Even in Portland, a city with so many microbreweries and brew pubs that it’s been nicknamed “Beervana,” the handpicked and constantly changing lineup of esoteric labels at Higgins is a standout.

Apart from skilled and curious mixologists, who else knows about bitters, that under-appreciated collection of “secret” potions on the backbar? Within this category are complex spirits that stimulate the appetite, aid digestion, and make a good drink much better.

Restaurateurs at the forefront of wine preservation technology can attest to the system’s financial merits. Wine savvy guests, who are more apt to try something new, know what to look for in a strong by-the-glass program. Once they are confident that their wine is being served at its peak freshness, they are coming back, building relationships with servers and getting bolder in their tastes.

Today’s wine savvy guests are looking to be enticed. They are drinking better wine at home where they have control of the quality, and know the great importance of correct serving temperatures as well as the importance of freshness and control of oxidation. They are looking to restaurants, now more than ever, for that added value – that component of luxury – that is most difficult to recreate.


[Editor's Note: Enjoy our four-part series on wine preservation systems, by-the-glass programs, and how it may impact your business.]

Not so long ago, Americans purchased Chile’s “fighting varietals” for everyday home consumption. But when it came to dining out, Chilean wines were thought of as déclassé—restaurant hosts wouldn’t think of listing them. Today, restaurant beverage managers stock the best wines from Chile because they know that for quality and value at all wine list price points, the current crop of Chilean wines are winners. Chile’s superpremium Cabernets and “super-Chilean” Bordeaux blends are world-class, the best of the whites are crisp and complex, and the country offers a splendid, one-of-a-kind wine—Carmenère. My, how times have changed.