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 …