What is Tasting Room?
Tasting Room is a wine club that has personalization at its core so that your shipments are honed precisely to your tastes. It achieves this by getting you to pick your preferences after tasting a mini-pack of six wines then following up with personal sommelier advice on what to select for each shipment. There’s also automated wine rating but most of the discussion on your tastes is person-to-person.
How Does Tasting Room work?
Tasting Room is a human-driven club that puts your tried-and-tested tastes at the center. Personalization is the cornerstone of Tasting’s Room’s philosophy and it’s very proud of how it differs from other clubs in this respect. While many other clubs’ personalization revolves around algorithms and rubrics, this club has a more hands-on approach. When you sign up, you receive a sample set of six mini bottles of wine covering different styles. You taste and rate them within 30 days and your subscription kicks off properly. You have a choice of all reds, all whites, or a mixed case and can choose a bottle count of six or 12. There’s also a range of shipping frequencies to pick and choose from. You’re also assigned a personal sommelier who’s available to guide you on your choices.
How Much Does Tasting Room Cost?
Presently, you get 33% off your first order so a case of six wines costs $52.50 (down from $75) A dozen bottles cost $105 (from $150). The cost of each shipment is the same regardless of whether you have a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly delivery schedule.
About the Wine
Each wine is hand-picked by Tasting Room’s experts with all the world’s most iconic wine regions represented in its portfolio. Its tasting team travels to each spot personally in its quest to find the best wines for members with only 1 in 50 making the grade. Typical labels include the following but keep in mind the range is always changing:
Located in southern France’s diverse Pay d’ Oc, this winery is renowned for making fine reds and whites with Burgundy-style grapes, especially Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Lavradores de Feitoria Meruge
Found in Portugal’s Douro, this winery produces a fantastic range of both high-quality blends and varietal wines from local and international grapes.
A New Zealand producer making varietal wines from typical local favorites and unusual grapes like Gewurztraminer.
This exciting winery is found in California’s northern Napa Valley. It makes wines from all the local popular varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and, the state’s flagship grape. Zinfandel.
La Fiera Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo
Wines from this central Italy winery are rich, fruity, and expressive and include plenty of local grapes like Primitivo, Soave, and Pinot Grigio.
Tasting Room Benefits
The main advantage of joining Tasting Room wine club is its personal focus on the wines in each of your shipments. There are also a host of benefits like special offers, easy cancelation, and simple modifications to your shipments. It also works out as being good value even when you add shipping to prices.
From the off, you call the shots about what arrives in each of your shipments. It starts with your preferences from the six mini bottles and continues as you rate your wines and discuss your tastes with a personal sommelier.
Tasting Room has all the membership plans you could want with an all red, all white, and mixed club. You influence what style goes into each of your cases and have the choice of six or 12 bottles. Additionally, there’s a choice of three shipping frequencies.
You are free to cancel your subscription whenever it suits you, no questions asked. You simply contact the support team and let it know about your plan and it’ll cancel all unprocessed orders. There’s no penalty and your billing stops as soon as cancelation is activated.
If you know a wine-loving friend or family member who’ll enjoy Tasting Room, you can give a membership plan as a gift. Additionally, you can purchase a gift card for your recipient to make their own choice, a box of specially-curated wine from the club’s fantastic range, and wine and glasses sets.
Once you’ve enjoyed your mini-sample set and highlighted the kinds of wines you like, you get to enjoy a discount on your first shipment. What’s more, Tasting Room gives you free shipping for your first full order.
Tasting room Membership Programs
You can opt for six or 12 bottles in a red, white, or mixed club. There are also three choices for shipping which comprise monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. You make the choice about quantity, bottle count, and shipping frequency in the account you set up when you sign up.
Wine of the Month Membership Length
Your membership plan doesn’t lock you into a specific time frame. There’s no minimum contract length and you’re free to leave whenever it suits you.
Can I Give Tasting Room Membership as A Gift?
Yes, you can give a wine club gift membership to a loved one. Additionally, you can send them a gift box of wines and stemware or a case of wines from Tasting Room’s range. If you want to leave the choice of wines to your recipient, you also have the choice of giving them a gift card.
Tasting Room Packaging
The packaging for Tasting Room wine club is chic and minimalistic. Your wines come in a dark grey box with the club name emblazoned on the side. Likewise, the gift cards are elegant, giving the impression of the classy club it is. The stemware and wine box also has the added touch of an artistic ribbon. Overall, the packaging says “upmarket”.
Price and Shipping
You enjoy free delivery on your shipment of mini-wines plus your first case. After this, the charge is $20 per standard delivery. Once your order leaves the warehouse, you can track the status of your order. You are also able to change your delivery address as long as you do it within one hour of placing an order.
Skip A Month
You can delay your next shipment which is nearly the same thing. You do this via your “Account” page under the “Manage Subscriptions” tab. When you’re in, simply change the date of your next order to a time that suits you and you’re done.
Customer Service and contact availability
There’s a chat function on the website but, when I checked, it wasn’t functioning so it’s worth taking a look yourself as it may be up and running then. Otherwise, you can get in touch via a customer submission form or chat on social media.
You’re free to cancel your Tasting Room wine club subscription whenever you wish. Simply get in touch with the customer support team and let them know. It’ll cancel your unprocessed orders and close your membership plan. Note that any orders that have already been processed (even the day after) will still be delivered and charged.
One of the downsides to Tasting Room is it doesn’t have a large range of clubs which may be a negative for some wine lovers. Plans cover red, white, and mixed case wines, and they are influenced by each individual’s taste. However, it doesn’t have the dedicated regional or grape variety subscriptions that other clubs have, and that gives members the opportunity to learn about a wide range of wines. We couldn’t find anything about wine information on Tasting Club’s website either so we’re not sure if each shipment comes with tasting notes or not.
Differences from the competitors
The main difference between Tasting Room and other wine clubs is it values the human touch in a digital world. While clubs like Firstleaf and Bright Cellars use tasting technology to ascertain members’ tastes and influence the contents of their future shipments, Tasting Room sends new members a pack of actual mini taster wines and takes their feedback into account devising each personal preferences profile. Following on from this, each subscriber has a personal sommelier to discuss their wines direction as each shipment arrives. Unlike Plonk, it doesn’t have a line of organic wines.
I really like the way Tasting Room bypasses the trend to digitalize every step in the process of joining a wine club and puts the personal touch front and center throughout. After all, there are limits to how far technology can figure out what style of white wine you want to try, or which red is a good pick for your next shipment. In short, for personal service and expert advice, Tasting Room is right up there. A downside is that, while the club combs the globe for a range of wines and styles, there don’t appear to be many top appellations in its wine store. This doesn’t mean a wine has to be super expensive – just a good representative of a region that is valuable for anyone’s wine journey. The range does change though so perhaps it’s more balanced at other times.