pouring wine from a wine on tap system

Behind the Bar: The Modern Trend of Wine on Tap

A new trend is sweeping the nation, and we can guarantee that you’re going to want to hear about this!

A bar should be an inviting place where people want to spend their time. They want to enjoy themselves enough to spend some of their hard-earned cash at your restaurant or bar establishment. We know. You get it. That’s great and all, but there is a big difference between a friendly neighborhood watering hole and your competition across the street that offers all you do, plus the conveniences of a 21st century establishment.

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7224097070_88c182e50c_zThere are a lot of things restaurant and bar owners can do: offer Wifi, add lots of flat screen TV’s mounted on the walls, or even upgrade to tablets for ordering. But with all these upgrades for your patrons and their ever-increasing portable technology, why not try doing something that most of your competition isn’t doing? It’s exactly the sort of thing that will get people talking and bring in more business.

We’re talking about wine on tap. It’s a growing trend and the public is really starting to get in on this concept. Wine is more popular than ever before. It is considered a necessity for any modern bar to offer at least a modest wine menu. Yet this expectation also has a number of well-known associated problems:

  • If a bottle is opened, the wine goes bad within a day or two and the remaining product must be thrown away.
  • Bottles of wine take up a lot of space.
  • The actual process of packaging wine in bottles is costly and produces a lot of waste, including cork and glass, not to mention the amount of energy and pollution associated with production, transportation and delivery.

How Wine on Tap Works

behind the bar lineup of pouring spouts for wine on tapBefore you can even consider this kind of upgrade, you’ll need to understand a few things about it. First things first: cost. Right now, it costs about $800 to add a single wine tap system. It takes up about as much room as a large garbage can. Yes, this is a bit of an investment, but consider these factors: because more wine companies are incorporating wine kegs for wine taps, many of the wineries and wine tap installation companies offer incentives and discounts for getting in on this early.

Getting your wine tap system installed is actually pretty easy. As we mentioned already, the system takes up very little space. With a bit of reorganizing behind the bar, space for at least a couple lines can be added to virtually any bar—especially when you’re reducing the amount of wine bottles needed on hand.

Additionally, the amount of money you save over time by making the switch means this system pays for itself in a relatively short period of time. Again, consider all the money that goes down the drain every time a bottle of wine is opened, but not sold within a day or two. Money gone! You can even save thousands of dollars in delivery and shipping costs with a wine kegging system. Speaking of the kegs, these kegs are reusable, preventing millions of tons of waste.

Tap Wines: Major Benefits

The best thing about selling wine on tap is that it doesn’t go bad for 6 to 8 months! This means that you never have to waste product again due to oxidation. On top of that, the wine stays fresh from the first to the very last glass poured. Amazing! These two factors are incredibly important because many patrons can tell when wine has gone bad. If your bartenders serve a bad glass of wine, the customer is less likely to order a second… and they may never order another glass of wine from your establishment again.

You will also be able to offer your wine on tap at more attractive and competitive prices. People are more likely to spend $6 to $8 on a glass of wine as opposed to $10 and up. Oftentimes, an educated guest knows how much a bottle of wine costs and will refuse to pay more for it just because it’s behind your bar.

Of course, it can’t be emphasized enough how much money you’ll save in reduced transportation and delivery costs, reduced waste removal and recycling expenses, and the significantly reduced environmental impact from the wine keg system.

Wines on tap are about as green as you can get!


Here are a few key facts about the wine on tap keg system:

  • Wine kegs = Huge $$ savings
  • Each wine keg put in service saves 2 years’ worth of regular delivery driving expenses
  • Kegs are reusable, reducing your carbon footprint by over 90% (vs. bottled wine)
  • Reduces CO2 emissions in production and shipping
  • Each keg is worth about 24 to 26 bottles of wine (= 2 cases) and is way cheaper than buying two cases of bottled wine

Advertising Your Trendy New Wine Tap Technology

There are a lot of different marketing angles that you can use when approaching this new upgrade. Not only do people like it because they know it’s green, but your bottom line will love it considering the amount of money you’ll save.

The Green Approach

People are more environmentally conscious than ever before. People will support a business because of their efforts to go green, so advertise your switch to wine on tap.

  • Wine on tap is Super GREEN!
    • No more corks, bottle production, bottling and labeling waste
    • Less deforestation, harm to ozone layer during production, manufacturing and recycling stages
    • Plus, no more oxidized wine waste!

Inform the public of these cool wine on tap facts and show why your bar decided to upgrade. You customers are sure to find it interesting and appreciate your efforts.

The Trend Setter Approach

This is a relatively new technology, and has been so successful already that it’s clearly here to stay. You can design your marketing campaign to target people who are looking for the next big thing. People go out to be seen; give them a reason to come in and meet other people and you’ve got it in the bag.

Be creative! Try slick phrases like Cask wine or Poured from the cask. Since the word “keg” is more often associated with beer, appeal to the wine enthusiasts out there.

The wine tap 223 wood and metal sign featuring wine on tap

Market to these people that you’ve solved the plague of the wine world: oxidation. Here’s your angle:

  • Wine from the cask prevents oxidation. Why?
    • Wine never sees oxygen due to the airtight sealed kegs.
    • Wine stays fresh from first to last pour for 6 months or longer.
    • Once a bottle is opened, wine goes bad after a day or two due to oxidation.
    • Still offer bottle service by using carafes.

The Money Saving Approach

Many people want to order wine, but don’t know enough about it. This causes apprehension and more often than not, these patrons will skip ordering wine altogether.

Consider these factors:

    • Wine on tap reduces the cost of your wine-by-the-glass menu.
    • It’s easier to sell for less, so you sell more!
    • A great glass of wine will likely cause people to order more. No more stale glasses of oxidized wine.
    • Wine sampling? No problem at all! Ask your customers to come in for a tasting event!


We encourage you to do your own research on the new wine on tap trend, before deciding whether or not it’s best for your restaurant or bar. Look up local reviews about other nearby bars that offer wine on tap. See how the public is reacting in your area.

In the Milwaukee area, check out this local list of wine on tap trendsetters. Want your establishment on the list? Get in touch! Let the world know you’re upgrading to Wine on Tap!

Post image “Bachelet-Monnot Taps” courtesy of Flickr user dpotera. Post image “Marinaside” and featured image courtesy of Flickr user N Wong. Post image “Wine Tap” courtesy of Flickr user James Stoneking. All images licensed under CC by 2.0.