The On Tap Experience

The Changing Atmosphere of Wine and Whisky

The evolution of alcohol consumption has changed dramatically over the last few years, particularly in the Midwest. Where Bud Light buckets once reigned, clear tulips of craft beer have taken the throne. Bland vodka has been replaced with choice whisky, and blended wines of impressive vintage have bumped Yellow Tail out of kitchens.

And it’s all about the presentation.

Any bartender will tell you the true essence of a spirit can be sought in the right vessel. Rocks glasses, carafes, and wine decanters help open the aromas of a beverage, creating a chemical reaction that can dramatically change the flavor. Attention to glassware and presentation also helps create an energy about the drink, helping set the stage for an experience of taste. And it’s not only for cocktails. This holds true for wine as well.

Welcome to the world of wine on tap

If you haven’t yet experienced wine on tap, you’re in for a treat. Wine dispensary machines allow you to sample a variety of wines without having to order a full bottle or glass. So if you just want a taste, you can purchase a taste. If you decide you like the wine and want a full glass, you can purchase a full glass, and if you decide that particular wine isn’t for you, it’s on to the next dispensary to try something else.

Wine on tap is a great way for a bar to show off their finest bottles. Instead of rushing through a newly opened bottle before it sours to vinegar, bars can have fresh, nonoxidized wine at their fingertips with the pull of a handle. Kegged wine was mainstream in European history, but has been slow to catch on here at home. In fact, there have been three attempts in the 70s and 80s to make wine on tap mainstream in America, and all failed to grab hold of consumers.

Environmentally-friendly drinking

The recent push for economical and environmentally aware packaging, along with a push for quality taste, has broken down stereotypes and made kegged wine pick up steam in the last few years.

And it’s not just the environmental benefits that make kegged wine ideal. Many say that wine served on tap is the best way to experience the true flavors of the wine in a consistent way.

Bars that offer wine on tap wish to appeal to both wine and beer drinkers by keeping fun at the foremost of the experience. Much like the unfair stereotypes that follow a loyal domestic beer drinker, the look of a wine glass in many bars can be met with skepticism. Wine on tap helps start a conversation and invites many drinkers, who may not be familiar with wine, to try some excellent products.

Give it a try

There are several places in Omaha that serve wine on tap. Stories Coffeehouses, Louie’s Wine Dive, and both Brix locations are just a few that offer this great option to taste wine. The success of these places has even inspired some places to raise the on tap experience standard a bit higher.

Dan Matuszek, owner of the first Brix bar and restaurant, is hoping to inspire a new craze in the on tap market: whisky.

His new venue is called Grane, and it is due to open in Midtown Crossing at the end of July 2014. Modeled after a snug speakeasy, Grane will offer pours of whisky utilizing the tasting system popular with beer and wine, proving that everything good can truly come from a keg.

Utilizing 35 “bartender” systems, Grane will have a state of the art wine dispensing system installed behind the bar, pushing grain products instead of grape. The first of its kind in Nebraska, the concept of Grane was built upon the success of its sister venture, Brix.

With the demand of local, handcrafted products in nearly every market from food to fashion, consumers are learning that slowing down is part of the enjoyment of dining and drinking. Creating an atmosphere built around small, perfectly measured tastes of spirits and wine equals luxury and care in a bar.

Now that's something we can all drink to.

posted at 10:53 am
on Monday, July 21st, 2014

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