So, this takes us to trend number two from my time at the WSWA Convention & Exposition. I always heard from my mother that “what’s inside matters.” Still the case, but why can’t what is outside be streamlined and functional?
The first vendor that I encountered was Bluebird Wines, who offered a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in an astro pouch with California grapes from Monterrey and Mendocino. Priced at $17.99 for what is equivalent to two bottles, it is the perfect boating, game day or picnic wine. The Chardonnay was more my style, which makes sense considering I’d probably consume this outside. Still not for sale in Texas, but Bluebird is currently distributing in ten states with an eye on nationwide distribution.
The second exhibitor that I met, Copa di Vino, has the brilliant idea to offer single serve wines in disposable, individually packaged glasses (hard plastic actually) for $2.99. When James Martin, the owner, was in France celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary, he saw this innovative packaging, secured the first license in the United States and built a company around it. It’s brilliantly simple – remove the cover and sip. No spillage nor waste nor a commitment to drinking a full bottle of wine. Martin recently participated on the ABC reality show Shark Tank and was offered an investment in the single-serve technology only. He declined because he believes that the technology side and the wine side should be integrated. He spent tireless hours launching Copa as a proof of concept and is currently talking with wineries all over North America to provide the juice.
So, your next question is how is the wine? Some of it is actually good. Currently sourced from Columbia Valley grapes, I enjoyed the Merlot and the Pinot Grigio. And, some are currently being reconsidered with different juice than the ones that I tried – and that is also a good thing. With all the bad wines by the glass being served out there for ridiculous prices, I love that for under $3, I can get something decent at my local convenience store if I happen to be going to an outdoor park, movie theater, etc.
And, heck, if they can figure out how to do reserve wines that resemble stemware, I’m all in. Keep an eye on Copa di Vino and Bluebird – they have the potential to change the way we drink wine in places where we usually have limited options.