Chefs, brothers and owners of Michelin-starred Galvin Restaurants, Chris and Jeff Galvin are collaborating with Uncharted Wines of Bethnal Green to introduce a sustainable solution to wines by the glass.
Striving to keep the environmental impact of the business to a minimum, the Galvin brothers source suppliers with the same values. In today’s competitive climate, customers want to know that the restaurants they choose are making the right decisions for them, with independent businesses providing individual service tailored to their customers.
Running two distinct establishments in linked buildings in Spitalfields, Galvin La Chapelle luxury dining and Galvin HOP Bistrot and Bar, this approach is followed by Chris Galvin and his brother Jeff.
Chris Galvin said: “We are all about family and sustainability. The family is our team, our suppliers and our customers present and future.
“We train our team on a constant basis both sending them on courses and on the job. We support and develop rather than criticise and restrict. Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. I take that to include being faithful to carefully chosen suppliers, buying the best produce – locally in the UK whenever we can – and constantly looking for new ways to ensure we reduce the environmental impact of everything we do.”
Stored in recyclable 20 or 30 litre lightweight kegs and served at optimal temperature, Uncharted Wines of Bethnal Green offers a selection of over 70 on-demand wines. Reducing waste and ultimately environmental impact, the new solution consequently does not involve bottles, corks, caps or foils.
Chris Galvin said: “People don’t realise how hard it is to efficiently manage wine by the glass. What’s supposed to happen is that the server notes the date and time the bottle is opened in pencil. But under pressure to serve a busy bar this rarely happens.
“So, when the next shift comes on, no-one has a clue how good the wine is. The first person to find out is the customer. But, being British, well we don’t like to complain, do we? We just don’t come back!”
Confessing he was sceptical about the tap concept at first, Chris Galvin ensured that a bottle was on hand to compare before sampling the wine.
He enthused: “Blow me, the wine from the tap was at least as good, sometimes better than from the bottle. As we all know wine always tastes better in magnum than in bottle. Well, this container is 20 litres so imagine how happy that wine is. And every glass is served at optimal temperature, not from a bottle that could have been standing on a shelf for half an hour.”
The result, the duo claim, is a wine that not only reduces environmental impact but is also of repeatedly high quality. Chris Galvin plans to explore further, sourcing and working with smaller producers.
He said: “Rupert Taylor from Uncharted Wines and I are planning just such a trip in the next few weeks to see what gems we can unearth. Also, if someone comes into the bar and wants to try a wine, we can serve a mouthful for them to taste.
“And then we can take expensive wines which in other ways we could never sell by the glass and do just that. The system allows for up to nine weeks life – and for a top-quality French wine that is a game changer.”