Taps are for more than beer with Utah restaurant group's new wine program

Market Street • Program lets diners sample without committing to an entire bottle.

By Kathy Stephenson The Salt Lake Tribune

Published October 15th 2014 9:11 am



Remember when dinner included a carafe of wine at the table?

Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar is bringing back the tradition with its wine on tap by-the-ounce program.

Customers can order full and half-liter carafes for their table for $38 and $20, respectively. There also is a 6-ounce carafe for $9 or a 2-ounce taste for $3. Even a 1-ounce sample in a tiny carafe for $1.50 is possible.

The program makes "it easy to try something new," said Fred Boutwell, the general manager of the Market Street Cottonwood.

These personalized pours are available thanks to a new stainless-steel keg and tap system -- similar to how beer is served -- that was installed at Market Street locations in Salt Lake, Cottonwood and South Jordan. After only six weeks, the program has taken off.

"In the last month, it has been about 41 percent of our wine sales," said Boutwell, adding that customers appreciate "not being trapped into one bottle of wine" with the meal.

They can order one wine with an appetizer and enjoy a different one with dinner or dessert, he said.

While wine on tap is relatively new to Utah -- Salt Lake City's Copper Common bar has a similar system -- it has been used in wine bars and restaurants all over the country for several years, mostly in California and New York. The trend has slowly spread into other metropolitan cities from Atlanta to Dallas, where one of the Whole Foods sells wine on tap.

At Market Street, customers can choose from four wines on tap: two whites -- chardonnay and sauvignon blanc -- and two reds -- a California blend and cabernet sauvignon. The wines likely will change with the season. In the spring, there might be a French rose or in summer the tap might include gruner veltliner.

While the system makes it easy to experiment with new wines, freshness is the biggest benefit for consumers, says Utah wine consultant and educator Jim Santangelo, who has been helping Market Street and other Utah restaurants implement the tap wine program.

Inside the recyclable plastic kegs that come special order from the wineries, inert gas occupies any empty space and protects the wine from oxidation. There's no more worry of getting a corked or off-tasting bottle of wine.

"The first ounce is as flavorful and fresh as the last ounce," he said, adding that the system also keeps the wine at the perfect temperature: 40-45 degrees for white and 55 degrees for red.

The system also helps improve the bottom line. Once a bottle is opened, oxidation immediately sets in and restaurants that offer wine by the glass are usually forced to discard half-used bottles after one or two days, he said.

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Remember when dinner included a carafe of wine at the table?

Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar is bringing back the tradition with its wine on tap by-the-ounce program.

Customers can order full and half-liter carafes for their table for $38 and $20, respectively. There also is a 6-ounce carafe for $9 or a 2-ounce taste for $3. Even a 1-ounce sample in a tiny carafe for $1.50 is possible.

The program makes "it easy to try something new," said Fred Boutwell, the general manager of the Market Street Cottonwood.

These personalized pours are available thanks to a new stainless-steel keg and tap system -- similar to how beer is served -- that was installed at Market Street locations in Salt Lake, Cottonwood and South Jordan. After only six weeks, the program has taken off.

"In the last month, it has been about 41 percent of our wine sales," said Boutwell, adding that customers appreciate "not being trapped into one bottle of wine" with the meal.

They can order one wine with an appetizer and enjoy a different one with dinner or dessert, he said.

While wine on tap is relatively new to Utah -- Salt Lake City's Copper Common bar has a similar system -- it has been used in wine bars and restaurants all over the country for several years, mostly in California and New York. The trend has slowly spread into other metropolitan cities from Atlanta to Dallas, where one of the Whole Foods sells wine on tap.

At Market Street, customers can choose from four wines on tap: two whites -- chardonnay and sauvignon blanc -- and two reds -- a California blend and cabernet sauvignon. The wines likely will change with the season. In the spring, there might be a French rose or in summer the tap might include gruner veltliner.

While the system makes it easy to experiment with new wines, freshness is the biggest benefit for consumers, says Utah wine consultant and educator Jim Santangelo, who has been helping Market Street and other Utah restaurants implement the tap wine program.

Inside the recyclable plastic kegs that come special order from the wineries, inert gas occupies any empty space and protects the wine from oxidation. There's no more worry of getting a corked or off-tasting bottle of wine.

"The first ounce is as flavorful and fresh as the last ounce," he said, adding that the system also keeps the wine at the perfect temperature: 40-45 degrees for white and 55 degrees for red.

The system also helps improve the bottom line. Once a bottle is opened, oxidation immediately sets in and restaurants that offer wine by the glass are usually forced to discard half-used bottles after one or two days, he said. [2] =>

The 5-gallon kegs, equal to more than 26 bottles, eliminate that waste and financial loss.

Santangelo said wine kegs also are environmentally friendly as they eliminate the need for bottles, corks, labels and cartons. And since kegs weigh significantly less than bottles, transportation costs are reduced as well.

"The kegs," he said, "really reduce a restaurant's carbon footprint."

kathys@sltrib.com

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A personalized pour

All three Market Street Grill and Oyster Bars locations in Salt Lake County have installed keg and tap systems — just like beer — enabling the sale of wine by the ounce.

Cost • One-liter carafes, $38; half-liter, $20; 6 ounces, $9; 2-ounce taste, $3; or 1-ounce sample, $1.50.

Cottonwood • 2985 E. Cottonwood Parkway, Salt Lake City; 801-942-8860. Open Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Salt Lake City • 48 W. Market St. (340 South), Salt Lake City; 801-531-6044. Open Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

South Jordan • 10702 S. River Front Parkway (700 West), South Jordan; 801-302-2262. Open Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.