The ‘Albi’, an inventive new preservation and serving appliance for wine lovers, will begin shipping in October this year — after having secured HK$2.7 million in crowdfunding.
Leaps in wine preservation technology have more or less been a boon to consumers. At home and in restaurants, bottles which would have once been too dear to open — in both the emotional and fiscal sense — are finally being quaffed; and much of that comes down to our newfangled ability to control the oxidisation process. Behold, Bacchus! We are the gods now.
Over the years, we’ve seen companies offer up a variety of novel solutions for reinserting the proverbial cork. Some of these focus on extracting the oxygen that’s already circulating in the bottle; others on preventing the cork’s removal in the first place. Yet to our knowledge, the Albi is the first device to offer an end-to-end solution which focuses not just on preservation, but also builds in a serving component and smartphone connectivity.
Italy-based Albicchiere began working on the concept several years ago, resulting in device that has already been honoured with CES’s 2020 Innovation Award. Users simply pour their wine of choice into the reusable ‘Smart Bag’ that comes bundled with Albi. Made of recyclable, BPA-free packaging (helpful for blocking out UV light), this bag is placed inside the Albi, which uses near-field technology (NFC) in order to ‘sense’ the wine’s ideal serving temperature. Depending on grape variety, Albi is then able to adjust between temperatures of 4°C – 20°C.
All preservation and dispensing functions are controlled from a purpose-built Albi app, which allows you to “pour yourself a glass” remotely whilst enjoying a range of ancillary functions (wine snobs are even able to manually adjust their preferred serving temperature). Being that it’s battery-powered and about the size of a regular coffee dispenser, you can also bring Albi with you to a variety of social occasions. Presumably, so you can test the limits of your host’s patience by waxing lyrical about the whole ‘smart wine’ movement.
The Albi wine dispenser is available to pre-order for HK$2,390 and is scheduled to ship in October 2020. To learn more, visit Albichhiere’s Indiegogo campaign here.