Why wine on tap?

The facts are blinding. Cardon dioxide emissions created from driving cars to clearing forests to manufacturing glass wine bottles are heating up our planet and destroying the very life belt of the earth’s existence- the ozone layer. Environmental responsibility is no longer a subject of political debate; it is a moral, biological and ecological obligation. Wine on tap offers a smart and simple wine distribution solution industry leaders and restaurateurs can adopt to do their part in reversing environmental damage while simultaneously decreasing operations costs and increasing profits.

Because wine in the bottle can only stay fresh for a number of days after opening (if you’re lucky), restaurants and bars who serve wines by the glass experience waste─ up to 25% of their wine by the glass inventory. At wine tasting rooms, bottles of wine may not even be kept overnight for risk of serving poorer quality wine the next day. Because wine on tap is never exposed to oxidation until wine is served, spoilage is virtually impossible with wine on tap (up to one year in the keg). Quality in the wine industry is everything.

“If you think about the number of bottles a particular restaurant might have at any given time by the glass, they are going to be moving through a lot of their inventory in waste,’ Simon Payne, Vintners Own winemaker said to Culture Map Magazine Houston. ‘Because you might have several half-finished bottles at the end of the night or the end of the week say that have oxidized and become bad wine, so they might be throwing 20-25 percent of their inventory of wine (right) down the drain.’”

Wine on tap utilizes cost savings at all levels, from the manufacturer, retailer and consumer. Bottle, cork, and carton costs are eliminated. Transport costs are significantly reduced as well, as the same amount of wine weighs significantly more in bottles than in a keg.

Gus Vahlkamp, Wine Director at Out the Door in San Francisco would agree. He told Bay Area Bites, “It’s better to reuse than recycle; our recycling has been reduced by at least half. Also it’s cost effective, because the producers aren’t adding on the cost of the bottle, the cork, the carton and the transportation it comes in. I’m able to buy these wines at 25 percent off the wholesale bottle cost.”

Wine on tap provides quality wine by the glass guaranteed without the hassle of opening bottles and managing uncorking and re-corking processes. It’s quick and efficient to pour, enabling restaurants and bars to serve more customers in shorter times, ultimately enabling higher profits.

“With a growth rate of 32 percent in the last 13 weeks of 2008, premium wine casks outpaced all other wine categories, and there remains room for significant growth going forward,” Nielsen Wire reported. “Cask wine, whether delivered in the form of kegs or boxed wine, is gaining attention quickly. Wine casks grew 31 percent, compared to a 4.4 percent growth for table wine in 2008.”

Especially during the downturn of the economy, U.S. wholesalers and retailers alike are looking for ways to re-identify their brands and find any way to break through a saturated market. With thousands of types and brands of wine already on the market, with the most successful wine brands being passed down from multi-generational estates and families, it is extremely difficult to grow a surviving let alone successful wine brand if one is not an already-established estate name. Wine on tap allows wineries to reinvent their brand and gain attention in a niche market through the cask- or keg, rather.

“In today’s economy, consumers are seeking value without necessarily compromising quality, and this has contributed to premium wine cask success,” said Danny Brager, vice president of Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen.

And with that, cheers to wine on tap for a happier planet, happier proprietor, and happier consumer.

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