As the luxury hospitality industry continues to expand, so does the importance of the Wine Consultant. Their job is not only highly specialized, but also a necessity in ensuring that any hotel or restaurant offering a fine dining experience serves the appropriate accompanying wines in the right conditions.

So what does a wine consultant do exactly? Primarily, they assist those in the service industry by instructing them on which wholesalers to use to import wines as well as independent retailers to stock up on specialty wine. One of their most important roles is to work with restaurateurs to create a top-notch wine list and guide them on how to properly store and display their wine goods.

As such, it is important that a wine consultant knows his/her stuff, so to speak. This includes (but is not limited to) a thorough understanding of the history and geography of wine, viticulture and viniculture, the wine market, vintages, sourcing, pairing with foods and, finally, a discernible nose and palate to identify the top wines.

Of course, like other fields, the expertise of the wine consultant is constantly growing and evolving. First emerging as a profession sometime in the 1980s, wine consulting has since become more of a necessity for upscale eateries. In fact, using a known and qualified wine consultant can increase wine sales by 25% to 50%, as it is his/her business to know what to buy and how to sell – like, for example, advising on how to price listed vintages.

For the most effective and cost efficient results, it is best to work with a wine consultant at the conception stage of any venue. In this way, the optimal methods of storing and displaying wine can be seamlessly incorporated into the design and building of the restaurant or hotel, without having to compromise any structural issues to accommodate a wine room at a later stage.

When Wine Trend was brought on board to design and install a wine room at La Cava, the Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi, we were able to offer a turn-key project that resulted in a one-of-kind, beautifully crafted, custom-built piece. This is the perfect example to illustrate how bringing in a professional wine consultant at the start of a project can stream-line the design and construction process to produce an outstanding, functional and visually stunning controlled wine environment.