Tapping Into Wine with Doug FrostFebruary 3, 2014 By: Kristen Santoro
Kegs and other delivery systems are allowing establishment’s new ways to sell wine by the glass. And making your wine program more interesting now extend far beyond the mundane.
Large scale companies and those that are progressive have already shown great interest in offering their wines in keg systems. But some smaller wine companies seem threatened by offering their wines in a casual formal.
However, Doug Frost of Institute of Masters of Wine North America and 2014 VIBE Conference Speaker believes that “kegged wine is a great improvement upon standard wine by glass systems in that the need for exotic nitrogen or argon systems are replaced by a system of beverage transport no different than a common beer tap.”
Kegged wines stay fresh from the first glass to the last, much as beer will do, at least within a reasonable period of time, but far longer in duration than an open bottle of wine, Frost continues.
“The most important tactic in adopting a keg wine program is to make sure that the keg systems function correctly and that they deliver the wines in good condition,” says Frost. “All servers should have the systems thoroughly explained to them, and servers should be encouraged to explain the keg systems to their guests.”
Younger consumers are more inclined to order kegged wine since they “have no issues with new packaging and formats, but older consumers and wine buyers sometimes do,” states Frost. “For younger restaurant customers, the notion of a wine being poured from a tap is more interesting than disturbing. For older consumers there is a potential challenge of perception, but curiosity seems to be removing the barriers as keg wine programs are quickly growing.”
But do keg systems sell more wine? That’s debatable, says Frost. “What is not in question is that keg systems allow for greater consistency and freshness in wine by the glass programs.”
Restaurant guests are curious about these new formats for wine delivery and restaurants should satisfy that curiosity whenever possible.
For more information on Doug Frost’s session, the show or to register, visit www.vibeconference.com.