Fine wine on tap is not a new concept. Wine flowed freely through vessels such as an amphora in Roman times. Visitors to small towns and villages throughout Europe may encounter local wines on tap, straight from the winemakers’ barrels. Locals bring their own bottles, fill them up and bring them home for their evening meals — a tradition found throughout Italy, France, Spain and many other countries for generations.
In America, Anheuser-Busch pioneered the concept of wine in kegs when the company founded a division called Master Cellars in the late 1970’s.
When winemakers in New Zealand and many other countries began experimenting with the screw-cap as a closure for their high-quality Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs over a decade ago, many wine lovers turned up their noses at the concept that fine wine could come in a bottle sealed with a screw cap. After years of proof, and a small winery in Napa Valley called Plumpjack releasing a $150 bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve in a screw cap, the wine industry and wine loving public has at last been convinced.
Fine wine from a tap is “Version 2.0” of the screw cap. Winemakers have kept their fine wines in kegs in their wineries for decades. These wines are stored in kegs to be used as “topping wine” — to top off wines aging in oak barrels, as the wine evaporates from the semi-porous oak barrels. The wines in the kegs never evaporate, and stay fresh indefinitely as the winemaker uses inert gases to preserve the wine in the kegs.
Wine on tap at your local bar or restaurant is the next logical step of this evolution: fine wine straight from the barrel at the winery to the barrel underneath the taps — dispensed with the same inert, flavorless, colorless and odorless gas as those used to preserve wines in barrels, kegs and large tanks at wineries worldwide.
Free Flow Wines was founded by three friends, all of whom shared a passion for fine wine — and a passion for eliminating cork taint, spoiled wine and oxidized wine from wine lists nationwide. Knowing that wine, when pushed from a barrel with an inert gas, is preserved perfectly and served exactly as the winemaker intended, these three friends set out to change the way wine in served by the glass.