Pour It On

New wine preservation and serving technology comes to Loudoun

With the opening of the Parallel Wine Bistro in Ashburn, a customizable wine and dine experience has come to Loudoun.

The bistro, which opened in May, features the WineStation technology developed by Napa Technology in California.

“Imagine Starbucks, but a wine bar,” said Nick Moezidis, co-founder of Napa Technology. “But wine isn’t like coffee. It spoils more quickly. We realized that there was an opportunity there.”

The WineStation was developed in 2004 and first sold in 2007. Using argon gas, it preserves a bottle of wine in a self-service machine. A customer pays for a wine debit card in any amount desired. He inserts the card in the machine, where he can choose between a taste (one ounce), a half glass (three ounces) or a full glass (five ounces.) The cost is deducted from the card as the wine pours, so if the bottle runs short, the card will only be charged for the amount actually served.

This technology allows a customer to have a taste from an expensive bottle of wine. Usually, when buying a bottle of expensive wine, “if they buy it, and they don’t like it, that’s too bad, because they’ve already spent the money,” said bistro owner Jason Bursey.

The technology also reduces the risk of “shrinkage,” which, in addition to wine wasted by spoilage, refers to wine accidentally spilled by waiters as they serve it to customers.

At the bistro, customers sit and enjoy tapas, or small plates of appetizers, with a glass of wine, or stand in front of the 32 wine selections showcased in the WineStation machines. The wines are arranged in order – from lighter whites at one end to bold, dry reds at the other.

This makes for a “casual, social atmosphere where people can hang out and drink wine and beer with food to complement it without that three-hour dinner reservation,” Bursey said.

WineStation technology is sold in 11 countries and in hotels like Marriott, Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton, and in grocery stores like Whole Foods and Kroger. Napa Technology will announce a new champagne self-serve station at the end of the year.

Parallel Wine Bistro
43135 Broadlands Center Plaza, in Broadlands.