Since kegging the very first wines in March 2012, the team here at FreshTAP has been busy educating the market and growing the Canadian wine-on-tap category. The success has been overwhelming. Licensees whom have installed wine specific taps are having and awful lot of success and share our excitement for this smarter, fresher and friendlier wine by-the-glass program. Our winemaker Kelly Symonds-Mean has had the pleasure of working alongside a growing number of amazing wineries and accomplished winemakers, ensuring the quality and consistency of their carefully crafted wines are packaged perfectly in keg. As the category grows rapidly, the team at FreshTAP is dedicated to the promotion, education and overall development of wine-on-tap in Canada. We encourage you to come visit our FreshTAP operation at the Vancouver Urban WInery to experience what wine-on-tap is all about!
There was a time when wine on tap was considered a loony West Coast notion, like est or Pinkberry. Today, we’re fairly awash in the stuff, with more on the way. “I think every new restaurant that opens will dedicate at least one beer line to wine,” predicts Terroir partner Paul Grieco, an early adopter who’s been pouring a high-acid Finger Lakes Riesling since spring. This week alone brings two new converts: Soho “winepub” Burger & Barrel, and Michael White’s Osteria Morini, where antique barrel heads artfully camouflage the mundane business of plastic tubing and stainless- steel kegs. There is logic, though, behind what could easily pass for a marketing gimmick. Reducing packaging (bottles, labels, corks, crates, foil) saves money, for producer and consumer alike. [READ MORE]
Wine kegs, also known as wine taps, are all the new rage in the wine world – and with good reason. A kegger will never have the same meaning again.
The wine tap isn’t the the same as the boxed wine from college that turns lips violet, nor is it the typical $3-a-glass “table wine” at that greasy Italian restaurant. No, no. The wine tap is the newest très chic way to taste a chilled glass of red or white at local Arizona favorite restaurants. If only it had been that popular during the dorm daze. [READ MORE]
With the economy putting the focus squarely on providing as much quality for the lowest price possible, wineries have been increasingly focused on value priced wines. The frequent refrain of late talking to Washington winemakers has been, “This is my glass pour wine,” – meaning a wine that can be offered at restaurants and bars by the glass for a modest cost compared to a winery’s standard offerings. The problem has been that, due to production costs, it has frequently been challenging for wineries to offer high quality, low priced wine. Until now.
Keg wine has come to Washington State. Using a system similar to what has been used for beer, bars and restaurants have now started offering keg wine by the glass. These wines provide the opportunity to make the wine less expensive, fresher, and with a smaller carbon footprint.
Seattle’s The Local Vine has been leading the charge on keg, or cask, wine. Last month, the wine bar reopened at a new location on Capitol Hill and announced that keg wine would be among its offerings. Sarah Munson, co-founder and wine director of The Local Vine, says, “I’ve been hoping for this opportunity to offer wines in a more ‘traditional’ style since we opened our first wine bar over three years ago.” [READ MORE]
On October 30th, La Botte Piccola will unveil two new wines in a unique format: wine in a keg. Wine in a keg? What is that? It’s wine packaged in stainless steel kegs and poured using a traditional tap system. La Botte Piccola Wine on Tap is ideal for restaurants, brew pubs or caterers – anyone who offers wine by the glass. [READ MORE]
I’m currently working on the next issue of Welding & Gases Today, and one of the topics explored in this issue is niche markets for gases and welding distributors. Yesterday I came across one such niche via NPR—wine on tap—and I must say the concept is fascinating.
Restaurants and wine bars are increasingly offering wine on tap, with a little help from gases like nitrogen and argon. The use of inert gas pushes the wine from keg to tap without reacting with the wine. In fact, the gas helps preserves the wine longer than a typical bottle might at a restaurant. [READ MORE]
NPR reported this week about a new concept of distributing wine in “kegs” instead of individual bottles. This idea is kind of a variation on the European style, where you can hop into a wine shop and fill up re-purposed water bottles and jugs with the local product. Both are incredibly good for the environment, considering that both involve re-using containers. This method is more visual appealing, since it uses new bottles made by Kleen Kanteen for distribution to restaurants instead of 1-liter water bottles with the labels ripped off.
The Natural Process Alliance(founded by winemaker Kevin Kelley and his wife Jennifer) came up with the concept for their own label, Salinia, and also for the wines they produce for Heintz Ranch(Sonoma), Lioco(Santa Rosa), and Spot on Cellars(Novato). These wines are nothing to scoff at. In addition to Salinia being featured in Wine & Spirits magazine, Heintz has been featured in Wine Spectator, and Lioco was named 2009 Winery of the Year by Wine & Spirits magazine, highlighting its Chardonnay. One of the owners of Lioco is the former Wine Director of Spago here in Beverly Hills. [READ MORE]
At Out the Door, a mini-chain of Asian fusion restaurants in San Francisco, wine director Gus Vahlkamp serves plenty of wine by the bottle. But he also sells four wines drawn from taps behind the bar.
That’s right: wine served from taps. Just like beer. And Vahlkamp says he has sound ecological and financial reasons for the setup.
“It’s better to reuse than recycle,” he says. “Our recycling has been reduced by at least half.”
Plus, it’s cost-effective: “The producers aren’t adding on the cost of the bottle, the cork, the carton and the transportation it comes in,” Vahlkamp says. “I’m able to buy these wines at 25 percent off the wholesale bottle cost, and I can offer the consumer a discount and still make money. Everyone wins on it.” [READ MORE]
A few years ago, we received a request from Chef Todd Rushing of the Concentrics Restaurant Group in Atlanta asking if we’d consider bottling… er kegging… one of our wines for him. It didn’t make sense at the time since we were ten months away from bottling, but it got us thinking. And now, a year and a half later, we’ve taken the plunge, and put together six kegs of the 2009 Cotes de Tablas Blanc for Concentrics to pour by the glass. The kegs are sitting in our winery, waiting for transport (right).
The prospect of fine wine in kegs has been starting to get some press, with recent articles touting the development in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Post, among others. There are several reasons why serving wine from kegs is appealing from the perspective of both producer and restaurant. [READ MORE]
Keg wine. It might not sound very romantic, and it’s certainly not an entirely original idea, but Oregon’s Wooldridge Creek Vineyard and Johann Vineyards are taking a risk in a tough economy by selling wine kegs to restaurants for their by-the-glass pours. I think it’s nothing short of genius.
The wine-by-the-keg program is really nothing new. It has been around for at least a decade in the U.S. and abroad. Nationwide, approximately 60 wine kegs are in rotation in Las Vegas establishments on an ongoing basis, and wines-by-the-keg are also being embraced by restaurants and wine bars in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Napa, California; in Atlanta, Georgia and Traverse City, Michigan; and even in New York City at Terroir Tribeca and at Daniel Boulud’s downtown locale.
When Brian and Mike McMenamins, the brothers who founded the eponymous brewery and brewpub chain, initially began producing wine, they actually finished them off in kegs, using the equipment they had on hand. And while they soon gave in to the demand for glass, corks, labels, and foils, maybe their heads will now turn back to kegs. [READ MORE]