If you’ve ever been to a boozy party, you will have encountered someone who has had far too much to drink.
The reason why you meet him (or her) is that he’s reached what’s known as the “Chatty” stage where he tells you all his troubles. Shortly after that, he’ll go through “You’re My Best Friend,” followed closely by “Sob and Slobber on Your Shoulder.” The final stage depends on what he has been drinking. If he’s been downing beer, he’ll finish with the “Fall Asleep in Your Nachos” stage. If he’s been mixing cocktails with shooters, you’ll want to get well out of range before he gets to the “My Stomach Can’t Take Anymore!” phase.
I mention all of this because now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, your wine bottle may get to the chatty stage well before you (or your party friend) do.
According to a Reuters report, Italian winemakers have experimented with wines that come with a talking label. Essentially, a chip is implanted in the bottle, and wine stores, wineries or tasting events will have a special device on hand that will allow you to access and listen to the recording on the chip.
Since I can’t believe that this is a sales gimmick (after all, one really doesn’t have to sell wine to Italians any more than you have to sell hockey to Canadians), there can only be two reasons for this development:
1) In spite of all the swooshing and spitting, professional wine tasters were getting too sauced to actually read labels, and requested some help.
2) Wine retailers were getting tired of wine newbies coming up to them and saying, “It’s red wine with chicken, right? But if it’s undercooked, should it be accompanied by a rose?” Now they can just smile and hand over the headphones.
The question is, how long before winemakers elsewhere market a similar chip that doesn’t require a special listening device? Or that has additional features?
For example, certain wines are best served chilled. A properly programmed bottle would be able to sense — and complain about — the temperature. In other words, it would whine.
Or consider the consequences of racking bottles from competing wineries too close together. Would they fight and argue? You know what they say about the wrath of grapes.
You just know someone is going to program a chip that allows the bottle to tell jokes. Then you really would have an amusing little wine.
And pity the interactive bottle of wine with an embarrassing name:
YOU: Hi there! What’s your name?
WINE: I’m a white wine.
YOU: I can see that. But who are you?
WINE: Just call me a young sauvignon blanc.
YOU: No, no, what’s your name? You must have one.
YOU: I can’t hear you, speak up.
WINE: Fine! My name is Cat’s Pee On a Gooseberry Bush, okay? Other wines, they get names you can respect, like ‘unoaked chardonnay’ or at the very least something pretentious you can’t pronounce, like ‘Gewurztraminer.’ Me? I get named after kitten piddle.
YOU: Um, you know, I think we’re having steak tonight anyway, so…
WINE: Yeah, yeah, that’s what they all say…
Of course, other food and beverage manufacturers will want talking labels as well. I can’t imagine we’ll see talking vegetables anytime soon — we see enough of those on reality TV.
We might see talking cheese though — it would be a natural follow-up to the wine. You’d get everything from an aggressive limburger (“Oh yeah?! Well you smell too!”) to a mild Swiss (“H_llo. I w_rk eq_ally we_l in a sa_dwich or in a l_vely ste_k sauc_.) You might also see an old cheddar (“Listen sonny, if you had seen half the things I’ve seen…”) or a lively goat cheese (“Meh-eh-eh-eh!”).
Overall, I think talking labels are an interesting idea. However, I’m still waiting for that wonderful day when all your food and drink picks itself off the grocery shelf, and delivers itself to your refrigerator. Or better yet, your dinner table, fully prepared.
Photo Credit: MasterTux / Pixabay
Also published on Medium.