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Published:  23 July, 2008

London restaurant-goers are becoming more comfortable with ordering wine by the glass, a new survey has found. The survey, conducted by wine consultancy The Mayfair Connection (TMC), quizzed 76 London sommeliers and restaurateurs regarding sales trends, wine-by-the-glass price points and the wine selection process. More than half the respondents said that they offer at least a dozen wines by the glass, with one in five saying their highest-priced glass costs more than 12. Two-thirds of those surveyed had more than 100 wines on their list, while more than 20% boasted 400 or more. The fastest-growing regions named were Chile, Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy, and two-thirds of respondents admitted to marking up their wines at three times cost-price. Quality was the most important criteria applied in selecting wines followed by price, and style. Food matching was named the least important criteria. Regarding wine importers, the respondents said that quality of delivery and service and keeping sufficient wines in stock were far more important to them than offering wines that sell and having a selection of new and interesting wines. TMC Managing director Dick Wallingford said that he had expected the results to show a predominance of Old World wines, but was surprised: Being American, I expected to find wines by the glass in London to be cheap and low-quality, but I was quite wrong. I expect that some of that is Champagne, but it shows that Londoners are drinking high-quality wines.' Wallingford added that the fact that food matching came out as such a low priority was an opportunity' for restaurateurs everywhere.