Not seeing anything you like in your wine cellar? Hold on, don’t throw it out in your fancy wine garbage can just yet. Trade it to some stranger you met through a wine trading app!
That’s the general idea behind the recently released app tradeagrape, which is currently available for iOS and Android. The brainchild of commodities trader turned winemaker Donna Katz, the app allows users to set up their own virtual wine “caves” and search other users’ caves for potential swap prospects. Once you’ve negotiated a deal, users are encouraged to meet up in person, ship directly between parties or attend forthcoming “tradeagrape pop-up events” intended to facilitate exchanges.
Tradeagrape gives users multiple ways to find wines they might be interested in. You can browse other users’ caves or simply search specifically for what you’re looking for. And since sorting out the actual physical trade is such a big part of the process, users can also search for users who are within 100 miles of their current location using a “Nearby” function—making it easier to meet up at a local wine bar.
Though the concept seems straightforward, one issue tradeagrape seems to sidestep is the inherent risk in the bartering process, especially for a delicate product like fine wine, where oftentimes buyers can’t tell if there’s an issue until the bottle’s already been opened. Of course, this bartering model isn’t unprecedented, and even with wine, the company says this kind of trading is completely legal. Still, for now at least, if you swap for a wine that hasn’t been stored properly or is straight-up corked, the app’s policy appears to be that you are out of luck.
But come on, “NebbioloLover1952” has a cellar full of vintage Barolos… He’s gotta be trustworthy, right?