For many people, wifi ranks up there with shelter and food as a basic human need these days, but does the bottle of riesling in your fridge really need to be online? A Boston-based startup called Kuvée apparently thinks so, and it has invented a way to connect specific bottles of wine to the Internet, reports The Verge.
The innovation has two parts: the bottle, which features a touchscreen label, and the wine cartridges that fit inside of it. The bottle detects what wine cartridge you're drinking and displays a digital label on its touchscreen that provides background information about the wine, photos of the vintner, pairing notes, and a full description of its contents. It also tracks how much wine is left in the cartridge and allows the user to purchase other wine cartridges available from the company. For users of mobile apps like Delectable — which allows wine drinkers to use their phone cameras to scan a bottle's label, obtain relevant information about the wine, and find out where to purchase — Kuvée's new product looks like an overly complicated, overpriced, unnecessary new device.
Kuvée guarantees its cartridges will keep wine fresh for up to 30 days. The cartridges are made out of an "oxygen-impermeable" metal and contain a bag that holds the wine and collapses as its contents are poured out. "The overall effect is that little oxygen comes in contact with the wine, supposedly allowing it to stay fresh longer," The Verge explains. Kuvée is aware that while the wine may be losing attributes that experts will be able to detect, the average wine drinker will still be able to enjoy its taste for the full 30-day period. There are other devices on the market that will do this as well, and most of them cost a whole lot less.
Plus, the technology here isn't as intuitive as one might expect. The bottle must be charged on a regular basis in order for the touchscreen technology to work, and due to its opaque color, you can't actually see how much wine is in the bottle. There are also limitations when it comes to the varieties of wine you can purchase, as there are currently only 48 different varieties available from 12 wineries. "Probably the biggest request or complaint is that there should be more wines," says the company's chief technology officer Ed Tekeian. The company intends on adding a couple hundred more wines eventually and says more wineries are "eager to join." Most Kuvée wines currently available fall in the $15 to $30 range; the wifi-enabled bottle itself costs a hefty $179.
Video: Watch How Kuvée Bottle Works