Imagine changing a wine on-demand to better cater to an occasion, a dish, or an allergy.

It’s not unusual for people who work in the restaurant industry to deal with customers who come in with allergies to food which require specific catering… Now imagine a customer walks in to your venue, sits down and their specific allergy doesn’t involve food at all, it involves wine. How does a sommelier or venue manager deal with this?

For example, let’s say the allergy is to preservatives; you’d simply offer a preservative-free wine…right?! I’d say there’s better options…. P-Free wines are notorious for having short shelf life and being of less than ideal quality, making it hard for restauranteurs to keep wines like this in stock, and the experience can be less than overwhelming for the consumer when they do. What if you could sell a wine buff who struggles with an allergy to preservatives a wine where the consumer has the ability to remove troublesome preservatives on-demand, where they sit, as they open the wine….. What?!!?! Mind Blown….

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The game’s about to change, and we all need to get ready for some disruption! There’s a myriad of start-ups working behind the scenes to find ways to bring the disruption, and change not only the consumer wine experience, but even so far as to challenge what wine can be! Consumers want change, they want options, and they want things their way.

This poses a very unique challenge for wine companies… How do they provide wines to restaurants that can cater to all these expectations of consumers which seem to change every six months, and how do restaurants continue to raise the bar in their offerings to keep up?

One such company based out of Australia’s wine heartland – Barossa Valley, South Australia is developing a technology built into the screw cap closure on a bottle of wine which allows consumers to alter/ enhance their wine on-demand at point of consumption. Now wineries can design flavour, colour, texture and other enhancements (to include preservative removal) to provide a way to quickly meet the ever changing desires of consumers, whilst allowing restaurants to respond just as quickly…These enhancements are designed into a press-button delivery system on the top of the cap, and consumers simply choose to press the button and enhance, or open as normal and consume the wine without enhancement. Check these guys out…. www.vinnovate.com.au

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Consumer expectations are higher than ever before. People want options and they want to be made to feel that restaurants cater to their style and individual requirements. No longer can restaurateurs ignore the power of the consumer trends demanding restaurants cater to specific requirements. Wine consumers are now more educated than ever before and a younger generation of consumers are coming in to the market who not only demand choice, but increasingly look for healthier options. Being open to new and disruptive ways to serve wine and better match foods, whilst also providing choice to the consumer gives restaurants a whole new way to attract customers in, and send them out happy. The food industry is constantly battling changing desires in food, now its wine’s turn…Could this be the way to make your venue more consumer focused than ever before?

Food for thought… Or maybe wine for thought.

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Simon Schmidt is Founder and Managing Director of Vinnovate, a wine technology company creating new ways to experience wine. Barossa Valley born, and with over 20yrs in the wine industry, Simon is driven to bring consumer facing change to this age old industry. If you’d like to know more about Vinnovate, you can find them at: www.vinnovate.com.au, or by reaching out directly via email to info@vinnovatepl.com