By the Glass Bargains - An Upside to the Recession

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By Courtney Cochran

When it comes to restaurant wine sales, the news is largely not good - for the restaurateurs, at least.  To that end, the Wine Market Council - in conjunction with The Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Team - reported this winter that on-premise sales of wine have slipped dramatically from 2007 and early 2008 levels, with some restaurants even forced to shut their doors as a result of sluggish sales.  Happily, there's a silver lining to this latest tale of recession-induced woe: by-the-glass sales at on-premise locations are still strong, and restaurants are responding by injecting new life - and appeal - into their BTG programs
Glass Half Full
As patrons seek new ways to save while dining out, they're shifting their dollars away from bottles and towards by-the-glass pours - effectively consuming and spending less.  But they're still spending, and the choices they have when they do so are more interesting than they've been in years.  The reason?  Recession or no, wineries - and distributors - have product to move, and this means they'll sometimes slash prices on wines if restaurants plan to feature them by the glass (the most sure-fire path to strong sales when it comes to restaurant wine programs).  This factor, combined with patrons' new focus on by-the-glass selections, means that restaurants across the country are including fascinating sips by the glass - and many of these options represent incredible value.  So what are you waiting for?  Head out there and start sampling - when else will you be able to try a $150 Cab by the glass at Spago ?

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