I recently had a really insightful meeting with Georgio Meletiou, the Cape Town Regional Sommelier for Tsogo Sun. As Georgio has installed Le Verre de Vin machines in the four current Tsogo Sun hotels in CT and is considering obtaining The Portable Tower model for the new SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl that has just opened, I was particularly interested to hear his perspectives on Le Verre de Vin as a wine preservation system.
Georgio was first introduced to Le Verre de Vin about twelve years ago when Le Verre de Vin was first brought to South Africa. Georgio was based at The Palace of the Lost City Hotel at the time and he made the decision to purchase two Le Verre de Vin units which allowed him to offer 120 wines by the glass. As a result of the success of this installation, Georgio was sold on Le Verre de Vin. An interesting fact to consider, is that those two original units are still at The Palace, are still in operation and are still going strong without any issues today! Because of the success of those machines at The Palace, Georgio, as a sommelier, now ensures that wherever he is involved that a Le Verre de Vin wine preservation system is installed.
On discussing the trends in wine drinking, Georgio feels that having a preservation system like Le Verre de Vin is vital for an establishment that sells wine by the glass. He finds that the demand for wine by the glass is growing. As more and more people become aware of the drinking and driving, more and more people want to be able to have just a glass of a good quality wine; More and more people want to try a new wine by the glass before they buy a bottle, especially premium wines – Georgio finds that this is particularly prevalent with foreign tourists coming to South Africa and not knowing the local wines; As more and more people are looking for an experience, like wine pairing with meals, so the demand for wine by the glass keeps growing. With these kind of trends being well-established, then there is no doubt that you need a reliable wine preservation system like Le Verre de Vin in place to support your wine by the glass offering.
Why is Georgio so set on Le Verre de Vin? He has a number of reasons:
- “I know that the after-sales service is brilliant – if I were to have a problem with a system I could call Ernest in the middle of the night and he would take my call and sort it out for me.
- It allows the customer to experiment with different wines
- It preserves wine for 21 days – this gives you the capability to sell many wines by the glass. His take is, if you are doing your wine by the glass offering correctly, you should not have a wine lasting 2 weeks anyway!!
- It is reliable
- It does what I need it to do, so I am very comfortable with it
- It is not complicated, so it Is easy to use
- Once you install a system, you will find that your wine sales should increase substantially.
- Most important of all it is equally effective with both still wines and bubbly”
Georgio’s perspectives on the success of having a Le Verre de Vin in place are many-fold:
- It is key to have someone in place that is in charge of the whole process. This ensures that the system is used correctly and effectively and in this way the cost of the system is paid back really quickly.
- All waiters need to be trained in the use of the equipment
- The opened wines need to be managed correctly and there needs to be a system in place to monitor how long the wine has been preserved for.
- It is imperative that all wine is opened at the table, including the preserved wine, so that the customer knows that they are getting the wine that they ordered. By opening a preserved bottle of wine at the table, this often creates a talking point with the customer.
I think what stood out for me through our whole discussion was Georgio’s take on Le Verre de Vin that it is highly effective , is reliable and it is not complicated, which makes it an asset to anyone offering a range of wine by the glass..
Many thanks Georgio for taking the time to chat to me and offering your insights and experiences.
If you would like to know more about Le Verre de Vin and how you can really reap the benefit of offering an extensive range of premium wine by the glass, then please contact us on 021 788 9788 or email us at and we will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.