• How Frenchie and The Harrow are backing Côtes du Rhône

    Running a restaurant or a bar is busy enough without going out of your way to make your life more complicated. But then if you don’t put the effort in hosting extra tastings, wine dinners and events you’re not going to attract in more customers and get people eating and drinking with you at times when they are normally doing something else. It’s why the Côtes du Rhône generic body is not just asking restaurants to get behind its latest promotion, but is providing them with £500 of materials and support to help them put the events on. Here we talk to Bastien Ferreri of Frenchie and Roger Jones at The Harrow about what they are doing to back the Côtes du Rhône campaign.

    Running a restaurant or a bar is busy enough without going out of your way to make your life more complicated. But then if you don’t put the effort in hosting extra tastings, wine dinners and events you’re not going to attract in more customers and get people eating and drinking with you at times when they are normally doing something else. It’s why the Côtes du Rhône generic body is not just asking restaurants to get behind its latest promotion, but is providing them with £500 of materials and support to help them put the events on. Here we talk to Bastien Ferreri of Frenchie and Roger Jones at The Harrow about what they are doing to back the Côtes du Rhône campaign.

    mm By November 2, 2018

    On paper there is not a lot than can go wrong hosting a Côtes du Rhône wine promotion. Customers love the wines, they are relatively easy to sell and they’re  common on most wine lists. Here’s why The Harrow and  have spent the last month looking to sell more Côtes du Rhône wines in their restaurants as part of its Guilty Pleasures promotion.

    Bastien Ferreri, restaurant manager, Frenchie Covent Garden

    Why are you taking part in the Côtes du Rhône promotion?

    I love the area, I have grown up not far from the Rhône Valley and studied catering school in Avignon. More importantly I think the Rhône Valley is a very underrated yet extremely diverse and interesting wine region.

    What did you do as part of the promotion and what did you find worked best? 

    We offered four to five white wines and five to six red wines by the glass, carafe and bottle, covering all the grape varieties, style and department. We also offered some cru wines alongside the Côtes du Rhône to showcase the differences in the vinyeards.

    Surprisingly the white wines have worked extremely well and guests have been eager to discover grapes such as Clairette or Bourboulenc. This surprised us in a great way.

    It was a big surprise to find such an interest in the more unknown white styles of Cotes du Rhone
    It was a big surprise to find such an interest in the more unknown white styles of Cotes du Rhone at Frenchie in Covent Garden.

    Do you often take part in other promotions and if so what sort of criteria do you use to determine which ones you like to follow? 

    We have no rules, we do what we like and we like to share it with our guests. We do not do promotion or campaigns for marketing and business reasons only, we do it because we love them and find them exiting.

    How are Côtes du Rhône and Villages sales normally in the business?

    Usually the reds tends to be more popular and more of a comfort zone for the guests. They also tend to be more popular in the autumn and winter due to their profile as a bit more chubby and earthy, and they certainly are a good match for the game season.

    How do you decide which wines you list in general?

    Taste, taste, taste and eat food with them. We like wines that bring emotion, a sensation of pleasure and goodness, that have flavours and length.

     

    Roger Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

    Why are you taking part in the Côtes du Rhône promotion?
    A bit like the question asked of Debbie McGee – what attracts you to the multi millionaire Paul Daniels! Were you aware that they are providing £500 to each participant and another £500 if we do well? 

    To be honest I had often overlooked Côtes du Rhône wines thinking that the quality could not be possible at the price range we need, but how wrong was I. We  have been blown away by the value, quality and food friendly style that the Côtes du Rhône can provide. Having tried these wines ourselves we were then keen to showcase them to our customers.

    What are you doing as part of the promotion and what do you think has worked best?

    We have approached the promotion in three ways: we are offering a selection of four by the glass, two reds and two whites; we’re offering a free wine matching with a specially devised Côtes du Rhône Tasting Lunch; and finally we have had on the menu “threesome” tasting selection with our cheese plates, highlighting that white Côtes du Rhône is a perfect match to cheeses. 

    roger-cote-2

    Do you often take part in these kind of  promotions?

    We have been involved in Germany’s famous 31 days of Riesling Promotion, and have actually won the top prize which resulted in an increase in the number of  German Rieslings on our list and the subsequent sales have exceeded all expectations. Likewise we have worked with Wines of Alsace and achieved fabulous results. But the overall quality has to be there, and it has to be of interest and different to the customer, and not just pushing the same old boring story such as rosé for ummer – what better than a fine rosé on a miserable winter’s day with some Welsh mountain lamb rack, to bring a bit of sunshine to your day? 

    How are Côtes du Rhône and Village sales normally in the business?
    We thought they were below our normal price band so we have never listed them and concentrated on the bigger name appellations from the Rhône –  although this will now, of course, change. 

    What are consumers understanding of the region and wines? 
    Good value, quality wines that are great with food. These are characterful wines that are restrained, offering a gentle elegance and certainly a talking point, with customers excited to seek other examples from the Côtes du Rhône. It’s been a great success in the restaurant.  

    What do you think would help Côtes du Rhône’s image and profile in the UK? 
    Kicking people like myself up the backside and getting them to try the wines earlier in their journey.

     Diver Caught Scallop, Truffles and Crispy Carrot with Cote du Rhône white from Vidal-Fleury

    Roger paired Côte du Rhône white from Vidal-Fleury with diver Caught Scallop, Truffles and Crispy Carrot.

    What are the main trends you are seeing in terms of which wines your customers are buying?

    France remains the most popular, but outside of France we are seeing strong sales for South Africa, Alsace, Germany and New Zealand which also reflects the amount of wines we have from those countries on the list.

     * If you want to find out more about the Côtes du Rhône Guilty Pleasures promotion click here.

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