Wine served from a keg rather than a bottle reduces packaging waste and ensures optimal freshness. Plus, it’s quicker for staff to pour wine from a keg than pop open a bottle. Here are five restaurants serving wine on tap so you can sip smartly.
Tap & Barrel, Vancouver, British Columbia
Tap & Barrel serves wine exclusively from a tap and offers over a dozen options. “We offer wine on tap because it allows us to showcase the best wine that British Columbia has to offer — and as fresh as the winemaker intended,” says beverage director Ryan Craig. “Wine on tap also aligns with our commitment to sustainability, reducing the number of bottles, caps, corks, and cardboard that usually ends up in our landfills.” A B.C. wine flight is also available from a tap. Wine on tap is also featured at Tap & Barrel’s two additional locations. Make a reservation at Tap & Barrel.
C3 Bar, Bloomington, Indiana
C3 Bar rotates wine on tap seasonally, but Troublemaker Rhone Blend, a house favorite, remains available year-round. Allison Smith, general manager of C3 Bar, cites a few benefits to wine on tap. “Wines are dispensed at cellar temps for optimal drinking experience,” she says. “Each keg holds 107 glasses of wine. To pour that same amount from bottles would require more than 26 bottles. Most wines come in recyclable plastic kegs or re-useable stainless-steel kegs, and there’s no waste from bad bottles.” Make a reservation at C3 Bar.
AVANT, San Diego, California
AVANT offers six wines on tap. “With the right equipment and attention to detail, wines on tap can provide exemplary wine with a much smaller and greener footprint,” says Rob Mondavi, Jr, fourth generation Napa Valley Winemaker. “We’re pleased to be showcasing our Spellbound Petit Sirah through AVANT’s program. Vibrant color, unbridled berry character, and plenty of texture create the perfect balance in this exciting wine.” Make a reservation at AVANT.
Bleu Boheme, San Diego, California
Since Bleu Boheme sells many of its wines as quarter, half, and full carafes, wine on tap provided by the local Fallbrook Winery made sense. “I like, too, that it lowers our carbon footprint as there are no boxes, foil wraps, corks, and labels,” explains owner and executive chef Ken Irvine. “The other benefit is consistency of product.” Make a reservation at Bleu Boheme.
Bluestem Brasserie, San Francisco, California
“We started the wine-by-the-glass-on-tap program here at Bluestem as a way to better deliver wine as the winemaker intended it to be,” says Adam Jet, co-owner and wine director at Bluestem. “It’s also a great way to showcase quality wines. Our guests are intrigued when they discover our wines on tap and are then very satisfied when they realize how good the wines taste.” Bluestem’s wine on tap is locally sourced, mainly from Napa Sonoma Valley. Make a reservation at Bluestem Brasserie.
Bonus! Wine from a Coravin, Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, Las Vegas, Nevada
Rather than wines on tap, Bazaar Meat uses a Coravin (needle through the cork system) to preserve what’s left in the bottle. “José loved the idea of serving unique wines in large format on his restaurant floor at Bazaar Meat by José Andrés inside SLS Las Vegas,” says lead sommelier Chloe Helfand. “The expansive dining room features four 27-liter bottles in operation throughout the floor. A 27 liter is called a ‘Goliath,’ and we have a section on our wine by the glass list that is called José and Goliath.” The 27 liters are in a wine keeper cabinet hooked up to a canister of Argon that preserves the wine and acts like a giant Coravin. Make a reservation at Bazaar Meat by José Andrés.
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Susan Johnston Taylor is an Austin-based freelance writer who’s covered food and business for publications including The Boston Globe, Civil Eats, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fresh Cup, and Pizza Today. Follow her @UrbanMuseWriter.
Photo credits: Martin Mann (Bleu Boheme).