Are you sauvignon blanc married to a chardonnay? Or, perhaps you prefer to enjoy a glass of wine only every so often, but worry about wasting the rest of the bottle?
The Kuvée Smart Bottle aims to slow how quickly the taste of wine changes after opening, potentially eliminating any arguments over which bottle goes best with any given meal.
This super-smart dispensing system uses valves to block air from entering the bottle as you pour. By keeping oxygen from affecting already-opened wine, the Kuvée Smart Bottle ensures that the last glass you serve tastes just as great as the first.
How much longer can you store an opened bottle of Kuvee Wine?
The makers of Kuvée claim that it can extend the life of your wine past the standard three days up to an impressive 30—meaning you could savor sips from your favorite bottle for up to a month.
The Catch To Kuvée
Kuvée is a two-part system. The Kuvée Smart Bottle, which acts as a dispenser, is actually a wine-bottle shaped sleeve. The catch is that it can’t be used with just any wine you purchase at the store. Instead, Kuvée owners need to stock up on Kuvée Wine.
Now, Kuvée Wine isn’t its own product. It’s actually wine from well-known California wineries that’s been bottled in specialized canisters. These 750ml bottle-shaped capsules are smaller than a regular wine bottle, and include a plastic bag insert and a clever rubber and plastic valve on top—all of which keeps the liquid inside safe from exposure to oxygen.
The wineries that are currently partnered with Kuvée include Bonny Doon Vineyard, Round Pond Estate, B.R. Cohn, Atlas Wine Co., Girard, Pine Ridge Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards, and Schug.
That list of available wine partners might seem short. However, the Kuvée team promises that they’re just getting started and are actively growing their list of partners. Also, know that there are multiple varietals available from each winery, totaling 48 at the time of writing.
But, that’s the other downside: Kuvée is just getting started.
The California-based startup will be shipping out their first batch of 1000 Kuvée Smart Bottles in October of 2016, but are limiting sales to only California and Massachusetts.
Their reasoning is admirable, as the Kuvée team wants to take things slow so as to ensure a great customer experience. However, residents of other states won’t feel left out for long—they play to enter additional wine markets as early as December 2016.
What Kuvée Can Do
If you’re a daily wine drinker, the chances are that bottles rarely stand a chance to last three days anyway. However, the Kuvée Smart Bottle does more than extend the shelf life of a single selection.
Because of the unique canisters in which Kuvée Wine is packaged, you can remove one selection and pop another into the dispenser at any time—allowing everyone at the table to drink what they want, without worrying that what’s leftover will go to waste.
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The “smart” in Kuvée Smart Bottle isn’t just about making each bottle last longer, either. This high-tech wine dispenser is Wi-Fi enabled and outfitted with a color touch-screen that reads each canister of Kuvée Wine to tell you detailed information about your selection, including:
- What you’re drinking
- How many servings remain
- The wine’s story and region or origin
- Suggested food pairings
You can also rate wine directly on the Kuvée Smart Bottle, as well as order more.
What You Need To Know To Purchase Kuvée
As we mentioned above, the Kuvée Smart Bottle won’t be available for purchase until October 2016. However, the brand is promoting certain advantages to pre-ordering their system.
Aside from being among the first to try Kuvée, the brand claims that whoever pre-orders will be consulted regarding how to better improve the device and their service. Additionally, depending on when you purchase, early birds can save up to 50% off the future retail price, including bundles of Kuvée Wine canisters to get you started.
At time of writing, those who pre-order a Kuvée Smart Bottle will pay $199.00 and also receive the following wines:
- 2013 Schug Carneros Pinot Noir
- 2013 BR Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2014 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier
- 2014 Cartlidge & Browne Chardonnay
Again, the shipping times will vary by location:
- October 2016: CA, MA
- December 2016: NY, WA, OR
- Early 2017: All other states
Wine lovers who would rather wait until Kuvée is released should expect to pay $250 for the Smart Bottle alone.
A potential inconvenience is that canisters of Kuvée Wine can only be purchased through the brand’s official website, with no set plans as to make them available on store shelves in the immediate future. Note that you cannot pour wines you already own into the Kuvée Smart Bottle.
On the upside, those wines that are available are competitively priced at the same cost, or slightly less, as you’d find them in local stores. Additionally, environmentally conscious consumers will be pleased that the canisters are recyclable.
Those who aren’t happy with their Kuvée Smart Bottle can return the device within 30 days of purchase. To do so, you must contact Kuvée customer service through their website.
How To Use The Kuvée Smart Bottle
Using Kuvée is simple: Insert your chosen canister and pour. To switch wines, you can eject each canister at the touch of a button.
The Kuvée Smart Bottle needs to be charged for use, and a full battery will last six hours. When not in use, the electronic bottle will go to sleep. The brand recommends simply leaving your Kuvée Smart Bottle on the charging dock after use, so that it’s always ready—just remove the canister of Kuvée Wine first.
Additionally, to take advantage of all of Kuvée’s features, the device must be connected to Wi-Fi in your home.
Note, you should never place your Kuvée Smart Bottle in the fridge. The product’s website states that it should be treated like a smartphone, meaning stay clear of excess water and cooling.
To clean your Kuvée Smart Bottle, wipe it down with a dry cloth. To clean the spout, remove it with a counterclockwise quarter turn. Wash and rinse the spout with standard dish soap and warm water. Once it’s dry, reinsert the spout and give it a one-quarter clockwise turn until it locks into place.
Bottom Line On Kuvée Smart Bottles & Wine
Since Kuvée isn’t yet on the market, there are limited reviews to share. However, CNET’s David Priest was one of several writers who were sent prototypes for a trial.
After just several days of testing, Priest found that the Kuvée Smart Bottle was only semi-effective. He states that, while the differences in taste were subtle, they were noticeable enough to seek a second opinion:
“For the final day, I went to a local winery to get the opinion of experts. After three days, both the bottle and cartridge were still drinkable, though neither was close to the quality of a newly opened bottle. Both the professional and I preferred the Kuvée cartridge over the three-day old bottle, but only marginally.”
A writer for Technobuffalo was also sent a Kuvée, and reported more positive results:
“I also found their shelf-life claims accurate, at least to my limited palate. A bottle of Ancient Oaks pinot noir tasted just as fresh two weeks later than when I opened it.”
While the technology is exciting for anyone who likes a new gadget, whether or not the he Kuvée Smart Bottle delivers depends on the sensitivity of your palate. However, even inexperienced wine drinkers might grow tired of Kuvée’s limited selection or the inconvenience of having to order online.