wine Features
Incanto's Wine Collars Take the Mystery Out of Wine, Or Not


By Michann Thompson

Found in San Francisco: Decorative and informative wine collars served at Incanto, in the Noe Valley. With a rotating list of more than 30 wines by the glass, the restaurant serves each glass of wine with a circular paper tag slipped around the stem of the glass (like a wine charm). On each collar, a transparent label is affixed stating the name of the wine, along with its producer and vintage.

Incanto's Wine Collars on StarChefs.comEdward Ruiz, Incanto’s Wine Director, says the tags are a “nice touch, initially something that worked well as a marketing tool, but later became educational as well. People save the tags and bring them back. If we no longer carry the wine, we know what to suggest that will be similar.”

People also use them to shop for a bottle of a wine they have enjoyed by the glass. No more scrambling for a scrap of paper or napkin to scribble down the name of a wine they’ll probably lose before their next trip to the wine store. Guests can simply take the collar from their glass and toss it in their bag or wallet. They can even turn the collar over to its blank flip side and write their own tasting notes. Ruiz credits Incanto owner, Mark Pastore, with having discovered the unique labels in wine country. From there, they have made their way into several Bay area restaurants, including Incanto.

Incanto also cleverly uses the collars to offer guests a mystery wine flight. Three different wines selected by the staff are served in 2.5-ounce pours with the descriptive collar face down. Guests can broaden their horizons through authentic blind tasting and then turn the collar over to reveal the previously unidentified wines.

Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
1550 Church Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 641-4500

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   Published: April 2006