It looks like four bottles of beer neatly packaged in a cardboard carrying container, it opens like beer with the traditional crimped-on metal cap, and you finally pour the contents from long-necked 250ml brown glass bottles – into what? A wine glass. Because this four-pack is in fact Argentinean Malbec – on the shelves at Morrisons for £10. Ready to try it yet?
Screwcaps are widely accepted as the replacement for the traditional cork bark stopper in many wines, but are you ready to accept opening a bottle of wine with a beer bottle opener? This is what Charlie Ingham, the New World Wine Buyer for Morrisons and ideas man behind the ASADO club concept, is hoping.
“I designed it because I think the UK wine industry is boring when it comes to innovation and packaging”, explains Charlie, “I just decided that we could push some boundaries with this wine and how we present it to the Morrisons customer.”
It seems the main reason for creating the wine was to enable sharing – sharing with others at a party or perhaps at that late summer barbecue.
“I used to work for anheuser-busch inbev, the brewer, so I’m very used to products designed for sharing with friends at informal get-togethers.”
As for the beer bottle-type cap on the bottle (known to all home beer brewers as a ‘crown’ cap): “It’s gone though all the required testing and is as good as screw cap. I wanted to use a crown cap as it felt more like opening a beer which is an important ritual in sharing a beer!”.
How you share that beer – possibly one bottle for yourself and one each for your mates – is not made clear on the packaging, neither are instructions on how to transfer the ‘smooth red with a hint of spice’ from the bottle to the lips – if we take the beer sharing theme to its ultimate then we should all be drinking straight from the uncapped opening.
But would that be a bad thing? If it’s acceptable for beer, then why not wine? It’s only a matter of time.
And time is what Morrisons is hoping they’ll have with this new concept because ASADO wine is actually designed to appeal specifically to millennials – those 30-somethings who came of age around the turn of the century.
“I have also done a lot of research into what younger consumers are looking for in wine, and they are bored of the current wine offer, they don’t understand it and I don’t think the industry has helped attract a younger customer, the industry is stuck in it’s ways.”, expounds Charlie.
“I really hope this pack and brand will raise a few eyebrows, I want people to understand that selling wine to millennials is going to take a new approach and I’m happy to take the first step forward.”
And if wine in beer bottles isn’t for you then try the 75cl traditional wine bottled version for the “purist” instead.
But how ever you buy your wine – in small bottles, in larger bottles, in wine boxes, in wine pouches, in the ‘fill your own’ plastic bottles from the holiday corner shop or direct from the person stomping the grapes then always remember to enjoy it. Because that’s all that matters.
ASADO club Argentinian Malbec is available from Morrisons:
4x250ML priced £10
75CL priced £9
Both formats will come down in price from September 26th for a limited offer period.
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© Paula Goddard 2016 www.paulagoddard.com