Wine on Tap


If someone told me two years ago that I would be buying wine in a plastic bottle, served from a tap at a vinotéka in the Czech Republic, I would have told them that they have lost their minds. First off, wine belongs in glass. Second, I don’t speak Czech. But here I am, reusable plastic bottle in tow, ready to spend 90 korunas on a liter of some table wine. And I’m not the only one. Day after day, I see Czechs walking down the street, carting their wine home in plastic bottles. And why not? The wine is inexpensive, local and plentiful.

This method of buying wine fits into my impression of Czech culture. The Czechs are pragmatic, practical and unwilling to spend one koruna more than is absolutely necessary.  Their argument is simply a question of price. If all you need is a white or red table wine, why incur the extra expense? Rationality and logic won me over by this argument and I have officially jumped on the bandwagon.

1.5 liters of Cabernet Sauvignon

Now when it comes to drinkability, I must say that I was rather surprised by the quality of this tap wine. It’s certainly not a first growth Bordeaux, nor does it have the undeniable appeal of a single vineyard Napa Syrah. You may not be able to pick up certain nuances, nor is the wine particularly age worthy. But there is a certain ease and comfort in these wines, like driving a Toyota Corolla. Think about it : It may not be the most luxurious ride, and it may not have the bells and whistles of a SAAB or BMW, but it will take you where you need to go, it has a decent MPG, and it won’t strain your wallet.

Now to the nay sayers who claim that this is not “true wine,” worthy of a blog post, I dare you to blind taste and try them. These are wines for people who don’t claim to be sommeliers or wine buyers. These are wines for those who want that one after-dinner glass, spending the evening catching up with friends. For those whose day has been wrought with crying toddlers, difficult in-laws, or lousy coworkers. These are civil wines.

Arielle DeSoucey