Wine

Barrels of Fun

Restaurants take a cue from the frat house
TWO Urban Licks

The idea of serving wine out of a keg isn't altogether new: Bars in Italy and France have poured wines straight out of the barrel for years.

But the practice has recently been adopted--and updated--Stateside by forward-thinking restaurants who've found that serving wine from kegs is more efficient (the wine keeps longer) and eco-friendly (kegs require less packaging and the shipping weight is lower). And wineries like Red Truck and DeLoach in the Russian River Valley are also getting in the game by selling mini kegs directly to consumers.

Here are three spots where you can join a more sophisticated keg party:

Atlanta The country's most extensive selection of wine by the keg can be found at TWO Urban Licks, which launched its program in 2004. A refrigerated tower holds an amazing 42 barrels of wine (pictured) that use a gravity-flow system to pour its wine. Look for top labels like Corison, Teira and Etude to match with dishes like bronzed scallops or prime rib with rainbow cauliflower. 820 Ralph McGill Blvd.; 404-522-4622 or twourbanlicks.com

Los Angeles Father's Office started as an intimate beer bar in Santa Monica and later opened a second location in Culver City's historic Helms Bakery District. Here, eight wines are served via a custom tap system that pours glasses or carafes of whites and reds from cult wineries like Melville and Flowers. 3229 Helms Ave.; 310-736-2224 or fathersoffice.com

San Francisco Local favorite The Slanted Door recently opened the latest of its more casual Out the Door spin-offs in the Fillmore District. This neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant uses customized soda kegs for its dozen or so wines on tap, including Pinot Noir from Spot on Cellars and Chardonnay from Lioco. 2232 Bush St.; 415-923-9575 or outthedoors.com

TWO Urban Licks 820 Ralph McGill Blvd Atlanta GA 30308 404-522-4622 Father's Office 3229 Helms Ave. Los Angeles CA 90034 310-736-2224 Out the Door 2232 Bush St. San Francisco CA 94115 415-923-9575

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