Changing the way we sell wine

The days of bottles or glasses to the room could be a thing of the past thanks to Plum, with a bold new wine dispensing idea catching on in hotels.

Wine that can be stored in-room for up to 90 days, dispensed at the perfect temperature, and customers charged by the glass – automatically onto their room bill. The future of in-room wine dispensing is now! Casino International spoke to Adam Hoydysh, – vice president hotel sales – about Plum.

Casino International: Where did the idea for Plum come from?

Adam Hoydysh: Plum was created the company’s founder and CEO, David Koretz, who drew his initial inspiration from his morning cup of coffee. Like most of us, he started each day by hitting a button to have the perfect espresso or cappuccino and wanted same simple and automated experience when it came to enjoying a glass of wine. Thus, he built the first fully automated appliance for wine.

After a successful consumer launch, Plum for Hotels was brought to life. The program gives hoteliers an in-room appliance that automatically identifies, preserves, chills, and serves wine one perfect glass at a time. Hotels can offer their guests a choice of red or white wine in a way that easily meets their on-demand needs.

CI: How does Plum store the wine? Is there any sexy technology involved?

AH: Plum was designed to hold any two standard 750 ml bottles, preserving each for up to 90 days without the effects of imprecise refrigeration or oxidation. Plum features a molded, brushed stainless steel shell and full-colour, seven inch touchscreen display that allows guests a one-touch selection to pour full glasses or just a taste.

Cameras scan the bottle labels, automatically detecting vintage, varietal, region, winery, and wine so guests have all of the background of the wine they are about to enjoy. Dual thermoelectric solid-state cooling units set varietal-specific temperatures for ideal storage of each bottle, preserving premium taste for both options.

As Plum’s fully motorized system cradles the bottle, its patent-pending needle pierces the closure, whether natural, artificial, engineered cork or metal screw cap. Argon gas automatically pressurizes the bottle to deliver wine directly from the bottle through the stainless steel tubing and into the glass. Dual pouring spouts allow two different bottles to be served by the glass, on tap simultaneously, to deliver wine at the perfect temperature, every time.

CI: What kind of customers are you looking for – what demographic does your hotel customer serve?

AH: Plum meets the needs of both leisure and business travelers. The device provides a solution for the leisure traveler who is looking for a glass of wine to watch a sunset from their balcony, or while preparing for a night out. Business travelers can enjoy a glass of wine as they catch up on email or relax after a long flight or meeting. For both types of travelers, all of this comes at the touch of a button and there is no need to wait 45 minutes for room service to deliver a glass of wine covered in shrink wrap.

CI: What kind of cost is involved in this for a hotel?

AH: Hotels may lease or purchase Plum. Leases start at $49 per month. Put another way, Plum is cash profitable serving a single glass of wine per week.

CI: Is there a unit number that a hotel needs to order for this to be cost-effective?

AH: Every Plum is cost-effective. Integrating Plum into every room product only delivers a better guest experience and increases incremental revenue and profits.

CI: Is this available for a bar or is it just in-room?

AH: Plum is primarily intended for hotel rooms but it also complements a wide-range of F&B outlets such as restaurants, bars, lounges, club floors, lobbies. Waldorf Astoria Roosevelt in New Orleans recently deployed Plum in their suite product and a to-go outlet in the lobby. Now, guests can grab a glass in the lobby and take it to go.

CI: Does this allow a hotel to offer better wines by the glass?

AH: Plum gives F&B executives total freedom to choose the wine and price point that best matches guest preferences. They can change wine seasonally, offer premium wine for suites, or even customize the bottles to match the VIP guest preferences. Plum also enables hoteliers to personalize guest relations, by sending, for example, complimentary glasses of wine and a note to a couple celebrating an anniversary.

CI: Medium- to long-term storage is usually the issue which stops a bar serving good wines by the glass, does this bypass that issue?

AH: Plum’s long-term preservation system allows hoteliers to offer finer and more expensive wines by the glass. Never removing the wine bottle’s closure ensures each glass is fresh and no wine is wasted. In terms of specifics, Rosewood-Sand Hill’s suites offer Groth by the glass on-demand presented by Plum.

CI: Do you have any notable hotel/IR/casino customers already?

AH: Today, Plum counts Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto, The Confidante Miami Beach, Waldorf Astoria Roosevelt New Orleans, among others, as Plum for Hotels partners. Plum anticipates rolling out across more than 50 hotels through the remainder of 2018.