Wine brings people together to share experiences, and these relationships and experiences become interwoven as one to become an important part of each wine lover’s life story. And like most good stories, the story of Meta Wine is based on love.
The first time Walter Clements visited his future wife Marianna in her native Venice, Italy, he helped her friends shop for provisions for a New Year’s Eve party, buying wine at a local cantina sociale. This is an Italian wine shop where wine is sold as vino sfuso, which means “loose wine” or wine in bulk. The wine was sold by the liter in a large glass jug – one red, one white, and one prosecco – and it was good, approachable wine and extremely inexpensive.
This new experience changed the way that Walter thought about consuming wine. He wondered why back home in the United States he couldn’t buy wine the way they do in Italy: good wine, at a great price, and in an environmentally sound way with no waste.
Fast forward a couple years to another celebration: Walter and Marianna’s wedding in Italy. Many of Walter’s friends and family in attendance also experienced vino sfuso at the cantina sociale and this became a hot topic of conversation among them. The Best Man at the wedding said to Walter: “we have to start one of these wine shops back home!” And thus was the genesis of the commercial concept for Meta Wine.
Fast forward about two more years, and Walter and the Best Man had relocated with their families to Evanston, Illinois, where they had grown up together. Walter had caught the entrepreneurial bug, but wasn’t feeling fulfilled or impassioned, and wasn’t very confident that his software venture would make him and his family independently wealthy.
In nothing short of an epiphany, Walter pulled up his boots by the straps, hiked up his pants and decided: I’m going to look into that wine business…”
After almost three years, and scores of iterations and revisions to the business plan based on the helpful advice of dozens of various subject matter experts, the business has now been launched and we are changing the way that Americans consume wine with the most innovative wine business that the United States has ever seen. Ever. Meta. Wine.