The wine world enjoys ever-increasing popularity and attention, and respectively, the wine news are coming at us at a neck breaking speed as well. I wanted to share with you some of the most interesting updates I recently came across.
First, an interesting update from Coravin. I’m sure the name rings the bell, but just in case it is not, Coravin produces a wine gadget, which can be somewhat classified in the “wine preserver” category – Coravin helps you to pull small amount of wine from the bottle through the cork without much impacting the wine, thus allowing aficionados to enjoy their prized bottle of Petrus slowly over the years. Coravin recently got $22 million in funding from the group of investors. One of the projects touted by the company is a “flavor booster”, for the lack of the better term – special attachment to the main Coravin device will allow consumers to specify the desired level of acidity, fruit and tannins, and the “favor booster” will be able to affect the wine on the molecular level, delivering ultimately tailored treat to the individual palates. The project is well underway, however, it is still mostly in the experimental stages. The rumor on the street had it that Riedel, producer of the finest glassware, is on the lookout for the same technology, so it will be interesting to see which company will deliver better solution first.
Now we need to move from Earth to space. Well, okay, not exactly, not yet anyway. The NASA and Space-X recently started a collaborative project aiming at converting wine into a paste concentrate. As Space-X is readying their space tourism program, having wine on the board of the spaceship is highly desirable. However, transporting the wine in its usual form – bottles – is extremely impractical as bottles are both bulky and heavy. Having the wine in “just add the water” form would be extremely beneficial. Of course, the key is to preserve the taste and uniqueness, to ensure that every wine is recognisable and maintains its individuality. Some of the best wineries in the world are sponsoring this work (Latour, Krug, Penfolds, Antinori, Mondavi, Heitz just to name a few) and are very much interested in the results. The work is only in the initial stages so we will need to keep an eye on it.
Now, let’s talk again about the paste – this time, a toothpaste out of all! If you find the flavors of the toothpaste boring, you are not alone – mint, peppermint, really? That’s all we can have? What if we had an amazing glass of wine right before the bedtime, now we need to use that mint toothpaste to destroy that wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon flavor lingering in the mouth? It seems that Colgate understands us, wine lovers. Colgate recently announced an upcoming availability of the wine-flavored toothpaste. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay flavors are expected to hit the market first, and Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are in the works. The price was not revealed yet, but it is expected to be close to the $10 per tube. Crest and Sensodyne are expected to announce similar products in the near future.
The name Nomacork might not be familiar to many of the wine consumers. Most of the corks used in winemaking today are produced from the bark of the tree. The reason corks are such great enclosures for the wine is due to the fact that while cork fully retains the wine inside the bottle, it is still porous enough to allow trace amounts of oxygen to get through and reach the wine – and oxygen is very important for the evolution of the wine in the bottle. Nomacork produces so-called “engineered corks” which can be constructed for the different levels of oxygen penetration, thus allowing winemakers to use the ideal enclosures for the different types of wines, depending on how slow or quick they would like the wine to age. While this all sounds too technical for the wine consumers, Nomacork recently announced the brand new type of engineered cork, this time squarely looking after the wine consumers. The new type of cork will have a microchip inside and will allow consumers to select the month and the year when they want to drink the wine, and cork will automatically change its properties to ensure the wine will be at its peak at the required time. Nomacork filed more than 50 patents associated with this technology and this work might be one of the most guarded secrets in the wine research today.
Over the last few years, violent “wine riots” shook South of France, with French vignerons dumping wines and setting fires to protest imports of the cheap Spanish wine juice. The unexpected offer to help came unexpectedly from the world renowned supplier of the fine meats, D’Artagnan. The company, known for its gourmet meats, game, duck, foie gras and lots more, offered to buy the inexpensive Spanish wine in the large quantities. Based on D’Artagnan research, it appears that most of the water in ducks’ diet can be perfectly replaced with wine, which leads to the much tastier meat and unbelievable smooth and delicious foie gras. It was also stated that red and white wines create different flavor profile of the meat, so soon we are going to see ever tasting products available from D’Artagnan.
That’s all I have for you for today. Cheers!
