P.F. Chang’s Wine List Scores Major Points
When major restaurant chains are looking for a way to mix things up and draw in new customers, the drinks menu is a common place to start. Whether it’s Taco Bell adding booze altogether, Applebee’s offering $1 margaritas and Long Island iced teas, or TGI Fridays adding boozy extreme milkshakes, alcoholic beverages can entice a type of customer that food might not. But back in June, P.F. Chang’s decided to take a simpler approach to upping its beverage game, working with the Washington state winery Browne Family Vineyards to craft two wines—a red and a white—exclusively designed to pair with the brand’s Asian-inspired dishes. According to the company, the experiment is working, with both customers and critics responding positively.
P.F. Chang’s announced this week that its Browne Family “&” 2015 Columbia Valley & White Wine Blend, one of the restaurant chain’s two wines created in collaboration with Brown Family Vineyards, received 90 points in this month’s issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine – not bad for a blend that reportedly only took two tries to nail. Describing the wine for the publication, reviewer Patrick Comiskey wrote, “A lemony, lightly phenolic blend based on riesling, this is made by Precept Brands exclusively for the P.F. Chang’s restaurant chain. It shows a hint of rosewater and salty lees, the wine tart and a touch off-dry, to pour with kung pao shrimp.”
“When we launched this partnership, we knew we had something very special coming to the table for our guests,” P.F. Chang’s Beverage Director Mary Melton said in a statement. “We worked closely with Andrew Browne and his team to develop red and white wines that pair beautifully with our style of food and elevate the dining experience. They knocked it out of the park.”
Of course, the best wine in the world doesn’t really do anything for a restaurant if it doesn’t increase sales, but P.F. Chang’s says the introduction of the new wines has also corresponded with an increase in its wine business as well. The company reports that since the launch, overall white and red wine sales by both the glass and the bottle have increased year over year, and, importantly, the new 90-point white has become the top selling wine by the glass for the brand across the entire country. At the relatively affordable price of $9 per glass and $30 per bottle, it’s probably not hard to see why.