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Packaging-free wine in keg

Packaging-Free Wine

For a lot of people, natural wine is about drinking truly authentic, delicious wine. For others, it’s about conscious consumption. I’d like to think we’ve finally managed to bring those two aspects together with natural wine in keg and on tap. 

Over the past few months we’ve put the infrastructure in place to bring our packaging free wines in-house, taking care of all the aspects needed to take the wine from the winery and put a perfect glass in perfect condition down at your table. 

So far we have worked together with Unkel, Millton, Patrick Sullivan, Jumpin' Juice, Jauma, Gentle Folk, BK, Clos Henri and Greystone Wines, all with the ultimate aim of being able to offer you a solid range from a wide variety of great producers. Always organic or biodynamic, always low intervention, always packaging free.

The benefits to kegged wine are immense. For some wines and some venues I'd say it’s even more appropriate than traditional glass. Please read on for more....

Pros/Cons:

Pros:
Truly packaging free. This is the biggest driver for me. Every 20L keg takes 27 bottles, 27 or 54 or 81 labels, 27 corks, 27 capsules, and at least 3 cartons and 3 dividers out of circulation. That in itself is amazing.

Quality and condition of the wine. Every glass, from the top to the bottom of the keg is the same. The wine will remain in tact, unoxidised and exactly as it left the winery, and for a bloody long time. A keg is essentially a 20L stainless steel tank after all. Cork taint is impossible.

Consistency. Glass after glass, the wine is the same. As any operator knows, opening a bottle right before closing for the night is a pain; the next day's wine is never the same. No longer a problem. Every customer gets a consistent glass.

Be generous, but not frivolous. Offering a taste of the wine to the customer doesn't require opening a new bottle. Give em a splash, then sell a carafe.

Margins. Not to be crass or mercenary, but if you maintain integrity in your pricing and pour these wines at a fair price (not too low or too high), both you and the customer are getting a good deal. Not a single dollar is wasted on packaging.


Cons:
Sure, there'll be some people who can't bring themselves to drinking a wine from a tap or a carafe, but more and more that seems a thing of the past. Anecdotally wine on tap has become the highest selling product by volume at Everyday Wine, and not a day goes by at Clay where we aren't pouring glass after glass of tap wine.

People may think tap wines are cheap, not worthy, or inferior even, but that's up to me as distributor and you as operator to prove them wrong. I am working hard to get more great producers to keg great wines, and on if you can serve the wines nicely, at the right temperatures, in good glassware, then there's no drop in standard to a great bottle of wine. If anything, customers should appreciate the consistency in the wine and the price they pay. A really nice decanter can look better than a bottle (I really like the old wine decanter from Jancis Robinson (via David Nash) or something made by hand like Monmouth or Tony Kuepfer).The below wines are part of our packaging-free natural wine in keg offering. Here we aim to offer a wide, ever-changing range of delicious natural wines in keg.

Setup:
For any questions regarding install, fitting, suitability for your venue, etc, please contact us - we are happy to help.