WINE ON TAP
WHO IS SILVERTAP?
“I’ve spent a decade traveling around the country meeting wine buyers and consumers,” says Donahoe. “There is an ocean of great wine in the marketplace, but most fine wine tries to fit a certain mold. I wanted to break that mold and create something innovative and original. When I was first approached about putting my TEIRA wines into a keg by pioneer Todd Rushing in Atlanta, I thought he was crazy. After thinking about the possibilities of fine wine that never spoils once opened, and with no traditional packaging costs associated as well – I knew there was something to this. Then, after seeing TWO Urban Licks for the first time I knew this was the future of wine by the glass.”
The idea of marketing wine in keg initially came to Rushing while touring wineries in California, Oregon and Washington. He noticed that there were kegs in every winery he toured. He learned that winemakers store their “topping wine,” or, fresh wine to top off the oak barrels as evaporation depleted the wine in the barrels in these kegs. Winemakers informed Rushing they store their wine in kegs because the wine stayed fresh in the kegs for months.
At the same time, Rushing was working to make his numerous restaurants more environmentally friendly. “I noticed that every time we switched to a green technology, the restaurant became more efficient and costs came down. Handling trash, recycling and compost takes a lot of effort in a high volume restaurant. I saw all of those bottles in the recycling bin at the end of the night and thought, “This waste is ridiculous. Why can’t our wine come out of the taps, just like beer does?”
Kivelstadt saw the benefits of wine on tap from a winemaking perspective: “Winemakers are obsessed with quality control. Nothing frustrates me more than going to a restaurant, ordering a glass and getting wine that is corked, too warm or has been open for too long. All of that winemaker’s hard work is wasted when wine isn’t handled properly. Kegs are an ideal way to preserve wine and serve a perfect glass; every time.”