Why iPads Increase Wine Sales at Restaurants?

Some restaurants across the world are now using iPads to show their wine lists. Stupid and overkill, you say? Not if you sell a lot more wine because of it.

In just two weeks, Bone's—which is Atlanta's most famed steakhouse and has 1,350 labels in their catalog—sold 11 percent more wine than in the three weeks previous to the iPad introduction. Like Bone's, many restaurants around the world are having the same experience. Everyone using iPad wine lists seem to be having big sales jumps.

It's not the novelty factor, the Bone's owners and clients say. The reason is simple and logical: Reviews.

Most people don't know most vinos in a restaurant wine list. They may know that certain region and certain winery and certain grape and certain year are considered to be good or bad or just nice enough. But with so many references, most mortals don't have a single clue. Then people look at the prices and don't know what to do. It goes like this: "It's my birthday, but it's a $500 bottle of Pingus worth the expense or not?"

Now, if you had instant access to a short review for each wine from a credible source, then you can make a decision on the spot. So when Robert Parker says that a 1995 Pingus is "one of the greatest and most exciting wines I have ever tasted", then you may decide that it's well worth the price tag.

But then again, why not just print the reviews on paper? Because it's way easier to keep the iPad always updated, as entries get out of stock and new ones come in. [NYT]