I had the privilege of spending some time today with the dynamic, energetic and passionate Carl Heinz Habel, General Manager at Nobu at The One and Only.  Carl is so fervent and knowledgeable about what he does that one can’t help feeling enthused by what he has to say.

I went to meet with Carl with a particular focus in mind.  Carl is a great advocate of Le Verre de Vin – he ensures that it is installed in any establishment where he works or where he consults.  My aim was to find out what his experience has been with Le Verre de Vin and to get an understanding of why he particularly recommends Le Verre de Vin.

Carl first experienced Le Verre de Vin in 2006, when he worked as a restaurant manager at The Cape Grace Hotel.  The sommelier there at the time, Chris Westin, implemented an extensive wine by the glass offering, which was a leading edge concept in South Africa then;  and he needed a wine preservation system to be able to make this viable, so a Le Verre de Vin system installed.  Once it was installed Carl saw that wine sales increased by about 400%!

Carl then moved onto the Showroom Restaurant as manager and sommelier and he was instrumental in their offering 35 wines by the glass – again this was driven by the versatility of the Le Verre de Vin system in keeping wine fresh, and very importantly is highly effective for preserving bubbly too, with no wastage.

The next part of the journey for Carl was a move to Myoga at the Vineyard.  There was another make of wine preservation in Myoga and there was a Le Verre de Vin system installed at the Square, also at the Vineyard.  Because of the track record that Carl had experienced with Le Verre de Vin and because the other system was not effective or easy to use, they would crate their wines and take them to the Square at the end of service to preserve.  Even with not being able to preserve their wines as they went along, just being able to preserve the wine at the end of service meant that they could extend the “lives” of their wine.

Carl’s next move took him to the Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson.  There were two  Le Verre de Vin systems at the Mount Nelson when he arrived and they were not being used.  He insisted that they were repaired and put to use.  This was where he experienced how vital it is that the system is used effectively, that a process is in place to manage the wines, that the system is maintained effectively and that staff are properly trained.  He found that because he put in the ground work to do this that the restaurant , Planet Restaurant, outsold the bar in the number of glasses of wine sold, with very healthy revenues, even though the bar sold 60 wines by the glass.

After Planet, Carl spent some time working overseas.  On returning to South Africa he consulted to some establishments to get their wine by the glass programme in place, namely places like:

where he ensured that they installed a Le Verre de Vin system as part of his overall recommendations.  His reasons for recommending Le Verre de Vin so strongly are the following:Ease of use

  • Always first, it’s about the guests’ experience – Le Verre de Vin allows you to offer a varied wine / experience – this arena is fiercely competitive and this can give you an edge. It’s about creating memories – that’s why people come back
  • It makes a massive positive impact on the bottom line – and this impact is significant as it allows you to offer all your premium wines by the glass
  • It is a must if you want to do food and wine pairing
  • Allows you to present the bottle at the table to pour wine by the glass so that your clientele can see the bottle that their wine is being poured from
  • It gives staff a better exposure to the wines available – can be used as an education tool.

Carl has some extremely useful recommendations for making sure that the Le Verre de Vin system works well in your establishment

  • Have a well-thought through process in place:
    • First and foremost, you must date your bottles when you open them
    • Who checks the bottles?
    • Manage minimising your losses – if used properly there should be no losses
  • Staff must be well trained – both in the wines that they are serving, and in how to use the system effectively. The system is easy to use and there are ways to ensure that the process is smooth. Untrained staff are usually due to lazy managers!
  • Keep the system clean
  • Service the system regularly
  • Make sure that your stoppers are always working and order new ones timeously

Contact us today for more information to see how Le Verre de Vin’s affordable preservation technology gives your establishment the opportunity to demonstrate why people like Carl Heinz Habel highly recommend Le Verre de Vin.

Call us on 021 788 9788 or email us at