There is clearly something going on in wine that is not just about new brands, styles, varietals or regions.
Over the past year three new consumer facing technology companies focused on data and software have emerged. On the hardware side two definitively new and one not so new, but rapidly growing company, are changing the way we drink wine.
I find it fascinating that in a consumer product industry like wine, technology is providing insight and transparency for an overly complicated product that demands a level of expertise and certainly some element of trust in your retailer or auction house. From Wine Searcher to Vivino, the consumer wants more insight than the current system can provide and technology is helping to fuel interest in the product.
This holiday for the wine lover in your life there is no shortage of cool wine tech gifts to give.
Vinolytics - My awesome software as a service is ready to take on traditional inventory management and simplify wine management. By driving engagement with wine through actionable insight, collectors and advisors can make more informed decisions about what to drink when ensuring no wine goes to zero. A beautiful, easy user experience gives a snapshot of a collection that provides total values on a market to market basis as well as performance and drinking windows. We are building a platform for collectors and advisors to meet and engage with each other and the market.
Wine Lister- Ella Lister's new 1000 point scale for wine ranking paints the entire picture of a wine. From global demand to liquidity the data provides insight on a wine's value from all angels. A consolidated view of expert opinion along with market insight creates a point scale that gives collectors and the market further data to judge value in the wine.
Everledger- Who doesn't want the gift of Bitcoin this holiday season. Sadly there are lots of wine scrooges out there seeking to sell you something that may not be the real deal. In partnership with Maureen Downey's WineFraud.com Everledger creates a ledger of perfect provenance for tracking wine ownership from winery to cellar helping prevent fraud.
For the wine lover who can't get enough of gadgets, check these wine toys out.
Plum- Two bottles, perfect pour. Plum is the first on demand personal wine machine. Just put your two favorite bottles in the Plum dispenser and for up to 90 days you can enjoy the perfect glass of white or red. Regulated temperature as well as inert gas ensures the wine is not oxidized and enjoyed over time.
Kuvee - These tech wired wine bottles, complete with information screen, will educate the consumer on its merits while being enjoyed for up to 30 days. As part of the Kuvee Club enjoy wines over time with no rush to finish a bottle due to exposure to oxygen.
Coravin- By piercing the cork with a needle while simultaneously injecting inert Argon gas, Coravin allows one to taste a glass of wine from the bottle without ever having to pop a cork. Bottles can last for years and you can enjoy the wine as it evolves over time. The perfect gift for the collector who wants to experience their wine over a month or years.
Whether it is software or hardware I think it is safe to say wine is hot. The market is growing and consumers want transparency and a better understanding of the product. Wine has more UPCs than any other consumer product and more than ever is becoming part of a mass market. Differentiated product requires either more knowledge to engage with the product or a gadget to make it more fun. The joy of wine is in the variability and experience it gives you. If software and gadgets can make wine more educational, manageable and enjoyable than I say bring it on.
Feel free to reach out for advice on gifts or wine for the wine lover in your life.