Tasting Room is Giving Liquor Stores a Run for Their Money

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This is either a brilliant idea, or the worst idea ever…

We all love wine. In fact, most nights of the week our editors sip a glass or two to wind down after work. The liquor store nearest us doesn’t always have the best selection, or the best prices for that matter. They have limited shelf space, and store employees don’t always recommend bottles we’ll enjoy. Liquor stores are focused on volume and margin (it’s not their fault rent is expensive) leaving many people reaching for the yellow-labeled bottle with the kangaroo they stick in the front of the store. But Tasting Room seeks to change that.

Tasting Roomthe fastest growing wine club in the nation, is changing how wine is sold. Think of it like the movie industry: where do you go to rent a movie, and who gives you your movie recommendations? If you’re anything like me, you look forward to your Netflix and snacks every night. You no longer run out to the video store to ask the store employee for movie picks. Likewise, new technology has penetrated the wine industry.Tasting Room’s wine recommendation technology makes informed wine selections for you (based on your preferences), and ships tailored bottles right to your door—bottles that come with a guarantee that you’ll enjoy them.

Here’s how it works. When you sign up for Tasting Room, the company sends you a six-bottle tasting kit which is where the fun begins. Log on to the site and you’re guided through an engaging, interactive tasting in which you pit the wines against one another. You simply click on the wines you prefer in the head-to-head matchups, and based on your ratings, Tasting Room makes informed wine selections for you in the form of Wine Profile. It’s a simple, straightforward guide that points out which types of red and white wines you tend to enjoy, what regions they come from and even the foods with which they pair well.

Soon thereafter, you’ll receive a 12-bottle case of different wines tailored to match your preferences. The club ships you a case of wine as often as you’d like for about $12/bottle. After you sign up, you can customize your shipment frequency, shipment size, contents (all reds, all whites, or just select your favorite bottles). I just keep rating subsequent shipments, and they automatically send me a mix of light dry whites and fruity reds because that’s what I like according to my Wine Profile (and my taste buds). I have yet to receive a bottle I did not enjoy.

Plus, every bottle comes with a satisfaction guarantee, so if you ever receive a wine that doesn’t match your taste preferences, Tasting Room will replace it or issue you a wine credit to purchase another bottle from the extensive – and yummy – collection on the site. I doubt any liquor store would provide you with another bottle if you didn’t end up liking the one they recommended. It’s well worth it at under $10 to join (that gets you the tasting kit), and you can cancel at anytime.

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