Vino Venue

Lynne Kiesling

Wired also has an article this morning about VinoVenue, a wine bar in San Francisco that opened in September 2004. The cool thing about VinoVenue is that you buy a smartcard and go around to the stations, inserting your card and having a taste automatically dispensed. The card records which wines you tasted, so even if your notes are spotty you have a pretty good shot of remembering what you tried. Wines on offer range from inexpensive to “l’elisir d’amore” (which is how I pretentiously think of sauternes from Chateau d’Yquem).

How cool is that? And I thought Vinopolis in London was awesome, but this takes it to a whole new level of excitement. Must visit when next in SF!

It’s not unanimous, though. There’s a quote from a visitor who says

“I think people in Europe would find this atrocious, but people in the Midwest would love it.”
A visitor says a self-service wine-tasting bar in San Francisco reminds him of McDonald’s.

Whatever. I think places like this enable consumers to choose the kind of experience they want. If you want a social wine experience with friends, come with a crowd. If you want to try a couple of new wines on your way home from work, you can do that. If you want classes, they have those.

But then again, I’m from the Midwest, so clearly I have no taste or culture …

One thought on “Vino Venue

  1. Just visited VinoVenue in SF from East Coast. This is huge for the wine industry. This is the red carpet for people who are afraid to buy something that costs more than $15 because they don’t know if they’ll like it, and don’t know if the “recommender” in the local wine store shares their tastes or is just trying to sell. I felt like George Bush discovering grocery bar codes, it was so cool.

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