As we mentioned Thursday, Wegmans Allentown debuted their wine-by-the-glass program Friday. We stopped by to take some photos and see how the whole thing worked.
First you must go to the cash register in the cafe area (also where you’d most likely be paying for your prepared food). You take what looks like a sort of gift card and the cashier scans it and verifies your ID. Unfortunately Wegmans does 100% ID checking so even if you’re obviously far over the age of 21 you’ll still get carded. You can buy $10 or $20 increments. Once your card is purchased you can head on upstairs to the wine machine.
Wegmans was doing free tasting and cheese samples for the first day but I figured I’d get a card and try either a full glass or two half glasses to get an idea of how it worked. According to the Wegmans employee I was only the second person to do so all day. They didn’t seem very knowledgeable about the wine, heavily over-stating the prices of the bottles that were in the machine, but were helpful otherwise.
The machines have two price tiers: $1 sample, $3 half glass, $6 full glass or $2 sample, $5 half glass, $10 full glass. Unfortunately there’s no “leave the bottle” option. I opted to try two half glasses to use up my $10 card. The machines are pretty straight forward: you insert your card, select the wine and size you want, place your glass under the dispenser, and voila. The Wegmans employee attending the machine said for now the wines will remain the same however in the future they plan to rotate them out. I think it’s a cool, but novel idea. I could get used to the idea of stopping in Wegmans and having a bite to eat with a glass of wine after work. I personally don’t think it will be heavily used by patrons but it makes a nice addition to the Wegmans Cafe. Each display also lists what the wine would pair well with from the cafe. The machine is only in operation from 11a-9p. A list of all of the wines, prices, and pictures are below.
$1 Sample, $3 Half Glass, $6 Full Glass
2008 Hob Nob Chardonnay
2008 Smoking Loon Pinot Grigio
2008 Covey Run Riesling
2009 Hob Nob Pinot Noir
Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Blackstone Merlot
$2 Sample, $5 Half Glass, $10 Full Glass
2008 Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio
2009 Castle Rock Pinot Noir