Photo: greenlagirl, Flickr
One advantage for the watering holes that serve the wine kegs is the ability to order wine in small batches, providing opportunities to get to know boutique wineries whose products aren't widely distributed or produced in high volume. Another plus is eco-conscious: fewer wine bottles end up in the recycling bin. Here's where to follow the wine-on-tap trend:
Tapping into smaller-production, lesser-known wines that customers may not have sipped before is the case at Vesta Trattoria in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. Raphael Winery on the North Fork of Long Island even creates custom blends for the trattoria. According to the restaurant, wine sales are up since the debut of wine on tap.
Los Angeles has at least one bar offering wine from a cask. Father's Office -- with locations in Santa Monica and Los Angeles -- offers eight different wines on tap, going beyond the two to four wines most bars sell. In Phoenix, the two Postino Winecafe locations source wine from a keg from Palmina Wines, based in Santa Barbara County, California.
Napa has at least two options: Oxbow Wine Merchant & Wine Bar and Farm, an eatery tucked inside Carneros Inn. Down in San Francisco, eateries in the Out the Door restaurant group are devout followers of this trend, and subject of a New York Times article on the topic during the spring of 2009.
Further up the coast, Seattle's The Local Vine, which already focuses on Pacific Northwest wines (and even hosts travel talks about local wine-country), decided to introduce wine from casks at its second location on Capitol Hill (doors opened last month). Four wines on tap -- all from Oregon and Washington -- are offered on rotation.
Graze Gastropub, the newest venture from L'Etoile Restaurant (which Odessa Piper, queen of the farm-to-table movement, opened in 1976), pours wine from kegs stored behind the bar at its Madison, Wisconsin, location. Co-proprietors Tory and Traci Miller run Wisconsin's only wine-on-tap venue with a changing selection of wines, mostly from California, paired with a menu of upscale comfort foods sourced from mostly local farmers, everything from Hook's (a famed Wisconsin cheese -producer) 10-year-aged Cheddar in the mac 'n' cheese to the day's "sustainable catch" of fish.
Several bars along the East Coast offer wine on tap, including Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is Boston's lone bar offering wine from a keg, and sells $5 glasses of Rose and Pinot Blanc from local wineries. It's an offbeat change from the usual appellations bar patrons are offered.
At TWO Urban Licks in Atlanta, wines on the list are stored inside stainless-steel barrels displayed in a 26-foot, temperature-controlled cellar constructed from glass and steel. And the "wow" factor continues with the wines sourced from top-end domestic wineries like Au Bon Climat, Monticello Vineyards and Qupe Wine Cellars.
Even master of masterly cuisine Daniel Boulud has bought into the keg concept. At DGBG Kitchen and Bar in New York City, a lower-brow sibling of restaurant Daniel, you can order a glass of wine -- and sip that from top-notch crystal stemware -- with oysters, matzo-ball soup, pâtés, artisanal sausages and cheeses, or a flight of burgers (dubbed "Ménage à Trois").
Become a fan of Slashfood on Facebook and follow us Twitter.