What is wine on tap and how does it differ from
wine in a bottle?
Wine on tap is a new trend in wine packaging. Instead of bottles the wine is kept in kegs and it is poured out of a tap. Keeping wine on tap reduces packaging and storage space and is economical, as it saves the winemaker quite a bit of money with packaging, which lowers the cost of the product as a whole. It also saves time opening bottles and then those bottles might end up being corked and not be as fresh. They tend to sit when they’re kept in a bottle, on the counter or in a fridge for who knows how many days. Those that have discovered this phenomenon of wine on tap say that you’re guaranteed a better quality glass of wine at every pour.
When a wineries sells their wine in bottles, there is a lot of risk with the wine bottle for things to go wrong. Any winemaker knows there are a ton of things that can happen to a bottle of wine as it travels to its final destinations: it can get corked, it can oxidize, it can cook. This will never happen in a keg. This means there is nothing wasted so this means over million of bottles saved from landfills as well.
The science behind wine on tap can involve pushing the wine through the keg by gases such as nitrogen or argon, further providing a blanket over the wine and protecting it from oxidation. This is not always necessary though. There are some wines that can be tapped from the keg by pump. This means no nitrogen is needed. The aging process does not occur in the keg because the wine is blanketed with gas such as nitrogen or argon to pressurize the keg. Wines not in need of significant aging times are prime candidates for being housed in kegs. There are vendors that have started packaging their “Prosecco” with a gas mixture that preserves the bubbles. Although it’s not technically Prosecco, there’s no classifications for sparkling wine in a keg.
The wine on tap trend is most beneficial for the wines that are bottled and can have a hefty price tag. For a wine that is typically sold by the bottle at around $55 a bottle, if it is transferred to a keg it can sell for as low as $6 a glass. And since the keg is able to preserve the condition of the wine, the winemakers’ concern that their product might not be served in perfect condition is alleviated. So try a glass of wine on tap today and see if you don’t agree with everyone else that says it tastes the exact same as the best pour from a bottle!