As Holiday Spirits Soar, Wine Sellers Get a Unique Taste of the Profits

Napa Technology WineStation® puts retailers and restaurateurs in a timely position to engage the “try before you buy” and “wine by the glass” trends among U.S. wine drinkers.

It may not be surprising that Americans enjoy more wine over the holidays, or that they open their pocketbooks a little more to do so. But recent studies reveal that that the relationship between Christmas and wine is even more glowing than expected. Overall wine sales increase by up to 67% in the weeks before Christmas, a number that jumps to 124% for wines priced between $15 and $20, and up to 180% for wines over $20.

Looking closer, analysts find an increasingly wine savvy consumer. Whether for personal consumption or gift giving, these customers face a common dilemma: how do I know a wine shares my good taste? The answer is “try before you buy,” a growing trend in the $28 billion global wine industry and one that puts WineStation® in a unique position as restaurant operators and retailers prepare for the holiday crush.

It’s an exciting time to be selling wine. Millennials are driving the diversity of wine on the shelf and on the menu. According to industry research, two of three Millennials frequently or occasionally purchase a new brand of wine; the older members of this group consider sampling unique wines an integral part of their wine drinking experience. Lesser known varietals and blends are growing in popularity. Today’s true measure of a wine program lies in its sampling and by-the-glass offerings.

The flagship product of Napa Technology, WineStation is an automated, temperature-controlled wine dispensing and preservation system that offers customers the taste they want to make a better informed and often more generous purchase. Introduced in 2005, the WineStation now pours nearly a million ounces of wine per month from systems serving restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, arenas, airports, wine bars, grocery stores and retailers worldwide.

For Napa Technology customers, the holidays will simply showcase the year round benefits of the WineStation system. Combining Napa Technology founders’ passion for good wine and expertise in technology,the company designed a solution to meet the quality demands of winemakers, the preference of consumers and the business needs of operators, all of whom support the trend of purchasing wine by the glass (WBTG).

WBTG now accounts for 44% of on-premise sales. In a recent Napa Technology survey, 75% of operators reported an increase in WBTG sales over the previous year, with high-end varietals accounting for 10% of their WBTG offerings. 15% of respondents added the half-glass serving option for customers who want to limit their consumption, as well as for those who’ve saved up to splurge on a wine they’d never have an opportunity to try otherwise. The ability to sell wine by the ounce, rather than bottle, is the true measure of a wine program today and increases wine’s already impressive profit margin. By ensuring the bouquet, taste and temperature of each glass, WineStation also earned the praise of notoriously protective vintners.

According to Jayne Portnoy, VP of Marketing for Napa Technology, “The real gift to our customers may be WineStation’s built-in frugality. The automated system virtually eliminates the wine spoilage, theft and over pouring that can cost even small operations thousands of dollars a year.“

All of which has Napa Technology raising a glass to the holidays, and the year ahead. “When you look at where the trends are going, and how wines are being enjoyed, WineStation really is in a win-win-win position.” says Portnoy.

About Napa Technology

Napa Technology, LLC is a designer and manufacturer of intelligent dispensing systems for wine that ensure optimum freshness and memorable guest experiences, as well as to-the-ounce accuracy with each pour. The company’s breakthrough product, WineStation®, drives revenue and maximizes the profitability of each bottle. Since 2005, foodservice and retail operators have adopted WineStation as a new way to serve their customers quality wine and expand opportunities for wine exploration and discovery.