I’m going to be honest up front here and say that I drink a decent amount of wine. As a kid growing up, it was always on the table at family meals, and as an older teenager I started to ask to try it, and my parents let me have a sip to get used to it. At first it was sort of awful, the way that alcohol of any kind that is not all sugar tastes on young persons tongue, but as I got to be a little older (of legal age), and finally started drinking wine more regularly, it became a nice thing to have a glass at the end of a workday. Or to bring a bottle to a party, or whatever.
One thing I am terrible at, though, is choosing wines. I’ve been to do enough wine tasting (in the US, Argentina, Australia, etc.) that I know what I like (generally), but very rarely can I look at a new and mysterious bottle and go, “Ah yes – that’s the kind of thing that I’ll like.” So I have a tended to stick with the things that I know. Buying the same kinds of shiraz, malbec, and pinot grigio that I knew had worked for me in the past. And then sometime in late 2013/early 2014, I found out that there was a wine club online that was doing a sort of “personalized shopping” for wines based on your taste. This was Club W – you fill out a short survey (sounds familiar…) some calculation is done on their end, and wines are picked for you and sent to you once a month. As someone who drank a decent amount of wine, and who liked to have some variety around the house…this was perfect. So what does it look like when they send it to you? Let me show you.
This is Winston inspecting my box after it arrived. NOTE (and this is important) – someone 21 or over must be home to sign for the box. They’re not going to be leaving boxes of alcoholic beverages sitting outside your door, or just letting any kid order them (which is good!), but it makes it complicated for those of us who aren’t home during normal delivery hours… It’s fantastic if you’re in an apartment complex or condo with a concierge though.
Opening the box you’ll find a stack of cards. Take them out and look at them. Some are profiles of the wine you’re going to drink (see the one above), and a few are promotional materials. Some of that will be stuff you’ll just toss, but sometimes, it’s things like, “A Free Bouquet from The Bouqs!” Obviously, you’re not going to use everything they send, but it’s a nice idea of cross-promoting other services that sort of fit together (I’ve seen more than one home-meal-kit service, and some grocery delivery ones as well).
Now we get to the good stuff. The wine is all sturdily packed in boxes – their standard for a monthly order used to be 3, but if you order 4 bottles, the shipping is free, and it’s maybe $3 more total? You’re still getting wine that costs about $13 apiece, which is nice, but it’s not so fancy that you feel you have to keep it on your wine rack and save it for a special occasion.
You get to choose how many bottles or red or white you want – so if you hate red, you can choose all white…or maybe 1 bottle of red that they’ll pick for you that you’ll like. I usually do 2 red and 1 white, since the Boy and I have a tendency to drink more red, but having the white is nice in the summer for when it’s hot. BTW – like that kitty photo bomb? If you haven’t seen it…keep looking. It’s cute.
The thing that I like most about the service is that you get to rate what they send you, which becomes feedback for the next order that you put in. If there’s something that you had and really liked, you can also save it for your next order right away. And they have an app which is fairly easy to use for this purpose. You can also pull up your order history, go in and find the wine that you’re about to drink, and watch a short video where a wine professional tells you what to look for (I do not have the nose to find all those flavors and scents on my own). Lucky for all of us, those videos are available on their YouTube page for all to watch. Here’s the video for my Sauvignon Blanc (which I haven’t tasted yet!):
Basically, short and sweet information to make you feel less dumb about drinking wine, and more thoughtful.
So – obviously it’s a service I would recommend to you since that’s what I’m doing here. However – caveats: if you don’t drink at least a bottle of wine per week, it will build up. This is easily remedied a few ways: you can delay your next shipment (very easy to do!), drink more wine all by yourself (…harder? fun? sad???), or drink more with friends by taking it to gatherings, having people over, etc. The “person over 21 required to sign for the box” is a problem that I’m dealing with right now, but if you work in the kind of office where you can have packages delivered to you, there’s your answer. I’ve currently delayed my order TWICE since the last shipment when we were still in an apartment, and I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to guarantee a late afternoon delivery when I know I can be home from work.
But if after reading all my crazy talk about a more modern wine club has you interested, I’ve got a deal for you. If you follow my referral code, you get a $13 credit – good enough for one bottle of wine. I’ll also get a credit when you place an order, and if you like it so much that you place a second order, I’d get a second credit. Which is cool…but again – I don’t even know if I’ll be using the service going forward for this reason, but don’t let my predicament prevent you from being a person who starts to learn more about wine.
*note – you may have seen the Winc logo and gone “What? But Maggie – you just called it Club W!” It’s not Club W anymore. They’re in the middle of rebranding. Which makes it difficult.