OPENING YOUR MIND AND PALATE TO ONLINE WINE CLUBSI sold wine for around 10 years and during that time I observed the majority of customers sticking to what they know. They would buy the exact same wine each time they visited, or stick to the same variety without being willing to explore new stuff.
I get it, though. There’s so much to learn about wine and it’s daunting, so it’s easiest to stick with what you know. And no one wants to look like they don’t know much about something. If it makes you feel any better, even the most celebrated wine writers in the world continue to learn new and interesting things about wine on a regular basis – no one knows everything.
But exploring wines is still tricky. Many wine retailers are genuinely excited about getting you to try new and interesting wines, while others are happy to just stand behind the counter, scan your bottle, and take your money. Plus, it can be difficult to describe what you like (and what you dislike), so asking for help can be daunting.
If you are interested in trying new wines and are willing to trust people who are genuinely interested in putting wine recommendations together for you, there are a few options you can explore.
FABULOUS LADIES WINE SOCIETY
Last month I wrote about the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society. They offer a monthly package, with two wines chosen. If you only want two bottles then you only get two bottles! And delivery is free, with the wines discounted around 25 per cent off the recommended retail price (RRP). It’s a great way to get a couple of new wines to try each month.
Vinomofo offers a few clubs. The Original Club ships a dozen wines every quarter, with an extra case at Christmas. Don’t like something? You can opt out of a particular style (personally, I opt out of Sauvignon Blanc). Only want reds? No problem. Only whites? Too easy. They also offer ‘The Cube’ – nine wines every nine weeks for $99. At just $11 per bottle for some new wine exploration, it’s not a bad deal at all.
THE WINE GALLERY
The Wine Gallery tries to match wines with your palate. You start by taking a ‘palate profile quiz’ and they use that information to work out which wines to recommend to you. They have a three-time Sommelier of the Year leading a team that looks after wine recommendations for you. You get three wines a month (but can opt in for more if you like), and the recommendations are always pretty interesting.
There are plenty of others wine clubs around, too, and if you’ve got a decent local bottle shop you can ask the team there to put a selection together for you.
Reminder about the Women in Wine Awards
It would be remiss of me not to remind you of the Women in Wine Awards, which will be held on September 26 at 8pm. Check the website (www.womeninwineawards.com.au) for local events. At the time of publishing I hadn’t seen the wine list, but judging by the wines from previous events it’ll be a spectacular line-up!