Vino Vault Background


Vino Vault wine cryptex is a unique gift, game and puzzle for wine enthusiasts and Da Vinci Code fans. It can be given as a gift along with a bottle of wine and used as part of a treasure hunt game. Additionally it can be used as part of a wine enthusiast game to be played at dinner parties, tastings, and other social events. The idea was conceived several years ago while reading Dan Brown’s novel the “Da Vinci Code” and enjoying a glass of good full-bodied Australian Shiraz. I liked the concept of the Da Vinci cryptex (combination locking cylinder or safe, with letters on five rings, and set to a secret code). I had spent the earlier part of my career working as an engineer for Schlage Lock Company in San Francisco. The cryptex was an interesting , but outside of the thrill and excitement within the novel, its function and use seemed to be limited to just a mechanical locking safe that holds a small secret note. In the story, it held a vial of vinegar that, if tampered with, would destroy the secret message written on the papyrus paper inside. And so the seed of invention was planted – a gift product perhaps, a combination lock, safe, or vault for a wine bottle that could be used as a game. My goal was to morph the cryptex concept into something new that would be fun for people to interact and play with, share, even re-gift if they wish.  At the same time, I wanted to make the product affordable and at a price point that would be comparable to many adult board games. But how would this work? Having experience with design of mechanisms and manufacturing certainly helped. After several design iterations, prototypes, and even more bottles of wine, voilà – Vino Vault wine cryptex.

The product was originally intended to be launched in 2006, to coincide with the release of the “Da Vinci Code” movie. There is no shortage of books on the invention process, many of which describe the perilous traps that would be inventors fall into during the process. A company can license an invention and then simply do nothing with it – sometimes a defensive move to protect their existing product and make sure that the new one never sees the light of day. Other times it might be that they like the idea, but simply just don’t know what they are doing or how to execute it. And sometimes it’s a bit of both. Mine is such as story, and unfortunately the license agreement had a missing clause that would have put down a finite time frame for its release. I will warn other inventors to beware. Do not let the licensee take control of the agreement. Walking away with no deal is far better than signing a bad deal.Enough said! And now without further adieu…….. Vino Vault, wine cryptex can be given as an entertaining, fun, and unique gift. It delivers the reward in a treasure or scavenger hunt game for adults and wine enthusiasts. You get to customize it, set your own code, choose how clues will be delivered, and determine how long the game will last. Taunt your “friend” and make them work long and hard to get the clues to solve the puzzle and get their reward bottle. Alternatively, you could be kind, take pity on them, and give them a couple of “no brainer” clues, thus quickly “releasing the wine spirits” and your gift unto them.  Send them off to hunt for clues in their travels and vacations throughout the world, the wine country, their home, office, or coffee shop. Will someone they see during their day hold a clue? Could it be embedded in a song or movie dialog? If you are looking for ideas on potential code words to use, visit the CODE BANK. The rest is left up to your own imagination and creativity. In addition to it being a great gift, Vino Vault  can be played along with its companion product, Spin the Bottle, as a game for dinner parties, tastings, and events. If you had fun in the past playing games like Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, etc, you’re going to love this. The WEDDINGS & EVENTS page explains how you can use the Vino Vault to encourage people to get out of their chairs from their assigned table and mingle and socialize while participating in a fun game where wine is the prize. Oh yes! Although it was originally conceived with wine in mind, there is nothing stopping those who enjoy a shot or five of chilled Russian vodka or tequila from setting up that game around that.
Size does matter. Although the vault accepts many standard 750 ml bottles, there are size and shape limitations. Have a look at the BOTTLE SIZE to see if the bottle you intend to use will fit. If you are going to throw a tasting party it especially important to let participants know about the size limitations ahead of time so that the bottles they bring can be used when playing Spin the Bottle.

Hope you have fun!