LAKEVIEW — Boystown wine shop Paired Wine will soon offer in-store tastings with high-tech Enomatic machines.
Each machine connects to several bottles of wine to offer evenly measured pours. Wine is preserved for at least three weeks once a bottle is opened by eliminating extra oxygen with argon gas.
"I want you to be able to try" our wines, owner Joseph Giannini said Wednesday night when he presented his plans at a Triangle Neighbors meeting.
"Who's going to walk into a store and go, 'Yeah, here's $80. Let me have that bottle of wine.' And then you go home, and it's horrible," he said. "What if you could try it first and find one you really love?"
Giannini has a packaged-goods liquor license for his store at 3325 N. Halsted St. that he said allows him to sell three one-ounce pours — nothing more.
The entrepreneur is seeking tavern and "public place of amusement" licenses to install the machines, which would hold 24 bottles.
Residents at Wednesday's meeting backed the proposal. And Erin Duffy, who handles community outreach for Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), said the alderman was working with Giannini to create licenses with provisions that would prevent late-night or rowdy events.
Giannini, who has owned Paired Wine since February 2013, thinks the wine-tasting machines would be a treat for Boystown.
"It's phenomenal because there's nothing like it in the neighborhood," he said.
Paired Wine would feature three machines: two small, chilled units that can each store four bottles of white wine; and a five-foot-tall circular unit that can hold 16 bottles of red wine.
Giannini said customers would be given a card that they could insert into each machine to track how many pours they take. Prices could range from $1 to $10, depending on the bottle.
"Our goal is to have maybe one $250 bottle in there, where it's a $10 taste just for the hell of it," Giannini said. "Like, 'I want to see what a $250 bottle tastes like.' For $10, why not?"
The entrepreneur also hopes to capitalize on Boystown tourism. He said tourists frequently stop by during the day but never buy bottles because they don't want to carry things around.
The Enomatic machines could create a fun, interactive experience to keep people in the neighborhood, he said.
Giannini hopes to get license approval and install the machines within 60 days.
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