It's the holiday season, which means there are endless dinner parties that require a lot of planning and meal prep. My food is always on point - I make the best homemade soup that my nieces and nephews can't get enough of. But the one thing I always stress about this time of year... is wine.
Unlike the rest of my family, I'm no wine buff, so I find it hard to keep up with them – particularly my well-traveled brother. Every holiday season, I feel like I have to outdo my bottles from the previous year.
So needless to say, I find myself going to my local liquor store and buying the expensive bottles there - I figured if it's expensive, it must be good. But last year, I spent $100 on two bottles only for my brother to say that he's tried them before, and they're "not his favorite."
I don't have time to read up on all these wines, and I definitely don't have the budget to try them all either. There had to be a better way of finding nice, rare wines for a more affordable price. I decided to do some research online when I came across Tasting Room by Lot18.
I'd heard about wine clubs before, and they never seemed necessary since I'm no wine connoisseur. But the deeper I looked, the more I realized this could be the solution I was looking for. When looking at the Tasting Room site, there's a 3-question quiz about my fruit, coffee, and chocolate preferences. Most wine clubs base their quiz questions around wine, which I'm no expert in. But these were questions I could easily answer.
Based on the answers, they'd send a wine tasting kit that matched my particular tastes. It contains six small bottles of wine for only $6.95. I was skeptical when I saw how affordable it is, and I figured the wines probably wouldn't be that good. But I thought I'd try it out anyway since it was so affordable.
A few days later, I received a six-bottle mini tasting kit to my doorstep. The interactive tasting is so helpful, and I loved it. I got to sit down at my laptop, taste each bottle, and pit them against each other by rating each bottle. I was surprised when all of the bottles tasted so good - Definitely an upgrade from the store-bought wines I usually go for. After finishing the tasting, a wine profile is created for you. The online profile is a guide that has a list of wine recommendations, region recommendations, and foods they pair well with.
Next, they ship a case of different wines based on my profile for about $12 per bottle - much better value than buying those expensive bottles in the liquor store, that doesn't taste nearly as good. This was such a relief – I had a classy bottle for every party I had to attend.
Every Thanksgiving, we go to my brother's house for dinner, and I brought my Garnacha-Syrah, a deep red, and it went down a treat! My brother and sister-in-law were so impressed with it. After that success, I was excited to see the reactions to my wine at my annual dinner party the next month.
Now that I'm subscribed to Tasting Room, I feel confident that I'll have a nice wine for every kind of party I attend or host throughout the year. Plus, I'll always have something to look forward to after a rough week.
Not having to worry about searching for a nice wine, or having to put out a big budget for wine, meant I could spend more time on food. I made pudding for the first time this year at my dinner party, and it went down an absolute treat - The Pinot Gris I got from Tasting Room did, too.
I'd recommend Tasting Room to anyone who wants to find nice wines, at an affordable price, but doesn't know where to look.