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The organisation said that as consumers will be tightening their belts, it is vital that operators ensure they provide good quality house wines that are great value for money.
Paul Breach, AFW director of strategy and communications, said: "If customers order a house wine, they put their trust into the restaurant to give them something that is decent to drink at a reasonable price. If the house wine isn't up to scratch then that customer could be lost to the business."
Breach added that operators need to work with their suppliers to find wines that can be sold at a good price but also with a decent mark-up.
Master sommelier Gerard Basset, proprietor of Hotel TerraVina in Hampshire, said that the term house wine has been all but destroyed by operators selling poor quality wines.
"During the credit crunch people are looking at spending their money well and whether it is a £15 bottle of wine or a £100 bottle of wine, it has to be value for money," he said.
By Kerstin Kühn
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