Le Virtu is classing up drinking from a keg. The Italian restaurant on East Passyunk Avenue recently installed a system of wines on tap that gives imbibers a taste of young vino.
“It’s a different sort of wine experience,” says Francis Cratil-Cretarola, who owns Le Virtu with his wife, Cathy Lee. “It’s fresh and bright. It’s not as structured, the tannins aren’t as developed — it’s an unadulterated expression of the grape.”
In layman’s terms, because the wine hasn’t been aged or stored in wood, the flavor is simpler. And because the vintner doesn’t have to wait to sell it, draft wines can be cheaper.
“In Italy, in France, this is what locals drink at home or at their local trattorie,” Cratil-Cretarola says. “In cultures where wine is consumed at every meal, you’re not going to always want a big, bold, aged wine every time.”
Like beer in a keg – and unlike wine in an opened bottle — the wine isn’t exposed to oxygen, so it stays fresh. The restaurant is currently featuring a red from Piemont, Italy, for $9 and a white from Marche for $8.