s wine on tap about to revolutionize the beverage industry? Probably
not, but it is creating a ripple in the wave of wines shipped around the
country. And it promises—and delivers—a number of benefits.
The process is relatively simple, not unlike that for beer sold on tap.
And while some operators choose to use their existing keg beer equipment,
experts in the field don’t recommend it. Wine on tap systems use a high-grade stainless steel that is durable and resistant to the oxidation and
corrosion that can ruin wine. The wine is further protected from oxidation
and aging by a gas, such as nitrogen or argon, which moves it through the
how it works
A wine on tap program begins at the winery. There, ready to drink
wines go from the barrel into stainless steel kegs. Most kegs hold the
equivalent of 26 bottles, or about 130 glasses. The kegs are then shipped
to distributors, who in turn deliver them to restaurants that have a wine
keg dispensing system. Once the kegs are empty, they are picked up
and returned to the winery for refilling, which can occur many times.
Disposable kegs made from recyclable material are in the offing, but not
yet in widespread use.
As can be expected, new products and companies have grown up
around the interest in wines on tap. Free Flow Wines, Napa, Calif., is
one, and founder/chairman Dan Donahoe describes the company as a
business-to-business operation providing packaging and logistics to the
“Wineries that don’t want to deal with kegs themselves come to us
with wine. We help them sell it by putting it in kegs in our facility in
Napa, then sending it to distributors for delivery to restaurants and hotels,"
Donahoe says. “Empty kegs are returned to Free Flow Wines for refilling.”
The company currently has 120 winery clients.
The Gotham Project offers distributors locally filled kegs of wine
produced by partners in the project and other wineries in New York,
California, Washington state and several countries around the world.
Based in New York, the project has “filling stations” in several states. The
goal is to ship kegs fewer than 500 miles.
Perlick Corporation, Milwaukee, has been in the bar and beverage
dispensing business since 1917. One of its newest beverage dispensing
products is a 60-inch dual zone wine center that can dispense eight different
wines at two different temperatures. It also includes bottle storage and
customizable features. Each unit is made to order and priced from $6,256.
Perlick’s four-door model, which can hold up to 19 kegs and has remote
dispensing capabilities, is built on a custom basis only. Prices vary.
“Our system is appropriate for wine bars, wineries and restaurants
that want to add more wines by the glass to the menu,” says Dave Kearns,
Perlick’s product marketing manager. “It allows customers to be more
adventurous without a big investment, and it allows everyone at the table
to drink what they want.”
opposite, top: Customers at Nose Dive gastropub choose from five
white and four red wines on tap. opposite, bottom right: Free Flow
wines provides packaging and logistics to the wine industry. above:
Perlick’s 60-inch dual zone wine center dispenses eight different
wines at two different temperatures.
for more information visit:
Free Flow Wines
Micro Matic USA