When people think of concerts and music festivals, they often think of deafening speakers, the smell of sunscreen and amber beer in clear plastic cups. Wine is sometimes seen as too sophisticated for the sweaty crowds of Riot Fest or Lollapalooza.
Electric Sky Wine, a company owned by music label Interscope Records, is seeking to change that.
“What we’ve seen is that people want to drink wine at festivals, they just don’t like the way they’re forced to do it,” said Maggie Bolin, director of sales for Electric Sky. “They don’t want it in a Dixie cup — it could get knocked over, and there’s no branding on the cup so they don’t even know what they’re drinking. That’s the problem we’re looking to solve.”
The company set up a booth at North Coast Music Festival earlier this month from Sept. 1-3, and a booth at Riot Fest from Sept. 15-17. At both festivals, Electric Sky’s cleverly engineered 750 ml bottles, which break into four stackable 187 ml cups, were wildly popular. The cups are shaped like small stemless glasses that fit perfectly in the hand.
“Nearly everywhere we go, we sell out,” said Daniel Sena, head of strategic marketing at Interscope Records. “We realized we weren’t the only ones who were seeking this solution.”
The booth at Riot Fest was consistently flooded with people buying $9 single cups for themselves or $30 whole bottles to share with friends. The recognizable stacked cups could be spotted in the rowdiest of crowds, including the one watching Paramore’s 8 p.m. show.
Riot Fest attendee Xochitl Hansen, though not yet 21, said she sees the appeal of this wine.
“It’s genius,” the 20-year-old said. “It’s hard to believe someone hasn’t come up with this already. It’s so cool.”
Electric Sky focused on environmental impacts and wine quality when developing their product. Its bottles are made of recyclable, reusable and BPA-free plastic and its wine is sourced from some of the finest vineyards in the world.
“We get our rose from France, our pinot grigio from Italy and our red blend and moscato from California,” Bolin said. “People think that just because a wine doesn’t come in the classic glass bottle, it’s low quality. We wanted to challenge that idea, and it’s worked.”
Bolin said the shareability and standard drink sizes make the product great for students of age, too. The bottles are conveniently designed to help track drinks consumed. The design also saves students from buying the glasses and corkscrews bottles require. Bartenders love the concept as well, because it makes serving a perfect glass of wine easy.
“Sometimes you want a glass of wine, but you don’t want to uncork a bottle and have it go bad a week later,” Sena said. “There’s a lot of instances where people want to consume wine in this manner, in individual glasses like this.”
Electric Sky wine is sold online at the company’s website and on shelves at Binny’s Beverage Depot and Meijer, where it retails for $12.99 a bottle. It could be sold at Whole Foods in the near future, where the price might be slightly higher, according to Bolin.
In all respects, it looks like Electric Sky could be the future of wine as we know it — a perfect fit for the convenient, carefree lifestyle that millennials crave.