The Gotham Project: Wine in a Keg

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on May 15, 2012

I have always associated kegs with frat boys at college parties or die-hard sports fans tailgating outside a stadium, not with an upscale wine bar such as NYC's Terroir Tribeca. But this seemingly incompatible combination is exactly what Charles Bieler and Bruce Schneider, the masterminds behind The Gotham Project, are fostering - wine in a keg.

Why, you ask? Bieler and Schneider promise their kegs are more than just a gimmick, they actually provide a better glass of wine for customers, value for owners, convenience for bartenders, and eco-friendliness for all. Kegs keep wine fresh, thus they provide more value than the same wine from a bottle. Plus, no more oxidized wines or corked bottles means less is wasted and more is enjoyed. Kegs are also more convenient for owners, allowing them to finally put the days of storing and disposing countless bottles behind them.

According to the project's Wine Tap Manifesto, storing wine in kegs is also a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional corked bottles. Not only can one keg hold more than one bottle can, but their kegs are reusable and linked to a network of local filling stations. Over its lifetime, one keg will eliminate the need for 3,000 bottles, labels, and closures, which although able to be recycled, rarely are.

The NYC-based Gotham Project also strives to extend the recent "eating local" trend to drinks as well by focusing on wines from the Finger Lakes region and the North Fork of Long Island. Even their filling stations aim to keep the entire process local by minimizing distances that empty kegs travel to be refilled.

Still unsure whether wine on tap is for you? Taste for yourself at one of the many NYC establishments supporting The Gotham Project. You can find their wines on tap at City Winery, Colicchio & Sons, Daniel Boulud's DBGB, Red Rooster Harlem, the Lot on Tap underThe High Line, and the cheese-lover paradise, Artisanal. A glass of one of their keg wines - white, red, or rosé - will only set you back around $8-$10.

You can also get a taste of the project at The Great GoogaMooga this weekend, May 19-20, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. The Gotham Project will be featured in the wine tasting tent, along with over 100 wines from around the world. Purchase a taste size or regular size glass of Bieler and Schneider's keg wine and taste for yourself - I know that's what I'll be doing this Saturday.