Keg wine on tap catching on in Victoria

Ça Va Bistro Moderne in Fernwood is the latest Victoria restaurant to introduce a system to offer customers high-end wines by the glass.

But the eight-month-old restaurant, owned by Fauna Martin, is doing it with an environmental twist.

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While a number of local restaurants have installed enomatic preservation systems that prevent wine from being altered by oxygen once the bottles are opened, Ça Va Bistro has opted for a wine-on-tap system provided by Vancouver’s Fresh Tap.

“This maintains quality, it ensures a fresh glass, like it’s a fresh bottle every time you pour a glass,” said Martin, who said, as with the other systems, it allows her restaurant to offer a higher-end wine by the glass instead of customers having to buy the whole bottle.

“This is the next step in what we can give our customers in terms of value and it’s better for the environment,” she said.

The wine is delivered in 19.5-litre stainless steel kegs, reducing shipping costs and use of bottles, corks, caps and gas used to deliver product, she said.

It’s the first system Fresh Tap has installed on the Island, though there are others planned.

Ça Va Bistro currently has two taps, offering a cabernet-merlot blend from local winery Muse and a pinot noir from Similkameen Valley winery.

Jason Moldowan, food and beverage director of the Brentwood Bay Resort, has looked at the wine-on-tap system as a possibility for their bar in the future. Currently the resort has a four-bottle enomatic preservation system that keeps wine fresh for four weeks.

He notes being able to offer a premium wine by the glass is becoming very important for bars and restaurants trying to make a name for themselves.

“It allows us to open an expensive bottle of wine and let customers try it by the glass.”

— Andrew Duffy

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