On the Friday, Dec. 5 episode of ABC’s Shark Tank, single-serving wine-to-go product ZIPZ—developed by Zachys Wine and Liquor Inc. vice president Andrew McMurray—made history by inking the show’s largest investment deal yet, valued at $2.5 million. ZIPZ is a recyclable wine packaging product that aims to “become for wine industry what the aluminum can became for the soda industry.”
In other innovation news, a Kickstarter campaign is well on its way to developing an affordable at-home craft cocktail machine. The Somabar, developed by Los Angeles-based mixology and technology team Ammar Jangbarwala and Dylan Purcell-Lowe, is a Wi-Fi-enabled countertop appliance that purports to craft perfect cocktails in “less than five seconds.” Think of it as a boozier Keurig: Featuring six customizable canisters filled with spirits of your choice and powered via a mobile app, the device recommends cocktails based on your preferences and pumps out your drink in short order. With 35 days left in its crowdfunding campaign, the Somabar—which will cost $699 when it retails—has already garnered about $45,000 of its $50,000 goal.
The previously reported Cité des Civilisations du Vin in Bordeaux has hit some bumps in the road, according to French newspaper La Gazzette. A €18 million ($22 million) bump, that is. Due to underestimated labor costs and rising land prices, the project—originally approved for about $77 million in 2012—will now cost around $100 million when completed. With an opening still slated for late 2016, the project will eventually create 250 full-time jobs, 200 construction jobs and generate $50 million for the local economy when open.
On Dec. 3, The Washington Post reported on a new study completed by Goldman Sachs about the 20-year decline of beer’s popularity among American youth aged 18 to 29. The reports notes that in 1994, 70% of young American drinkers favored beer over wine, but the figure now pegs that number at just 40%. Over the same period, the percentage of Millennials choosing spirits over both wine and beer has risen to 30%, while wine lovers have grown from 15% to just under 25%. The Post attributes these shifts to an increase in the visibility of advertising and generational perceptions, among other things.
Late last week, Carneros-based Anaba Winery announced the appointment of winemaking duo of Ross Cobb and Katy Wilson. The duo originally met during stints at Flowers Vineyard and Winery and formed their partnership in 2012, with a focus particularly on crafting single-vineyard wines.
Terry and Pam Davis, proprietors of Napa Valley-based Frisson Wines, helped raise $52,000 for the Westside Homeless Partnership (WHP) with the creation of an inaugural golf tournament charity event held on November 11, 2014 in Houston, Texas. The funds raised by the couple will be used by WHP to help homeless families achieve self-sufficiency through a series of education, home and job programs.
Fans of iconic heavy metal band Iron Maiden will soon be able to get their brew fix when the group’s new canned ale hits United States shores next year. Sold in 500-ml tallboys, the Iron Maiden “Trooper” ale has not been available outside of the United Kingdom until now.