It might cause diners to do a double take, but some restaurants are serving wine in a new way—on tap. It’s environmentally friendly, cuts down on waste, and is a good value, says Brandy Rand, partner and chief marketing officer for Richer Pour, a Boston-based company that is selling fine wines in alternative packaging. Rand, a Marblehead native, along with founder and CEO David Gordon, is at the forefront of a new trend in wine sales. The company, founded just last year, already offers tap wine in restaurants and entertainment venues in five states, including 62 Restaurant in Salem and Maggie’s Farm in Middleton.
“With wine on tap, you get a better product,” Rand says. It’s also a fresher product, as the kegs keep wine airtight for 90 days. “We’ve all had that experience where you order wine by the glass and it’s been open a few days, and it’s just not as fresh,” Rand says, adding that their product is catching on quickly in part due to Richer Pour’s innovative recyclable keg system—one that the company can install in under an hour, eliminating one of the biggest stumbling blocks for restaurants.
Richer Pour is focused on providing a high-quality quaff, working with vineyards in the United States and in Europe to produce rose? from France, prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese from Italy, Garnacha from Spain, and Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from California.
Expanding on their motto “Trust the Tap,” the company started putting the same high-quality product in a bag-in-a-box format over the summer, making it available for at-home consumption. Each box holds the equivalent of four bottles of wine and will keep the wine perfectly fresh—whether in your fridge or on the counter—for 30 days. “Boxes make so much sense,” Rand says. “Bottles are very expensive…as a consumer you wind up paying a lot for the packaging. Alternative packaging gives consum- ers a way to enjoy higher quality wine for a better value.”
Imbibers at Shubie’s agree—Rand held her first-ever retail tasting of Richer Pour’s box wine product at the Marblehead gourmet food and wine shop in June and sold 21 boxes in a two-hour tasting.
“Almost everyone who tried it bought it,” says Doug Shubie, manager, and he wasn’t surprised. “The wines are really good.” At $25.99 retail, they are a few dollars more than the other box wines Shubie’s carries, but Shubie says they are worth it. “If they were [in a bottle], they’d be great wines, but for box wines, they are off the charts, setting the pace for the rest of the industry to catch up to—they are really that good.”
That said, the reputation of box wines is going to be Richer Pour’s biggest challenge, Shubie says. “Box wines do have that stigma that they are cheap and not that great, but once people taste the product… tasting truly is believing.” richerpour.com