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Wine On Tap

An Easy Way to Boost Your Bottom Line

Across the country and around the world, more and more bar, restaurants, wineries, and sports and music venues are switching from bottled wine service to wine on tap systems. And their reasoning is clear: quicker service of a better product at a cost savings.

If you’re wondering if wine on tap would make sense for your business, read on about the benefits and requirements of a wine-compatible draft system.

How Does Wine on Tap Work?

Wine on tap works in the same way as draft beer. With the pull of a tap handle, gas pressure forces the kegged liquid (in this case, wine), out of the keg valve, through food-safe plastic tubing to the faucet. From there, it dispenses into a ready glass.

Benefits of Wine on Tap

    Your Bottom Line

    Your Bottom Line

    With a bottled by-the-glass program, a certain percentage of the wine is wasted to oxidation or cork taint—two problems that kegged wine avoids. Moreover, kegged wines save producers the costs associated with commercial packaging and shipping, and some of those savings are passed on to you, the seller. In turn, you can pass some of the savings on to your customers, who will appreciate being served high-quality wine at a value price.

    Assuming an average sixtel (5.16 gallons) of wine costs $250, and you sell 5-ounce pours at $8 a glass, the profit and ROI add up quickly.

    Ounces per Sixtel # 5-ounce pours Keg Cost Cost per Glass
    661 ~132 $250 ~$1.89
    Sell Price per Glass Gross Profit ROI
    $8 $1056 $806
    Expedited Service

    Expedited Service

    Traditional wine service is a fairly time-consuming ritual. Your bartender or server must select the bottle, present it to the table, cut the foil, pull the cork, offer a sample, and then, finally, pour the glass.

    With a wine on tap system, there are no corks to fuss with; wine can be quickly poured and served with a fraction of the effort. That helps increase efficiency and keeps service running smoothly.

    Product Integrity

    Product Integrity

    Draft systems help ensure the integrity of wine in two ways. First, kegs are made of stainless steel and hold a larger volume of wine than glass bottles, making them far more resistant to temperature fluctuations during transport.

    Second, unlike bottles of wine, which go bad within a day or two of opening due to the effects of oxygen, the inert gases of a draft system displace oxygen and prevent it from coming in contact with and spoiling wine. With wine on tap, you needn’t worry about going through an entire bottle before it goes bad, and you can rest assured the last glass in the keg will taste the same as the first.

    Environmentally Friendly

    Environmentally Friendly

    Buying wine in reusable stainless steel kegs reduces the waste generated by commercial packaging, saving trash from landfills and reducing your establishment’s overall carbon footprint.

    Perfect for Sampling

    Perfect for Sampling

    Bar, restaurant, and winery patrons have been trained to expect options. They crave experiences and are constantly on the hunt for something new and exciting. Wine on tap allows for controlled pouring and nontraditional sized pours that are perfect for tasting rooms, tasting flights, or upselling someone with the aid of a sample.

    How to Put Wine on Tap

      Required Equipment

      Required Equipment

      • All stainless steel metal contacts, including the tower, faucet, and shank
      • Barrier tubing instead of polyvinyl for your lines
      • Professional line cleaning supplies or a cleaning service (lines should be cleaned every four weeks to ensure quality of product)
      • If tapping sparkling wine, inline pressure restrictors and a flow control faucet are required to regulate flow and foaming
      Setup

      Setup

      There are two primary setup options:

      • A long draw system is required if your kegs are stored in a walk-in cooler away from your taps. In a long draw system, air-cooled or glycol-cooled lines are necessary to ensure the wine’s temperature is properly maintained from keg to faucet. A long-draw system is not viable for sparkling wine, which must be tapped near the point of dispense via a direct draw system.
      • A direct draw system is the right solution if you have room for refrigerated keg units beneath or very near your taps. The short distance from keg to glass means you won’t need special insulated lines or cooling solutions.
      Keg Storage

      Keg Storage

      • Store untapped still whites, rosé, and sparkling wines in a walk-in cooler.
      • Store untapped still reds at room temperature (not to exceed 70˚ F).
      Dispensing Temperature

      Dispensing Temperature

      • 40 – 45˚ F for whites and rosé
      • 55 – 60˚ F for reds
      • 33 – 40˚ for sparkling wines
      Pressure

      Pressure

      • For still wine, pressure is not as much of an issue as it is with beer since nothing is being carbonated; you can simply adjust the PSI to the desired flow rate. Start with 4-6 PSI for direct draw systems.
      • For sparkling wine, PSI should be set higher—in the 70-90 range.
      Gas

      Gas

      Generally speaking, wine on tap systems do not use the same gas as draft beer systems. The CO2 used for beer would eventually carbonate the wine. For still red and white wine, dispensing should be powered by 100% nitrogen or 100% argon. The exception is dedicated sparkling wine systems, which welcome carbonation. For sparkling wine, use 100% CO2.

      If you’d like to discuss installing a wine on tap system in your space, give one of our draft equipment specialists a call today at 1.888.415.2803.

      And check out our Blog Post for more info.

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