Recently, my husband and I received a last-minute invite to a dinner party, so I whipped out my phone to text the host and ask her what I could bring.
“Bring whatever you want to drink,” she quickly fired back.
That night, we swung by the wine store, selected a bottle of white, and confidently hit the party circuit. By which I mean we rang the bell, air kissed our hellos, then handed over the scrumptious sleeve of Chardonnay.
“What do you want to drink?” the host asked, as she set my carefully-selected bottle down on the nearest table.
“Um, a glass of wine … ?”
I knew my response sounded like a question. But that’s because I did as I was told and brought what I wanted to drink. Only now it looked like I wouldn’t actually be drinking it.
“White, right? We have a Pinot Grigio open, is that good?”
Oh hell no.
Look, I get that official party etiquette dictates that my wine was a gift and therefore not something I could expect to immediately bust into. But the host did tell me to bring what I wanted to drink … right? Plus I hate Pinot Grigio. So there’s also that.
Of course, I drank what I was offered. (I do, after all, know how much it sucks to be left with 15 half-empty bottles at the end of the night — all of which will eventually have to get dumped down the drain.) But all of this led me to wonder: Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was some kind of single-serve contraption, similar to a Keurig, that lets you pour various wines by the glass to your heart’s content, without ever worrying about waste?
According to the company’s website, Kuvée is the “new way to wine.” Translation: If you buy one, you’ll be able to enjoy whatever glass you want, whenever you want it, since each bottle has been designed to last for 30 days.
As in, a full month. Do you have any idea how amazing that is?
And get this: The wine tastes the same on day 30 as it did on day one. How is this even possible? Allow me break it down for you …
The system itself consists of two parts. First, there’s the dispenser — a sleek, hollowed out vessel that you will eventually put your wines into in order to serve them. Think of this as the wino’s answer to the Keurig machine.
Then you have the bottles of wine themselves, which are like bigger, shinier, more expensive K-Cups.
Just like with the Keurig, you can’t use the Kuvée dispenser with your regular old wine store bottles. It has to be paired with one of the company’s special wines that comes housed in a special black plastic canister. I know, I know — kind of a bummer. But again, might I remind you: These babies will stay fresh for 30 days, thanks to some mystical technology that basically keeps your beloved wine safe from air exposure. That means you can go ahead and pour 20 different wines at your next family gathering without worrying about spoilage. (Or if you’re say, Olivia Pope, you can open a bottle of your favorite red, get kidnapped, then come back after 26 days and finish that sucker off.)
I should probably mention here that the wine-shaped dispenser isn’t cheap — it will set you back a cool $199 (though that does include a starter pack of four large bottles). But it’s also WiFi enabled with a cool touch-screen that will recognize your wine the minute you click it in place and spit out all sorts of cool info like suggested food pairings and the number of servings you have left inside (since we all know that’s what really matters). My fave part, though, is the fact that you can use the screen to order bottles straight to your door. Because when I want my wine, I want it ASAP without ever leaving the house.
Obviously I was dying to try this thing — and what better time to give it a whirl than at a friend’s recent Super Bowl Party? I placed my order, and didn’t think twice.
As soon as I arrived, the cool-looking dispenser quickly attracted lots of attention. And it was pretty easy to use, as per the included instructions: Choose a bottle, unscrew the cap, remove the silver pull tab, insert the bottle into the sleeve until you hear a “click,” then pour. To switch wines, you simply eject each canister via a cute push-button decorated with grapes. Because duh.
We started off with a Schug Carneros Chardonnay, which inserted into the sleeve smoothly. So far, so good. But when we started pouring, we noticed the wine was coming out rather slowly, almost like a trickle. I emailed the company to find out if this was normal, or if we had somehow screwed up — we weren’t even tipsy yet! — and I was assured that the Kuvée dispenser does pour at a more leisurely pace than a regular glass bottle of wine, since the openings on both the dispenser and the canisters are smaller in order to keep the goods fresher, longer.
The creamy Schug turned out to be a big hit. “Order more!” someone yelled when we reached the end of the bottle, as if I just could press a button and make the now-empty canister magically refill. Now THAT would be amazing. Especially considering the next bottle‚ an Oro Bello Chardonnay, didn’t go over quite as well. But it didn’t matter — we simply popped it out and replaced it with a tasty Bonny Doon rosé. So damn easy. And therein lies the beauty of the product.
Look, I drink a lot of wine, ok? Like a lot. What kind of suburban housewife would I be if I didn’t? And while I’d normally just suck it up and finish off the bottle even if I wasn’t totally down with the taste, I suddenly found myself with the amazing freedom to toss back as much or as little as I wanted, without a care in the world. So badass.
Suddenly, dropping two Benjamins on one of these bad boys didn’t seems quite so outrageous. But sadly, while the Kuvée is available in places like New York, Boston, Washington and Oregon, it’s not yet shipping to all parts of the U.S. yet — though the company assures me it will be soon. In the meantime, at least I’ve still got 2.5 glasses of that Oro Bello left … and 28 days to drink it. (Okay, so I may have already gotten started.)