Wine Sampling's Small (Read: Big) Idea

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home_hero_2.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

It seems obvious to eco-conscious winos that wine packaging should be shrinking, but until lately that idea has been little more than just a soupçon of wishful thinking.  But Nor Cal's TastingRoom.com is turning that hunch into reality, thanks to the company's innovative new line of 50mL bottles (compare to a standard wine bottle's 750mL) that allows consumers to taste tiny amounts of wines from a growing roster of winery partners.
Let's Get Anaerobic
To bottle the tiny pours, the company uses a process called T.A.S.T.E. TechnologyTM (Total Anaerobic Transfer Environment), which makes use of a zero-oxygen chamber to transfer wine from larger to smaller bottles.  Besides allowing consumers to try multiple wines from a single winery without amassing excess waste (or spending), the project allows wine fans living far from producers to (sort of) approximate the experience of visiting the winery, since bottles are delivered in six-packs of new releases currently on offer to winery guests.  Consumers who like what they taste can order full-sized bottles of their favorites, while skipping those they don't love.  

Practical Ideas
We envision Wine Country enthusiasts uncorking (okay, unscrewing) the micro bottles at home and walking themselves through a self-guided tasting of a winery's new releases.  Though the experience comes sans bucolic vineyard backdrop (let's be honest: this is hardly a substitute for a visit to Wine Country), it's a convenient way to get a feel for a producer's latest bounty.   

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