Wine in a keg has finally come to Victoria. I know that might sound weird, but for wineries, restaurants and bars, and their customers, a steel container containing the equivalent of 26-750 mL bottles of wine is a win-win-win situation. The Hotel Grand Pacific and Ça Va Bistro Moderne are the first to use the Vancouver-based FreshTap system ( http://freshtap.com/ ) of kegged wine on tap. Featuring top BC wineries, the wine in the kegs is never ‘corked’, cuts down on bottle, cork and packaging use, and provides customers with an always-fresh glass of wine. Winemakers love it since they know their product isn’t being served from a bottle that may have been opened a day or two before.
I tried the system at the Hotel Grand Pacific last week, along with a taste of the new menu put together by The Mark restaurant chef Daryl Pope. Featured wines from the keg came from such notable BC wineries as Clos du Soleil, Stag’s Hollow, Calliope and Blasted Church. My favourite dish of the tasting was a fork-tender raspberry-rubbed venison loin served on a white bean cassoulet.