La Bussola sommelier Luigi Coccaro

Computer tablet now details La Bussola wine list

Restaurant uses technology to allow customers to make informed wine selection to accompany their meals.

La Bussola’s award-winning wine cellar menu is now easier to navigate for customers—it’s an e-menu on a touch screen tablet.

Stocked with the most extensive listing of wines of any restaurant in the Okanagan, the long-time family-owned Kelowna restaurant offers 950 wines for customers to choose from.

Sommelier Luigi Coccaro, who is also co-owner, says he has always liked technology and is very pleased with how the new system is working for the restaurant.

Not only is the wine list on the tablet, but there are options for customers to go to the sommelier’s picks, to set aside favourites, to go to all wines of a particular varietal, colour, region or country.

There’s also an option to get more information about that vintage, the winemaker and the wine itself, as well as suggesting food pairings, ratings and pricing before making a decision about what to order.

It’s all very slick and simple to use.

Coccaro’s father Franco started the sophisticated wine cellar La Bussola boasts, while his mother is the chef, he says.

The landmark Kelowna Italian restaurant moved some years ago from its small site on Lawrence Avenue to new, upscale premises on Ellis Street where a temperature-controlled, glass-front wine cellar is now a feature within the restaurant.

The new eMenus are handed to customers to peruse as they would the former paper wine lists, which are still available for customers who prefer a ‘hard copy.’

Coccaro says the eMenu4iPads software is a Canadian distributor of software that has been available since 2005 and it permitted him to be part of the creation process, deciding what features to include and how the navigation would work.

“I needed software that could handle the depth of wines we serve and our extensive menu. The software had to be extremely easy to use and provide an enhanced dining experience,” he commented.

Such tablet wine menus are already mainstream in other parts of the world, such as London, New York, Las Vegas, Sydney and in Asia, but only a handful of Canadian restaurants offer them and none contain the depth of information of La Bussola’s, said Coccaro.

He believes they have the only restaurant in the Okanagan where the new tablet wine menu is available.

Best of all, he is impressed with the amount of information the new format provides for customers and how easily information can be updated. It’s also very easy for the servers.

“Our wine eMenus are a marketing tool that allows us to showcase what we believe are some of the greatest wines in the world.

“As an Italian restaurant, our Italian wine inventory is fantastic, our B.C. wine list is sensational and our scotch offerings are superb,” he said.

Coccaro also uses social media to let regular patrons know about events and special tastings being held at the restaurant.

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