After seeing numerous advertisements and emails about this wine subscription, I had to see what it was about. A personalized wine club that starts by sending miniature bottles for you to taste test? Neat! Sign me up.
First things first, read the fine print! And remember to be present when you have alcoholic beverages being delivered to your door because a signature IS required.
I didn’t do either of these things. Whoops!
The tasting kit was only 7 bucks. The packaging and miniature bottles were super cute. I couldn’t wait to sit down and taste them. Well, they sat for 30 days untouched. Life got it in the way! Little did I know, I was supposed to complete the tasting within a month of ordering it? So, I received a shipping notification via email that said a case of wine was on its way to my door! Shoot. Not only was I upset my tasting kit was useless at this point, but I also didn’t want to receive a case of wine that I could potentially hate.
I called customer service and asked if they could stop the shipment and wait for me to complete the tasting. They said they would refund me the $175 and hold off on the shipment (No word on either of these things yet, eek).
Anyways, I went home right after work and set up this little tasting session. (It requires a device to complete the online assessment, btw.) I was especially looking forward to what the interactive profiler would tell me. Kind of reminded me of the all the online personality quizzes I find myself taking from time-to-time. Haha.
I started by setting out six glasses and pouring each of the mini bottles into them. There are two whites and four reds in the kit. I opened my laptop and went to the “rate kit” portion of the site. I was prompted to start with the whites, naturally. 1 blend, 1 chardonnay. I was asked which one I liked, or if I liked both, or disliked both. I thought it was a pretty simple question to be asked. But I liked both. So I continued on, hoping I would be asked more detailed questions about the two wines. Nope! Ok? On the reds I guess. I was prompted to taste the pinot noir, then the malbec. Again, I was asked which I liked better. In this case, I did like the pinot noir better. I was then asked if I liked it A LOT better or just a LITTLE. In fact, it was just a little. Onward. Now I was told to taste the pinot and now the merlot. So on so forth.. I think you get the idea. Before I knew it, the assessment was over!
On to the results! I was given two wine “profiles”, a red and a white. I wasn’t surprised to find that my red profile said I like juicy, party-pour reds. That is very, very accurate. “You showed a much stronger preference for our bright, fruit-forward reds. Robust, ripe fruit flavor seems to matter to you more than whether a wine is light-, medium- or full-bodied. You’re likely to prefer New World over European wines, the big advantage being that you’re always likely to find exceptional value for your wine dollar. Plus, these wines are always a hit at parties.“ I appreciated this write-up! Then the profile gives you a 1-5 list of flavors, 4 grape preferences, what countries the grapes come from, what to eat with those wines, other region recommendations, and how to order wine in a restaurant.
Same went for the white profile. Except it said I liked anything white, which is completely untrue. “You liked both of the white wines in your kit, despite their contrasting styles: One was a light, crisp, acidic white with tropical, citrusy flavors, while the other was more dense, viscous and richer in style, with full-bodied flavors of golden apple and pear. Since the wines are basically the opposite ends of the white-wine spectrum, it’s a safe assumption that you like to explore and dabble with white wines – which is precisely what we’ll help you do!” OK, that makes sense.
Conceptually, this is all great and super beneficial to beginners. I wasn’t too impressed by the selection in the tasting kit because nothing really blew my mind. Which I totally get; it’s purpose is to give people the opportunity to pinpoint their taste in one simple experience. But having a good idea of what my preferences were already, it was a matter of whether or not I felt the wine was good enough to buy in larger quantities.
I’m on the fence. I know Tasting Room and Lot 18 (the parent company) offer more wines than the ones in the tasting kit, so there is still a level of intrigue. Will I recommend this experience? Absolutely, to beginners and people looking to find exactly what types of wine they like. Will I continue my subscription? That will depend on the outcome of the pending refund 😉