Modo arigato: Three cheers for Beijing’s first card-based wine machines

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Three cheers for newly opened Modo for installing Beijing’s first card-based wine machines:

Cheer 1 because open wine can be stored in the machines for up to three weeks, thus making it less risky to include unusual and expensive options on the by-the-glass list. (Typically, bars and restaurants are only able to store wine for a few days and will thus go for relatively inexpensive fast-selling options.) The initial lineup of 16 wines at Modo bears this out as it includes atypical options such as Albarino from Spain, Gamay Noir from New Zealand, Malbec from Argentina, Gruner Veltliner from Austria, Pinotage from South Africa, Vermentino from Italy, and Zinfandel from the United States. Alex Molina, who manages Modo and sibling restaurant Mosto, says customers are more likely to buy a bottle of a lesser-known wine if they can sample it first.

Cheer 2 for the range of pour sizes. Insert your card and you have three options for each wine–15 ml, 75 ml, and 150 ml. (A full glass at a bar is usually 125 ml to 150 ml.) A 25 ml pour is small but enough for a few mouthfuls to see if you like the wine and want to splurge on a full glass. And the small pours start at RMB11, with full glasses from RMB60.

Cheer 3 for letting consumers try wine in peace. Wine is intimidating for many people and while there are many friendly and helpful wine experts in Beijing, there are also some condescending and tiresome ones. I like the idea of having a DIY space where I can go with friends to try some unusual wines in a laid-back setting.

Wine drinkers in Shanghai and Hong Kong already have access to these machines and it is good to see them showing up here. I hope they catch on and that someday I’ll be able to find one with a bunch vintages of the same wine, another with Pinot Noir from six continents, and other fun mixes.

Modo arigato: Three cheers for Beijing’s first card-based enomatic wine machines

6 thoughts on “Modo arigato: Three cheers for Beijing’s first card-based wine machines”

  1. without casting aspersions on the operators, i do hope they maintain and clean the machine properly. as we all know, china isn’t exactly known for diligence in this arena. also, do they indicate the date a bottle is opened?

    all that said, i hope to give it a try soon.

  2. Hi guys,

    Thanks for your comments and concerns.

    The Enomatic wine dispensing machines are all about convenience and giving patrons the chance to explore and taste premium wines at affordable prices with the options of selecting by the tasting portion, half or full glass

    As in our sister restaurant “Mosto”, we constantly rotate, clean and change our wine labels in the machines to ensure quality, variety and match our season menu with the right wine pairing selection.

    How it works?
    Itʼs simple and fun! Just ask our staff for a Modo pre-paid wine card, add your desired value,
    select your wine label and tasting portion size, place the glass underneath the tap and off you go.

    Donʼt feel like self-serving?
    No problems! Just ask any of our staff members, and we will serve your favorite wine at the convenience of your table.

    Feeling like going for a full bottle?
    Check our wine list that includes over 80 great labels from around the world.

  3. Its kickass. Went earlier this week and had a great time. The staff are knowledgeable and the machines are a fun way to try a number of different wines.

    My only negative comment would be that its easy to lose track of how much you’re spending, since its all from the card…

  4. Really enjoyed this the other day. Tried a good variety of things and was pretty inexpensive when having 25ml measures.

    It’s also a nice change to know how much wine you’re actually getting for your RMB as well, as most wine lists here don’t seem to specify pour size. More please!

  5. Joined Charlie (above) for a night of wine tasting Modo. It was a blast to “sip” several wines that I would normally never be bold enough to order by the glass let alone by the bottle. I stuck with the 25ml tasting portion while Mr. Charlie ended up with many full glasses. I’ll definitely be going back for more.

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