With the swipe of a card, guests can take control of their wine tasting experience at Vinotopia, one of Legacy Hall’s newest additions and a creation of FB Society.
Placed in the center of the Plano food hall’s first floor, Vinotopia display wines from across the globe in a series of steel dispensers with spouts. These displays includes wines from anywhere as far as New Zealand, Sicily and Chile to domestics from places like Napa and Texas.
Ramirez, who has spent more the last 11 years working in the wine industry, and her team of certified wine experts help guide first-time tasters and more experienced wine noses around Vinotopia’s selections.
The process starts with loading money onto a card. Then, guests can place that card into any of the dispensers and select a 1 oz. tasting, 2.5 oz. half glass or 5 oz. glass pour. Current selections start at $2 for tastes and $8 for a full glass.
There’s no standard for how guests choose to pour, Ramirez said, making Vinotopia a flexible experience for someone looking for a wine tasting, a glass to pair with food from around Legacy Hall or to settle down with a bottle of wine.
“We oftentimes do have guests come in with their tray, or while they’re waiting for their food, say, ‘Hey, I’m about to have this food from this place, what should I get?'” Ramirez said. “And it gives us an opportunity to pair with things across the board.”
For those looking to explore, Vinotopia’s wines are grouped by style and region to make finding new varieties easy, Ramirez said.
“The chances are, if you like one of the wines, then you’ll like the wines on either side of it as well,” she said.
Each bottle is loaded into a special vacuum-sealed system to ensure that the wine being poured is fresh. Bottles are available to purchase for each of the wines on tap, and a selection of bottled wines not on tap are also available in the bar area.
Selections will slowly evolve as more of Plano gets a taste of Vinotopia, Ramirez said. From there, the team will start looking at things to change based on what guests are drinking, what guests are asking for and what other cool items are coming around on the market.
“We’re gonna try to keep it as steady as we possibly can, for the next few months to give everybody the opportunity to come in and get to know us and get a great introduction,” she said. “The world of wine is always evolving and we want to definitely… be right there on the cutting edge of that.”
For Ramirez, who has experience in fine dining, distribution and harvesting, pairing guests with the perfect wine is her favorite thing to do, she said.
“I really love exposing guests to new wine and having watching them have their wine ‘aha’ moments,” Ramirez said. “[I love] being able to make [wine] approachable, and make it fun… And that’s what we aim to do here.”
Vinotopia is currently open every day at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano. More information on the wine spot can be found at www.shopvinotopia.com.