How to Buy Wine Directly From a Vineyard—Using an App
Alcohol delivery service and app Minibar is expanding its selection to include wines you might not find in stores. Its new Vineyard Select program partners with independent vineyards to create the latest entry in the rapidly growing direct-to-consumer wine market.
Minibar's delivery includes wine, beer, spirits, and mixers, but, according to co-CEO and co-Founder Lara Crystal, wine is the platform's top seller. Now, Minibar hopes to expand its path beyond delivery, and into curation and supply. Users can enter their address into the mobile app or website to find out which Vineyard Select partners are available in your area, and further learn about each vineyard. Launch partners Penrose Hill, Uproot Wines, and The Blending Lab, with minimum orders starting at $45.
Founded in 2014, Minibar's new program is the latest volley in the young and highly competitive world of alcohol delivery services. Rivals have been making moves: New York-based Thirstie consolidated by acquiring Chicago-founded Drinkfly last year; Drizly has previously partnered with Food & Wine; and even Amazon has been getting into the game.
The prize, according to Minibar's press release, isn't just to become the Seamless of alcohol, but "the one-stop shop for all alcohol needs." The new vineyard-to-table service will sit in the app alongside functions that let users book pro bartenders on demand, send gifts across the country, and contact a dedicated concierge to answer, the company says "all spirits-related questions—from how much wine to order for a party of four to 400, or recipe tips for a spicy margarita."
With the direct to consumer wine market growing 17 percent in 2016, Minibar may not be the last service to join the field. Can independent vineyards become the next craft beer movement? Whatever happens, they're getting easier to access every year.