Waiter Wine Mastery: Expert Tips for Success

Waiter Wine Mastery: Expert Tips for Success

Sell More Wine: Expert Tips for Waiters, Waitresses, and Restaurants.

Wine goes hand-in-hand with great dining and enhancing the guest's experience; selling wine is a skill a waiter and waitress should be familiar with. Not only can wine pairing and sales increase a restaurant's profit margins, but they can also enhance the guest's experience. The challenge is that very few restaurants have an in-house sommelier or are one.

This blog will explore how any server and restaurant can sell more wine. We will also provide a basic understanding of the leading wine categories and help you guide a guest toward the perfect bottle of wine for their meal. While providing good customer service is good, offering hospitality is even better.

Eight Essential Types of Wine for Every Waiter and Waitress

When it comes to bottles of wine, there are eight essential types that every restaurant server should be familiar with. Although guests enjoy sparkling wine and fortified wines at restaurants, we focus on red and white wines as they are often paired with food to enhance the guest's experience.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet Sauvignon wine is well-liked because of its robust tannin and full-bodied structure, often leading to a long-lasting finish and rich sensation in the mouth.

Cabernet wines are known for their distinct black currant, tobacco, and cedar tasting notes. These flavors make them perfect for French and American cuisine and dishes that include lamb, beef, or smoked meats.


Syrah is a robust red wine widely grown in the Rhône Valley and Australia. It's known for its rich fruit flavors, moderate tannins, and savory notes and is often blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to create the famous red Rhône blend.

Syrah is a red wine known for its fruit notes, and these flavors can be further enhanced when paired with darker meats and exotic spices. Consider pairing Syrah with dishes like Lamb Shawarma, Gyros, Asian 5-spice pork, or Indian tandoori meats. The rich flavors and bold spices in these dishes complement the fruitiness of the wine, creating a delightful dining experience.


Merlot is a fantastic choice for restaurants looking to sell wine because of its smoothness and versatility. This red wine falls into the middleweight category, lowering tannins and producing a smoother taste. Additionally, Merlot offers a flavor profile that focuses more on red fruits.

Merlot wine, originating from Bordeaux, France, is renowned for its ability to pair perfectly with red meats, pasta dishes, and hard cheeses. Its versatility in accompaniment has contributed to its widespread popularity across the globe.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir dry red wine grape variety originated in Burgundy, France. It has a fruity flavor with notes of cherries and cranberries. Wines from this variety can also have floral and earthy notes, depending on the region. They generally have a higher acidity, resulting in a gentle and smooth finish with low tannins.

This wine complements red meat, pasta dishes, chicken, pork, veal, duck, cured meat, and French or German cuisine.


Zinfandel, a red grape variety often grown in California, is renowned for its full-bodied nature and medium to high alcohol content. Many people highly regarded Zinfandel for its bold fruit flavors, ranging from overripe nectarine to raspberry, sour cherry, plum, blueberry, blackberry, boysenberry, Asian 5 Spice Powder, and Sweet Tobacco.

The pink variation of the red grape Zinfandel, known as White Zinfandel, is not held in as high regard as its red counterpart

The pink variation of the red grape Zinfandel, known as White Zinfandel, is not held in as high regard as its red counterpart, despite being more widely recognized.

It has the remarkable capability to complement barbecue, chicken, pork, cured meat, lamb, beef, Italian, American, Chinese, Thai, and Indian dishes.

Sauvignon Blac

Sauvignon Blanc is a popular white wine known for its refreshing acidity and flavorful combination of herbs and citrus. It has a distinctively citrus-forward taste, often accompanied by hints of exotic fruits and an herbaceous quality reminiscent of grass, mint, and green pepper.

Sauvignon Blanc is a popular white wine

This crisp, frequently tangy white wine complements Mexican, Vietnamese, and French cuisine. It also complements dishes featuring fish, chicken, pork, and veal dishes.


Chardonnay is an essential bottle of wine in every restaurant. It's a dry and full-bodied wine that originated in France. Aged in oak barrels, it develops spicy undertones like bourbon. Unoaked versions are lighter with apple and citrus flavors. Chardonnay is the main white grape used in making Burgundy wines.

A glass of chardonnay

It is a versatile white wine that can complement several dishes. This wine variety comes in various styles, from rich buttery to crisp and refreshing. Chardonnay matches well with lobster, crab, shrimp, chicken, pork, mushroom, French cuisine, and cream sauces.


Rieslings can be sweet and sour or dry with high acidity. They often feature citrus fruits and stone fruits with floral and sweet herbal notes.

Riesling Bottle of Wine

Riesling's versatility makes it an excellent match for various dishes, including chicken, pork, duck, turkey, cured meat, and various cuisines such as Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Moroccan, or German.

Want to make more money every shift? Try pairing and selling wine in your restaurant.

Wine enhances the restaurant guest experience

While training and tastings are critical in educating waiters and waitresses about wine, it can be overwhelming and time-consuming. So, what is the best way to help servers know more, sell more and provide a better guest experience? Enter the Waiter Wallet server organizer and restaurant template software.

A Trick for the Wine Trade

Waiter Wallet's Bottle Wine Template isn't simply a cheat sheet but an educational tool. For each style of wine, select three bottles from your restaurant's wine list. We suggest choosing a low, medium, and high-priced bottle for each style. Then, if necessary, do a quick Google search to determine some characteristics of each bottle. Use the most informative and enticing descriptive words you find. 

Waiter Wallet Bottled Wine Template in iPad

Then, enter the information into the Waiter Wallet Bottled Wine Template. Also, on the blue wine type line, we suggest entering dishes on your menu that pair with that style of wine. The sample cheat sheet or Waiter Wallet videos provide additional guidance if necessary.

Waiter Wallet Bottled Wine Template Software

When you download the Bottled Wine Template, a PDF with four copies of the completed cheat sheet will download to your computer. After you perfectly position the bottle wine list in the Waiter Wallet, it will be at the server's fingertips, ready for fast, easy, and discreet use when needed, and instantly become a sommelier! 

Waiter Wallet Deluxe and free cheat sheet software puts money making info in restaurant servers hands


Selling wine is not only about the product; it's also about understanding your customers. Hence, staff members need to know about the wine list's bottles of wine and how they differ. But, with expansive wine programs, and numerous wineries for each type of wine, Waiter Wallet's Bottled Wine Template provides waiters and waitresses with a condensed listing of a restaurant's wine selection. Further, by regularly updating this template with different bottles of wine, waitpersons will become more familiar with a restaurant's wine menu and enhance their wine knowledge.

With Waiter Wallet's Bottled Wine cheat sheets at the server's fingertips, restaurants will increase their wine bottle sales, improve their bottom line, and enhance the overall guest experience. So why wait? Start learning more about wines today by reading our expert tips on selling more wine in restaurants!