Wine sales in the U.S. topped $38 billion in 2015, increasing 1.3 percent from the year before. As Americans turn to the beverage more frequently, opportunities are opening up for startups and entrepreneurs who want to capitalize on the grape-based drink. Here are six products, services and companies you need to know about if you consider yourself to be a wine aficionado.
A team of wine and technology experts have come together to create Drync, a mobile app and website that lists wines from around the world in one convenient marketplace. Wine lovers can easily purchase their favorites, read reviews, discover new wines based on what others using the app have tried, and then get everything delivered straight to their door.
Vinebox is a new monthly subscription service ($30) that gives you three glasses of wine to try at a time. The wines are sourced directly from Europe, and each one is bottled in a glass vial that ensures the liquid is never exposed to oxygen. When they’re opened and poured into a glass, they are as fresh as they would be from an aged bottle.
Kuvee is a new smart wine bottle ($199) that promises to keep your beverage fresh for up to 30 days. The device allows you to inject Kuvee wine canisters containing the drink of your choice for tasting. If you don’t like it, simply swap it out for another Kuvee wine canister. Upon injecting the device into the bottle, an LED screen displays facts about the specific wine. The company website will have several wines to choose from for delivery, allowing people to order more units directly from the screen on the bottle. Kuvee will be made available nationwide (with the exception of a few states, due to regulations) by early 2017.
If you’re a frequent wine drinker and you want to support the local economy, Thirstie will help you. The service, which is currently available in cities including New York and Los Angeles, will deliver alcohol to you on a whim. Thirstie works with local businesses to give you the best selection of wine (and port and sake and more) in the area. You can also browse wines beforehand according to “Premium” and “Standard” selections.
Ullo, which raised more than $100,000 on Kickstarter, promises to remove sulphites from your wine; a preservative that some believe to mute “the delicate nuances that express vintage or vineyard character.” The device uses its own Selective Sulfite Capture technology and a wine aerator to eliminate taste-altering sulphites before drinking – and yes, it works with both red and white. Ullo sells for $79.99.
The Sonic Decanter ($249) claims to use ultrasonic energy to transfer and optimize the molecular and chemical structure of wine. The end result is a delicious beverage, ready in 20 minutes or less. Simply add two cups of cold water to the base of the decanter, remove the cork from your bottle of wine, and place it into the device. After about 20 minutes, the wine is adequately aerated and ready to drink.
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