Wine packaging has seen innovations over the years: Single-serve bottles; corks swapped out for screw caps; and canned wine taking millennials by storm. But though different wine packages have their pros and cons, few of them can say they are as uniquely functional as a bottle developed by London’s Garcon Wines – a company which has unveiled a flat plastic wine bottle specially designed to slip through a mail slot.
For Americans more used to mailboxes mounted at the end of driveways, mail slots, or “letterboxes” as the Brits call them, are nearly universal in the UK – a standard-sized rectangular opening in the front door intended for mail and thin packages to be slipped through. Since these slots are so common (and also less accommodating than a larger US mailbox), many British companies specifically design their packaging to fit in them. But good luck shoving a wine bottle through these typically two inch openings. Even if you could, it very well might smash to pieces during the resulting drop to the floor.
But the British love their wine delivery. So Joe Revell set out to resolve this issue and create a wine bottle that could make it through a letterbox and survive the impending plunge inside the door. The result is his company Garcon Wines which makes 750 milliliter plastic, screw cap wine bottles that are thinner and slightly longer than your normal bottle of vino. Visually, they look a bit like a long plastic flask.
The concept recently gained attention after Revell’s company was selected to appear on the show Pop Up Start Up on CNBC. “Competing in the TV show has meant we have been able to expand from an ambitious idea on paper, to fully manufacturing our much-loved bottles and packaging,” Revell told Beverage Daily.
And regardless of how his foray into reality TV goes, Revell says he’s hoping to be shoving wine through Brits’ letter boxes soon. “Following on from the competition we will be focusing on selling subscriptions and delivering wine to our customers through their letterboxes,” Beverage Daily quoted him as saying. “We will also be running a crowdfunding campaign and anyone interested in receiving wine from us can sign up to our email address.”
Of course, though the idea may be exciting for those in the UK, it is a uniquely British problem. Americans rarely have mail slots. Though maybe these unique bottles could inspire an American entrepreneur in other ways – like maybe a mini-keg of beer designed to perfectly fit the contours of a mailbox?