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Swirl. Hold the glass up to your nose. Aggressively inhale. Sip and make little tasting noises with your mouth. Furrow your eyebrow a bit to look extra contemplative. Nod and gesture for the sommelier to pour on.
This was a dance I used to do as a kid (without actually sipping, of course). My dad was a big-time wine aficionado and as another one of my desperate pleas to get away from the kids’ table (I was wise beyond my years, what can I say), I would put on a show and mimic my dad’s over-the-top restaurant wine tasting routine. Flash forward 20 years and here I am, doing the very same thing.
While I don’t think a love of wine is a genetically inherited trait, my exposure to wine from a very young age definitely helped in the mutual attraction. To be fair, my high school and college years admittedly had very little to do with the flavor profiles of a good red and more to do with what combination of liquors would shake my social anxiety the fastest. So when I started asking my dad wine questions a couple of years ago and showing some real interest in his beloved hobby, his eyes lit up.
While I was excited to learn about wine and refine my palette, my millennial life stage and resulting bank account balance had other plans. I didn’t feel ready enough to justify big wine purchases when they all...sorry Dad...kind of tasted the same in my eyes. So father and daughter agreed to unite our vino hobby in a few years; for now, I needed a more approachable (and affordable) solution to teach me the ways of wine.
Enter: Winc. This wine subscription brand has been around for quite some time now, but I never bit the bullet to try it out. Spoiler alert: I’m very glad I did. Read on for a full walkthrough of the e-vineyard you never knew you needed.
Wine Tasting for Dummies
We’ve all been there. Browsing your local wine shop and the proprietor starts peppering you with a pop quiz pulled from the Master Somm exam (scope that documentary if you haven’t already). They’re like, “Something full-bodied? Fruit forward? Astringent?” I’m like, “Something ‘dry’ and under $20, please!” My favorite part of the Winc ordering process is that they put everything into layman’s terms. They start with a short quiz with questions ranging from “How do you take your coffee?” to “Do you like mushrooms?”. The last question asks if you prefer red, white, or a mix of both (you can also elect to do “mostly white” or “mostly red”—the options are endless).
By some sort of sommelier magic, Winc spits out four bottles of wine based on your preferences. They provide one short logline description of each bottle for easy review, but you can also Edit Your Box and search around for yourself if you don’t quite agree with their suggestions. Every bottle ranges within the $12-20 range, but the more you buy, the bigger the discount—buy 4 and get $20 off and buy 12 and get 10% are just two of the promos they have running right now.
Okay, But What About The Wine Though?
One of Winc’s founding members Brian Smith is a visionary winemaker and sommelier, so you can trust that the brand takes its winemaking process very seriously. All of its wines are handcrafted by their two-man winemaking team (Smith and winemaker Robert Daugherty). In addition to crafting wine in-house, the team partners with innovative and dynamic winemakers from across the world. So far, they have produced over 650 wines from 78 grape varieties in 97 regions across 12 different countries. That felt like a tongue twister because it is—that’s a LOT of wine and a LOT of variety.
Winc crafts in small batches—by doing so, they keep their commitment to quality over quantity and are able to create wines with distinct flavors and characteristics. Full transparency: I’m a big natural wine fan, so I do wish there were more natural wine options. That said, Winc states on their “About” page that they are working to increase their “organic, vegan, low-sugar, low-sulfur, sustainable and natural wine options” and do already use minimal intervention practices whenever possible. Something to look forward to!
Never A Pour Decision
I received six bottles from Winc (a mix of red and white) and I enjoyed every single one of them. Generally, I much prefer a good red to a white, and I’m a strong believer in the funkier the better—but I was pleasantly surprised by the white wines I received. Prismus, in particular, was a light, refreshing seafood accompaniment. But of course, a red was my favorite—FUNK ZONE was *chef’s kiss*, a very earthy red blend that had me drooling for more.
At the end of the day, it makes sense that I enjoyed them all—I was sent a curated box depending on my coffee and citrus preferences, for crying out loud. Winc’s algorithm knows me better than I know myself.
At the end of the day, it makes sense that I enjoyed them all—I was sent a curated box depending on my coffee and citrus preferences, for crying out loud. Winc’s algorithm knows me better than I know myself, and while I hope to one day be at a place where I can sniff out one wine from the other all on my own, I have a feeling I’ll be relying on them for quite some time first...
5 More Reasons To Love Winc:
- Winc believes in bringing everyone to the table. So much so that they invite anyone in their community to invest in them. This current investment round is closed, but keep your eyes peeled for the next! This brand isn’t going anywhere.
- Winc is well aware that a good glass of wine is best paired with a big plate of food, and they have a blog of Recipes to prove it.
- They have a killer referral program—refer a friend and receive two free bottles of vino!
- I’m a big proponent of financial transparency, and so is Winc: check out this blog post from their two founders about their 2019 Financials and 2020 Plans.
- They have a very relatable, booze Meme-filled Instagram. Perfect for re-sharing.