Wine lovers around the world spend countless hours dreaming about how wonderful it would be to open their own wine bar. In reality, launching a wine bar business and making it successful is an extremely hard endeavor.

If you’re serious about opening a wine bar there are a lot of things to consider. But before you start thinking about the minute details, there are five big considerations to think through.

#1 – How to Serve Wine

Understanding how to serve wine is essential for any wine bar. There is an art to describing, presenting and pouring wine so that customers have the best experience possible – and you have the best sales possible.

  • First and foremost, wine must be served at the proper temperature.
  • Next, you need to choose the best glassware for the wine.
  • If a full bottle of wine is ordered servers should present the wine, open the bottle and pour the glasses at the table.
  • Servers should hold the glass at a slight angle and gently pour the wine until the glass is about two-thirds full.

It’s also a good idea for servers to keep a clean towel on hand when pouring wine at the table just in case wine drips onto the neck of the bottle.

#2 – Catering to Wine Aficionados and Beginners

Most likely the majority of your clientele will be wine lovers that are looking for a new place to enjoy their favorite pastime. However, there will also be a number of wine beginners that want to learn more about vino.

In addition to having a selection of highly approachable wines, you’ll need a wait staff that is well versed in everything wine. Servers need to be able to talk intelligently with the aficionados and explain things in an understandable way to the beginners.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the complexity of wine. A knowledgeable server that knows how to inform and make suggestions without making a customer feel like they’re in over their head is worth their weight in gold.

#3 – Creating a Well Paired Menu

Wine and food go hand-in-hand. When paired together well they bring out the best in one another and elevate the entire experience. Even if you don’t have a full kitchen, you can still offer a menu that compliments your wine selection. A few popular food options that pair well with wine include:

  • Cheese boards
  • Charcuterie
  • Fruits
  • Chocolates
  • Fresh baked breads

The most important aspect of the menu is to have options that pair with the basic wine types: white, red, rose and sparkling. If you don’t have a kitchen but do have outdoor space you may be able to team up with a food truck. In some cities, this is a very popular way to offer food without making a kitchen commitment.

Whichever way you choose to incorporate food, quality has to be a top priority. The last thing you want is sub par food hindering the enjoyment of your wine. Fresh foods made with quality ingredients are more flavorful and give the impression of value.

#4 – What Other Beverages Will You Serve

Wine should be the main attraction, but you don’t want to isolate customers that prefer another adult beverage or abstain altogether. There are also beverage options that can be served alongside wine to enhance the experience.

Craft beers make an excellent addition to a wine bar. They fit the demographic, have a large customer base and give you an opportunity to collaborate with an established local brewer. Two other beverages to add to your menu are bottled waters and coffee.

#5 – Location, Location, Location

As with any business, location is one of the most important considerations for a wine bar. This business has a very specific demographic, and you need to be in an area that they frequent. You’ll need to conduct extensive market research to determine the best location to bring in business and build a regular customer base.

Of course, all of the points above are moot if you don’t have the capital to open a wine bar. According to Entrepreneur magazine, owners need around $50,000 to open a wine bar with a limited menu.