Red Cow Restaurant & Bar; providing a sophisticated twist on the classic neighbourhood tavern, Red Cow celebrates finely crafted eats and drinks with a focus on gourmet burgers, craft beers and fine wine.
We caught up with Luke Shimp of Red Cow in Minneapolis to talk about their story, their wine by the glass service and how they use the unique Le Verre de Vin and Pod Bar wine preservation systems to preserve a full range of wines and Champagnes.
“Before I launched Red Cow I had 7 restaurants which were neighbourhood eateries seating anywhere from 85 to 140 seats. Our current locations are in that 105 to 145 capacity all with outdoor seating between 35 to 40.”
A very casual but high-end concept with Red Cow; serving burgers starting at $11 all the way to $17, Red Cow aren’t trying to be the cheapest but they reflect that in their service; with linen, great silver wear and Riedel stemware for their wine glasses and all beers come in the correct glasses based on how they want to present the beer. Red Cow employ a full-time mixologist, a full time Sommelier and a full time Cicerone so all 3 facets of beverages are taken very seriously and of course a myriad of chefs with 400 staff in total.
“We’d been using a previous preservation system and were having a little bit of discomfort with it. We spoke to Bermar America a few years ago, last year we bought our first system and this year we’ve been retrofitting 3 stores. They’re remarkable; the usability of them is way easier than most, it’s more proficient than other systems out there. I love how simple it is. You use the stopper, it’s all tested, place the bottle to the nozzle… it goes from red to green and green tells you it’s done. It’s so easy for staff to use and a great system, plus you have the temperature control on the Pod Bar so your guests can see what the temperature is in the Pod Fridge, it’s part education so you’re not just stuffing it down their throat. We serve our reds between 58 and 62, crisp whites down to 38 and chardonnays at 45. The system just really works great with multiple pods set up, with the right wines in the right pod at the right temperature.”
“It’s been really fun to have this system for our Champagne sales, now we have a truly preserved Champagne and sparkling programme; we pour a Cava, a prosecco and an unfiltered Prosecco, and a high end and low-end Champagne, with this system it lasts almost 6 weeks. Around the fifth week we notice a bit of the bubble loss but if we can’t sell a glass a week of something then we have a problem! To me it works perfect, a properly preserved glass of Sparkling at the right temperature in a beautiful display case… To me this shows that you’re really serious about wine.”
“Red Cow are serious about food and beverages and have been pushing proper temperature on wine since about 2008 in previous restaurants. It’s been an uphill battle but now with Bermar’s systems and the consumer wanting correct temperatures on red wines and white wines. It’s fair to say most consumers drink their white wines too cold and red wines too warm but with systems like this and more and more restaurateurs taking their wine programme as serious as their food, cocktail and beer programme, we’re seeing this change and it’s changing quickly in the marketplace.”
Luke is right, the change is approaching all around the world and it’s approaching fast! Your customers and guests are looking for better wine, in better quality served in better condition, you’d hate a customer returning a flat pint of lager so don’t let your wine and Champagne service fall behind. Use Le Verre de Vin and Pod Bar to perfectly preserve every open bottle of wine and Champagne and offer an unparalleled wine & Champagne by the glass service, with the Perfect Serve, of course.