Innovative wine accessory

The Plum wine appliance makes its mark through e-commerce and physical retail.

Most people start their day with a cup of coffee by simply hitting a button. Founder and CEO, David Koretz, of Plum Wine Inc., wanted that same experience, but with wine. His creation, dubbed Plum, is a fully-automated appliance that identifies, chills, preserves and serves wine.  

“Our mission is to change how people enjoy wine from the bottle to the glass,” Kortez says, “to never again let great wine get poured down the drain.”  

The Process  

One goal behind Plum’s creation was to enable memorable experiences, Koretz explains.  He equates this to “the ability to share a sunset with a loved one and a glass of chardonnay, relax in your favorite chair after work with a single glass of cabernet, and be a great host when friends stop by.”  

And the added bonus? Plum is reportedly simple for the everyday consumer to operate.| wine plum

By loading the appliance with two standard sized bottles of wine, the integrated computer identifies the liquid and chills it to the ideal serving temperature (for any of the 225 varietals of wine). It then inserts a motorized needle to pierce the cork, injecting it with argon, which works as a preserver.  

Plum also features two cooling chambers, automatically set to the serving temperature. For example, it knows to chill a chardonnay to 48 degrees and a cabernet to 66 degrees. After it’s been loaded into the machine, wine can stay preserved for up to 90 days.  

In the end, two bottles of wine can be served by the touch of a button. Its eye-catching, integrated touchscreen lights up as the user approaches and turns off as he or she walks away.  

Marketing the product  

This wine appliance is sold primarily direct-to-consumer currently, but has recently been extended to select premium retailers, and will be available in luxury homeware stores in 2018, including Williams-Sonoma, a leading specialty retailer of high-quality home products.  

Plum Wine Inc. chose to sell direct-to-consumer in order to tightly control their brand presence, Koretz says. Plum started its brand by selling the appliance online and now, in stores.  

According to Thomas Slide, retail analyst, Mintel, online retailers have the advantage of providing consumers with an “unprecedented variety” of products and services.  

“As the vast majority of consumers now say they shop online, this is being supported by late adopters and older consumers,” Slide says, in a Mintel study. “Continued innovation in the online space, particularly from store-based retailers that are building increasingly integrated multi-channel propositions, better cater to the needs of the consumer.”  

Williams-Sonoma began a partnership with Plum Wine Inc. in fall 2017. According to the brand’s in-house Electrics team, it’s currently the exclusive retailer for Plum, close upselling the appliance on its website and in some select brick-and-mortar stores.  

Packaging and Design  

Designed with a brushed stainless steel exterior and tubing, Plum’s packaging is modeled after similar hardware found in wineries that is used to preserve wine. Inside the appliance rests a chamber, inspired by the staves of a wine barrel.  

Its outer-shell is molded, while curves are hidden, providing a timeless look with its black and stainless steel color palette. Plus, Plum is intended to fit any standard-height kitchen counter below upper cabinetry. The product is 15-inches wide.  

Koretz says Plum arrives at the consumer’s doorstep looking like “the great cases of Bordeaux.”  

“A beautiful graphics wrap signifies the artistry that it takes to make great wine: the soil, the farming and the fermentation tanks,” Koretz concludes. “It is then topped with a wooden pine box top that is branded like the great Napa Valley and Boudreaux wines.”  

The retail value of Plum is $1,999 for an individual, while a Connoisseur 2-pack is currently priced at $3,799.