Eco-friendly, economical and convenient, the wine on tap industry has proven to be a game-changer for producers and consumers alike. The winemakers behind Gotham Project have revolutionized quality wines on tap by producing in 100% stainless steel kegs.
We met with Bruce Schneider, co- founder of Gotham Project, to discuss the out-of-the-bottle movement. We wanted to know if wine on tap is re-writing the future of wine consumption.
CS: We love what you are accomplishing with Gotham Project. Can you tell us how you and your business partner, Charles Bieler, brought this idea to fruition?
Bruce: Charles and I had been looking for a project to do together and one day he called me and asked what I thought about putting wine in kegs. I told him "why the hell not". Within days I had found us a small lot of delicious Finger Lakes Riesling. We purchased four kegs, started experimenting, and three months later we launched Gotham Project with a few restaurateur friends for the beta test. The positive response exceeded all expectations.
CS: What's the story with wine on tap?
Bruce: Wine on tap is nothing new. In fact, in many ways it pre-dates bottled wines. There are records of wine on tap being served at the Metropolitan Hotel going back to the late 1800s. However, for the past 30 years wine on tap meant 'plonk' where you could find it, mostly in Europe. Despite efforts by large companies to bring it to the consumer market, it never caught on in the U.S.
CS: What makes wine on tap different in terms of marketability?
Bruce: The need has never been greater in the U.S. for "a better glass of wine" in two key criteria, freshness and sustainability.
Gotham Project uses locally filled and reusable stainless steel kegs, tackling the issues of compromised wine being served by the glass and landfills receiving millions of glass bottles every year.
Wine on tap is served under pressure with inert gas that ensures the first glass and the last from the keg are as fresh and delicious as the winemaker intended them to be.
CS: How have people reacted to the idea of wine on tap? Are they ready for this shift in wine drinking?
Bruce: People have been very receptive to it, primarily restaurateurs. They love the freshness, sustainability, and the convenience. It is much easier to handle one slim keg than 26 bottles of wine: the equivalent volume of one keg of wine on tap.
Consumers have also embraced the alternative packaging. Screw-top closures led the way for this change. Ten years ago, consumers largely rejected ‘screw-tops’. Today there are very few consumers who judge the quality of the wine based on the bottle’s seal.
We're proud to serve Gotham Project wines on tap at the station and at être avec toi aka êat, our newest eatery in Montreal. Pop in for a fresh glass!