The dawn of social distancing brought forth the shutting down of our favorite restaurants and bars. As we try to grapple with our new reality, can we still enjoy the little things during a time of crisis? Palate Club, the world’s smartest wine subscription service, says yes. By becoming a member, you can enjoy drinking wine any time—without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
These days we may all be having virtual happy hours with family and friends in front of our computer screens—whether we’re in the living room, the kitchen, the patio, or whatever space we may have allowed ourselves this small joy. It’s almost an insistence on living, and not merely breathing, to paraphrase the great poet Mary Oliver. Spending a few moments to find delight—in a world that continues to be ravaged by the novel coronavirus, an invisible enemy every nation is now fighting—this is a conscientious effort that we must keep at, no matter how surreal it feels at times.
Indeed, the rise of video chat and conference call apps shows not only how the current work landscape is changing, but also reveals our very human need to communicate. Alongside this is also the increase in online shopping and the need for more delivery services, proving what has long been an accurate observation about how the internet has revolutionized the way we eat, drink, and socialize.
If brick-and-mortar shops haven’t been feeling the squeeze before, then the recent shelter-in-place orders around the nation bring the hard truth: as long as we can be online, we can do almost anything.
Personalized wine selections
Consider Palate Club, who offers artisanal wines sourced from the best vineyards and wineries all over the world. With an online wine shop that boasts of almost a hundred labels—personally selected by master sommeliers Jennifer Estevez and Aubrey Terrazas, with consultation from wine experts Guillaume Puzo and Aymeric De Clouet in Paris—you are guaranteed quality wines that are ready to be shipped to your doorstep. With prices that range from $17 to $59, these wines are selected and imported with care, keeping in mind that taste should never suffer in exchange for value, and vice versa.
Palate Club’s mission is simple: make it easy for you to find the wines you love. That’s it. So much of the wine shops and wine clubs out there have become easy prey to repetitious marketing tactics, where the wine is expensive yet unexceptional, or highly reviewed but is actually run-of-the-mill. You excitedly open the bottle and, after a few sips, are left with a bad taste in the mouth.
You are not alone in this experience—founder Nicolas Mendiharat himself went through the same thing while in search for the perfect vino. How difficult was it to find a bottle of red or white that suits your taste? As it turns out, it was quite a challenge—mostly because we are always somehow dependent on wine critics and restaurant reviews to find out what we could bring home to the table.
This is where Palate Club’s namesake app comes in handy. By utilizing an algorithm of over 200 wine traits plus your personal wine ratings, it is able to come up with your own palate profile. It lists in detail your affinity to tannins, acidity, body, oak, alcohol, sweetness, and fruitiness—all wine traits that are important to know if you want to understand why you prefer certain wines over others.
Think of it as Netflix for wine—the more you drink and rate, the more personalized your wine shipments become. It is guaranteed that you will like every bottle delivered to you, and if not (which rarely happens), Palate Club is more than willing to replace it.
Wine shopping made simple
By starting with a blind tasting kit, or through the initial wine quiz, Palate Club already calculates your data and matches wines to your profile. It now becomes your starting point, on whether you want to shop individual bottles or avail of a personalized and flexible wine subscription.
Your subscription, when delivered, comes in a box with all the labels covered in order to give you a true, bias-free tasting experience. As you rate more bottles, your profile expands to also reveal more information about your main and secondary palate per red, white, sparkling, or rosé wines.
There is no commitment to your membership—you can pause it anytime. Moreover, you can choose your price range, the delivery frequency, and whether you want to receive your favorite again or continue discovering new ones.
What makes Palate Club different from other wine subscriptions is not only its premium wine selection but also its fully integrated artificial intelligence system. Your taste matters—and the app exists to help you truly understand the makeup of your appetite for wine. In other words, you will no longer be bound by mass-market opinions or preconceived notions about what you should like. With data science showing you what you like exactly, you are now empowered by new knowledge, not just about the wine, but of yourself.
The new normal
It is more than likely that we will all continue to adjust to new routines and modified lifestyles while we stay at home to help flatten the curve. While some may view this as a gloomy outlook of the future, we must all remember that the international community as a whole is working together to make sure that we will have a future.
In the meantime, this current way of life is an opportunity for us to forge deeper relationships with our loved ones, and even get to know ourselves a little more in the process. Wine, they say, is history in a bottle. Every sip takes us to the terroir where the grapes are planted, to the winemakers who have their own story to tell, to the vineyards who have stood the test of sun and time.
Perhaps this is also a chance for us to make new memories—the when and where of our lives.