Your digital sommelier: Bright Cellars
Bright Cellars is a subscription service wine club that is the invention of two 2010 MIT graduates. It uses an algorithm that pairs you with wines that match your taste preferences. The founders’ goal is to introduce its members to ‘hidden gems’ that they might never find on their own. There are many wine clubs out there, but this one struck my fancy when my daughter told me about it and I thought I’d give it a try.
Subscriptions are $60.00 a month to try four new wines from around the world. I tend to buy wines that are recommended to me by friends, or that I’ve tried in a restaurant. I don’t know much about wine, but I love it, and I know what I like. I know that there are many wines out there that I would probably enjoy but never be introduced to. Bright Cellars offers to do just that at a reasonable price, which is appealing to me.
Wine lovers take a short, easy quiz with questions like ‘choose which type of chocolate you could eat for the rest of your life’ (I chose a Snickers bar, of course). After further lifestyle and food & drink questions, you are asked to choose your wine preference – whites only, reds only, mostly reds, mostly whites, or ‘whatever my best matches are.’ In a few seconds, your best matches appear. Mine were four bottles of red (I had specified red only). There was a paragraph-long description of each bottle, their rating of it, and the tastes they felt it contained (strawberry, pepper, etc.) The shipping charge was an additional $8.00. I also had the opportunity to order cheese pairings for each bottle for an additional cost.
I am now signed up to receive the four bottles that their algorithm chose for me. After I receive the wine I am able to review each bottle and my reviews will aid the algorithm in choosing future wines for me. The wines I love will be noted and if they go on sale they will let me know. I am able to skip a month or cancel at any time. I can also change my preferences if I decide I want to try other types of wine.
All in all it was easy and fun. I can’t wait to taste the wines they chose for me!
Hint: You can send a one-time, personally curated, gift of wine to your friends and family. I think it would be a fun shower gift for newlyweds. The recipients of your gift will go through the process of filling out an online questionnaire and receive four bottles of wine chosen for them by the algorithm. Four bottles, delivered will cost $75 at www.brightcellars.com/gifts/home/.
To learn more about wine, follow their blog. Recent articles cover “How to Pair Chocolate and Wine”, “How to Pick out Sweet Wine”, “How to Pick the Right Wine Glass” and many more.
If you are interested in learning still more about wine, check out this wine blog I just discovered – WINE. All the time. It is written by Marissa A. Ross who loves wine and is a Contributing Editor at Bon Appetit. She is writing a book about wine due out in 2017. In 2015 she won the Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice for “The Best Wine Coverage” at the Saveur Blog Awards, and was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40, Food & Wine’s Up & Coming Blogs, and Elle Magazine’s Coach of the Month.
*We’ve just been notified that Bright Cellars can customize your orders with finding out “what is the one type of chocolate you could eat for the rest of your life“! Nobody has ever thought to ask me that!
Updated April 2017