It Adds Up

Since the birth of the early abacus some 2,000 years before Christ, calculators have been used by mankind to nd solutions to all sorts of boring equations.

New Zealand entrepreneurs Roy Zane and Steven Male have launched a world rst: a calculator which helps users work out how much wine to buy for their wedding or upcoming event.

“Calculators are a bit lame, but not ours,” says Zane. “While engineers use traditional calculators to work out the structural integrity of a building, our calculator can tell people something much more interesting: how much and what kind of wine they should get for their wedding or event.”

The free Wedding Wines calculator works on a simple four step process in which users are asked a few details about their event, including the main type of food being served and the drinking habits (from tea-totaller to heavy) of the average attendee. Respondents are then given a tailored recommendation on how much and what type of wine they should get.

“With wine you get people who are either know-it-alls or those who know nothing because they have always been afraid of the know-it-alls,” says co-founder Steven Male, who’s worked in the industry for four years. “The result is that most events have a poor choice of wine. There’s a lot that goes into getting the right quantity and type of wine to match food; even the best red in the world can taste horrible after eating an oyster.

“Our calculator takes the guesswork out, leaving the married couple relaxed and free of stress as they begin their lifelong commitment to each other,” adds Zane.

Behind the friendly and easy-to-use interface of the wine calculator, there’s hard science. “We’ve done a ton of research, talking and drinking with people in both the wine and wedding industries, about drinking habits. Plus we’ll be constantly tweaking the calculator based on our users’ experience.”

The calculator is completely free for users, with the startup making money from vineyards when users purchase the packages recommended to them. Those using the tool can rest assured they’re getting better deals with bulk discounts through the Wedding Wines website than they would get from the vineyard directly.

“With our group buying model, everyone wins,” says Male. “And the best thing is: if you’re worried you might not have enough, you can just over-order because all our wine suppliers offer full refunds on any untouched cases.”