Sign up for the Daily Sip

Your daily dose of wine knowledge.
Fun, short emails featuring wines, winemakers, regions, gadgets and more.

Email Address
Sign up to receive The Daily Sip for free
 Filed as : Entertaining

Tapped Out

Aug 16, 2012
Tapped Out
Wine-on-tap--the way of the future

wine_kegWhen scanning the taps in your neighborhood restaurant, don’t be surprised if you see pinot gris or pinot noir in slots that used to be reserved for traditional beers like Hefeweizen and IPA.

Tapped wines have been available in Europe for many years; we remember downing a 3 euro glass of sparkling raboso in a small town in Puglia, Italy. Now they’re catching on at gastropubs, upscale burger joints and casual farm-to-table restaurants around our country.

The advantages are many. Delivering wine in a refillable metal keg means glass bottle waste is eliminated, and thanks to the nitrogen inside the keg, the wine stays just as fresh from the first pour to the last. And servers don’t have to fumble with corkscrews, so service is more casual and quicker.

The big deal for customers though, is that tapped wines are often $2 to $5 cheaper per glass than the same wine poured from a bottle.

The only issue now is that relatively few wineries offer their juice in a keg. “You’ve got to search them out,” says Rich Wood, owner of the restaurant Southie, who offers a ZOCKER “Paragon Vineyard” Grüner Veltliner 2011 (Edna Valley, CA) and an UNTI VINEYARDS Montepulciano 2010 (Dry Creek Valley, CA) at his restaurant in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood.

But that’s starting to change as wineries like Paul Hobbs, Lioco, Calera and Arnot-Roberts put wines into kegs, and star sommelier-cum-winemaker Rajat Parr creates a 2013 vintage Riesling for an as-yet-unnamed restaurant project.

Here are 10 spots around the country where you can try a glass or carafe of wine from a keg:

Atlanta: Two Urban Licks, 82 Ralph McGill Blvd. (404) 522-4622. There’s a wall of stainless steel wine kegs that dispense more than 20 wines including ANDREW GEOFFREY Cabernet Franc 2010 (Diamond Mountain, Napa Valley, CA) to pair with the spicy American cooking and cool jazz.

Berkeley: Comal, 2020 Shattuck Ave. (510) 926-6300. This hot new restaurant with seasonal Mexican-inspired fare offers the ARNOT-ROBERTS “Ritchie Vineyard” Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Russian River, CA) “Brosseau Vineyard” Chardonnay 2011 (Chalone AVA, CA).

Cambridge: Russell House Tavern, 14 JFK St. (617) 500-3055. This modern American tavern off Harvard Square features two Massachusetts wines on tap: the 2010 vintages of pinot noir rosé and chardonnay by WESTPORT RIVERS VINEYARDS.

Chicago: Paris Club, 58 W. Hubbard St. (312) 595-0800. This swank spot with a retractable glass domed roof features several wines on tap including their house wines, PARIS CLUB pinot gris and pinot noir, both 2009 vintages from Oregon.

Dallas: The Commissary, 1722 Routh St. (214) 643-6557. Crowds gather for gourmet burgers and carafes or glasses of wines like SAINTSBURY Pinot Noir 2009 (Carneros, CA) or DUCHMAN FAMILY Montepulciano 2009 (Texas High Plains, TX).

Madison: Graze Gastropub, 1 South Pinckney St. (608) 251-2700. This new pasture-to-table spot by star chef Odessa Piper pours ALYSA Syrah/Grenache/Carignane 2009 (California) and FOLK MACHINE Pinot Gris 2010 (Washington State) on tap.

Brooklyn, New York: Seersucker, 329 Smith St. (718) 422-0444. Long Island wines like PAUMANOK VINEYARDS Chenin Blanc 2011 (North Fork, NY) and LIEB FAMILY Pinot Blanc 2010 (North Fork, NY) get star treatment at this urbane Southern-inspired spot.

Portland: Irving Street Kitchen 701 NW 13th Ave. (503) 343-9440. This slow-cooking spot seeks out wine exclusives like ANDREW RICH Mourvèdre 2010 (Washington State) and a limited-edition dry 2011 riesling by urban Portland winery LOVE & SQUALOR.

San Diego: Blind Lady Ale House, 3416 Adams Ave. (619) 255-2491 This bona fide brewpub has all kinds of beverages on draught, including fun wines like BONNY DOON “Contra” Red Rhône Blend 2010 (Contra Costa County, CA) and TANGENT Albariño 2011 (Edna Valley, CA).

Washington DC: Graffiato, 707 6th St. NW. (202) 289-3600. Pair your pizza and pastas from this hip Italian joint by Mike Isabella with a glass of MONTEVINI non-vintage Prosecco.

What wine on tap have you sipped? Tell us below!


Previous Sip

Wine Adventure in the Anderson Valley
Summer Salad-Wine Pairings

What is the most indicative characteristic of a wine's alcohol level prior to fermentation?