Wednesday, November 03, 2004

VinoVenue:Shop CLOSED

I only went to an automat once in New York, and then this summer I got to see another, though non-functioning one, at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. But l always loved the idea. An automat was a vending machine restaurant that served up portions of ready-to-eat food. All glimmering shiny and modern, it was mostly a gimmick, as it wasn't really "automated" and people had to constantly refill the offerings, but that didn't make it any less appealing. The novelty of technology and gadgets is often very attractive.

Remember all the hype about smartcards a few years back? A smartcard is a plastic card that contains a tiny chip that includes a microprocessor and memory which means it can hold a ton of information. Though touted for years they haven't taken off in the US the way they have in Europe where people use them to access medical records, etc. Well smartcards may have finally come of age.

Like a prepaid debit card, at wine bar/wine retailer Vino Venue you can buy a smartcard and then use the it to purchase one ounce "tastes" of wine. One hundred wines are for sale at Vino Venue and most of them are encased in stylish vending machines where you insert your card, hold your glass up to a spout and voila! wine comes pouring out. The thing about purchasing wine is, it's hard to judge a bottle by the label. Tasting wine is the best way to know for sure if it's something you'll like. Wine tasting is lots of fun and the way the wines are organized at Vino Venue allow you to easily compare regions or varietals.

Last Friday night in addition to celebrating the publication of Heidi's new book Cook 1.0, and welcoming Sam and Fred of Becks & Posh and Fatemeh of Gastronomie to our informal group of Bay Area Food Bloggers, we also got to check out Vino Venue. A big thanks to Alder of Vinography for helping to arrange our evening, and to Brian at for hosting us. A visit to Vino Venue is provides a unique way to learn about wine through tasting, find something to buy, and share the experience with friends. Check it out and you too can impress your friends with your knowledge of the newest and most innovative shop on the block thanks to smartcard technology and vending machine gadgetry.

Vino Venue CLOSED
686 Mission St
San Francisco
Mon-Th 12-9 pm
Fri-Sat 12-10 pm Sun 2-6 pm