Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Restaurants fight recession with wine


wineWine sales at restaurants and bars are falling as diners trade down to less expensive options or skip wine altogether to save a buck.  But some restaurants are cooking up contrarian strategies to squeeze sales from the vine.

California Pizza Kitchen took its wine list more upscale and wine sales followed.

The pizza chain launched the new wine list on Oct. 5. It includes Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, La Crema Pinot Noir and Stags’ Leap Merlot for around $10 a glass.

“This is us going back to our roots. When we first opened CPK, (in 1985) part of the concept was we that we would have familiar wines at unfamiliar prices,” said Rick Rosenfield, CPK’s co-chief executive officer.