Over the years, I have become a big fan of alternative wine vessels. From cement fermentation vats to bubbles in a can, I adore both old and new methods of making, storing and serving wine. In fact, I am in Atlanta right now to speak on behalf of Schott Zwiesel, maker of fine wine glasses and decanters, during a trade show at AmericasMart. That said, last night I went to this great restuarant called Two Urban Licks with my friend – and fellow Aussie teamer – Eric Crane. Since Eric is a native (and in the wine business) he kindly offered to show me a few of Atlanta’s wine-savvy hotspots. For me, Two Urban Licks is definately a must-see, must-sip for winelovers. The restaurant is located in a restored warehouse with huge ceilings, warm lighting and a fantastic open kitchen contructed on mixed surfaces including steel, brick, cement and wood. Add to that savory small plates featuring “fiery American cooking,” an excellent jazz ensemble and a wall of gas-powered votives and you’ll begin to understand why I am so excited about this place. At every turn diners find something new to admire, adding to the overall ambiance and experience. But wait, there’s more. Within minutes of stepping into the room, guests are greeted by a 26ft tall, temperature controlled “stainless steel” barrel room that houses 42 kegs of wine. How great is that? The program features red, white and rose wines served up in a number of carafe sizes. (3 oz,6 oz,9 oz,16 oz,32 oz) Like wine thieves in a barrel room, the gravity flow system pulls wine directly from the keg through a tap and into your glass. The remaining wine in the keg is protected by Argon to make sure each glass is fresh. We tried Steele Shooting Star Syrah, Coppola Sofia Rose and Andrew Geoffrey Cabernet Franc – all sipping very well. Each keg holds 1984 oz or 397 5oz glasses making it very economical for the restaurant which they kindly pass on to the consumer. Reasonable pricing coupled with various sizes and flavors to choose from make it fun and easy to sample many different wines in one night. Plus, the kegs are shipped back to the winery to be refilled making the entire program pretty darn green. Thanks Eric.
Stainless Steel Barrel Tasting
About the Author: Marianne Frantz
A Certified Wine Educator, Marianne holds a Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) of London, and has also earned the Advanced Sommelier qualification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. After successfully participating in an educational competition sponsored by the Wines of Australia in the spring of 2008, Marianne became an educational Ambassador for Wine Australia USA. She is also a Certified Spanish Wine Educator.