wine they want – a sip, a glass or more, without rushing to finish the bottle, knowing their last glass will taste just as the very first, days and weeks after the first sip has been tasted.
Don’t miss our in-depth interview with chef Bart de Pooter in the coming days.