There are numerous advantages to fermenting wine in stainless steel barrels or tanks – cost, carbon, control, taste, etc – but what of presenting and serving wine in stainless steel? Well, the same benefits apply.
Executive chefs, vintners and restauranteurs are beginning to embrace stainless steel in their tasting rooms, bars and restaurants because it not only saves them storage space and trips to the cellar, but it also saves them trips to the dumpster and provides a viable way of serving wine by the glass without risking the flavor and aroma of the wine remaining in the bottle.
John Coleman, co-owner of Savor and former executive chef and director of food at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas, has heeded the siren song of stainless steel for the last year or so. Savor sells 400-500 glasses of wine a day, and each 6-ounch pour comes from a tapped wine keg. Coleman and his business partner, John Muse, had a vision of a more social gastropub and with that in mind, opted for a wine-by-the-glass approach. But unlike most wine-by-the-glass options, Coleman’s wine is poured from hermetically sealed, high-grade, rust-resistant stainless steel.
The kegs are housed in temperature controlled rooms and the wine never hits the air until it is in a glass, ready to be consumed. The stainless steel keeps oxygen out and the winemaker’s intended flavor and aroma in. Compared to that room-temperature, re-corked bottle sitting on the shelf at your local watering hole, Savor’s pours are perfect.
Other restaurants don’t re-cork wine bottles because they are evil and want your wine to taste bad, they do it in an effort to save costs and reduce their carbon footprint. They don’t want to throw out any product and, like Coleman, they don’t want to haul a bazillion bottles out to the dumpster every night.
Not every party at a restaurant wants to order an entire bottle of wine, stainless steel kegs give restaurants and taprooms a space, cost and carbon efficient way to serve wine by the glass, without compromising the quality of the wine or the customers’ experience.