Pricing for Enoround System?

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Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #1  Postby John Kenney » October 19th 2011, 4:41pm

Wondering if anyone can tell me from experience if this pouring system is effective from a retail perspective. Not even sure about MA laws and how they apply for paying for tasting vs. amounts served, etc. Was pitched these systems almost 8 years ago and they were $20K per unit. Couldn't justify, but more retailers seem to be using them. Anyone out there willing to share?
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #2  Postby PeterJ » October 21st 2011, 12:08am

Good question about how effective these are from a retail perspective. I saw my first Enomatic setup in San Francisco, at the now defunct Vino Venue, around the same time you were pitched a system (maybe 2002?). It was just before we opened our wine shop and tasting room, so I was interested, but thought they were very expensive. The people who owned Vino Venue were keeping very quiet about where they got the equipment and it took me almost a year to find that the Enomatic Western US sales office was maybe 2 miles from my store, in a small business park and that a relative of a friend of my wife did their install work. Weird!!!

I've seen the card units, as well as the non-card backbar, units in lots of places since then. The M Hotel, in Las Vegas, has maybe 160 wines in card units in their basement wine cellar, and another couple of dozen in their rooftop bar. Here in the OC I know of one place that has a backbar unit and another that has a card unit. Both are 8 bottle setups I think. I remember seeing a cable TV show featuring a place in NYC that has a large setup (as well as a projected computerized menu and tasting notes feature on its tables........ pretty cool). I also remember reading that Whole Foods was testing some units in its markets in the MidWest.

I have no idea of the ROI of these things, but would think the card type would need lots of use to make sense. As far as the backbar units are concerned, there are much less expensive ways to preserve wine for service, but these setups are very impressive looking. One wine bistro owner I was trying to sell my Argon unit to told me his was really for show. It came up when I asked him why he had 8 bottles in a unit but 6 more, completely ungassed bottles just corked and sitting on the bar next to the unit. His response was that it was a cool setup that impressed his customers.

BTW....... are the card units still around $20K??

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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #3  Postby Peter Tryba » October 21st 2011, 11:13am

Eno is straight up "terrible."

Call Jeffrey Weinstein at Napa Technology (call me for his number at 617-332-1230) or come into my store and look at their machines. $20k is just silly, we paid far less than that for 3.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #4  Postby John Kenney » October 21st 2011, 6:18pm

PeterJ,

Thanks for the diligence in response. And yes, the pricing on the Enoround system is over $20K plus software. From a mere store appearance standpoint, the unit looks VERY cool. It makes a statement about how serious the store is about wine. But I'd have to question myself as to who I'm making the statement. I've sold DRC, Hillside Select, Peter Michael in the past w/o the likes of expensive technology. Is this what it takes to sell the middle-aged woman wine? That said, I'd also like to create an environment where people of all kinds like to hang out, sample and ultimately buy wine Thu/Fri/Sat. The idea of this machine seems to becon that.

To Peter Trvba,

It's so funny that you mention the Napa Technology systems. I had an e-mail in to him last night after watching the video online and got a call from Jeff just today. The machines look awesome, and look to do the same thing as the Enomatic systems. I'm guessing the pricing is much, much less. My Q; to you is whether you've seen a jump in sales that could justify even the cost of these machines? In years past, I'd put out one bottle of wine on a small nitrogen can (actually the remnant of an old Chalone on-premise promotion) to preserve and taste for few days. It kindof worked, but I always wondered about doing it on a bigger scale, and if, once word got out, people would show up after work to taste what was new on the machine. That was always my goal. Happy people learning and tasting, then buying. I will give you a call to swing by the shop and take a look. Appreciate the offer.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #5  Postby Peter Tryba » October 22nd 2011, 4:40am

John
Seriously, drop by the store.
The Napa Tech machines blow the Eno ones out of the water for a fraction the price. The single most important difference: each bottle is sealed then attached to the argon intake. You can remove a bottle, put a different wine in the slot for a bit, pull that one out, and just slip the still-sealed first bottle back in.

