Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Tasting Room in the Comfort of Your Own Home

We all love a chance to try products before we buy/invest in them. Sometimes we get offers in the mail for a discount on a product, or get to sample food items at the mall or at large events and food festivals. Tasting rooms throughout our several grape growing regions pour us samples of tantalizing (and at times barely drinkable) wine hoping we will fall in love with their crafted beverage and spend money to buy multiple cases of it. In the Napa, Rutherford and Sonoma areas, finding "the one" (in this case wine) we can't get enough of can start to add up with tasting room fees and playing hit and miss by spending money on bottles we have never tried…

…And that is why Tasting Room has been introduced. Tasting is the first online wine marketplace that allows consumers to try premium wines before they buy them.

The kits include sample-sized (50ml) wines packaged in glass bottles with tasting notes and winery information.

“In this economy we realize the importance of consumers having the opportunity of trying something before they buy it, and the same applies to wine,” said Tim Bucher, founder and CEO of TastingRoom Inc. and “Just like music, wine is such a sensory and subjective product. Your friend may prefer Cab #1 while you may love Cab #3.’s wine tasting kits are a fun and unique way for you to figure out which you love best before you purchase a full bottle or case.”

I was sent the Trefethen sampler, with a Chardonnay and a Red Blend. The Chardonnay is a 2008, and it had subtle oak, green apple, and a pineapple nose. The Red was a bordeaux blend consisting of cabernet sauvignon, cab franc, malbec, petit verdot, and merlot. It was slightly tannic, but complex and balanced. This red can be sipped on its own, as the white I thought was better while I was nibbling on some of my chicken and avocado salad. I am really into whites right now, especially not too oakey ones, so this is one to try.

Behind the name of Double T
: Many of the vines producing the grapes for these wines are trained on a quadrilateral cordon trellis, commonly known as “Double T.” The vine is pruned and trained so that its branches, or cordons, form four arms resembling two Ts, hence the name. Double T also refers to the two Trefethens, owners John and Janet.

Initially, will offer nearly 40 different wines to sample and purchase from award-winning wineries, including Trefethen Family Vineyards, Patz & Hall, Gundlach Bundschu, Talley Vineyards, DeLoach Vineyards and Grgich Hills Estate. New wineries, wines and wine tasting kits will be added monthly. will first ship to California–the nation’s top wine drinking state–with rollout to additional states this summer.

Visitors to will have the opportunity to purchase four- and six-pack wine sampling kits selected by each winery to give consumers a tasting flight similar to what would be poured at their tasting room bars. Wineries select the wines in each of their branded sample wine selection and theme each kit to showcase varietals, best sellers or exclusive releases.

Each winery offers a different mix. For example, buyers can choose from a single varietal of six different vineyards from one winery to a mixed selection of whites and reds from another.

Additionally, each winemaker creates a wine-tasting menu that provides a description of every wine, a recommended tasting order and wine making notes.

Tasting kits will start at $9.99 for a four-pack sampler. To make follow-up bottle buys from the website even more palatable, every wine tasting kit is shipped with special promotions and offers.

The quality of the wines received at home will remain as high as if they were poured seconds ago in a tasting room. The samples are bottled using TastingRoom Inc.’s innovative T.A.S.T.E. Technology™, which preserves the original flavor of the wine. TastingRoom Inc.’s patent-pending decanting process creates a perfect pour of wine in a mini glass wine bottle, replicating both the taste and look of the larger format bottle that the wine was originally transferred from. The result creates endless possibilities for the wine buyer, who can invite friends over and host wine-tasting parties or enjoy a four- or five-course meal at home, sampling wines along the way.

TastingRoom Inc. is based in Sonoma County, with offices in Silicon Valley, Napa Valley and Paso Robles. For more information on Tasting Room Inc. or T.A.S.T.E. Technology, visit Find them on Facebook here.

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