Top Wine Innovations in Bars & Restaurants

Illustration by Marco Turelli / Animation by Matthew Dimas

Read crowd-sourced reviews, make online reservations, explore electronic wine lists, pay at the table and email yourself the receipt. Just don’t forget to thank the restaurant on social media as you grab your rideshare home.

An illustration of wines being poured by the glass.
Illustration by Marco Turelli

By-the-Glass Bounty

Pouring higher-end wine by the glass has been an issue for restaurants that fear the wine will turn faster than a profit, often leaving wine lovers to either drink entry-level wines or pay hefty prices for better by-the-glass pours. Automated serving systems, like those from Enomatic and Eurocave, have solved this. They preserve wine with gas, which allows restaurants and bars to have numerous expensive bottles open at a time. These systems also provide measured pours, temperature control, monitoring of the amount dispensed and self-service options through credit-card readers. The result is better wine at more affordable prices, and we can all drink to that.

Ordering wine on a tablet
Illustration by Marco Turelli

Digitized Wine Lists

You’ve pored over the wine list and searched for information under the table on your smartphone, just to find the list is out of date and the bottle you ordered is no longer available. Well, no more. Many restaurants now offer electronic wine lists via tablets. These provide guests with fleshed out, up-to-date menus and avoids constant reprinting. With digital lists, you can sort by price, style or variety, check out information about the winery and see images and videos. Sommelier at another table? No worries. Suggested food pairings are often there for you, as well.

Uncork the Tech

Rabble 2016 Mossfire Ranch Tempranillo (Paso Robles); $25, 88 points. Smoke, leather and dark-berry aromas make for a savory and fruity entry on the nose of this bottling. Gritty tannins frame the rugged palate, offering plummy flavors of rhubarb and hickory smoke.

Wine on Tap

While keg beer is steeped in tradition, wine on tap has only taken off in recent years after technical and logistical issues were solved. The benefits are many, from potentially lower-cost, higher quality wine to improved freshness and a lessened environmental impact.

ride share apps
Illustration by Marco Turelli

The Rideshare Effect

There’s no question that on-demand transportation apps have changed the way we enjoy wine. Gone are worries about drives home or attempts to hail a cab: relax and enjoy. “Would you like another glass of wine?” “Why, yes, I would!”

Augmented reality wine bottles
Illustration by Marco Turelli

Augmented Reality

People often purchase wine because of the way a label looks or what they read on the back. But because of the way a label talks? Yes. Wineries like 19 Crimes, Bogle Vineyards, Carhartt Vineyard and Rabble Wine Company interact with consumers via their wine labels through an augmented reality (AR) app. There, the label comes to life with a story behind the wine or perhaps just an  engaging tale. Facial recognition software powers the technology. Millions of people have downloaded these apps so far, with more wineries scheduled to launch in the months ahead.

Discover more about how science is leading drinks into the future in our Wine & Tech issue.

Published on April 3, 2019
Topics: Wine & Tech
About the Author
Sean P. Sullivan
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from Washington and Idaho

In addition to his work at Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan is the founder of Washington Wine Report, a site dedicated to the wines and wineries of the Pacific Northwest that has twice been named ‘Best Single Subject Wine Blog’ by the Wine Blog Awards. Sullivan has authored over 100 print articles on Northwest wine. He resides in Seattle, Washington.

Email: ssullivan@wineenthusiast.net.



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