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Toast the Day

With record high wine shipments, the U.S. surpassed France as the world’s largest wine-consuming nation two years ago. Wine industry consultant Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates (Woodside,CA) says Americans drank approximately 330 million cases of the red, white, and blush in 2010. Most of this wine was made here in the U.S, some of the vino traveled from foreign soils, and virtually all of it was sold in bottles.

In an industry steeped in traditions, Ryan Donnelly, co-founder of Home Team Wines (Sonoma, CA) aims to expand the ways Americans enjoy wine. Along with Home Team Wines’ other founder, Lane Shackleton, and X Winery’s (Napa,CA) founder and head winemaker Reed Renaudin,Donnelly launched the Bluebird Wine Pouch.

The collaboration’s first offering in the standup pouch is a Pinot Noir that the company describes as a full-bodied, spicy, Burgundy-style red. Placing a better quality wine in the standup pouch was important to Donnelly, because he wants to revolutionize where and how good wine is drunk—not replicate the lower-end experiences offered by some bag-in-box wines.

He was looking specifically to make something worthy of drinking on a “bluebird day”: an idiom originally used by ski enthusiasts to describe a sunny day after a fresh snowfall. Bluebird’s target market—Millennials with active lifestyles—has grown the phrase’s meaning to describe any day filled with simple pleasures.

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