From doorbells to dishwashers, proponents of the so-called ‘internet of things’ claim that we’d all be better off if all our devices would talk to each other digitally. Now it seems even wine bottles have failed to escape the technologists' reach.
It might sound like sacrilege to die-hard fans of cork and glass but Kuvée’s Wifi-enabled wine bottle, which claims to keep wine fresh for 30 days, has just managed to pull in $6m (£4.2m) of venture capital investment led by Airbnb and Snapchap backers General Catalyst Partners.
When it launches the start-up plans to sell 48 different wines that will come in its own patented cartridges. These are inserted into its ‘smart wine bottle’, which uses a valve system that allows people to pour a cheeky glass of Sancerre without letting oxygen into the bottle – which helps to keep it fresh.
The bottle also features a touch screen that will tell users how many glasses of the wine are left, provide tasting notes and food pairings and let customers order their next bottle without having to put this one down.
'The U.S. wine industry is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, and the demographics of wine lovers are changing rapidly,’ said its founder and CEO Vijay Manwani. ‘But despite these shifts, the industry has been slow to innovate beyond the glass bottle and cork.’
Kuvée won’t be cheap. It’s currently available to pre-order for $179, including the main bottle and four cartridges, but that’s set to rise to an RRP of $349 when it’s released, starting at the end of this year. That's a lot of money and will be a hard sell in an industry that took years to persuade people that plastic corks costing pennies were a good idea. But if you're desperate to have your plonk hooked up to the internet then perhaps it's a price worth paying.