A fine bottle of wine makes a good gift — even a questionable bottle of wine makes a good gift depending on the recipient. But you need to make sure the gift goes to the right person and that the person knows who gave the gift.
Cameron Park inventor Jim Riordan has an economical and eco-friendly way to do just that.
His solution is called “Neck Notes.” A paper rectangle about eight inches long that allows the giver to write a private message and then affix the tab around the neck of the wine bottle, leaving the label unobstructed and the private message covered.
Because of a special 3M adhesive, the recipient can peel back the tab to view the message and then either reposition it or take the Neck Note off the bottle, maybe to save in a scrapbook. They can be used on wine bottles, liquor bottles, gourmet olive oil bottles or anything that is bottled.
“The adhesive was the key,” said Riordan. “For the product to work, you had to be able to open and close the tab.”
Riordan has some experience with inventing things. His company, James F. Riordan Company, is in the business of developing original inventions and helping others with an invention and the marketing process.
Riordan has more than 20 inventions to his name and, in 1991, he sold the post-it flag idea to 3M. He’s had access to their top management ever since — a good thing since 3M had a super sticky repositioning adhesive that was perfect for Neck Notes. They have collaborated with Riordan to produce the product.
“One night we were drinking wine and we opened and resealed the same message on the same bottle about 30 times,” said Riordan. “Not only did it work every time, but the ink on the message wasn’t even smudged.”
The black and red Neck Note design can be customized with different designs for holidays and birthdays.
“Neck Notes are eco-friendly since they use much less material than a gift card or a wine bag,” said Riordan, “and they are less expensive, too.”
He is currently finishing a video to be put on the Neck Note Website demonstrating how to use the innovative gift cards.
“We have instructions on the Website because it’s a new and unfamiliar product. Once people see how they work and realize how quick and easy the notes are, they are going to use them,” said Riordan.
Shelf space is another market point for Neck Notes.
“Shelf space is incredibly hard to get,” said Riordan. “But in the stores, packets of Neck Notes can fit in the spaces between the bottles. Customers can pick up a bottle of wine and a Neck Note at the same time and the big liquor distributors really like that feature.”
Neck Notes won’t be in local supermarkets right away.
“It will take time for this to grow,” said Riordan who is building a market base with Gallo, the biggest wine-producer in the United States. They are planning a two-state roll-out of the product.
“They love the product and we’re working on a variation called a Cap-n-Wrap that will have discount coupons or suggestions for food pairings on the tab instead of a gift card,” Riordan said.
El Dorado County and Amador County wineries interested in testing out Neck Notes can contact the James F. Riordan Company at 530-676-4729 for a sample pack of notes, said Riordan or they can go online to request them at neck-notes.com.
Neck Notes can be purchased online in packets of 100 for $16 or 1,000 for $162 plus shipping.
“We’re hoping that once people know how they work and understand the product, it will become the classier way to gift wine,” said Riordan.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530-344-5069 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.