Wine and NFTs may sound like an unusual pairing, but the combination actually makes a lot of sense. NFTs can help combat fake products, increase a brand’s reach, and generate additional revenue from a unique internet-based market.
Wokenwine is one such ‘Wine + NFT’ company that hopes to help these vintners. On April 25, the company announced its intentions to launch an online platform in June 2022 that will enable wineries to utilize NFTs to track their wines and help end counterfeiting practices. Wokenwine will also allow wineries to access a new market of collectors and investors through an online, peer-to-peer sales model.
How can NFTs benefit the wine industry?
One of the biggest issues facing the wine industry is tampering and forgery – essentially misrepresenting the wine in order to make more money off a bottle than it’s actually worth. According to a report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office, fake wine and spirits cost the global drinks industry about $3.18 billion each year – and experts predict that a staggering 20 percent of all wines sold are fake.
Being cautious, and learning how to detect a fake bottle can only get buyers so far though. That’s why NFTs are such a promising addition to the industry. NFTs allow for real-time tracking of the wine bottles and help to provide authenticity and verification on the blockchain.
“It is necessary to give back confidence to wine lovers by putting integrity back into traceability and fighting against counterfeits. Selling wines through NFTs is a way not only to achieve this but also to put the control of the wine authentication in the hands of the winegrowers,” said Count Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, owner of Burgundy based wine estate Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair in the press release. He has decided to sell his whole 2020 vintage production on Wokenwine.
Wokenwine believes that NFTs attached to a wine bottle also have the potential to increase the income of winemakers. They can organize online auctions for their wines and NFTs and sell their products direct to collectors and consumers without any intermediaries. This online NFT-based p2p (peer-to-peer) sales model can benefit winemakers in the same way as it benefits artists and musicians — the creator receives the maximum rewards and not the middlemen.
Valéry Lux, CEO of Wokenwine, also considers the wine market unjust for winemakers at present, he explained in the press release, “with Wokenwine, we are giving back some power to wine estates. [The] current market can be unfair for winemakers. They produce their wines, [and] work hard, but are mostly not rewarded for it. There is no doubt that they should get rewarded for their great talent.”
NFTs have already taken over the wine industry
Wokenwine’s NFT+Wine platform may not be going live until June, but NFTs are already transforming the wine industry across the globe. In January 2022, Australian winemaking company Penfolds put 300 Magill Cellar 3 wine bottles for sale on an online liquor NFT marketplace BlockBar. All the bottles and attached NFTs were sold within 10 hours of the release. Interestingly, this wasn’t the first time Penfolds sold wine with NFTs, the company previously released two NFTs attached to their 2021 Magill Cellar 3 Cabernet Shiraz wine barrel that was bought for $130,000.
However, if you think Penfolds is the only company utilizing NFTs for wine, you need to think again. There’s a long list of brands including Yao Family Wines, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Invivo X, Robert Mondavi, and Graham Norton’s He-Devil that have successfully released NFTs for their wines. NFTs have transformed the art, music, and sports industries. There’s no doubt that they have the power to benefit the wine industry as well.