Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I recently had the opportunity to sample wines from The Ed's Enomatic wine tasting machine, or, the Wine Taster 2000 as it could also be called. :)

For those unfamiliar with the machine, The Enomatic is a wine dispenser, capable of rationing out single tastings, double tastings or full glasses of wine, via 3 separate buttons aligned to each bottle in the display. Prices go up in accordance with the size of the pour, as well as the wine in question. Additionally, and on this day, some pours can be free of charge, however, it's intended for commercial use and not the home (although...).

To prevent oxidation, the Enomatic disperses gas into the bottle as it pours out the wine. In this case, The Ed were using argon, which can apparently keep open wine bottles fresh for around a month, but to play it safe, bottles at The Ed are presently changed over after two weeks. Seeing as single bottles actually last two weeks, indicates to me there might not be too much consumer interest in the Enomatic around Adelaide, just yet.

I tasted my way through the wines available on the day, which included a couple of Australian icons. Leeuwin Estate's 2008 Art Series Chardonnay, Clonakilla's 2009 Shiraz Viognier and Peter Lehmann's 2006 Stonewell were all on hand, but alas, they were also at the end of their two week cycle, as they were getting replaced by a predominantly European selection of off-dry rieslings the next day.

To be honest, I felt some of the wines presented well and some not so well, so no tasting notes were taken. I believe the level of wine in the bottle may have had some effect, as some of the cheaper wines (including Rymill's 'free of charge' 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon) appeared fresher and livelier through the palate. Interestingly, a staff member agreed some of the wines may have been a bit 'flat'. To possibly improve the situation, the next selection of wines are going to be 'prolonged' by a mixture of argon and CO2. It's still a trial and error thing at the moment, as well as the only one in Adelaide if I'm correct. If anyone out there has any experience using these machines, any insight would be appreciated.

To purchase from the Enomatic, The Ed provides the customer/taster with a 'credit card', where credits can be purchased and topped up from the register as you see fit. Knowing the place, I can guarantee there will always be something interesting in their Enomatic, but whether you're willing to pay for it is up to you.

As a rough guideline of pricing, I think the Art Series was $4 a pour, $8 a double and $18 a glass. Clonakilla $4.50 a pour, $9 a double and $20 a glass. You be the judge. Most days I'd be happy to pay $18 for a glass of Art Series or $20 for Clonakilla, but with Enomatic, I just wasn't convinced about the state of the wine's freshness, or the environment in which it's presented (does anyone really want to pay $20 for a glass of wine in a bottle shop?) I'd want to get there early on the rotation next time, although I was told the Art Series was drinking better after two weeks.

The Ed's Enomatic credit card

So there we have it. More innovation from my favourite fine wine retailer. Is it the future of wine drinking? I hope not. But I don't have a problem with Enomatic playing its role at fine wine retailers or wine bars. Sure, the prolonged freshness is a plus and allowing customers to taste wines they otherwise might not buy is good (the first set of wines included Hill of Grace, Grange and Chateau d'Yquem - too many credits for me!), but the Enomatic experience is just too sterile for me, and as a consumer, it also takes away one of my most loved aspects of wine tasting; human to human contact.

For more information check out:-
Is there no Australian site?


  1. I also have doubts about how long Enomatic can preserve wine for. I reckon 7 days should be the limit. I think they're really fun though

  2. One of the advantages is to be able to just get a taste. Therefore you can try quite a few wines. I would value this, rather than the drinking experience as such.


  3. Cheers guys. I'm very keen to go back to The Ed's Enomatic now. I just gotta find someone who wants to 'discover' it with me....

  4. In Brisbane we have a venue I'm rather fond of called Bar Barossa. They have an enomatic within along with one in their associated Bottle Shop. I love the fact that I can get to try a glass of somethign like a 2002 Basket Press without having to fork out the $150+ for the bottle.

    Likewise, Jesse, not sure 2-4 weeks is optimum. Shorter timespans are more like it - and with something good you should get through that quickly. Nice post Chris


  5. Thanks Stu.

    Yeah, definitely not totally convinced about 2 weeks being ideal, and I do think the wine bar thing could work more efficiently too (which The Ed kinda have as well).

    I might have to have words :)

    Chris P

  6. Just found another Enomatic, in Adelaide's north-east, at the Reservoir Hotel bottle shop. There seems to be no charge, but the quality of wines available isn't exactly like those at The Ed. Still, I did try an '07 Stocks Shiraz....

  7. We tried one of these machines in Heathcote, it was most unpleasant and words fail us to describe the experience. Will not ever use one of these machines again.

  8. "Enomatic experience is just too sterile for us and as a consumer, it also takes away one of our most loved aspects of wine tasting; human to human contact." Totally agree!
    You receive no information about the wines, the growers, the grapes used, the vines, the locations, the soil, just everything about the experience was unpersonalized. It is an enjoyment talking to the grower about the wines, one cannot receive this information from this Machine.
    Don't care what they paid for these Machines, just remove them.
    Why do tastings? The cost of tastings from the Machine is ridiculous, one may as well just buy a bottle from the Bottle Shop.

  9. WE have installed 2 x 8 Enomatics in the Lounge Bar at the ARK (Arkaba Hotel). We are currently serving 4 whites at 7C and 12 reds at 17C.
    We have had 2 wine tasting session with our staff - most of whom are quite inexperienced with wine - all of whom are really excited about the Enomatic.
    Guests can purchase a taste - 25ml or purchase 75ml or 150ml.
    Wines being served include
    d’Arenberg - The Dead Arm Shiraz
    Two Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz.
    So far no regrets - we are loving the Enomatic!!