“We’ve watched a number of alternative wine package formats catch fire lately, cans in particular,” says Matt Dukes, founder of Usual Wines. “That got us thinking about a single-serve format, but we didn’t want a 187-mL plastic bottle like you find on an airplane. We wanted something nice that you’d want to have in your home. By going with a glass container we kind of took a step backward towards something much more traditional. It’s a way of saying this is what real wine looks like, this is what it feels like, this is how heavy it is, and, most important, this is how good it tastes. We think this separates us from everything else on the market and says, ‘This is what a really nice glass of wine looks like.’”
Some custom change parts were needed on the machines that fill the custom containers at the contract fillers that Usual Wines relies on. As for decoration, it’s screen printing front and back in a spare, contemporary looking style. Threaded closures are from Vinventions.
Dukes emphasizes that these are quality wines for which consumers would expect to pay $45 to $55 if they were buying the standard 750-mL glass bottle at retail. ”It’s all through our online storefront and we ship it direct to your door,” he adds.
Secondary packaging, of course, is essential. So the firm cradles the bottles in corrugated inserts (see photo) inside a corrugated shipper. “It’s almost like the bottles are floating,” says Dukes. Worth noting is the message printed in large type on two opposite sides of the shipper: “This is 6 X large glasses of small-lot wine (6.3 oz) made with love in California.”