On last night's episode of ABC's Shark Tank—in which a panel of big wigs give entrepreneurs (including Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran) a chance to convince them to invest in their companies—James Martin — founder of Copa Di Vino, "America's first premium wine by the glass" — is looking for $600,000 for 20% of his company.
Martin's product is strikingly similar to the individual M&S Le Froglet wine glasses thunk up by famed Englsh inventor James Nash, except that it's in a tiny beer glass?
Martin, donning Steve Jobs-era entrepreneurial garb (black turtleneck, spectacles, jeans with a faint stonewash) proposes to be solving one of the drinking life's great predicaments: boozing in public places. Martin loves picnicking with his family, but "That's when wine gets complicated," he says. "To have a glass of wine [outside] you need a bottle AND a corkscrew AND glasses." Sheesh. Enter: Copa Di Vino. Just tear off the foil closure and behold: premium wine on the go!
Somehow the sharks don't believe that his Hawaiian punch-colored Merlot is premium wine, though. "Don't come and tell me this is premium wine," says Kevin O. So, it's plonk, but they still like the mini beer cup with the tear-off foil closure. (Why isn't anyone asking why it's in a beer cup?) If they can sell the packaging and everyone tears off the top, Martin will get rich. But Martin looks as though he's had a stroke and isn't following.
The sharks are looking to break the company in half, leaving the "premium wine" part in the dust and snatching the patent away. Martin is sweating in his turtleneck. A lot. He then reprises his insufferably dense pitch and, miraculously, Kevin O. still wants to offer him a lay up. Will he bite? To the video:
Video: Shark Tank Part 1
Video: Shark Tank Part 2