A swipe of a wine bar smartcard dispenses a full-bodied taste of the Golden State

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 January, 2011, 12:00am

If you're not too familiar with California's wine industry, there's a technology-assisted way to taste its range at the newly opened California Vintage wine bar in Wyndham Street.

Using a smart card, patrons can sample about 80 different wines stored in vending machines sourced from 22 Californian family-owned wineries. Customers can also learn about the different produce and order wine-paired food from the bar's 20 or so interactive iPad menus.

'The vending machines help preserve the wine, and also it's a fun and engaging way to taste different wines that otherwise would be stocked behind the bar,' Susan Darwin, its San Francisco-based chief branding officer, said at the bar's opening on Tuesday night.

'We hope to create an atmosphere for people to learn more about Californian wine.'

Darwin said about four more outlets were being planned for Hong Kong and a total of more than 20 were planned for Asia, including ones in Singapore and on the mainland.

The wine bar will launch weekly wine-tasting sessions starting at 5pm tomorrow, followed by a 'Winery of the Week' tasting next Monday from 6pm.