Without proper knowledge, wine shopping can be a daunting task. There’s little degree of separation between a bad wine and an excellent one for an unknowing palate. And impressing and expanding your knowledge can be hard without a surplus of expendable income. But for the newly-founded Napa Valley-based wine producer BÖEN, the privilege of drinking great wine begins with finding it. That’s why, on their BÖEN Chardonnay (California) ($25) and BÖEN Pinot Noir (California) ($35) wines, they’ve included near field communication (NFC) technology to better service intrigued shoppers.
With a bottle of BÖEN in hand, consumers—using an Android or iPhone—can “Tap Our Cap” and reveal a bevy of information, dubbed the virtual farmhouse, about the wine inside. From its viscosity and its most prominent notes to its finish and its vintage, it all appears in a browser window, without having to download an app, enter an email or exchange any information (aside from a birth year to prove you’re 21+).
“The near field communication (NFC) technology is a great addition to the BÖEN wine bottles,” fifth generation winemaker and BÖEN founder Joseph Wagner says. “This technology allows us to transport wine-drinkers to the very vineyards where the grapes are grown. Through the NFC technology, when wine drinkers ‘tap our cap’ they have instant access to information about the bottle of wine in their hands, and the history of BÖEN. NFC technology has a lot of opportunity to thrive in the wine world, as it allows consumers to be educated on how and where their wine was made before even leaving the store.”
“There are so many different brands, varietals, vintages of wine—it can be overwhelming when looking to make a selection in a wine store. By tapping our cap, consumers can learn more about the wine right there in the store before purchasing it. Unless someone is already familiar with a brand, the only information they are working with is the price point and the design on the label,” Wagner adds. “The virtual farmhouse alleviates the process of trying to figure out which wine they might enjoy the most. In addition to learning what flavors and fruit notes to expect from BÖEN, the virtual farmhouse offers food pairing suggestions, which is great for the new wine drinker who is looking for a bottle of wine for a dinner party.”
This innovation lies somewhere between having a representative on site and plastering the brand’s history on the backside of the bottle—neither are as effective or subtle as this NFC technology. If the bottle piques the interest of a customer for its label, price point or style, having the extra layer of information (that doesn’t muddle its message) is a clear advantage. It helps that all of BÖEN’s offerings are delectable, too.
“Wine drinkers today crave authenticity, but they enjoy a unique experience as well,” Wagner says. “Technology can help bring wine drinkers back to the roots and history of the wine and the vineyards they come from, while also elevating their wine experience. I am first and foremost a farmer and my life has been dedicated to the art of winemaking and working with my hands. In fact, BÖEN is a translation of ‘The Farm,’ and this virtual farmhouse allows consumers to explore the journey that their bottle of wine took. It gives drinkers insight into our vineyards where the grapes are grown, and how the season brings forth the robust flavors we’re known for.”
Images courtesy of BÖEN