Vinoteca pioneers Riesling from a keg

Envelope pushing wine bar chain Vinoteca has started serving Riesling from a keg and is the first London venue to pioneer the trend.

Vinoteca's Charlie Gus Gluck get to grips with the keg

Vinoteca’s Charlie Young and Gus Gluck get to grips with the keg format

The dry Riesling, made by Axel Neiss in Pfalz, has been imported in 20-litre key kegs to be served by the glass.

Having enjoyed success last year with a Prosecco on tap offering, Vinoteca’s owners, Brett Woonton and Charlie Young, were on the lookout for a 2014 summer hit.

Offering the chance to flag up an often misunderstood grape, the pair thought a young, fresh Riesling would be the perfect fit for the keg format. Having only recently gone on sale, the offering is already proving a hit.

Riesling on tap from the US-based Gotham Project

Riesling on tap from the US-based Gotham Project

“It’s going off like a frog in a sock and is doing even better than we expected it to,” Young told the drinks business.

“We wanted it to be something that was distinctly Riesling but could be for any occasion and it’s clear people are happy chugging it as a hot day thirst-quencher or drinking it as an accompaniment to lots of summery dishes.

“It helped that the staff got behind it straight away,” he added.

A member of the Fair ‘N Green sustainability initiative, Neiss’ kegs are made of recyclable plastic and cardboard and saves the use of 26 glass bottles.

In a bid to cut their carbon emissions, in addition to using kegs, Vinoteca also import their own premium bag-in-box wines.

Axel Neiss Estate Riesling Trocken 2013 has gone on sale at all four Vinoteca sites for £3.95 for a 125ml glass, £5.65 for a 175ml glass or £22.50 for a bottle. The wine is also available to take away at £9.95 for a 750ml bottle.

While this is the first time Riesling from a keg has gone on sale in the UK, the US has been in on the trend for a few years with restaurants and bars in New York, San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas and Detroit all in on the act.

Leading the wine by the keg charge in New York are Charles Bieler and Bruce Schneider, founders of The Gotham Project, which makes a Riesling in keg from the east side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes.

Supplying to the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, the Red Rooster in Harlam and Terroir Tribeca in Manhattan, the dynamic duo are dedicated to changing the way Americans drink wine.

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