UK-based online wine platform Crurated has unveiled a metaverse to give real asset wine and spirit collectors an “immersive, engaging experience”.

The blockchain-backed metaverse is set to launch initially with a virtual cellar experience, allowing wine enthusiasts to walk through their collection and show off their bottles to others.

“Our metaverse is the first step in giving collectors an immersive, engaging experience, an alternative to a list of wines on a spreadsheet,” Crurated founder Alfonso de Gaetano said.

Crurated records data from every real-life bottle onto the blockchain, providing a timeline of its journey from the vineyard for those who wish to purchase it in the digital realm.

“The information recorded in the blockchain pertains to the origin of the bottles – a producer’s cellar – and the timing of their shipment to the warehouse. For instance, you could potentially see that the exclusive 2009 Clos de la Roche recently departed the producer’s cellar in January 2024. This indicates that it has been stored under optimal conditions since 2009 before reaching the warehouse. Clients will have access to such detailed insights about their wines,” de Gaetano, the platform’s principal shareholder, told Just Drinks.

Every digital wine bottle owned by Crurated members is certified by an NFT. The NFTs remain completely redeemable, meaning users can trade in their virtual wine to be sent the real-life bottle whenever they wish.

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By GlobalData

Asked why the NFTs would give users added confidence in the provenance of the wine, de Gaetano said as a young collector he made purchases from various sources, including websites and auctions, which “often resulted in disappointing experiences”. He added: “The assurance of provenance holds significant value for Crurated’s clients, and is the driving force behind the continuous influx of new members joining Crurated every day.”

Crurated has announced that users will be able to use the newly released Apple Vision Pro to enter their wine cellars by the end of the year. The digital wine company said the experience through Apple’s new headset will “feel intuitive and magical”.

The metaverse has been built with Unreal Engine 5, an extremely popular gaming development programme owned by Fortnite-maker Epic Games.

Among the other investors in Crurated are the family of Leonardo Del Vecchio, the late founder of eyewear group Luxottica. Crurated declined to comment on its annual sales.

GlobalData, Just Drinks’ parent company, predicts the metaverse economy will be worth $400bn by 2030, up from $48bn in 2022.