How to start a wine bar

Drink to success with this start-up opportunity that capitalises on the growing trend of wine drinking in Britain

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More and more people are drinking wine in Britain. According to Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine trade fair, wine consumption has risen by 60% in the last ten years, which is quite something from a nation that is perhaps more associated with having less culinary qualities and flavours than its European counterparts.

In fact we each drink around 20 litres of wine per year as well as having some of the most adventurous tastes in the world with wines from approximately 43 different countries available on the retail market.

Although figures aren’t everything they do prove that a boom in the wine market has taken place in recent times. So how can you take advantage of this? Perhaps you could start exporting and/or importing wine and join the long queue of competition that has lifted Britain to being the second largest importer of wine after Germany? Or you might start your own off-licence, but how about going straight for the drinkers’ throat and owning a wine bar?

Need a loan to start your wine bar business? Find out more here

This is an area that also has stiff competition, particularly from larger corporates but also a market where wine is the core product. So what’s stopping you popping a few corks and taking advantage of this trend? After all, even though there is a supposed global downturn, sales don’t appear to be letting up and people always appreciate a good tipple…

What is a wine bar business?

“The definition of a wine bar is quite blurred”, says Michael Davis of, who help people buy and sell licensed properties in the UK and Spain. Davis also owned and ran a number of wine bars in the UK over a ten-year period. He adds: “You could say they’re modern or even glorified pubs but there is a fine line between the two.

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A wine bar is a more up market operation, often with wooden floors, subtle lighting and more classical or jazz related music instead of the piped lift music that some pubs have.”

Wine bars also vary from pubs in others ways. There is generally a larger selection of wines but beer is now also sold in many outlets. The clientele is often younger, 21 to 35 years old.

There is also a more trendy and fashionable element to some wine bars with many people frequenting them to be seen in the right place and with the right people, so you will have to decide what image you wish to portray.

Ready to get started? Find out everything you need to know about how to start your own business here.

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