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Wine Buzz: December 2013

Posted on  | December 4, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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These Maptotes wine bags, born and made in the USA—Brooklyn, to be precise—since 2006, instantly add a green vibe to any wine shop. The all-cotton totes come in one- or two-bottle versions (SRP $15/$22), with homey, type-driven graphics on both sides. Best-sellers include the single-bottle Red, White and Champagne. Also available: Napa Valley, Tuscany, La Rioja and many U.S. cities. The company does custom designs, too. Wholesale pricing available; single-bottle totes sold in $28 four-packs. maptote.com



Reality TV—there’s no denying its appeal, so why not tap into the magic? Trinchero Family Estates has done just that by collaborating with the renowned duck-hunting Robertson family to launch Duck Commander Wines: Triple Threat 2011 Red Blend, Wood Duck 2012 Chardonnay and Miss Priss 2012 Pink Moscato, all produced in California. Duck Commander was founded in 1972 by Phil Robertson to produce professional duck calls. Duck Dynasty premiered on A&E in 2012, and in 2013 became the top unscripted show on cable; and the family’s book, Happy, Happy, Happy, became a New York Times best-seller. Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson commented, “We know that many of our customers and viewers celebrate family moments with wine. We knew we needed to find a family company in the heart of wine country that could produce authentic, quality wines. The Trinchero family is the right fit, and the wines are delicious.”



While much wine-related innovation in the Digital Age has involved software, one piece of high-tech hardware—the Coravin Wine Access System—could revolutionalize the way wine can be sampled and served. In short, Coravin lets users pour wine from their favorite bottles without pulling the cork.

The key to the device is a thin, hollow needle which, once inserted through the cork, lets you extract wine while the remainder of the bottle is safeguarded from oxygen by argon gas. Coravin can be used on the same bottle over multiple occasions (weeks, months or even longer); or it can be used to access multiple bottles on a single occasion, because it can be easily attached, used, removed and attached again.

Coravin recently passed a blind taste test administered by Jancis Robinson, MW, and has been heartily endorsed by restaurateur Joe Bastianich and wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. Indeed, Coravin’s trade applications are profound. Restaurants can literally tap any wine in their cellar without having to worry about spoilage. Besides being empowered to offer icon wines by the glass, they are also free to create special flights, verticals and expanded food and wine pairings. Retailers, similarly, can offer customized tastings to support bottle sales. They can also inspect bottles for flaws, and they can re-sell gift-boxed Coravin units to collectors who can then make their cellars 100% accessible at a moment’s notice.

Suggested retail price for Coravin is $329, plus $29.95 for three argon canisters (each is good for about 15 5-oz. pours); wholesale pricing is available. coravin.com


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