Using "Wine Culture" to drive Margin Gain Print
Friday, 23 June 2017 18:19

            As the title might suggest we’ll be speaking to the wine portion of our audience today.  Wine holds a special place in the fabric of our lives, we often drink some form of it in a toast for weddings, anniversaries, job promotions and retirement events. Wine is also used for sacramental purposes such as wedding ceremonies (not just the reception), baptisms and of course communions.

            Guests may not think about wine beyond having a glass with an entrée and usually not too far past red, white or sparkling especially if the wine is taken with food as with the majority of global wine-drinkers.  Americans are continually finding ways to make something “their own” and wine is no different.  In the past wine with dinner was often accompanied by the “wine ritual” such as the wine list presentation, choosing the wine, examining the label upon presentation, opening the bottle tableside, presenting the cork and then the four “S’s” (sight, swirl, sniff and sip) by the host then onto the pour.

            Fast forward to present day and we still observe the “wine ritual” usually in fine dining or “wine centric” restaurants.  As for “making it our own” guests are treating wine as more of a “cocktail” to be enjoyed with friends during happy hour or after the work day.  This behavior has led to the proliferation of “wine-by-the-glass” offerings and the challenge of finding a wine that is so balanced as to allow the drinker to enjoy multiple glasses.

            No mystery for those “forward looking” guests and operators is the emergence of the “wine-by-tap” service platform.  While solving the issue of a collection of open bottles it doesn’t address the problem of oxidation and eventual flatness of the wines’ flavor after opening and sitting for an extended time.  Industry statistics show that 80% of wine consumed in on premise operations is wine-by-the-glass and 60% of those pours are house wines (Shanken Media Research) suggesting the house pour as the logical choice to offer for wine-by-the-glass.

            Wine-by-tap has been offered by filling steel 1/6th. Beer barrels and using a mixture gases such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide to push the wine out of the keg and into the guests’ wine glass. Beer barrels are the best thing to happen to beer since the introduction of barley, hops, water and yeast, but due to its’ fragile nature, not the best for wines.

This solution might appear simple enough except for one thing, the exposure of the wine to propellant gases.  Over time constant contact of the wine and gases will create a chemical reaction allowing the gases to dissolve into the wine which can result in off-flavors, aromas and a light fizz to still wines.  Wine shouldn’t come in contact with oxygen or ANY propellant gas as either oxidation or a chemical reaction will happen every time.

The challenge for the operator is how to offer wine-by-the-glass using a tap system which is more efficient and margin-friendly than opening a multitude of bottles and without exposing the wine to gases that could rob the wine of its’ flavor characteristics.  The solution would appear to remove the items at issue, the steel keg and the gases to drive the wine.  We would suggest operators seek other wine-by-tap service platforms that are both ecologically and profit-friendly.  To learn more about new wine-by-tap technologies contact us to begin a new conversation on how wine-by-the-glass moves forward. 

Last Updated on Monday, 26 June 2017 12:41

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