It was back around 1998 that management consultants Joseph Pine and James Gilmore wrote a Harvard Business Review article stating that the “experience economy” had become the new economy “driver”, supplanting “service” which had followed on from industrial and agrarian revolutions before that.
Pine and Gilmore argued that businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers, and that memory itself becomes the product: the “experience”.
21 years later, “experience” is still what it’s all about and what every business is (hopefully) focused on delivering. And restaurant operators are no different in their need to continually find ways to excite and please their customers with “new” experiences.
Which brings us to the rise and rise of super-premium wines by the glass.
Historically, restaurateurs have been reluctant to open expensive wines to serve by the glass because of the cost of wastage if the entire bottle was not sold before the wine had spoilt.
However, thanks to innovation over the past few years in affordable wine preservation technology, restaurateurs are now much more willing to take a punt on opening that expensive bottle of wine.
For example, late last year celebrity chef Matt Moran’s Barangaroo House was serving 75ml of 2014 Penfolds Grange with a steak sandwich for $120.
Dinner by Heston at Crown Melbourne was/is serving 100ml glasses of the Napa Valley cabernet Dominus for $148, and I certainly know of one Melbourne restaurant that serves the great(est?) champagne – Krug – by the glass, every day of the year, and has done so for some time now.
However the current promotion in restaurants for Henschke’s famous Mount Edelstone shiraz is notable for its geographic breadth and depth.
Now, a bottle of Edelstone in any premium venue will set you back $275 or more — a significant commitment for most. But on the other hand, a glass can be argued for as an affordable luxury.
Check this list of restaurants that are serving the “experience” of the 2015 Edelstone by the glass, with prices circa $60-$80, depending on pour size:
NSW: Aria, Beppis, Barangaroo House, Icebergs and Otto.
VIC : Kisume, Bamboo House, Guillaume Bistro, Nobu, Chois, Flower Drum, and Matilda.
SA : Gaucho’s, 2KW, Chianti, Hilton, The Lion Hotel and Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant.
QLD: Arc Dining and Winebar at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane.
(And there may well be others.)
At Melbourne’s Kisume, I tried the wine with their recommended matching dish of O’Connor’s grass fed beef tenderloin and black truffle with yakiniku soy, charred broccolini and sesame dressing. As a result, I’m happy to report that the “experience economy” is alive and well, and with no sign of running out of steam.
Review: 2015 Henschke Mount Edelstone shiraz, Eden Valley S.A.
Impressively deep rich red appearance. The bouquet leaps from the glass with highlights of small red fruits, with undertones of damson plum, liquorice, anise and Provence herbs.
The palate is immediately impressive with its plushly-fruited attack flowing to an intense, sumptuously-textured middle palate of darker black fruits atop a complex savoury backbone that features those Provence herbs again which co-mingle with a graphite “iron filings” character.
Perfectly poised and with superb length, the persistence of the aromatics in the aftertaste is astonishing. A classic rendition of this esteemed wine.
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