Testing Club W – Bringing Digital Preference Tools to the Wine Game?

TLDR – updated November 1st, 2016

Overall the delivery needs to be signed for, they send a lot of emails and texts and they rope you unwillingly into monthly subscriptions. They then force you to call in to cancel your order. You can ‘pause’ online, but you have to call in to cancel. Quite the inconvenient service. For me, it makes more sense to buy wine from the supermarket.

The long story –

While listening to the Joe Rogan podcast, I heard him talking about the innovative way that ClubW suggests wines.

Try to get wine delivered by ClubW (if you end up buying, you’ll get some sort of discount).

How it Works

Club W is offering a digital algorithm process for selecting the wine that is suited to be best for you. They make decisions based on your self reported food preferences. It’s a quick 5 question survey.

They ask things like:

  • How do you like your coffee?
  • How much do you like to salt food?
  • How much do you like citrus flavors?
  • How much do you like earthy flavors like mushrooms?
  • Do you like eating berries?
  • How adventurous are you with other food.

Club W will then suggest a collection of wines based on your responses.

My Order

My wine life as of today has been that I’m almost 100% indifferent as to what sort of fancy label or magic that is behind the brand. I perceive wine as a very fascinating marketing game where people make crazy pricing decisions based on an unfathomable array of different lifestyle beliefs, media influences and other factors.

I think about Jay-Z selling millions of bottles of sweet champagne at >$200 a bottle, while I personally can’t differentiate “two-buck-chuck” ($2 Charles Schaw red wine) from the expensive red wines.

  • 2014 Alma Libre® Red Blend
  • 2014 Alchymist Noir™ Red Blend
  • 2014 La Muleta® Garnacha
  • 2014 Nouvelle Ère Bordeaux Blend

clubw-wines-technical-review

Club W is to wine what Pandora is to music?

Pandora is amazing. You enter one song that you love and they feed you a limitless collection of music that mimics that song. With a quick thumbs up or thumbs down, you can start to craft the music that is sent to you. It’s magic.

Could this be done for wine?

Well… maybe Club W is working on that. They aren’t going for this angle in their marketing… I just ordered… so time will tell.

These bottles all cost a little more than what I can get regularly good wines for. So for this to be good enough for me to suggest to people, the wine will have to be significantly better than the less-expensive red wine I can grab at Trader Joe’s for a few dollars.

Update October 3rd, 2016

From Alice at (Club W)

Hi Ian,

Happy Sunday 🙂

I received your message via sms. I apologize that you missed your package and since the delivery contains wines, Law states a person aged 21+ must sign to receive it.

It will be reattempt delivered to you on Tue 10/04/2016 by end of day.

Another option is, you can hold it in a FedEx location for pick up. The nearest FedEx location based on your shipping address…

 

Cheers,

Alice
Club W Concierge
www.clubw.com

This is a bit of a bummer. Because I’m never around the place, the signing for packages is a big pain for me. I guess it’s the law though so I can’t hold it against Club W…. but now I’m going to have to go pick it up at the post office which is already more of a hassle than just buying it at a local grocery store. I’ll keep you updated as progress develops.

can grab at Trader Joe’s for a few dollars.

Update November 1st, 2016

Not cool. Apparently they roped me into a monthly service that I never asked for. So I woke up yesterday morning to learn that I had additional bottles being delivered.

So I’m short another $50 for wine I don’t especially want. That isn’t a big deal, the bigger problem is that I can expect about 20 emails and texts from Winc as they fail to deliver wine because I’m not waiting at home for it to be delivered.

Those things are a minor inconvenience, but they top off the insult by forcing me to call in to cancel my account. I have to sit on hold for 5 minutes before I get on the phone with a person who informs me that they can’t turn the order around.

Overall the delivery needs to be signed for, they send a lot of emails and texts and they rope you unwillingly into monthly subscriptions. For me, it makes more sense to buy wine from the supermarket.

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