The average American probably doesn’t think much about counterfeit wine. Then again, the average American probably isn’t a massive international wine company. China especially is known to have a flourishing black market for wine, so it’s not surprising that the Chinese-owned winery Ferngrove Wine Group is the first wine brand to try a new “smart wine bottle” that not only fights against counterfeiters but also allows the company to communicate with consumers.
The new technology was developed by Thinfilm, an electronic printing specialist that uses thin electronic sensors utilizing Near Field Communication to help track bottles. According to the company, as much as 70 percent of wine sold in China, especially by high-end brands, may be counterfeit, making their ability to help authenticate bottles a big deal. But beyond protecting buyers, the technology can also communicate with them. Ferngrove could potentially send messages to customers who used their smartphones to read the tags. Thinfilm’s Open Sense technology can even detect when bottles have been.
Though Ferngrove will be the first wine company to use the new tech, it originally debuted on bottles of Johnny Walker back in February. I assume if you got enough of these smart bottles together, they could even alert you that you have a drinking problem.