We have 3 machines (12 wines total) which allow me the freedom to put in the everyday drinkers we want people to taste and take home, but also have a bruiser or two as a reward for regular users. (I have Lafaurie Peyraguey 2007, Chappellet 2008 Cab, and Cliff Lede 2007 Cab SLD in there now, for fun)
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #6  Postby John Kenney » October 24th 2011, 6:38pm

Hey Peter T,

Just spent 25 mins on the phone with Jeff. It ALL sounded good. Seriously making me think I was crazy to consider the other system. He did talk about the ability to swap w/o losing the bottles on the system and it's refreshing to hear it's legit from you. I'm considering 8-12 bottles. Any thoughts? We're busy for the holidays, very slow for first quarter, then totally ramp up for Spring and Summer. Want to totally create the vibe in the video where people show up thur/fri/sat or anyday to taste then buy. How long are you getting off the bottles with the argon?
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #7  Postby chaad thomas » October 26th 2011, 8:54am

John,

Do you need a dispensing solution, or just a preservation/presentation solution?
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #8  Postby Peter Tryba » October 26th 2011, 11:34am

Chaad, it sounds like he wants to dispense wine all day, every day, like we do at Marty's.

John, our bottles rarely last two weeks, so I'm not certain I can answer your question. However, when we first installed the units and membership cards were few and far between, the 12 bottles were in the machine for over a month without signs of spoilage.

Plus, you weren't crazy to consider the other machines, you just didn't have enough information to make the decision. Now you do! With a store our size, 12 bottles was the minimum considered. We contemplated up to 5 machines for 20 wines, but decided against it. Even with total control over pour size, we couldn't guarantee someone wouldn't "taste" all 20 wines then drive home. That is the single downside to a self-service tasting system; no control over intake.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #9  Postby chaad thomas » October 26th 2011, 8:55pm

Peter Tryba wrote:Chaad, it sounds like he wants to dispense wine all day, every day, like we do at Marty's.

Well, I know what it sounds like, but it's also clear that he doesn't know what his options really are, so understanding a little better what his vision is would be helpful in dialing in a recommendation.

For example, I know a place that samples customers all day, every day, but they actually pour wine for their clients, which I think makes for a powerful sales presentation. For that shop, a card operated dispensing system would be a giant failure, because they'd spend more time handling cards and changing out bottles and cleaning lines or heads than they would putting hands on people and selling the wine!

So depending on his needs and goals, a presentation/preservation system like the Verre du Vin Pod Bar (http://podbar.co/) might be brilliant, because it delivers the "we care about wine" message with the temp controlled storage bins, but allows for quick and easy free pouring in addition to providing preservation for both still and sparkling wines (via vacuum and CO2 pressure respectively). That the Pod Bar supports sparkling wine preservation is pretty killer, IMO, and I am unaware of any dispensing/preservation/presentation system that can handle bubblies, so something like this seems to be the only integrated solution for sparklers.

There are lots of disused Cruvinet systems in restaurants around here, and of the Enomatic types in retail, I've seen them be used with varying degrees of success, so it's clear that investing in a system should be carefully considered, both from the perspective of cost and features, but also from the perspective of objectives and practicality. Napa Tech might be perfect for some apps, Pod Bar for others, and Enomatic for yet others, but it all depends on the specific application.

Ergo, I was asking specific questions.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #10  Postby Peter Tryba » October 27th 2011, 5:44pm

Napa Tech machines dispense bubbly and beer. All the parts are machine washable. It literally takes 30 seconds to replace a bottle. They have onboard UPC scanners that identify the bottles for you. With a wifi connection, I can change the machine settings with my phone (temp, pour size, pour value, on/off, wine selection, etc.)

If you want to open bottles of wines not in the machines, may I suggest a can of Vintage Preserve?
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #11  Postby chaad thomas » October 28th 2011, 6:18am

Peter Tryba wrote:Napa Tech machines dispense bubbly and beer. All the parts are machine washable. It literally takes 30 seconds to replace a bottle. They have onboard UPC scanners that identify the bottles for you. With a wifi connection, I can change the machine settings with my phone (temp, pour size, pour value, on/off, wine selection, etc.)

If you want to open bottles of wines not in the machines, may I suggest a can of Vintage Preserve?

NapaTech can handle bubbly now? I'm curious how they do it, because I know they didn't before. I can't seem to find any info about it on their website either.

In any case, there's no best system, as each shop, wine bar, or restaurant will have different needs, objectives, and capabilities when considering a preservation system, so it's good to asks lots of questions.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #12  Postby Peter Tryba » October 28th 2011, 12:01pm

Just pour off a few ounces of the bubbly or beer and it works just fine.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #13  Postby chaad thomas » October 28th 2011, 4:12pm

Peter Tryba wrote:Just pour off a few ounces of the bubbly or beer and it works just fine.

That's not what I hear from my clients with the machines. They say that the NapaTech cannot meter the pours properly, and pushes too much gas which causes foaming and kills the wine. Also, NapaTech has been saying they're working on a sparkling wine solution, so that pretty much implies bubblies don't work with the system as it sits, but maybe they don't know about your little trick to pour some out first!

