Sunday, April 10, 2011

Copa di Vino: Could You, Would You, Should You?

Strolling through my local upscale food emporium---you can't really call them grocery stores anymore; it just doesn't seem proper and fitting somehow---I noticed that above the freshly prepared and pre-portioned foods a rack contained two new items, Copa di Vino Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.  (There are apparently other wines called Riesling, Merlot, and Pinot Grigio in the Copa di Vino lineup, but were not present in this establishment.)

An idea made real by a Columbia Valley winery entrepreneur and featured on the TV show "Shark Tank", wherein budding billionaires propose their ideas to potential investors, Copa di Vino is a 'by the glass' serving of wine packaged as...well, a by the glass serving of wine complete with glass, all sealed up and ready for consumption with only a twist of the lid required.

Fully disposable for our disposable culture, or I suppose eminently reusable and recyclable, a la jelly jars, the Copa di Vino may either be a brilliant sales and marketing idea or another item that seemed brilliant at the time.  The jury, as they say, is still out.

Thing is, this is neither brilliant nor particularly new, simply a retread of an idea put into practice many years before with moderate success.  At least thirty years ago Hacienda Wine, from Sonoma Valley, produced many thousands of cases of pre-packaged by the glass containers with plastic glasses inverted on a single-serving wine bottle and shrink wrapped together.  Paul Masson's version of  "container and server combined" leaned toward a more profitable and practical and less costly concept of bottling their wine in decanter-shaped and metal-lidded bottles which could subsequently be used, one assumes, for decanting other wines---if one did not particularly care that all wines thenceforth served would bear the rubric of Paul Masson.

Copa di Vino is merely another version of the concept; with refinement and focus, one might say; or merely a tweaking through advanced technology enabling a slight improvement, another might say.

Trouble is, it comes down to wine as a convenience beverage against wine as more-than-a-beverage:  whether it is more important to have uncompromised quality in the glass, even it it is not particularly convenient and requires the actual (quel horreur) extra step of pouring from one container to another slightly smaller, or whether the quality does not matter so much as the ability to have what one wants when one wants it...as long as one doesn't care whether the satisfaction of the urge is particularly satisfying or not.

So: $2.99 for a few ounces of what is likely to be a mediocre, factory-produced, volume driven glass of indiscriminate plonk (despite the flowing varietal descriptions on the package, does anyone really expect more than that?).  Would you? Could you?  Should you?

I could.  I probably should, so I can opine on the experience.  But I wouldn't, and didn't, so I'll have to rely on more intrepid souls with investigate drive to supply the answer.  If you're that person, by all means, try it and let me know.

Guess serving cost per ounce coupled with convenience isn't what I consider important when it comes to wine.  Silly me.

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