Winc (formerly Club W) is a wine subscription service that sends wine directly to you each month based on your personalized palate profile. A “global winery,” Winc advertises that it has “direct relationships with vineyards and farmers to make exceptional small lot wines at prices impossible to achieve at retail.”
If you’re like me, you find yourself buying the same wines every time you go to the store–you’ve found those bottles you like, and it seems too risky and expensive to buy something else just to try it. Plus, those store employees are either clueless about wine or make YOU feel clueless about wine. Winc is the perfect solution! You fill out a quick survey about what tastes you like–black coffee, citrus, etc., and Winc makes a customized recommendation of 3 bottles that fits what you like. Then, for $6 flat shipping (or free if you pick a 4th bottle), it comes to your house! What could be easier than that?
The new packaging (Club W rebranded to Winc) rolled out this month! The plain cardboard box is very of the moment, and the internal protection for the bottles is great. Nice typeface, too. Keep in mind that someone 21+ will have to sign for it.
It’s summer, finally. And what better way to celebrate the best of seasons than with a little daydrinking and some rosé! Yes, even cave-dwelling hermits know that rose is the official wine of summer. Now, like every other type of wine, rose can be terrible, cheap, not worth the energy it takes your liver to process it, or it can light, crisp, and fantastic. I selected every rose I could lay my hands on this month, and tossed in the new “apple wine/cider” Winc was featuring for good measure. And, with a cooler full of deliciously frosty bottles, we retired to the back porch to check them out. As always, these wines had cool information cards about each wine, with coordinating recipes to go with them.
With no “light to heavy” metric this month, we went with the tried and true left-to-right method. First up was the Summer Water 2015 California rose.
Well, who doesn’t like a pretty and minimalist bottle label? This wine was a rosy pink grapefruit color in the glass and didn’t have much nose. (That so “wine talk”! Ugh. It didn’t smell like much, I mean to say). This wine is mostly Grenache, with some Syrah thrown in for balance. The tasting notes say that this wine was made in the “Provence” style, the area of France where the dry style of rose was popularized. Like most good rose, this wine is crisp and not particularly complex. We tasted lemons, a bit of rose (the flower), and a touch of “wet stone” mineralness at the back. This had a quick, dry, finish, and no tannins to speak of. This is a delicious wine! It would be perfect for anything summery, from picnics to the pool to a backyard barbeque. We had carnitas in the slow cooker and this complimented that spiciness really well. Serve it super cold, of course.
The next rose was the Ruza 2015 White Zinfandel.
Having consumed more than my share of sweetish white zin as a college student, I really thought long and hard before adding this one to my cart. But! The makers of this wine are on a quest to bring a new level of sophistication to white zin, and so into the cart it went. I like a theme, after all. So, I was actually pretty excited to try this one and see what could be done with the infamous blend. Unfortunately, this bottle was corked. Super sad about that! It’s only the second corked bottle I’ve ever had, but that mustiness is unmistakable. Happily, Winc promptly credited us for this bottle; but, alas, the secrets of artisanal white zin will have to remain hidden.
Hey, life’s an adventure, and so is wine. Sometimes you have to rinse out your palate and move on. We headed east to our third wine, the 2015 Sauvetage Rose.
Well, here is a Provence-style rose that is actually from Provence. It’s made of the same Grenache/Syrah blend, and comes up a little peachier in the glass than the Summer Water. It’s a mark of quality in a Provence rose to have the palest pink possible, and this one is a very light color, indeed. It smells a bit orangey, but there’s no sweetness to the taste. It’s a touch less forward than the Summer Water, with a bit of peach and mineral, and an almost bitter finish. I liked this one just a hair more than the Summer Water, but half our group preferred the other. Then again, I do like a paint-thinner level of dryness in my wine. We all thought it was delicious and really was very similar to the Summer Water. Refreshing, easy, and perfect for a hot afternoon. We drank all of them both!
Our last wine isn’t really a wine, but a “bottle conditioned” apple cider, the Eplevin Cider.
Here’s an analogy problem for you– white zin : wine :: [_____] : beer. If you guessed “hard apple cider,” you win! (Bonus points if you identify a brand, maybe one with a woodland rodent on it?). Yes, my gateway to the world of beer drinking was sweetish, carbonated, fermented apple juice. I can’t say I drink much of it now, so I pulled in my cider and scotch-loving husband as a consultant. Of course, I tried it, too (for science!), and let me tell you, this was the surprise of the afternoon! First of all, it’s a beautiful pale wheat color in the glass, with tiny crisp bubbles like prosecco. It definitely smells apple-y, but it tastes much more subtle than I expected. It really was more like a prosecco or cava than a cider. It had a hint of apple, a really nice tartness, and a beautiful clean finish that made you want to take another sip. And another. Which I did, from my husband’s glass while he wasn’t looking. We all really liked this, and it went perfectly with the rest of our outdoor food-and-drink fun. It would be perfect with casual “bar” food, went well with our tacos, and would even be great as an apertif instead of prosecco. I would absolutely get this again. Drink it super cold, of course.
And that’s it for June! We loved our fun summer wines. I can’t wait to see what we get next time!
The Description: Each month Winc will make new recommendations for you based on your 5 question Palate Profile and previous wine ratings. Go with their suggestions or make your own selections from the ever-changing assortment. Winc works directly with wine makers. There are no middlemen, which means you get better wine for less.
The Price: $45.00 per month