How To Sell Wine to Non-Wine Drinkers

How To Sell Wine to Non-Wine Drinkers

Selling wine to someone who says they don’t like wine, or aren’t a wine drinker can be a difficult task.  Often times people may truly think that they don’t like wine simply because they haven’t been properly introduced.

Typically people dislike wine because of the acidic, tannin or strong alcohol taste.  Take it upon yourself as their waiter or waitress to educate them. Start by talking with them to better understand what it was that they seemed to dislike about the wines they had tasted in the past. Once you feel as though you have a better understanding, try to explain to them what those flavors and strong tastes were.  Tell them how every wine is different.  After you have briefly described these, try offering  them a small tasting sample of a few different wines- if your restaurant allows. Often times this will lead to the guest leaving with not only a new appreciation for wine, but more importantly the waitress that took the time to listen to their needs!


Wine is very acidic. The acid is balanced with fruit and sugar, but in many dry wines there is little or no residual sugar.  Therefore, the wine tastes extremely acidic.  If the guest states that they don’t like how acidic wine is, try suggesting American roses, Australian Chardonnays and French Beaujolais.  You can also explain to your guest that the reason many wines are so acidic is because they are meant to be paired with pastas, breads and rice.  In this case, the starches balance the acidic taste of the wine.


Many people do not like the strong taste of alcohol in wines.  If this is your guest’s complaint, try suggesting Moscato or a German Riesling.  Both of these wines are almost half the percentage of alcohol of other wines.  They are also very sweet wines that tend to be less expensive.


Tannins come from the stem, skin and seeds of the grapes.  They are responsible for the bitter taste in wines, especially red wines.  This taste can be very off-putting for people.  Beaujolais would be a great recommendation if your guest doesn’t like bitter-tasting wines.  Beaujolais is from France and is very fruity and is enjoyed by many.  Another option would be blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from Australia.

How to Sell Wine to Non-Wine Drinkers


If you are able to suggest and get a guest to try a new wine and they like it, you have gained their trust.  You have successfully shown them that you listened to their needs and that you are knowledgeable about wines.  Not only will their gratitude be shown in their tip, but hopefully it will turn them into repeat guests as well.

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