July 23, 2014 4:04 pm

Downtown Halifax restaurant brings wine-on-tap to the Maritimes

HALIFAX – A downtown Halifax restaurant is offering something new on tap for local wine-lovers.

The Stubborn Goat Gastropub on Grafton Street has installed two taps at the bar that will serve wine instead of beer, making it the first in Atlantic Canada to do so.

Evan MacEachern, the pub’s manager, calls the idea exciting and says it has been well-received.

“It fits it really well: it’s new, it’s innovative [and] it’s locally-sourced, which is very important for us,” he said.

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“The reaction has been actually incredible.”

The restaurant collaborated with Bishop’s Cellar to source the white wine from the Domaine de Grand Pré winery.

The wine is stored in airtight 10-litre bags, which hold the equivalent of a case of wine. The bags are more affordable, have less packaging and help keep the wine fresh.

“It’s a perfect way to keep wines crisp,” said Erin Horton, a sommelier with Bishop’s Cellar. “Oxidization is the enemy of wine.”

The technology is gaining popularity in cities including Toronto and Vancouver, but this is the first time wine-on-tap is being offered in the Maritimes.

Jürg Stutz from Domaine de Grand Pré winery calls the addition of the taps a “really big step” for the local wine industry.

“It really shows where the wine industry has come in the last 10 to 15 years,” he said. “At the beginning there were hardly any Nova Scotia wines in the restaurants, whereas now they serve it on tap, they serve it by the bottle.

“It’s a huge step for the whole industry.”

He says other restaurants have expressed interest about installing wine taps.

The Stubborn Goat is currently offering one type of white wine, but is working with the winery to eventually add a rosé and a red wine.

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