As previously noted time and time again, I am a wine enthusiast. (Wino, if you’re nasty.) But I’ve recently taken my enthusiasm to a whole other level by becoming a member of Tasting Room by LOT18, an online wine club that tailors each boozy delivery to your specific palate.
Now, normally, I’m pretty low-maintenance about my wine. I’ve got four wine shops within spitting distance of my apartment, so picking up a bottle of red to go with dinner is never a hassle. As much as I love and appreciate wine, and am, in theory, always eager to try new varietals, I find myself sticking to the same handful of wines when I go to the store. The enticing thing to me about joining a wine club is the surprise. But the surprise factor is also what has kept me from joining wine clubs in the past — what if I hate the selection I’m sent? Given how expensive wine clubs tend to be — and their reputation for shilling mediocre vino — it’s never seemed worth the risk.
Tasting Room by LOT18 is different — they don’t even send you any full size bottles of wine until after you’ve created your wine profile, that way the wine you’re sent suits your tastes right out the gate. Within a week of signing up for the club, Tasting Room by LOT18 will send you six mini bottles of wine — a mix of reds and whites — for you to taste and rate against each other. I did this while taking a bubble bath, because I know how to treat myself like a queen. I suggest you do the same.
Tasting Room assesses how you rated the six wines, figures out what types of wine usually strike your fancy and creates your custom profile, which will continue to update and evolve as you rate the wines the club sends you. Your first shipment arrives within a month and contains 12 specially chosen bottles based on your ratings. My first shipment included an amazing Pinot Noir, a couple bottles of Malbec that, uh, disappeared rather quickly, some Bordeaux, some Sauvignon Blanc, a fantastic rose … ugh, I’m getting thirsty. In short, I enjoyed them all, some more than others, and because I can rate them all through my Tasting Room account, my future shipments will only get more refined to my palate.
Because the goal is to educate people about wine as much as it is to fill their gullets with the good stuff, your first shipment comes with your wine profiles (one for red and one for white) printed on hardtack paper for reference, with info on what to pair the wines with, how to order wine at a restaurant to fit your profile, etc. In case you were wondering, I am a “Diplomat” red wine drinker and a “Devil-May-Care” white wine imbiber. It knows me so well. Sign into your Tasting Room account online and even more information about the wines you were sent awaits. Ahh yes, I agree, Tasting Room, the 2010 Chateau Mazetier Tradition Bordeaux will go well my steak tonight.
Best of all, unlike most wine clubs, Tasting Room is actually very affordable given the quality of wines they have. It’s $10 to join (which gets you the tasting kit), the first 12-bottle shipment is $85 (that’s basically $7 per bottle, ladies), and every case thereafter arrives every three months and costs $150 (still only $12 per bottle for great wine). If for some reason you’re not happy or you decide to do something crazy like stop drinking, you can cancel at any time. Or you can just send your wine to me. I’ll drink it.
Tasting Room by LOT18 is offering Frisky readers a discount on their introductory tasting kit. Click here to sign up and join for just $6.95 (instead of $9.95).