Wine on tap. It’s an interesting discussion, a great idea to many (if done properly, it has the potential to be the closest thing to an actual barrel sample done at the winery), but a double edged sword to some. And it was a recent coffee discussion that I became more aware of why. Here’s more of what I learned:
The promise of saving the environment; having less waste and carbon footprint; providing wine consumers with fresh unfined, unfiltered and minimal preservatives (SO2), or nothing added to the wine.
It has become a “chase to the bottom” (low prices and lower quality). For many producers, this is an avenue in which to use and share their bulk wine of lesser quality.
When wine on tap first appeared in the market, it did have a stigma surrounding it: simple, quaffable fermented grape juice. And it’s been the job of the industry (from restauranteurs to suppliers), to teach the consumer to forget about this stigma and expect “real wine” of top quality.
This is why it’s important for winemakers to put their best wines into the market via kegs. It leaves a lasting impression on the whole industry.
Today it’s somewhat of a novelty and it’s got “cool factor” written all over it. More people are trying wine because of this, and taking a holiday from their usual spirits or beers. And hopefully, more people are becoming curious to explore and learn about the range of wines out there!
So when you see for example, Petit Le Vieux Pin Sigma Rouge costing more on a menu, it’s for a good reason. They had a different vision when this novelty began, they wanted to put a strong quality price ratio wine out there and one that is as close to an actual barrel sample at the winery. And that was possible by using nitrogen/co2 to top off the kegs, which keeps the wine fresh and in original shape for a much longer time than other methods.
I encourage everyone to enjoy a glass of the trending wine on tap (I know that I do), but do know that not all wines in kegs are created in the same quality. Should price be your guide? Possibly. But it’s your palate, experience and knowledge of wine and the industry that can guide you through the menu. And hopefully, by way of this article, you will be more informed about what Le Vieux Pin creates and releases in keg for wine on tap.
written by Donita Dyer