Let me start with something a bit unusual. Generally we don’t mix beer and wine. However, some innovative winemakers started experimenting with adding hops to their wines creating new and refreshing beverages which greatly appeal to millennials and generation Y. Not to miss the bandwagon as they did with the craft beers, Budweiser announced that they acquired a small winery in California and the new product, called BudMyWine, will appear soon in the supermarkets next to you. The initial release of BudMyWine will be packaged in the standard 6-pack of .33 tin cans, and will include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. BudMyWine Light, boasting measly 49 calories per can, is expected to hit the store shelves closer to the Christmas season. With this development, I’m really curious who Budweiser will be mocking in the SuperBowl 2017 commercial…
Next, the wine is about to be taken to “where no man has gone before”. Elon Musk, the multi-talented entrepreneur behind SpaceX program, which has the goal of “enabling people to live on other planets”, recently decided to evaluate the effects of space travel on wine in a bottle. SpaceX teamed up with none less than Château Mouton Rothschild, which will produce a special bottling of its popular Mouton Cadet Chilean wines, which will take a voyage in space for the duration of about 12 month. The wine will receive a special label and will be called Space Cadet. About 1,000 cases will travel into the space. Upon return, the wine will be sold through the auction, and it seems that numerous collectors already started signing up so they wouldn’t miss their chance. Who knows, SpaceX and Mouton Rothschild might be onto something – 200 years ago, hugely popular Madeira was an accidental result of the ocean voyage – Space Cadet might start another cult wine revolution.
It is political season in the United States, so obviously wine is not immune to the political interests. Not to be outdone by Donald Trump who is affiliated with eponymous winery in Virginia, supposedly the biggest one on the East Coast, Hillary Clinton just announced an agreement to acquire Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, New York, the oldest winery in the United States. Mrs. Clinton stated that winemaking team will stay in place at Brotherhood winery. One of the Brotherhood Winery flagship wines, 1839 Cabernet Sauvignon, will be produced as a limited release under the name “White House Dreams”, picturing Hilary Clinton with the White House in the background. The wine will be available in July at a retail price of about $100, and is expected to be an instant hit among Mrs. Clinton supporters.
And here is the last update I have for you for today. As you might know, Playboy Magazine already ventured into the world of wine, first with the wine column written by the talented wine educator Joe Roberts a.k.a. 1WineDude, and then with the wine club. Few weeks ago, Playboy announced the new wine club, called “For your eyes only”. Playboy managed to sign an agreement with an undisclosed cult wine producer in California, and will offer a line of luscious, sexy wines to the very limited number of lucky mailing list subscribers. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon will be available in the first release, and the wines will be limited to the one three-pack of each per subscriber. The wines will be called Double Pleasure, and each bottle label will feature one of the Playboy cover models (naked, of course), going all the way back to 1953 – and new labels will be produced for each release. Each bottle will be wrapped in gold-accented black parchment paper; the wine will be priced at $450 for the 3 pack, plus shipping. It seems that the mailing list had been already sold out, so waiting list is now the only option for those who wants to get a taste of Double Pleasure.
That’s all I have for you for today. Until the next time – cheers!
This post is a part of the Wine Apps series, introducing different wine apps available on the market. In this series, I offer all the interested Wine App makers an opportunity to present their applications to the readers of this blog in a short and concise way. Today I would like to introduce to you the wine app called CorkSharing. This blog post is written by Bryan Petro, CEO & Founder of CorkSharing. Please note that this post is provided as is, strictly as a service to my readers and it doesn’t constitute my endorsement of the app.
CorkSharing is one of the world’s first marketplaces for wine enthusiasts to schedule and book wine tastings, winery tours, and wine events from wineries around the world. In addition to its online platform, CorkSharing now has a mobile application available for Android and iOS users, making it easy for wine lovers to book on the go.
The CorkSharing app was designed with ease-of-use in mind. Built-in geolocation functionality makes finding nearby wineries and wine tasting events a breeze. With wine tourism on the rise, this feature is particularly useful for wine tourists that are exploring new wine regions. Additionally, the search capabilities allow users to search for events based on a number of criteria (city, date, price, varietals). Currently, 450 wineries in 32 US states and 19 countries are registered with CorkSharing, making CorkSharing’s app the best friend of any wine tourist. Once the right experience is found, the user can reserve and pay for a tasting using CorkSharing’s secure mobile payment platform, and manage their bookings through the CorkSharing itinerary tool. Users even receive an electronic ticket which can be used for admittance to the event.
Wine tourists aren’t the only ones benefiting from CorkSharing’s innovative new app. Wineries and hosts are also embracing the technology as a means to generate additional revenue. The app allows wineries and hosts the ability to manage reservations directly from the mobile interface. Wineries can receive reservation requests and approve guests from anywhere they have coverage. Additionally, CorkSharing empowers wineries by providing them with more on-the-go control over reservations. While other reservation platforms make it so that once a user books a session, the winery or host has no choice but to accept the booking, CorkSharing’s two-step validation process gives wineries the power to approve or decline a reservation should scheduling conflicts, private events, insufficient staffing, or other issues arise. To help wineries manage their incoming CorkSharing reservations, a ticketing tool has been built into the app. Guests can simply show the host their printed or electronic ticket and the host can use the app to scan the ticket and confirm validity.
