Joining a wine club can seem like a no-brainer for those who believe that the only thing better than getting a fun package in the mail is discovering a fantastic new wine.
But the traditional wine club — like the ones you join at a winery — hasn’t necessarily been quite right for everyone. Maybe you haven’t had a chance to visit wine country, so you don’t even know which winery you’d want to receive a regular shipment from. Perhaps you’re interested in a wider variety than a single winery tends to offer. Or you might have really specific tastes, well beyond preferring red or white, and worry that you’ll end up spending a lot of money on wine you didn’t choose and don’t care for.
Let me introduce you to an option that, at this point, all my friends are probably sick of hearing me talk about, but what can I say? I love it, and I think you will, too.
Meet Tasting Room, a wine subscription service that delivers a curated selection of wines from small wineries that you might otherwise never have heard of. And when I say curated, I mean per-son-al-ized.
You start off taking a quick little online quiz about what you like — dark chocolate, citrus, coffee, you get the idea. Tasting Room then uses those answers to put together a selection of six mini, sample bottles of wine, which you taste, rate, and report on with the Tasting Room website.
And that process alone made for a surprisingly fun date night at home! There are specific steps to follow to make sure you’re very clear about which wines you like best, what you like least, and whether there are any that you absolutely would not want to receive as a full bottle.
As soon as you finish your ratings, Tasting Room will send you a shipment of the full-sized bottles that fit your tastes. You’re also given an incredibly in depth (but still easy to understand) wine profile (broken into red and white) that tells you the flavors you’re drawn to, the varietals that tend to embody those characteristics, where the grapes you prefer are grown, what to eat with those wines, and more. Because, let’s be real. It’s one thing to finish your initial tasting and know that you like a specific type of wine from a certain winery; it’s something else entirely to gain insight into what it is you like about the wines you ranked highly so that you can talk about it with wine lovers, shop for it, and order in a restaurant with confidence.
Of course, you could also just sit back and wait a few days for your shipment of full-size bottles, all selected based on your profile.
My first full shipment had six bottles — four reds, a rosé, and a white — and the curation was obvious in every bottle. I had my favorites, of course, but there wasn’t a single one that seemed out of place. And that showed in my ratings, because, yep, you get to continue rating your wines (you can even add notes!) to make tracking what you love and refining your profile simple. That’s particularly handy because you can look back at your past shipments and order more bottles at any time (as long as your chosen wine is in stock) for — get this — $15 (which is just a couple dollars more than it costs as part of a subscription shipment).
Entering your ratings also serves a couple other purposes: it lets Tasting Room know when you’re done with a shipment, for one, plus it helps them curate your next shipment — which will ship about a week after you enter your final rating, unless you request different timing.
Because, hey, did I mention that you can schedule your shipments for when they’re convenient, cancel at any time, and earn credits toward your next shipments when you refer friends?
If you were to describe your wine palette, what would you say you like? I can now say with complete confidence that I love earthy, savory reds and bright, zesty whites. Cheers to that! –Kristen