Do you have any problems with excessive foaming and flatness with the pours, and do you get reliable preservation of the bubbles in sparkling wine from the NapaTech using your method?

EDIT: I contacted NapaTech Support, and just got the reply (via email) that they do not support sparkling wine dispensing at this time, citing the problem of excessive foaming. The message also said a solution is coming soon, though.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #14  Postby Peter Tryba » October 28th 2011, 5:39pm

Well, in the age of Immediate Satisfaction, foaming could be an issue. Or, just wait 10 seconds for the foam to dissipate, then taste.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #15  Postby chaad thomas » October 28th 2011, 8:23pm

Peter Tryba wrote:Well, in the age of Immediate Satisfaction, foaming could be an issue. Or, just wait 10 seconds for the foam to dissipate, then taste.

That, and it makes the wine flat, and the machine can't measure how much it's dispensing, etc....

Those sound like critical failures of a dispensing/preservation system, and the manufacturer's recommendation to stick to still wines for the NapaTech WineStation, until they release their sparkling wine adapter, I think is a good one.

The Enomatic Flute seems to be the proper way to dispense/preserve sparkling wines, but I don't believe they have an integrated solution that also handles still wines; the Flute is a separate system.

None of which is to knock anybody's system, but they each have strengths and weaknesses that need to be understood within the context of the intended application.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #16  Postby John Kenney » November 4th 2011, 5:41pm

The back and forth raises an interesting and very important paramount as it pertains to wine sales at retail: still vs. sparkling. What's more, is there a machine that can repeatedly, efficiently, and effectly re-convey the essence of a sparkling wine to the piont of sale? I'm already sold on the Napa Wine Station. Just a matter of time before I make them happen in my store. By the opportunity for sales in the bubbly category are immense if someone can effectively tap in to the idea of celebrating every day.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #17  Postby chaad thomas » November 5th 2011, 4:08am

John Kenney wrote:The back and forth raises an interesting and very important paramount as it pertains to wine sales at retail: still vs. sparkling. What's more, is there a machine that can repeatedly, efficiently, and effectly re-convey the essence of a sparkling wine to the piont of sale? I'm already sold on the Napa Wine Station. Just a matter of time before I make them happen in my store. By the opportunity for sales in the bubbly category are immense if someone can effectively tap in to the idea of celebrating every day.

[scratch.gif]

"...effectively re-convey the essence..."??

Not sure what your asking with that, but maybe if you could explain why the Flute doesn't do it, that'd be instructive.

IMO, trying to sell sparkling on the idea of celebrating daily is too facile and doomed to fail, not only because of the implied naïveté, but because of the economic conditions. It didn't happen through the heady '80s - '90s, so why do you think it should work now? I think a more durable strategy would be to sell bubbly on the idea that's it's just wine, and is as suitable to the way we live and drink as any other white wine, or red wine, for that matter.

I think that people who are taught and encouraged to discriminate sparkling wine qualities can become as passionate and dedicated consumers as those who prefer reds.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #18  Postby John Kenney » November 6th 2011, 2:33pm

Chaad,

Ya know. Your right. I've just been pounded by customers over the years in retail, and it's time to change the paradigm. I guess what I was getting at (or trying to) was that I want more and more people to experience bubbly as wine and perceive it that way, and from what I see everyday, people don't.

And as I was trying to put it with "reconvey the essense"...much like with a traditional cork closure, I was trying to ask about connecting with the consumer on the mystic that opening bubbly carries with each pop. One my most successful offsite tasting was all about the sparking wine from around the world. And the repeated pop and general celebratory thinking was what I believe to be very important in it's success.
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Re: Pricing for Enoround System?

Post #19  Postby chaad thomas » November 7th 2011, 7:47am

Well, I don't know if I'm right about anything, I was just asking questions and offering opinions! I do think you're right, though: switching up the paradigm with your business can give you an important point of distinction in your local market, and anyway, if it rejuvenates you and puts excitement back into your approach to business, then that's worth a quite a bit too.

As far as recreating essence goes, I think I get what you're saying. You want that festive "pop" each time you pour a taste, right, which is why the Flute is unappealing? Well, take a look at the Verre du Vin systems I mentioned above. They're not dispensing units, but the way their preservation system works is to re-pressurize the headspace (to the same level as an unopened bottle, I believe) with CO2 to prevent the gas in solution from leaving the wine. The closure system is simple, just a stopper with a one-way valve in it and a wire lock that snaps under the annulus to secure it. So, every time you unclip and remove the stopper, you get the same pop you would as a fresh bottle, with the sound and everything.

Again, depending on what you want and how you work, that might be a solution.
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