With its mobile app, CorkSharing is making the wine industry more accessible, particularly to members of the younger demographic who are increasingly reliant on mobile reservation platforms. By bringing together wine lovers and wineries through mobile technologies, all parties benefit and the wine industry is made a little more innovative every day.
CorkSharing mobile app can be downloaded today at CorkSharing.com/Mobile.
This post is a part of the Wine Apps series, introducing different wine apps available on the market. In this series, I offer all the interested Wine App makers an opportunity to present their applications to the readers of this blog in a short and concise way. Today I would like to introduce to you the wine app called Winery Passport. This blog post is written by Scott Stanchak, Creator of the Winery Passport application (you can follow Scott on twitter @ScottStanchak). Please note that this post is provided as is, strictly as a service to my readers and it doesn’t constitute my endorsement of the app.
Winery Passport has been helping users discover tasting rooms at the wineries for almost two years. The mobile app, available for iOS and Android, came about when creator Scott Stanchak was at a wine tasting, but had forgotten his paper passport book. Instead of asking for a second one, he knew the passport should live on his most personal device.
Winery Passport assists users in finding wineries (more than 5,000 of them) from across the United States and Canada. Users can view details about each winery and stamp their passport once they complete a visit, or add it to their wish list. Once a stamp is made, users can share the trip on Facebook and Twitter, to brag a little bit, of course.
Users can store details about each tasting, including a winery rating, photo and favorite wines, in their winery journal. Then, if they connect with friends and family, they can share those journal details, or see the details from the others. This social component helps in the winery visit decision-making process – since there are so many to choose from.
A user’s app experience doesn’t end once they’ve left the tasting room. Wineries they’ve stamped at, or have on their wish list, can send messages that land in the user’s inbox. These messages contain wine and tasting offers. A push notification lets users know when new messages are received.
Winery Passport is currently available for free to download on iTunes and Google Play.
Here are some useful links:
So many things are happening in and around of the world of wine that I had to share some of the latest updates with you.
Coravin, the maker of the Coravin™ Wine Access Technology, announced that the company recently finished development of the patented wine fingerprinting algorithm, which allows to uniquely identify all different wines made in the world. Using this algorithm, Coravin is planning to complete within the next 5-6 months the creation of the database of all the wines ever made. The next version of the popular Coravin™ Wine Access appliance will not only allow you to enjoy your prized wines without pulling the cork, but will also automatically identify year, grape(s) and producer of the wine, and provide a prediction as to for how long the wine will continue to evolve in the cellar. The new Coravin gadget will also serve as a deterrent against fake wine, as it will be able to tell you if the wine you are drinking doesn’t match information on the label. Coravin is accepting pre-orders now and expect to start shipping the new device in the first half of 2015 – make sure to order yours now as it is expected to be sold out of pre-orders within the first week.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s wedding seems to be occupying the thoughts of everyone nowadays, and it seems that everybody want to be a part of it. I’m sure you heard that Burger King offered to provide all the food for Kanye and Kim’s wedding. Now Korbel, the famed producer of California Champagne, is offering not only to supply all the champagne for the wedding, but they also want to provide an unlimited access to any amount of champagne to Kim Kardashian for any occasions when she will feel a la Marylin Monroe and would want to take a bubbly bath.
You probably read recently that sales of Prosecco worldwide surpassed sales of French Champagne in terms of volume shipments. This news is not taken well by the bubbly greats, and based on the unconfirmed rumors, Krug Champagne, one of the most venerable producers, entered the talks with Zonin Prosecco about purchasing the company. It seems that Zonin’s witty TV commercials had a great effect on Krug’s top management, and they believe such an acquisition will be a great asset in the Krug’s portfolio. The exact amount of possible transaction is unknown.
Wine Advocate leaked that Robert Parker will be leaving the publication very soon. To replace him, based on the information from inside industry sources, it appears that Wine Advocate reached out to Ron Washam, the HoseMaster of Wine. The folks at Wine Advocate believe that addition of Ron Washam to the team will help to take the publication to the next level – Ron’s fiery wine reviews and skewering comments are expected to be especially well received by the aspiring audience of Chinese wine lovers. Stay tuned as this story is developing, more updates will be coming.
And the last update for today: in the usual spat between Manfred Krankl and TTB, the application for the newest label of Sine Qua Non Syrah, called Five Naked Women and A Cowboy, was rejected. TTB reviewers said that cowboy’s facial expression is too scarily detailed, and young wine drinkers might feel threatened be simply looking at the bottle. It is unknown if Manfred Krankl is planning to appeal or will decide to change the name of the wine to something else.
That’s all I have for you for today. Enjoy your day and cheers!