retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Yesterday, MNB took note of a New York Times piece about improvements being made in the boxed wine category. Well, from the ridiculous to the sublime...

The New York Times also is reporting on another wine trend - a move toward draft wine that is taking place in New York City, fueled at least in part by a keg wine company called the Gotham Project.

Here’s how the Times frames the story:

“Serving some wines by the glass straight from the barrel has long been a practice in Europe, and it slowly began catching on in California seven or eight years ago. In New York, Daniel Boulud’s downtown outpost, DBGB, and City Winery, which opened in 2009, also pour wines on tap.

“But at a growing number of restaurants, many of them trendy locavore spots known as much for their cutting-edge attitudes as for their culinary prowess, the draft wine comes from Gotham, which was founded in 2010. Gotham installed its first tap, dispensing riesling, at Terroir Tribeca when it opened in April 2010.

“Charles Bieler and Bruce Schneider, founders of the company, say the kegs are not just a gimmick — they are dedicated to changing the way Americans drink wine. ‘We’re not just selling a concept; we’re selling a better glass of wine,’ Mr. Bieler said.

“The benefits, according to Mr. Bieler and Mr. Schneider, include freshness, eco friendliness and convenience. Besides, the idea of wine from a keg is kind of cool — and the moment just felt right.”

This is almost too much for me to handle at this hour of the morning...it is kind of cool, and seems so much more interesting than getting wine out of a box.

But the Eye-Opening thing about both this story and the improvement in boxed wines, I think, is that neither approach seems to be focusing on the lowest common denominator when it comes to actual product. They’re reaching for something better, which is really all I ask of any company that makes anything.
KC's View: