Tasting Wine Just Got a Little Easier

Courtesy Greg Blomberg/Wine'tastic
The Enomatic at Wine'tastic in Dallas

Tempted to try an obscure varietal, but don't want to shell out $30 for a bottle you might not like? A handful of liquor stores and bars now allow you to help yourself to samples. It works like this: You put money on a debit card (or earn points on a card by buying a bottle of wine), insert the card into a slot, and push the button above the wine you want to taste. The Enomatic system dispenses an ounce into your glass and deducts the cost from the card. Prices range from $1 to $28, with most costing $2 to $3. In Texas, where self-service is illegal, wine jukeboxes (as the Enomatics are nicknamed) are operated by bartenders. Whether you push the button yourself or someone does it for you, the advantage is the same. Because the system hermetically seals bottles after each pour, some places are able to offer as many as a hundred wines by the glass. Cheers!

  • Nora's Wine Bar & Osteria 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas, 702/940-6672
  • Stave Wine Lounge 1149 First St., Napa, Calif., 707/259-5411
  • Tastings 149 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg, Fla., 727/894-2255
  • Union Square Wine & Spirits 140 Fourth Ave., New York City, 212/675-8100
  • VinoVenue 686 Mission St., San Francisco, 415/341-1930
  • Wine'tastic 4140 Lemmon Ave., Dallas, 214/252-9494
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