by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua
I first encountered Vino Volo at Logan Airport late last year. I was travelling with Yvonne Donohoe, Director of Sales at the Shelbourne Hotel and we each enjoyed a nice glass of wine there while waiting for our Aer Lingus flight to board for Dublin. I was struck by the overall design of the outlet and by the quality and price point of the product. The “airport” context was minimized by a design solution using simple wooden wine boxes and attractive display cabinets and the wine was poured, knowledgeably and professionally, into proper glasses and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg!
At Dulles last week I had the chance to revisit and again was really impressed. This time I had a small bowl of pasta (Truffle Penne & Cheese: rustic pasta with white cheddar, smoked gouda, truffle oil and toasted bread crumbs) and a glass of red from Puglia, in Southern Italy (TraVolo – a Sangiovese / Merlot mix). I also had a little longer to linger and realised you can have tasting flights too – there are three Malbecs on the wine list priced at $12 – $15 but you can do a flight featuring all three for $14. You get tasting notes too and each wine is placed on an easy to understand matrix which plots complexity against fruit and places it in one of 4 quadrants – light, bright, brooding and rich.
Intrigued by the whole brand proposition I did some research and discovered that Vino Volo has been around for almost 10 years. The brainchild of a former Deloitte consultant – that’s probably where the matrix idea came from as all consultants order their thoughts using matrices – Vino Volo started, specifically, as an airport experience. In ways Vino Volo is a zeitgeist brand touching on several key demographic and cultural trends:
the familiarity of a club-like experience for busy executives who can connect with the brand at over 25 airport locations across the US and Canada;
meaningful learning experiences around wine – at Vino Volo you get refreshed and educated;
wine as a cool hobby;
wine and food pairings where the two go together
I love Vino Volo and look forward to its arrival in Europe when it’ll be convenient to also purchase the wine there and bring it home without the fear of having it confiscated by security.
Padraic Gilligan is Managing Partner at SoolNua, a boutique consultancy working with companies and organisations in the Meetings and Events industry