Most wine aficionados know that the Romans are credited with transitioning from clay vessels to glass bottles for storage and daily consumption, therefore revolutionizing wine’s history. The move from clay to glass allowed for lighter weight vessels, minimized off-taste and prolonged shelf-life.
Today, wine is once again being revolutionized by a new form of packaging: wine in a keg.
Keg wine, much like keg beer, is a new way to deliver the best wines to consumers straight from the vineyard. There are ample reasons to try wine on tap, either as a consumer ordering in a restaurant, or as a restaurant owner installing a wine on tap system.
Here are the Top Three Reasons to Love Wine on Tap:
1. Quality Taste
Many factors go into the perfect glass of wine including smell, appearance and viscosity, but nothing is more important than the taste and flavor. Wine connoisseurs and vinters alike agree that wine in a keg maintains its full flavor and taste much better than wine stored in traditional glass bottles.
Using a stainless steel keg and inert gases to maintain proper pressure, keg wines do not have any off-taste nor do they get corked overtime. Keg wines allow consumers to experience the full flavor of the wine just as the vintner intended.
The perfect temperature can be achieved with a wine on tap system as well. Restaurant owners and bartenders can easily maintain the perfect temperature for their wines (62 degrees for reds, 42 degrees for whites). Having an ample supply of properly chilled wines will ensure that each glass you pour is the best possible quality.
As a consumer, ordering from the wine on tap menu will give you a better wine tasting experience due to its fully preserved flavor and perfect storage temperature. Wine on tap systems allow restaurants to consistently deliver the best quality wines to patrons with the last glass of the keg tasting just as great as the first!
2. Ease and Efficiency
Many restaurants offer wine by the glass, but their selections are very limited. This is because they do not want to risk a financial loss if the bottle is not finished before it spoils. Opening, pouring, and re-corking a bottle also requires significant labor time each time a patron orders a glass of wine. This time could be better spent doing other tasks in the restaurant.
Wine fonts allow servers to easily pour a glass of wine for a patron without wasting time or risking a financial loss. Wine on tap systems offer increased efficiency and also allow for easy wine tastings for patrons who are unfamiliar with certain types. Restaurant owners have found increased sales and higher satisfaction rates from wine on tap systems because patrons are able to sample more types of wine before making a decision.
An increasing number of popular restaurants and bars are installing wine on tap systems and finding great success. Many restaurant owners credit wine on tap systems for cutting labor costs and handling time, allowing their servers to provide customers with a better product in a shorter amount of time while also increasing sales volume.
3. Limited Waste: Go Green, Save Green
Eco-friendly implementations are more and more common in restaurants and bars. These changes aren’t just for people worried about global warming — being eco-friendly also helps your bottom line!
Wine on tap systems use large stainless steel kegs ranging in size from 5 gallons to 15 gallons. That’s an astonishing 25 to 75 bottles per keg! Because shipping and transportation costs are reduced when shipping bulk size kegs, wines on tap and cheaper than bottled wines by the glass. This allows restaurants a higher profit margin or gives them the flexibility to offer a cheaper price to consumers.
These reusable kegs eliminate the need for glass bottles, corks, and labels. A single keg can be reused multiple times within its lifetime, thus preventing thousands of pounds of waste from reaching landfills. Once a keg is empty, the restaurant simply returns it to the winery to be refilled and received a fresh keg in return.
Wine on tap systems also prevent spoilage waste due to oxidation. Traditional glass bottles wines get corked within the week once they are opened, but airtight wine in a keg systems can stay fresh for up to a year (or more!). The inert gases used to pressurize the wine on tap systems completely eliminate the oxidation process, meaning restaurants with wine on tap systems will no longer waste money on corked red wine.
The elimination of spoilage costs boosts the bottom line tremendously. On average, about 7% of every bottle is lost to spoilage. When applied to a moderately-priced bottle and average sales volume, this means that over $1,200 per year is lost due to spoilage.