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1,000 Points of White

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The days of in-store wine tastings as we know them—oenophiles and freeloaders making small talk with importers as they sip contemplatively from plastic cups—may be over. The future is upon us, in the form of a nifty new gizmo imported from Tuscany and installed in the recently relocated Union Square Wines & Spirits (140 Fourth Ave., at 13th St.; 212-675-8100). The Enomatic wine system stores 48 open bottles, preserving them with argon gas, and dispensing 15-milliliter tastes at the swipe of a card that the store has preprogrammed with an introductory 1,000 points. Points are deducted based on the wine’s value (a 2001 Ridge Monte Bello, at 175, is the biggest splurge), and added in a five-to-one ratio—spend $10 on wine, get 50 points. Getting Italian software to communicate with the shop’s own was a bit of a challenge, though. When something goes wrong, says wine director Jesse Salazar, “it makes an Italian-sounding boing noise.”


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