Inspiration is drawn from many shapes, forms and passions. For venture capitalist, Terence Tan his passion and interest in wine, has assuredly created one of the most exciting products we’ve seen in a while. We’re referencing the Santus Andante smart wine dispenser of course from Vino Fontaine, a Singapore-based wine tech startup, which Tan founded and now serves as CEO.
A ‘Truly Smart Wine Dispenser
The Santus Andante is a product conceptualised by Tan. As an avid wine drinker, Tan takes great pleasure in unwinding at the end of the day with one glass of wine. However, seeing how an opened bottle of wine oxidises and deteriorates in less than three days, he decided to create a product that would preserve the taste and freshness of the wine, yet be a centrepiece of conversation in every space it occupies.
Using state-of-the-art patented oxygen absorption technology for wine preservation, this state-of-the-art wine dispenser can keep the wine fresh after uncorking for up to 14 days. It can be paired with an app, allowing owners to receive updates on the wine life and also, control the temperature settings for either red or white wines with the desired temperature from 10 – 18ºC.
Best of all, the product is easy to set up. Simply turn on the power, insert the filter and you are ready to go. The dispenser system prevents drips and dispenses a perfect standard wine pour with one push of a button. And then there’s it’s design. With its sleek lines inspired by the aerodynamic lines of race cars and the smooth curves of a wine bottle, the Santus Andante shines in any space.
With the product now gaining huge interest in both the Singapore and Asian markets, AugustMan sat down with Vino Fontaine CEO and Founder, Terence Tan to discover more about this new cutting edge dispenser and what its slated to bring to the wine industry.
What was the inspiration behind creating the Santus Andante?
The Santus Andante was inspired by the fact that I am a lightweight when it comes to drinking. Every so often, I enjoy a bottle of wine and every time I open one, I will either have to force myself to finish it before it turns bad, which is usually in 3-4 days or wait till the weekend when I have friends over before I can have my drink which isn’t the most convenient.
As a venture capitalist for over 20+ years, I’m inspired and have often backed entrepreneurs who are trying to build a better mousetrap, solving problems they see, or creating new products and services to make the world a better place. With that experience, I thought it’s also time I hop on the entrepreneurship train and see how far I can further this idea of a wine dispenser.
I did some research and found that although there are commercial solutions available for wine preservation and dispensing, the consumer versions were missing, thus beginning the groundwork for the Santus Andante.
Considering the market for wine dispensers, what was the main objective you had to ensure that the Santus Andante stood out from the rest?
As a perfectionist, I wanted to make sure I would introduce a product out there that I would be proud to use myself. Besides the Santus Andante being functional – being able to preserve an open bottle of wine for up to 14 days – dispensing a perfect pour without spillage or dripping and being able to be monitored via an app), I wanted to ensure that the design is sleek, elegant and looks amazing in homes, commercial spaces and can stand out as a conversation starter.
Who would you say the product is perfect for?
In the consumer sense, I would say the Santus Andante is for anyone who likes to savour their wines. We discovered a strong majority of our customers buy it as gifts besides owning it themselves. In the commercial sense, the Santus Andante would be perfect as an additional accoutrement for the hospitality industry, for example in the suite of a hotel resort or even, as part of the VIP-experience for industries which hosts VIP guests like the automotive space in promoting responsible drinking.
Is the Santus Andante better suited for a specific type of wine such as red/white or vintage/sparkling for instance?
It is developed for still wine of both red or white which has the issue of oxidising, if left open for 3 days or more. We fit most standard Bordeaux wine bottles, including those of Burgundy, but those extra tall and fat ones, they might not fit.
As for sparkling wine, due to the bubbly nature of it, it is tough to maintain its freshness, so unfortunately we don’t support it. It’s also rare to have leftover champagne anyways as people are normally celebrating, so, I would say “drink it up” in this case!
Are there maintenance issues (cleaning/replacement cartridges) that owners should be aware of?
The Andante uses the oxygen absorber found in the cartridge to remove the oxygen in the bottle, so this cartridge has to be replaced once it’s used up, and this could be after 8-16 bottles of wine, depending on usage. Other than that, you can put clean water into an empty wine bottle and flush the machine every once in a while as I do my coffee machine.
We read that it can wine fresh for up to 14 days, ideally how long should one consume the wine to ensure its optimal quality?
While we have tested wines that stay fresh beyond 14 days, we don’t really need to push the Andante to its limits. I usually finish my bottle within 7 days as I just want more time to slowly savour my wine, but for those who need more, the Andante itself and our app can alert you so you keep a better track of time.
Since launch, how has the reception been for the model?
We have seen good demand for the Andante in the markets where we launched, both in China and Singapore. We were further surprised by the interest from Japan, which has exceeded the sales in Singapore already, South Korea and other markets. At this stage we need to walk before we can run, and I hope in 2023, we have the resources to expand to more markets and let more consumers enjoy our products.
(Images: Vino Fontaine)