Dom Perignon vending machine debuts in Melbourne
Just when you thought vending machines couldn't get any fancier, a Melbourne restaurant has installed one that dispenses Dom Perignon.
The move follows Star Gold Coast’s Garden Kitchen & Bar launching Australia's first Moët & Chandon vending machine in June.
The triple chef-hatted Vue de Monde, owned by Masterchef star Shannon Bennett, has spent $100,000 developing the machine, which sits in the restaurant's entrance.
The Australian Financial Review reports the idea was sparked when the restaurant had closed for the night and Bennett ran into some guests in the ground-floor foyer of the 55-storey building that is home to Vue de Monde who were eager to carry on their festivities over a bottle of Dom Pérignon.
"I just have to organise that vending machine," Bennett recalls joking. He then ducked back upstairs to get them a bottle.
Later, Bennett decided to get serious about the concept. But he discovered there wasn't one anywhere in the world, partly due to the risk of bottles exploding at the drop. So he went to a Sydney-based robotics engineer to solve the dilemma ... and approached Bruce Nancarrow, senior brand manager for Dom Pérignon in Australia, for the Champagne house's approval.
According to Broadsheet, Nancarrow contacted Moet Hennessy (which owns Dom Pérignon) in Champagne, France, "and they freaked out when they heard the word vending machine" Bennett explains. "Bruce came up with the word 'illuminator' after seeing all the robotics-work that we put into it."
Dom Pérignon finally gave the idea - and the eventual 'Dom Pérignon Illuminator' - its blessing.
Bennett estimates The Dom Pérignon Illuminator will dispense six bottles a week (at a current price of $290).
Meanwhile on the Gold Coast ...
Australia's first champagne vending machine is dispensing mini bottles of Moët & Chandon at the Star Gold Coast’s Garden Kitchen & Bar.
The venue was chosen to host the concept in Australia after the first machine was launched at Selfridges in London in 2013, then rolled out across the United States.
Moët Hennessy spent a year working on its plans to bring a vending machine to Australia, confirming to the Sydney Morning Herald in June 2016 that it was on the the group's radar as a "fresh and fun initiative" in line with a licensed premise.
The machine contains 495 mini bottles of Moët priced at $29 each. Patrons are required to purchase a Moët gold token, which is then fed into the vending machine. The bubbly is then consumed through a gold sipper that sits on top of the bottle, turning it into a champagne flute, or used as a pourer to share between two glasses.