Tapping the Vino

 

When Sasha’s on Shaw manager Tom Halaska helped introduce wine on tap to St. Louis a year ago, he had every intention of seeing it become a local staple. He has been working tirelessly with winemaker Nick Floulis and Vintegrity Wine distributor Kyle Harsha to sing the benefits of wine on tap to other bar and restaurant owners. Now, more and more local establishments have added wine taps, including Green Bean in the Central West End and Hendricks BBQ in St. Charles. Already trending nationally, keg wine offers several ecological and economic benefits to bar owners—including reduced shipping costs, low waste and a longer shelf life because there’s virtually no oxidation.

Misconceptions about wine that comes from a tap instead of a bottle can be a major obstacle to mainstream acceptance among customers and restaurateurs alike. Halaska constantly addresses concerns that keg wine is “cheap,” for instance, which is why he and his partners chose premium varietals from Floulis’ winery, Pushback Wines, as the first to introduce to the St. Louis market. Perhaps the biggest barrier is that tapping a keg takes away the romance of the ritualistic bottle-opening, but Halaska’s enthusiasm remains unwavering. “It’s where the market is going,” he says. “It’s not a trend that’s going to go away.”

 

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Sasha’s on Shaw

Sasha’s on Shaw

 

Photo credit: Christopher Gibbons

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