With CES just days away, I’m in a mad dash to finalize which companies I’m meeting with (feel free to pitch me!), what products I want to see, and exactly how much I’ll be walking around Las Vegas. One company that just popped up on my radar is MyWah, which will be debuting Edgar, the connected “Wine Butler” (h/t Gadget).
Edgar is a WiFi-enabled countertop appliance about the size of a mini-fridge that can precisely dispense three different types of wine, each at their proper temperature (so whites are cooler than reds, etc.). Instead of bottles, the Edgar system ships RFID-tagged bags o’ wine that tell the machine what type of wine is being loaded in, provide sourcing information about that wine, and have the added bonuses of being easier to ship and supposedly reducing wine oxidation.
There’s no pricing information on the MyWah page for either the device or the bags of wine, but Edgar isn’t for consumers. Instead, the company is targeting restaurants, hotels, caterers, etc. MyWah wants Edgar to revolutionize “the service of wine by the glass.” To that end, Edgar’s system also provides information for owners such as consumption data, invoice management and inventory management.
A lot of questions remain about Edgar. In addition to the aforementioned lack of pricing, there is also no info on their site about whether any kind of SaaS subscription is required, and the wine page just says they are preparing a “beautiful wine list.” So who knows if they are crafting their own, white labeling or working with recognized names.
With those caveats in mind, Edgar appears to be at the nexus of a few trends in hospitality right now. First, it automates the process of wine dispensing to maximize profitability (so long, overpours!). It also provides real time data so owners can see exactly what is selling and when. Finally, using proprietary bags not only gives MyWah a source of recurring revenue, but also an easier way to ship liquid. Bags are also being used to make shipping olive oil easier and homebrewing less complicated. I imagine we’ll see more innovation in such packaging this year as well.
Perhaps I’ll save seeing Edgar in action for the end of my time at CES — by then I’ll definitely need a glass of wine.