Everything is becoming “smart” nowadays. When it comes to winemaking, technology is playing a major role in almost all process, from grape planting and picking, to juicing and ageing.
One startup is taking wine technology a step further by making wine bottles that can get an internet connection, among other things.
Tech in a Bottle
The hangover for wines can start as soon as you open the bottle. Especially for red wines, we let the drink ‘breathe’ first before taking a sip, but more often than not, we can’t finish the whole bottle. We then have to put the cork back in and store it back in the fridge. The next time we pour a drink, however, you probably know the wine doesn’t taste as ‘fresh’.
This is where Kuvée comes in.
Kuvée, a company that’s rewriting the rules of at-home wine experience, recently introduced the world’s first smart wine bottle. The new product keeps wine fresh for 30 days and allows drinkers to enjoy the many choices and varieties of a restaurant wine list all from the comforts of your home, anytime.
The refillable case features a patented technology that prevents open wine bottles from spoiling. You’ll also be able to impress dinner guests with its built-in touchscreen that tells you the wine’s history, as well as recommended food pairings. You’ll get tips on how to serve the food and drink, receive personal wine recommendations, and re-order another bottle directly from the device.
The bottle is a two-part system. The bottle, roughly a foot tall, comes with a full-color LED touchscreen where the front label of a standard wine bottle should be. The container itself is hollow, and is chargeable via an included docking station.
Simply unscrew the twist cap from the Kuvée wines you want to open, place the Kuvée device over the wine bottle, and “click” the two together. The device has a proprietary spout mechanism that keeps air from getting into the refill bottle.
What’s more, it lets you open several bottles to taste, without worrying about whether you’ll be able to finish it before the wine turns.
When you place the Kuvée device on a Kuvée wine, the front touchscreen will recognise it and display a set of relevant information about the vino. Not only will the digital label automatically show up, you can also go through information about the winemaker, taste profiles, and food-pairing suggestions.
The information is accessed and presented via Kuvée’s server, through an onboard WiFi connection. Kuvée co-founder Vijay Manwani says their product and its features will eventually offer a Netflix-like recommendation engine that will suggest wines you might want to try.
Moreover, if you find a wine you’d like to try, you can order it directly via the device’s interface.
A Fruitful Venture
You can get Kuvée for a limited-time offer of $179. It’s currently available for pre-order at their website and partner stores. Customers who pre-order will get a Kuvée Bottle and four hand-selected wines, worth a retail value of $350.
Kuvée will start shipping orders to California and Massachusetts residents this Octobe. It begin shipping to other markets this December and early 2017.
The company has raised $6 million in venture funding from Bolt, Founder Collective, General Catalyst, and other high-profile angel investors.
"The U.S. wine industry is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, and the demographics of wine lovers are changing rapidly. But despite these shifts, the industry has been slow to innovate beyond the glass bottle and cork," Manwani was quoted as saying.
"Much like a restaurant wine list, Kuvée lets drinkers enjoy a curated selection of wines, one glass at a time, adding a new level of choice, personalization and convenience to the at-home wine experience."
For now, the Kuvée device is compatible with select California wines, including vinos from Bonny Doon Vineyard, B.R. Cohn, Pine Ridge, Schug, and more. The 750ml bottles range from $15 to $50.
"Connected devices are continuing to transform our homes, from the living room to the kitchen and now, the dining table," said Founder Collective managing partner Eric Paley. "Kuvée has assembled a world-class team of entrepreneurs, engineers, and wine lovers to create an entirely new way to experience wine at home, as the winemaker intended, with freshness, personal discovery, and convenience at the core of the experience."
The Importance of Storage
The concept behind Kuvée is one we’ve always been advocating here at Singapore Wine Vault: that is, storage (be it for your wine collection or a single bottle) is important to enjoying vino.
The Kuvée is ideal for your in-home wine collection, while our wine storage services is best for your bigger, more extensive wine portfolio. Just like the Kuvée device, we use state-of-the-art technology in storing your precious collection, ensuring we keep it in its best possible state–perfect for whenever you decide to open it.