Men are afraid to drink wine in the pub.


That was the finding in a recent Côtes du Rhône survey on the subject, which shows that pubs could be missing out on a lucrative income stream.


Perhaps one way this can be addressed is by looking at how you promote and display your wine wares because, according to Accolade Wines, 50 per cent of wine buying decisions are made at the bar.


Displaying wine is something that Mark Reynolds, operations director at South West London multiple operator Renaissance, has given a lot of thought to.


"There is no doubt that an attractive, well laid out and thought out back bar will sell higher end wine, although Pinot Grigio and Prosecco will still be the bulk of your sales," he says.


He advises looking at everything in the pub, from the fridges, to point of sale, to menus, and blackboards.


On the latter he suggests: "Use blackboards to sell wine of the month or week. Create a bin ends list of more interesting varietals and display this on blackboards too."


Fridges also should be used as more than just a place to store you wine.


"Do not over fill fridges with bottles," continues Mark, "as not only will the fridges not work as well you will also find it harder to present the bottles in an attractive way. All labels must obviously face the right way. Normally you would have twice the amount of wine sold by the glass than just by the bottle."


He adds that red wine should be displayed on the back bar so that customers can clearly read the labels. Space on shelves can also be utilised.


"Some of your suppliers may be able to give you dummy bottles (particularly champagne) so you do not waste stock of the shelves. If you use real bottles make sure you rotate the stock on a regular basis," he adds.


Amy White, marketing controller at Accolade Wines agrees that it is "crucial that your core range is on display prominently".


"Having key wines listed prominently on a chalk board and having your wine list easily available on the bar are also ways to help your customers select their wines quickly and easily," she says.


Such is the importance of the blackboards at Peach Pubs' 16 venues that they ensure the staff with the best artistic skills have time to work on them.


Company co-owner Jo Eames, who is in charge of buying the wine that accounts for £5m in sales each year, says:" "We have simple messages that we like to communicate but we always change our boards and keep them personal to the pub. We try to find an artistic person who works for us so they can communicate our message appropriately and wittily."


The message might be amusing but wine is taken seriously throughout the estate with incentive schemes for staff that result in trips to wine regions. Much focus is also spent on ensuring the pub has the right range from the three merchants they are supplied by.


But display is clearly an area that is high on the agenda.


"Wine can be a bit out of sight, out of mind if you don't put it where people can see it and you don't have an attractive display", says Jo.


"The last few pubs we have taken on and refurbished we have made sure there's a bar back with display space for wine that is really well lit and obvious. It is one of those 'tells' that lets people know they are in the right pub, along with the friendliness of staff and the locally sourced food.


If you haven't got anyone artistic in the business to take care of the boards, companies such as Continental Food & Wine can supply various point of sale and bottle display units.


Master of Wine Nick Tatham says: "The marketing and promotion of wine in the pub is the key to ensuring buoyant sales success. This process begins the moment the customer walks through the day and point of sale and promotional material have an important part to play."


Get that right and you might find that a few more men, and women, will be keen to try a glass or two.

Top Tips


People's eyes naturally move from centre to the right when browsing
If your till is at either end of the bar, make sure your key lines are central as this is where customers naturally look.

Make sure your 'Wine by the Glass' range has back bar presence
Not everyone will read your wine list or look in fridges to prompt their decision.

Utilise chalkboards
Visual messages containing flavour profiles and price will reduce the risk for your customers.

Block your wines and follow the Good, Better, Best rule
If you have a stepped bar tier place your good product on the lower level working up to best at the top.

Rotate
Ensure your display stock is constantly rotated and where possible double bank to improve visibility.

Tips from Matthew Clark