Wednesday, February 21, 2007

ARE “AUTOTASTE” AND “AUTOBARREL” THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE ?

By John Olney, Feb 21, 2007

On February 13, 2007, Brunton Vineyards announced that it had purchased “VinoVenue” a wine tasting lounge, which operates in San Francisco. The company claims that it has the economic resources to take the concepts developed by VinoVenue to 90 locations planned for some 60-plus cities throughout the USA. The unique feature of VinoVenue is that it utilizes mechanized methods of pouring one-ounce tastes to the patron who simple inserts a pre-paid card plastic card into the machine.

But guess what, folks? You can experience this Big City sophistication and technological wonder right here in Napa Valley. Just head for downtown Napa and on the Southern side of First Street on the corner with Coombs, you’ll find Stave Wine Lounge where owner Eric Gordon offers 32 different wines for your automatic tasting pleasure. And, if you like the wine, you can also purchase it on-site. Stave offers special events in its pleasant lounge and Eric is contemplating adding appetizers to his offerings. Make sure you visit their Website and you might stop by and tell him you discovered him through my blog.

Then there is Cuvee Napa restaurant! located on the corner of River Terrace and Soscol, Napa, Cuvee is pouring wine from the “Barrel.” Owner Roger Roessler (also an owner in Roessler Cellars , Sonoma County) has installed “tap” machines on the back wall and top of the back bar at the very attractive and comfortable “San Francisco’ish” lounge. Some 12 spouts connect to perfectly maintained stainless steel canisters (or “barrels” as they are generally referred to as) dispensing wines offered from four oz. pours to whole carafes. Aaron Diaz, who just might be the Best Manager in all of Napa, oversees the facility. If you are there in the evening, you’ll probably find me and my friends there too. You really should visit their Website and you might stop by and tell them you discovered their lounge and restaurant through my blog.

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