I like the idea of packaging something very much. Especially if it is to pass hands as a product from creator to customer. It changes perspective, interpretation and how we feel about the product. Powerful stuff. I think people have admitted to being happily sucked into the magic of shiny upgraded Hoovers and cute PDF sized McMeals in the past but for some reason they can’t do the same with wine. I mean, with art and music you get folks saying they like almost anything just because it’s avant garde and funnily enough, it has been for about fifty years now (so it’s not really) to like anything that kind of explodes on itself or is ironically beautiful in its dirt-cheap nothingness.
Wine still looks pretty much the way it did when Jesus and his mates were spinning yarns about water into wine. And well, there you pretty much have it: erm, special people drink wine because it’s fancy stuff. Or at least it’s for the supposedly select group who don’t need to mix their alcohol with syrup in order to get it down and them over the other side of sobriety fast. No, wine is for the refined. The preferred quaffing substance of the shell-nosed French aristocratic socialite about bohemian town. Or for the folks to dip into when they’re feeling particularly bourgeoisie of an evening. Wine is the sacred, delicate elixir liquid and no one has dared to dilute the fruit of its art with anything less than a pure glass bottle. The honesty behind wine in a box is that it is hardly wine anymore and the poor stuff becomes more of a social stigmata than the heritage rich delicacy it finds in it’s bottle.
Wine really has stepped into no-man’s land in terms of design and anybody can apply. Everybody around here drinks it, young, old, rich, poor, fat, thin, aware of Beat prose or into Die Antwoord. So when we all think about it like that, it does kind of make you wonder why no little arty nube has come along and turned the wine world on its ear and got all the trendy hipsters drinking out of their design savvy hands with something a bit fresh. Wine doesn’t present itself as the natural artist’s canvas but when you think about Andy Warhol taking hi-end art and turning it into lo-fi pop art that the masses could sink their teeth into…well, wine was waiting for it to happen and Ukuva conceptualised something that could be ahead of its time but really should have happened a hundred years ago.
So finally there came an arty little nube! The U-Tube. The design found praise by winning an award in London for innovative design in the Fresh Ideas category at the IFE Exhibition on the 13th March 2011.

It seems that tough financial times breed really wonderful ideas as people tend to rationalise all their wants into needs too. The ultimate product is one that can keep it real on the pocket and still look totally fantastic. Value for money in this day and age is always going to go the extra mile and let’s be honest, the majority of us don’t crack open a bottle to be demure when we feel like winding the week down on Friday night. A little luxury should be something we all have access to without feeling like it’s not up to standard.
The U-Tube is great because there is such a niche in the masses and isn’t that ironic? Conceptualised by the creator, Nigel Wood, (a self-confessed’ know-nothing about wine’ guy) who coined the term, “two bottles in a bag, in a tube, with a tap”. It’s functionality, quantity and quality and it comes in something that you don’t associate with the monks of old and still is nowhere near a papsak.
The U-Tube is available in Cape Town from these fine stores: Arthur’s Seat 174 Old Main Road, Seapoint; Steven Rom, Palmhof centre, Kloof Street, Gardens; Mr K’s Liquor’s in Gardens Centre and Big Liquors on Buitenkant St in Gardens.