How to have a sommelier – even if you don’t have a sommelier

Chris Losh

Chris Losh

20 October 2017

SWA senior judge, and head sommelier at Sexy Fish, Julien Sahut, tells us how his food and wine-matching app Wine Picker could help restaurants around the country.

Give us the elevator pitch…

Julien Sahut
Julien Sahut

'Wine Picker is an e-sommelier mobile application, it helps guests select wines with confidence in restaurants.'

What does it do?

'Wine Picker provides all the information diners need with the swipe of a finger: the five best wines for their budget and dish selection. But it also includes all the details needed to understand and learn more about wine: food pairing, tasting notes and even the ability to write and share a review.

'So, no more pressure when selecting wine plus an opportunity to start learning about wine by focusing on five selected wines rather than a 150 options on a wine list.'

Sounds good for the punters. But how could restaurants use it?

'More than 60% of restaurants do not have a sommelier, even though some studies show that proactively offering specific wines with a dish can increase restaurant sales by 21%.

'But what if you could have a sommelier sitting on each table who is always available? A sommelier who would be able to recommend five wines based on each table’s dishes in an instant, who would provide full winemaker notes and ratings? Well this is Wine Picker. And because it’s a start-up we are looking for 20 restaurants to sign up and get the full experience for free.'

So how does it work?

'Diners need to install the app and to encourage that we suggest a standard call to action by placing information on the restaurant tables. A more advanced option could be for the user to win a prize: a free food and wine pairing.

'As soon as the user opens the app, as long as Bluetooth is turned on, they will be prompted with a branded (restaurant logo) welcome message. This will be followed by directing them to the restaurant-relevant page where they will be able to set a budget and select dishes.

'Every month we will provide restaurants with statistics on the number of users who used the app nearby and the number of returning users.'

What sort of venues would benefit from it?

'All venues can benefit from it if they serve wine, but we expect the highest impact to be in places that do not have sommeliers: casual dining places, chains, pubs moving more into wine and food and restaurants (like Asian restaurants) which generally have no in-house wine knowledge and no history of selling wine.'

What does it look like?

'Visit the website or take a look at this short video.'

And if I want to take part?

'Email us on'

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