(updated 01 April 2016)
After revealing my objections against wine in beverage cans in my previous article, it’s time to take a look at some more creative designers for single-serve wine on-the-go. Apparently the feeling that wine should be drunk from a glass and although glass as a material is no option for events, festivals and the like, gave several inventors and designers the stimulation to look into alternative materials for the wine glass. As a result we have seen a range of single-serve wine glass packaging in the last few years. Most are stand-alones, but we have some in elegant combination with a small bottle.
The single-serve Sileni Nano
Sileni Estates is a vineyard and winery in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s oldest established vineyard area. The vineyard introduced the single-serve Sileni Nano packaged in a 187-ml bottle that replicates the shape of a full-size bottle and features a plastic, screw-on cap and a clip-on plastic drinking cup. The product is the result of a joint venture between Sileni and French wine bottler Paul Sapin.
The composition of the Sileni Nano bottle is a clear PET/nylon/PET structure with UV-light absorbing properties and an oxygen scavenger that is inert until it comes in contact with moisture during the filling process, extending the shelf life of the wine to 12 months.
The Novatwist screw-on cap is from Solocap and made from PP and PE. The clip-on cup is made from a clear food-grade PP.
PDG Plastic blow moulds the bottles using preforms provided by Resilux. The bottles are filled by Paul Sapin at its plant in La Chapelle-de-Guinchay in France.
The 100% recyclable, all-in-one wine bottle with clip-on glass is touted as the ideal partner to events, festivals and outdoor lifestyles. So far so good, but then the promotion team of Sileni/Paul Sapin is cheating a bit, when they claim that the design is a first of its kind in the marketplace.
The Sileni Nano bottle with clip-on cup immediately kindled my memory back to the design of Hardy Wine Company. In 2009 Hardy of Australia introduced the 187 ml Shuttles with a plastic glass. The ground-breaking Hardy`s “shuttle” (shut bottle) is an all-in-one, small (187ml) bottle of wine and a glass. The acrylic glass on the top also serves as a tamper-proof, twist-top closure for the acrylic bottle.
The shuttle was originally made in 2006 for the Cirque de Soleil’s Varekai production during its season in Australia where it helped boost wine sales by 160%, compared with the circus’ previous tour.
This type of single-serve wine packaging is ideal and still elegant for getting stylish drinks out fast at cultural and sporting events, where crowds need to be served quickly.
Apart from the full bottle and glass service, in the last years we have seen various designs of stand-alone cups filled with wine. The creativity of the vineyards, inventors and designers seems to be endless. Let’s have a look at some of them. Be aware that we will see filled wine glasses with and without stems and be reminded that the single-serve wine glasses with stems are a frustration in the supply chain. Consequently the stem glass is more an exception to the rule. But although they might be the exception to the rule, and they might be a frustration in the supply chain, due to the extra fragility of the stem and the extra volume they require in packaging, nobody can deny that the single-serve glass with stem highlights and underlines the attraction and quality of the wine itself, while wine packaged in flat cups are often branded by the consumer as cheap stuff.
Probably the very first inventor of the wine-in-a-glass technology was in 2010 the prestigious French Château Roubine, which baptized the technology “OneGlassWine”. I wrote about this innovation in my article: “Wine In A Ready-To-Drink Glass”.
Its design is in the middle of the spectrum between a stem glass and a stemless glass. I used a photo of the Quart Vin (1/4 Vin) at the top of this article.
But have a look at some recent followers of this innovation as we start with the more elegant stem glasses first. There are various designs in the market, but I just choose two of the most interesting ones. First a Brazilian one.
Villaggio Grando, a winery in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, started the launch of a new product: wine by the glass. It is the first winery in Brazil, in partnership with Bendito Vinho in São Paulo, to market wine in disposable cups.
The quality of the product, according to the winery, will not be frustrated in any way, as tests with the product in the disposable cup proved that the quality did not alter. The cup hit the market with exceptional value for wine lovers and is ideal for large events such as football matches.
The design of the cup is from Adriano de Luca of the design agency Desenho Aplicado.
To overcome that infamous supply chain problem of wine packaged in stem glasses, 201 Innovations, a small company that develops innovative consumer products came with an interesting solution, the Couple Glasses.
The new packaging solution for the single-serve wine market, is a full stem interlocking and stackable wine glass, called by its inventor “Couple”. Couple is designed as a glass that has the precious full stem that has been a staple of the wine industry, but also has the same space saving characteristics of stackable cups.
The foot of the glass serves as a lid to protect the foil seal and also serves as a coaster.
Couple is made entirely of PET, in contrast to the durable company’s Xtemware houseware and barware line, which is made of co-polyesters and even hybrid compositions such as a glass bowl bonded with a co-polyester stem and foot.
A shrink-film stack of four stemmed and interlocked glasses occupies the same volume as a 750-ml wine bottle.
I don’t have samples and I haven’t had the pleasure to have a Couple glass in my hands, but as you look at the photos you can’t get rid of the feeling that the construction is bit fragile and even might be a bit unbalanced with the stem at one side. I, particularly, have my fears for this wine glass packaging in more rougher circumstances, like sports events, music festivals and the like. And that’s exactly for which this type of single-serve packaging is designed. I hope I’m wrong, as I must say that the design is very attractive and inviting.
That brings us to the designs of the more stable, but also less attractive single-serve wine packaging, namely the stemless cups. Wait for the next part of this article series.