The Future of Wine

The Future of Wine, originally published in Touring & Tasting, spring/summer 2020.

When Touring & Tasting launched 25 years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine fine wine bottles with screw tops, let alone quality wine being served in a can! But stranger things are still on the way. Looking at our crystal ball to visualize the future, here are some of the most captivating trends.

Bringing the Story of the Bottle to Life  As storytelling specialists, we’re particularly intrigued by the use of augmented reality and artificial intelligence technology to cleverly connect wine labels with wine lovers. More than 500 wineries around the world are using an app called Winerytale, which connects drinkers to the stories behind their bottle via smartphone.

Wine Vending Machines  Alcohol vending machines are on the rise, especially in bars. Now that wine in a can is so readily available, why not pair the self-serve vending machines with a biometric scanning device (like a retina scanner) that checks your ID and lets you wave a smartphone to pay for your purchase.

Attack of the Drones It’s a multipronged attack of the drones, and they’re becoming less cost prohibitive all the time. Wineries currently use them for beautiful aerial photography and marketing purposes, security, surveying and crop analysis, including what specialists call “vine vigor” maps using multispectral cameras. There are even drones that make hawk squawk projections to scare the birds away from eating the grapes. On the consumer side, drone deliveries for wine are next on the horizon — Amazon Prime Air has 30 minutes or less service in development already.

I Can’t Believe I Drank the Whole Thing  Fully edible or compostable wine bottles already exist, it’s just a matter of time before they become more practical and affordable. Edible bottles made from isomalt (a sugar substitute) are available to order in kits and compostable, nonelastic glass made from cornstarch are also becoming a viable, eco-friendly option.

Watch Out Jetsons  With artificial intelligence algorithms becoming more and more, well … intelligent, perhaps it won’t be long until we’re querying robot sommeliers to help with food and wine pairings, then augmenting our experience with holographic entertainment from our favorite bands (dead or alive). While this all sounds like a sci-fi movie, there is a new grocery store point-of-sale product in development called Tastry, which uses a blend of machine learning, sensory science and chemistry to match your wine flavor preferences to the bottles available for purchase. Using an in-store kiosk and smartphone app, the company even has plans to develop an automated food pairing functionality, based on your shopping list.

Originally published in the spring/summer 2020 issue of Touring & Tasting. Click here to read this story and more!