Last night we ventured to a relatively new restaurant in town which touts itself as a wine bar/restaurant. One interesting quirk is all the wines are served out of a wine vending machine which requires a card to be purchased to dispense the wine. I suppose the gas pushing the wine is nitrogen and the machine is calibrated to dispense the one, three or six-ounce portion. Prices are listed on the digital display and if the bottle happens to empty before the portion purchased is dispensed the card is only debited for the amount provided.

It actually seems like a great idea if you wan to try several wines at a single visit, but it also seems like a poor idea since your server is eliminated from the equation as is their tip for the wine dispensed. Perhaps the prices include a gratuity for the server, but if I just go in and grab a pastry to have with some wine then they certainly are not considered during those transactions.

We actually purchased glass volumes of the wines we had last night, but I plan to get a dispensing card on my next visit so we can try several. Their selections are limited, but certainly subject to change. I’ve heard of these in wine stores, but this is the first restaurant I have seen using the vending machine technology.