By Rick Riozza
I think perhaps we can now call it phenomena. It seems that every other patio party, brunch or otherwise, has more than a few bottles of Wander+Ivy wine on the table. And the reason is clear: this product is so convenient, classy, and tasty!
The Wander+Ivy website states it concisely: “It’s a great glass of wine—anytime! Made with organic grapes from world-class producers.” For those of you yet unaware, the emphasis of the above quote is on “a great glass”.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t enjoyed the bottle/glass yet. That’s right! It is a single serve bottle of wine. aka—the perfect 6.3 ounce of wine serving in a glass. It’s perfect because if you’re having just one glass of wine for the occasion, a 6.3 oz pour is what you’re happy with.
But I know you loyal readers are familiar with the Wander+Ivy brand. Our March 23rd column was all over the coverage:“Women in Wine—Wander +Ivy where we introduced the wine brand and its 2017 founder, Ms. Dana Spaulding. If you missed the article, let’s quickly bring you up to date:
Dana Spaulding spent the first of her career at JP Morgan Private Bank where she managed wealth for successful entrepreneurs. There she met her husband and they both talked of being entrepreneurs themselves.
One evening her husband asked, “Are you really going to waste another bottle of wine?” Dana was frustrated because, yes, she really wanted to enjoy a nice glass of wine after a long day; but would likely waste the bottle by not finishing it. “That really was the spark for me.”
Here are her comments on that spark! “I searched high and low for single-serve options, but everything I found left much to be desired—like great taste and packaging that mirrored the quality of the experience. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to create one myself.” Dana saw the demand for single serving organic wines & ran with it! “In a very cute + chic way.”
“I started Wander + Ivy because I wanted the freedom to enjoy a great glass of wine without the guilt of bottle waste. Today we are proud to offer an elevated single-serve wine experience that combines the exquisite taste and terroir of organic wines from sustainable producers with convenient premium packaging and a deep-seated commitment to helping charitable organizations feed those in need.”
(By the way—in 2020, Wander + Ivy donated 1-percent of its sales to the nonprofit Colorado Feeding Kids, providing a whopping 15,000 meals to hungry children in Colorado and nationwide.)
Recently, I reached out to Dana with some further inquiries. Here are her responses: How did you come up with the name “Wander & Ivy? “Wander invokes a sense of travel and exploration. The size, shape and look of W+I differ from what exists in the market and is an exploration of new packaging and a new way to enjoy a glass of wine. We also ‘wander the world’ to find the best wines! The wines are global, which is quite different from most other single-serve options on the market today.
“Ivy adds a green and natural element to the name, which highlights our focus on natural and organic ingredients. Together ‘Wander + Ivy’ is a beautiful and memorable name that speaks to our active and adventurous consumer and incorporates a green, natural feel that ties with the organic and sustainable elements of the products.”
Briefly, how are the dynamics in dealing with her international vintners? “We are proudly a licensed importer and work directly with each of our international winery partners, rather than sourcing via a broker. Although this path requires additional work for our team, in the end I believe that working directly with our winery partners allows us to build deep, long-term relationships that are critical as we scale.
“It’s also rewarding to have our partners along for the journey as we grow. One of the most exciting things I heard recently was one of our first winery partners in Spain start a sentence with “I remember when …”
What are the business & practical considerations with the different varietals—is there a need to be flexible with the vintages and regions?
“We specifically seek the top varietals in the most renowned wine regions of the world. For example, Sauv Blanc from NZ, Rosé from France, Chard and Cab from California.”
What advice can you share about women in the wine workplace?
“We are proudly certified women-owned and have leveraged this as something that differentiates us in a male-dominated industry. I recommend seeing your differences as strengths and ways to stand out in a crowded category.”
All that being said, my personal comment is that the glass bottle packaging is absolutely convenient!! Now you can take a nice glass of wine with you to any place at any time. The glass is sturdy but sleek (and off the record, it’s extremely re-usable for all your requirements!).
2020 Limited Edition Chardonnay ($6.99) This bright California Chardonnay unleashes aromas of pear and apricot with hints of nuts and vanilla. The palate is rich, slightly buttery and has the perfect amount of toast.
2020 Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon ($6.99) This California Cabernet shows beautiful aromas of ripe boysenberry, cassis and a touch of mocha and coffee. On the palate, this wine is supple with soft tannins and a velvety texture, with black cherry fruit and a hint of vanilla.
2020 Limited Edition Red Blend ($6.99) Made from organically grown Bobal and Merlot grapes, this Spanish blend has red fruit aromas with subtle toasted notes. It is medium-bodied, fresh and balanced on the palate, with hints of chocolate and spice.
2020 Limited Edition Rosé ($6.99) This is a pleasantly light and crisp dry rosé exhibiting aromas of raspberry and strawberry. On the palate there is fresh apples and rose petals. The grapes were all organically grown in the South of France. Cheers!