Wine Dispenser Systems Delivers High-End Wine By The Glass

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, June 28, 2018

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Wine by the glass plays an integral role in any good restaurant or bar. Indeed, wine-loving patrons here in Jamaica have grown to expect more than just the house pouring red or white wine; quality choices by the glass are expected.

Wine Preservation Systems

It takes between two and three days after a bottle of wine is opened before it starts to lose its characteristic aroma, bouquet and taste, eventually going bad. This is because the wine gets exposed to too much oxygen. Since the 1970s wine preservation has been available to reduce the amount of the wine's exposure to air, some a using vacuum to remove air from the opened bottle or inserting inert gas to displace the oxygen. “Innovate or die” is a phrase that is often repeated by forward-thinking entrepreneurs the world over, so it was not long before these manually operated wine dispensers became fully automated, around 2002, with the ability to be operated by patrons with little or no help from the establishment's staff.


Here's How The Automated Wine Dispensers Work

Uncorked Kingston, located at Sovereign North, recently commissioned its automated wine dispenser which is capable of offering 10 wines by the glass. How it works: The process begins very similar to buying credit for a pre-paid phone. You buy a card with a certain amount of credit; pre-selected amounts between J$3,000 to J$12,000 are on offer. Your server will provide you with an empty wine glass. Out of 160+ wines on the menu, seven reds, two whites and one Rosé, 10 bottles are available at a time in the dispenser. Once you've taken a look and made your choice, you insert your keycard into the machine, hold your glass up to the spout in front of your selection, and press one of three buttons corresponding to your desired pour size — 1oz sip, 2oz taste, or 5oz glass. The corresponding dollar amount is deducted from your balance. When the wine is poured, you remove your keycard (it also functions as your running tab), take your glass of wine back to your table, and enjoy.



These high-tech systems allow wine lovers to be able to sip or taste high-end wines before committing to buy a full glass. It allows the establishment to keep things fresh and rotate through its large inventory of wines, thus giving patrons new options to keep them coming back and trying new wines. The machine consistently pours the pre-programmed amounts with exact precision, unlike the inconsistent pours of wine stewards.


Industry Pushback

When the use of these machines were on the rise between 2009 and 2012 in North America, the wine service industry was split almost 50/50 on their adoption. The detractors argued that it removes the human touch from wine with some even calling the machines “romance-killing stainless steel wine cages”. In the neighbourhood that I once lived in the US, there was a wine shop offering over 100 wines using these machines, and while wine lovers liked the idea, persons new to wine wandered around the shop for a while often intimidated to put their card into a machine for fear of wasting money on wines they did not like. They had to be nudged and encouraged to just go with the 1oz sip until they found something they liked.

Let's see how the Jamaican market will take to the machines and the digital delivery of a wide range of wines by the glass. I, for one, am all for it.

Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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