Once upon a time the last thing you would probably order would be a glass of wine that was served on tap. Just the mention of draught wine conjures up images of nasty wines such as Sutter Home, Lindemans and Jacob’s Creek (the only wines I have ever seen on draught in the U.K.).
However, as much as the craft beer movement has big brand commercial beers worrying about what’s actually being poured through the taps, wineries are embracing the concept and these days, decent wines are available on draught. This phenomenon reaches as far as North America and, although successfully implemented in the US and UK, it has yet to reach the same heights here….but time will tell and if the quality of what I tasted recently is anything to go by; wine on tap is set to make a real impression in the city.
I recently caught up with Adam Green, co-owner of Bottle Shock; one of Hong Kong’s newest wine importers and brother of Nate Green – the head chef of the newly opened (and rather excellent) restaurant Rhoda. Adam imports wine by the keg and his wines are tapped at Rhoda (as are the Californian wines of local Hong Kong importer Cuvees). Wanting to know more (and of course sample the quality) we caught up in Rhoda for a chat and an attempt to find out whether these wines were really palatable or not.
“The great thing about the system is that it guarantees the right conditions and the right temperature for the wines every time”, says Green. “We want to debunk the myth or public perception that draught wines must always be cheap or nasty wines”.
Green provides Rhoda with some exceptional quality French wines in the keg; wines from renowned Macon winery Le Grappin and has both a Macon Blanc and a Beaujolais Villages on draught. The wines from Cuvees are from Californian winery Best Coast Wines and are a California Chenin Blanc and a Syrah / Zinfandel blend.
Not only are the wines excellent, they are also better for the environment. “There is a huge benefit for refuse waste”, says Green. “The carbon footprint is hugely reduced and as each keg is the equivalent of 27 bottles the system greatly reduces wastage and increase shipping productivity in terms of space”.
Each keg works a little like the “bag in the box”theory which gives the wines a hugely longer shelf life once tapped and have a 12 month shelf life prior to being poured. This give greater flexibility to the bars and restaurants that use the system and also means that customers get fresh wines – something that doesn’t always happen when wines by the glass are served by the bottle.
To try the wines head to Rhoda, G/F, Upton, 345 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong (Tel: 2177-5050) (Web: http://rhoda.hk/)
Bottle Shock: Contact Adam Green by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cuvees; Contact Simon McCarthy by email: email@example.com