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OKG Newsletter

Food and Drink Features

Tap that

Kegs just got classy with wine on tap — and the new trend is expanding locally.

Greg Horton June 26th, 2013

One of the fastest-growing trends in the wine world is wine on tap.

It’s not the equivalent of serving box wines, however. These are high-quality wines from respected producers like Charles Bieler, Joel Gott and Charles Smith, and delivered in a standard 5.17-gallon keg (26 bottles).

Currently, Oklahoma City has a limited selection, but bar managers and wine brokers are planning expansion.

Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo, has a Pacific Standard Chardonnay and Cabernet on tap, both made by Gott.

Bar manager Elise Fischbein said she opted for the keg system for several reasons, particularly its ability to offer patrons a better product.

“The keg uses inert gas, much like Guinness kegs, to ensure no degradation of the product due to oxygen,” she said.

Wine begins to deteriorate once it makes contact with air. The empty space in the keg is filled with a blend of gases, including nitrogen, that is heavier than oxygen and sits directly on top of the liquid. As a result, a keg can store the wine for two to three weeks with no problem.

Whiskey Cake, 1845 Northwest Expressway, boasts the largest selection of tap wines in OKC with six: Silvertap Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon (both from Sonoma County), Pacific Standard Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Truth & Consequences red blend and rosé.

With kegs meaning a decrease in waste because less wine goes bad, bar owners are able to pass savings along to customers, according to Nick Schaeffer, manager at Packard’s New American Kitchen, 201 N.W. 10th.

Packard’s has three wines on tap at its rooftop bar, The Tin Roof. Patrons can choose from Pacific Standard Chardonnay and Cabernet, and Truth & Consequences rosé.

“At first, it was kind of a generational thing,” Schaeffer said. “People in their 20s and 30s thought it was the coolest thing ever, but we had to kind of encourage older customers to try it. Based on the name recognition you get with Bieler and Gott, it wasn’t that difficult, however.”

Schaeffer expects the metro will see more keg wine in the near future. The ability to keep a product fresh longer combined with a high “green” factor — no bottles to throw away — makes the concept appealing to businesses and consumers.

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