A new wine company has recently opened in California: TastingRoom.com. The company was founded by previously known Apple executive, Tim Bucher.
The idea is simple: for those who cannot make it all the way out to Napa or Sonoma Valleys, why not bring the tasting experience home? And that is exactly what he did. From TastingRoom.com, you can purchase a small sampler six-pack of some of your favorite wineries. Each pack is repackaged directly from wine bottles using a state-of-the-art, proprietary T.A.S.T.E. (Total Anerobic Sample Transfer Environment) technology. Normal, 750 mL wine bottles are directly transfered into 50 mL mini bottles preserving the natural flavor of each individual wine. All labels are made to match those of the 750 mL bottles.
(Storybook Mountain wine sampler. Picture from http://www.tastingroom.com/samplers/1991128/A+TASTE+of+...+Storybook+Mountain)
What is very interesting about this new product is that many wineries are now including packs of their renown vintage years or vertical tastings of 6 exclusive vintage years. This is an experience that many consumers not normally get to experience, especially considering the prices of older wines. Some older vintage wines go for several hundreds to thousands of dollars per bottle, depending on the producer! Purchasing a sampler pack is a huge saving compared to buying 1 bottle. Plus, this experience allows consumers to actually sample what they are buying first.
If you like one of the bottles from the sampler, you can then purchase bottles directly on TastingRoom.com.
The majority of these samplers are priced between $20 to $30, making it quite affordable and thrifty. Plus, who wouldn't want to taste before buying... all from the comfort of their home?
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 2 - You are literally purchasing 6 50-mL (2 oz.) tastings, which is a little less than half a bottle of wine. Essentially, you're paying a tasting fee for visiting a winery in Napa or Sonoma Valley, but it's the experience that is being sold here.
Price: $20 to $30 (or more depending on the producer and what is included in the sampler pack)
Where to buy: http://www.tastingroom.com/ (There is some great info on this website as well, for those who want to learn more about wine in general!)