Italian printer Modulgraf has created a system for embedding chips into paper labels that can be read with handheld devices. Based on RFID, the system allows buyers to listen to information about the wine and even hear a bit of music before they quaff the wine.
Can you imagine: “This wine is great with red and white meat, fish, cheese….” aaagh
The company, which holds the patent for the microchip technology employed by many top wineries in the battle against wine falsification, prints labels for some of the biggest Italian wine producers including Ornellaia, Arnaldo Caprai and Tenuta Campo al Sasso, the new Antinori joint venture.
According to Daniele Barontini, president of the design company, the new technology is geared towards luxury wines and wine aficionados.
‘The label will retain its square or rectangular shape, design and colour. It will be made of plastic and can actually be removed and ‘read’ like a CD. The producer’s voice will explain the merits of the wine, give particulars of the vintage, and talk about the estate,’ he told Decanter Magazine
The inventor of the technology, Florentin Doring, has already used the product successfully with books in other markets. A special label reader, similar to a walkman, also manufactured by Modulgraf, will be needed to listen to the label. The reader, which is likely to be expensive, will be purchased by high-end wine shops, restaurants and collectors who intend to buy the specially-labeled wines.
‘Clearly, this is intended for a very select category of wines and consumers,’ said Barontini.
While he says there is great interest in the product, which is to be released this autumn, he declined to mention producers who have already ordered the new labels. It’s believed that many high end Tuscan producers are expressing interest.
‘Many of the producers interested are also looking at this as the ultimate safeguard in the constant battle against the counterfeit wine industry,’ said Barontini, since the ‘disk labels’ would be too difficult to reproduce.