Blog post

How do you sell Sherry?

Everyone in the wine trade loves Sherry, but customers just don't get it. Hakkasan lists 5 Sherries, and I'm sure the only time we open a bottle is for training. However, March saw the opening of London's first dedicated Sherry bar.

Bar Pepito is an offshoot of Richard Bigg's Camino  in King's Cross. It's a tiny, brick-walled room, full of atmosphere with bins of Sherry across one end, high stools clustered round barrel-tops, and a simple menu of tapas. I went on 'soft-opening' night and loved it. We had a plate of delicious jamon and a glass or 3 of Apostoles Palo Cortado, no wait a minute, it was Tio Pepe. Or was it Fernando de Castilla? Anyway, Bar Pepito is brilliant.

Richard certainly knows what he's doing, so I assumed his Sherry sales at Camino must be so good he needed a Sherry bar to cope with demand. Well, actually, no. Richard admits that Sherry's a very tough sell, even for a thoroughly Spanish joint like Camino. But he loves Sherry, and hopes Bar Pepito will encourage people to experiment. With plenty of Sherries by the glass that should be possible.

It made me reconsider what we do at Hakkasan, and I think 'by-glass' is our next move. Sherry is so good with the food at Hakkasan, but if it's a hard sell at Camino, tempting customers to try it with Chinese cuisine will be like climbing Everest!

1 comment

Mark D. 16-04-2010

I appear to be the only one in the trade who has never had a problem selling sherry. Indeed I have always seen them as essential aperitif and desert requirements. Of course they have to be ‘sold’ apart from the ubiquitous PX. But a good selection of by the glass sherries has always increased my wet sales. Manzanilla and finos work well with oriental foods to.

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