A few weeks ago I drove up to the Finger Lakes region for Ithaca College’s alumni weekend and dedication of their fantastic new Athletic & Events Center. Having lived in Ithaca for four years, I am no stranger to the Cayuga Lake wineries and have had my share of tipsy wine tours . However, some friends introduced me to a new wine Corks & More and I love the technology SO much that I had to share!
Corks & More is just one of many wine bars, restaurants, event venues, and retail operations that have started using The WineStation, created by Napa Technology. Oh, did I mention you can also get a station in your home, hmm, Christmas and Channukah are fast approaching….
The basic premise is that a wine consumer has a pre-paid card with a smart chip. At Corks & More you put a $2 deposit down for the card and can fill it with however much you want. The cards are inserted into the sides of the machine (each one holding 4 different bottles of wine) and the drinker can choose if they would like a taste, a half glass or a full glass. The system keeps wine fresh and allows bottles to be easily changed. It is also just downright cool to insert your card and have wine just pour into your glass!
I really love this idea because it creates a very casual setting where the people drinking the wine are able to “choose their own adventure.” You don’t have to feel intimidated by lack of knowledge about wine, you simply can get a taste, see what you like, try different things or go back for more. There is no staring at the wine menu reading varietals you’ve never heard of and hoping that you don’t sound silly asking the bartender questions.
Some places where you can experience The WineStation all for yourself:
Corks & More – Ithaca, NY
The Grand Hyatt New York’s – New York, NY
Vintry Wine & Whiskey Bar – New York, NY
Asheville Wine Market – Asheville, NC
Yakima Valley Visitor’s Center – Yakima, WA
Wine Awhile – Mount Pleasant, SC