Wines By The Glass
5 Wine Preservation Options for Restaurants and Bars
In this issue of Restaurant Update Magazine, we take a look at a handful of options available for restaurants and bars to keep their wines fresher for longer when serving wines by the glass:
1. Handheld Vacuum Pumps
One of the oldest wine preservation gadgets, the handheld “vacuum” pump, has been a staple in many kitchen drawers since 1986 and can still be found in some restaurants and bars to this day.
The concept made sense - pump air out of the bottle in an effort to create a vacuum. Users loved the personal satisfaction felt from pumping until you hear that famous “click”!
But in reality, they don’t really create a true vacuum, so you’re still leaving more than enough air in the bottle to allow for oxidation. In fact, an increasing number of experts say they do more harm than good as the pumping actually stripes some of the precious aromas from above the wine.
Handheld vacuum pumps are pretty simple to use, very cheap, but not effective.
2. Dispensing Machines
Fast forward to the 21st century and you can now outfit your restaurant or bar with fancy, high-tech machines that try to do everything for you, including push button pouring, chilling at the right temperature, and preserving bottles with large canisters of argon gas.
Some can even be extended to allow customers to walk up, insert a credit card, and serve themselves!
But they are not cheap - we’re talking thousands of pounds.
The argon keeps bottles well preserved, but installation considerations can be complex, and definitely the most expensive option out there.
The Coravin craze continues with their latest version gaining more bells and whistles like wireless bluetooth, USB connectivity, and companion mobile app.
For the hardcore oenophile who wants the option to taste how their cellared wines are evolving over many years, this £1,000 gadget is definitely for you!
However, restaurants and bars that use it need to make sure that they own enough of the devices to handle busy periods, stock replacement argon capsules, train their staff how to use it properly, and ensure that they’re cleaned consistently to prevent contamination.
The busy restaurant owner may want a simpler, more scalable solution.
4. Private Preserve
The grandfather of wine gasses, Private Preserve has been around since the eighties.
It contains a bunch of gases - carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon.
Since it does contain some argon (albeit third on the list of ingredients), the carbon dioxide and nitrogen are really just taking up space as it’s the argon that will sink to serve as the protective layer above the wine.
They may look like cans of industrial spray paint, but they are cheap and even a little argon is better than nothing.
5. Winesave PRO
One of the common characteristics of the more effective wine preservers is that they all leverage argon, and Winesave is all about argon.
They were the first to provide a handheld canister containing 100% high-quality, food-grade argon in 2009 and their latest version, the winesave PRO, has the most in the market - up to 150 applications.
The tube is flexible so it won’t snap off in the bottle and is made with an ultra-repellent material to help prevent contamination. The canister not only looks slick, it also has a nice weight to it in your hand as well.
Restaurants can buy winesave PRO in bulk direct from the manufacturer at a substantial discount which works out to be less than ten pence per application.