CHICAGO - Aside from the fact that an entire separate section of McCormick Place was turned into a tasting room for the International Wine, Spirits, and Beer Event, the main floor at the National Restaurant Association expo had a number of exhibitors showing ways to deal with an apparent growing interest in wine as a component of a dining experience.

Exhibitors detailed the large number of options in serving glasses, decanting a bottle, ways to pour the exact amount, and - oh yes - keeping specific wines at specific temperatures through new refrigeration technology.

It would appear to be a growing market for refrigeration contractors. Here are a couple of examples of newer technology.

A company calledVinotemp( had a storage system with what was described as “twin cooling systems and advanced digital technology to maintain wines’ proper serving and storing temperatures in two different climate zones.” In fact, the company offered options ranging from self-contained, split or ducted cooling.

In general, the company described its standard units as using “the best components of coils, compressors and copper tubing with HFC-134a refrigerant. These units use collected water to humidify the cabinet.”

Another company wasWine Saver( The ideal for the restaurant owner is that up to 20 bottles of wine can be opened and connected to taps for filling of glasses by pushing buttons. But with those many bottles open at once, the temperature and humidity control is critical. So the unit comes with a partition to separate white wines from red wines, thus creating two cooling chambers. The compressor driven cooling system uses argon gas as its refrigerant.

Publication date:07/04/2011