In our Foodie Trend Spotter series, we look at the novel and unconventional fads creeping into bars and restaurants. This time it’s the newest way of serving wine in bars – from the tap.
Wine is a drink you wouldn’t normally associate with a trend. It’s seemingly managed to escape the indignation of being caught up in a cheap and faddy repackaging for the masses.
We haven’t seen wine in jam jars, wine pitchers, or yards of wine yet (correct us if we’re wrong).
Part of the reason that wine has remained relatively untouched can probably be put down to the fact that it still implies a certain classicism – a snobbery, if you will.
Actually, scratch that: this is the 21st century, and the elitism we once associated with the ‘drink of the Gods’ is receding. Fast.
Now wine is the drink of the socially mobile, the drink of the after-work-tipplers; it has become as much a part of the weekend glugger as a WKD or Breezer.
This widespread love of wine has given it a new lease of life – and with this comes the inevitable need to adapt it to suit mass consumption.
Which brings us to the birth of the the newest bar trend in the UK: wine on tap.
No, that’s not an extensive lineup of bitters and IPAs. It’s Merlot, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and perhaps – depending on how reputable the bar is – a Blue Nun.
Wine by the tap has already made its way into a few select bars in London and in other areas of the UK, but will it really take off in a big way, and why would you ever put wine on tap?
Yes, and for quite a few reasons.
It makes sense really. We like to try lots of different styles, grape varieties and classes of wine on any given night now. With a choice of wines on tap you could try a little bit of everything, maybe even a tasting flight or three.
Also gone is the impossibly annoying theatre of having to wait until the server pours a dribble of wine into your glass and awaits you to swirl, sniff and swallow then look up at them with the most serious and knowing of faces before finally giving them the approval to pour you a full glass.
I mean it’s a shame we can no longer impress our dates, but at least we don’t have to pretend we own every copy of Oz Clarke’s annual wine guide and have a cellar in our old garden shed after sending back a £12.99 bottle for smelling a bit ‘iffy’.
The wine from these barrels is most likely not going to be top quality – at least until it becomes popular and deals are struck with the best wine producers – but really, if you’re out for a drink with your co-workers you aren’t exactly looking for a dusty 1965 burgundy anyway.
You want a decent glass of something that won’t cost you a lot, and I can’t think of a better way than if everyone bought by the glass from a tap, driving that cost per glass down significantly. It’s a trend that works on an economical level as well as being a really cool addition to any bar’s gantry.
A fad worth following? We reckon so, if it’s done responsibly and the wine is of decent quality then we can’t see how it can be a bad thing.
Short-lived trend or future tradition? This depends on just how much it takes off in bars across the UK. But once it does we can certainly see a few wine pumps next to your old regular ales and ciders.
Where can you try it?