The over-complication of wine has been blamed for falling consumption rates within the category. In response, retailers and tech companies are looking for ways to demystify the buying process. Next Glass – a new smartphone app that aims to simplify and streamline alcohol purchasing decisions – is one such example.
To use the technology, users need to photograph the packaging of a bottle of beer or wine and upload their images. They are then asked to rate each beverage from one to four stars. This enables the app to use algorithms to suggest similar varieties that the user may enjoy.
In addition, users can scan packaging to receive instant feedback on how likely they are to enjoy a new drink based on their previous ratings. They can also view friends' scores to easily source bottles that they will like based on their unique taste preferences.
We are also seeing a range of alcohol-ageing devices entering the mainstream consumer market, tapping into millennials' desire to customise their food and drink. A US tech firm has created the Sonic Decanter, which replicates the wine-ageing process within minutes using ultrasound technology, as discussed in Ultrasound-Aged Wine. Similarly, US-based start-up Time & Oak has created a device that allows consumers to age their whisky in just a day. For more on this, see Ageing Whisky at Home.