Archive for June, 2010
Thought kegs were reserved for your brewski? Think again. Draft wine is the newest trend in the restaurant industry, providing a fresher glass of vino and an eco-friendly lack of packaging. Best of all, the wineries’ savings on bottles and labels get passed down to the drinker– most of these wines are 10 to 30 percent cheaper than their bottled counterparts. Ready to tap into the zeitgeist? Here are five places in San Francisco where you can try draft wine. [READ MORE]
Americans are so darn rigid about wine. For instance, we used to know that good wine was French or Italian, but California made nothing but schlock.
Then we warmed to California wine, but knew that wine poured out of a tap at a bar was nothing but schlock. (Anheuser Busch used to sell wine on tap in the 1970s, and it wasn’t very good.)
Wine on tap is sweeping into restaurants and bars around the Bay Area because… well, let Gus Vahlkamp explain it. He’s the wine director for Out the Door in San Francisco (Charles Phan’s new mini-chain).
If you’ve ever been to a restaurant or bar, you know that you almost always have a choice of beer on tap or a beer from a can or a bottle. Well – Russell House Tavern, a modern day tavern serving pub food – has just opened in Harvard Square and offers a true rarity: wines on tap.
Imagine that! For just 5 bucks a glass (or $20 for a carafe) – you can drink an entire glass (or carafe) full of either Pinot Blanc or a Rose of Pinot Noir – and it’s from the tap. And, guys, wine on tap is the future! It’s cheaper, more environmentally friendly and TASTES better, too!
Central Park’s SummerStage events are in full swing for the season, and now, City Winery is providing concertgoers with a nice perk… wine-to-go. The winery has partnered with the City Parks Foundation to provide wine for the entire SummerStage 2010 season of free and paid concerts at Rumsey Playield (mid-park, near 70th). Two custom-built mobile wine bars are pouring City Winery wines from an innovative tap system that will deliver wines right from the barrel to the glass. [READ MORE]
Wine on tap will help you keep green in your pocket and waste out of trash cans. The mutually beneficial aspect of wine on tap for restaurants and consumers is the cost, which is driven down by a keg.
Not the frat-party beer keg that a college kid might handstand upside down of, but a nice clean keg that is filled with fermented deliciousness.
This newest trend has made its way to New York, San Francisco, and now the Heights in Houston with Vintners Own. This micro-winery is ahead of the pack when it comes to bringing California’s wine country grapes and eco-friendly attitude elsewhere.
According to Shannon Paige, sales manager for Vintners Own: “It’s a proprietary dispensing system and what we do is we drop off these 4.9-gallon kegs of premium wine that restaurants will then dispense by the glass using a tap system. They can get as elaborate as they like (elegant and clean dispenser, like a beer tap) or go more streamlined (a keg behind the bar).” [READ MORE]
Katrin and I crossed the river into the Republic to visit the recently opened Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square. Press about the restaurant had been favorable – imaginative gastropub menu, house-made charcuterie and a commitment to use locally sourced ingredients. On the bar side, there are classic and innovative cocktails, a fair amount of organic, biodynamic or sustainable wines and craft beers. Yet, hasn’t this been the trend of late? What really sets RHT apart, for me, is the wine on tap. For some of us wine geeks, wine on tap, a.k.a. wine-in-a-keg, is the Next Big Thing. The practice started on the West Coast and has now made its way to us. [READ MORE]
The recent evolution of wine is a funny thing. First, corks started giving way to screw tops. Next, we had to stop making Franzia jokes when some decent boxed wines popped up. And now, oenophiles are entering territory formerly reserved for beer drinkers: the draught.
Ever since I visited Italy in 2007, I continue to reminisce about eating at restaurants where a pitcher of wine would be standard on the table. Sure it was the house red or white wine but it was Italian, right? And it was good! Maybe not the best… but it was good and it paired well with whatever Italian food we were eating at the time.
When we arrived back in the states and dined in restaurants I began looking for restaurants that offered the same type of wine experience and did not find any. Was it because I don’t live in a “wine” region? Probably not, since I visit plenty of wine regions. Still, why not? [REAM MORE]