I live in Ohio wine country, so I’ve been to a few wine tastings. I admit I have no skill at identifying or appreciating wines, though. I like them very much, don’t get me wrong, but the subtleties are lost on me. Floral overtones, hints of chocolate – I wish I could taste these things, and I try my best, but I recently found out that only a small percentage of people are sensitive enough to be able to truly identify all of the complexities that make each wine unique. This makes me feel a bit better – at least I’m not alone in my lack of wine sophistication.
I shouldn’t be surprised that there now exists a technology that can identify wines better than I can. JCB Wines in Yountville, California has developed the JCB Wine Tasting Experience, which involves smart technology, 3D printed wine glasses, and some very sophisticated software. The experience takes place in the new JCB Tasting Salon, which features smart tables that seat four people each. Visitors are served five different wines over the course of the tasting, which lasts for 40 minutes to an hour.
The tables were designed by Ideum, a New Mexico design company specializing in smart technology. The wines are served in glasses with 3D printed bases made by Graphene 3D Lab, which has already done some amazing things with conductive and magnetic filaments, as well as with the wonder material graphene. The wine glass bases are designed with capacitive technology that acts as a fiducial marker; when a customer places the glass on the table, the software within the smart table actually identifies the type of wine the glass contains.
That’s when things get really interesting. Once the table has identified the wine, it brings up several interactive elements such as fact sheets, videos, and personalized tasting notes.
“Our vision has always been to transcend the traditional wine experience and bring a new dimension to the wine world,” said Jean-Charles Boisset, creator of JCB Wines. “We partnered with Ideum to create the first truly interactive and social wine tasting we have ever seen – an inspired experience that unites guests together while enhancing their wine experience to go beyond into another sensory world.”
The smart table is a modified version of Ideum’s 55” 4K UHD Platform Touch Table, which utilizes touch technology from 3M. It was designed with a gold top and a black crocodile-skin base to complement the lush decor of the JCB Tasting Salon, which appears to have been made for royalty.
“Wine tasting, particularly at the JCB Tasting Salon, is already such a unique all-encompassing sensory experience, so when developing our software and touch table for the interactive flight at JCB’s new salon in Yountville we were incredibly particular about finding ways to enhance it and take it to another level,” said Jim Spadaccini, Founder and Creative Director of Ideum. “Working with Jean-Charles Boisset who has such a passionate vision for shaping the visitor experience was a tremendous opportunity and we relished the creative process. Together we wanted to create an experience that has never been seen before in the world of wine.”
Last year, Ideum and Graphene 3D Lab signed an agreement to collaborate on a number of projects that would combine Ideum’s smart tables with Graphene 3D’s conductive 3D printed items. The new smart wine tasting experience is currently only available at JCB, but I hope that it eventually catches on at other wineries. I don’t know if it’ll be coming to Ohio anytime soon, so I’m already considering a field trip to Yountville – for research purposes only, of course. Tell us your thoughts on these new products in the 3D Printed Wine Glasses forum over at 3DPB.com.