The best thing we got out of 2020 was a full-on immersion in wine clubs. Convenient and safe, they remove the need to venture into the outside world. Wines delivered to your door and you never have to leave the couch.
But are wine clubs effective and are they really as personalized as they claim?
Not always. Most wine clubs use algorithms to select wines for us, and that's the problem. Algorithms don't equal personalization. They leave out truly individual tastes and merely offer a generalized - and often dull - array of wines based on a few generic questions.
The bottles we drink should make us curious, adventurous, and joyful. Our wine should reflect our personalities and experiences. New suggestions ought to build upon our preferences, not ignore or misinterpret them.
In the clamor of wine clubs, two rise above the pack - Bright Cellars and Tasting Room's recent add-on: the Tasting Room Experience, or TREX. Both work hard to make sure the wines you love show up on your doorstep.
Who does a better job? Here's the breakdown:
- Both deliver exquisitely curated wines from vineyards around the world
- Both are subscription memberships - Pause or opt-out at any time
- Both ship monthly or every 2 or 3 months & offer all reds, all whites, or a mix
- Both have customer guarantees - Bright Cellars' Delight Guarantee & TREX's Total Satisfaction Guarantee
- Bright Cellars uses an algorithm to select your wine - TREX goes far above and beyond with concierges available at any time to curate your wine profile & handpick shipment
- Tasting Room bottles run for about $12.50 ($25 retail) - Bright Cellars cost $20 per bottle
- Tasting Room sends 6 premium bottles a shipment - Bright Cellars ships 4 top wines
- TREX has free shipping for a year! - With Bright Cellars you pay for shipping every time
Tasting Room is the original online wine club that launched a thousand others. They've been listening to their loyal customers who want an individualized experience. So, instead of using an algorithm to customize shipments, they've created TREX - a Tasting Room add-on that only costs $49 annually.
This Tasting Room upgrade grants access to your own personal wine concierge who will take the time to get to know your taste, help you learn about wines, and help you discover startling new bottles.
Personally connect with your wine concierge via email and they'll respond within 2 hours Monday - Friday, 10am to 6pm EST!
This elite membership is a wine lover's dream with substantial savings and perks galore. A monthly newsletter keeps you posted on what's new and exciting at TREX and regularly offers discounts on world-class wines from its exclusive partners.
Subscribers receive invitation-only events such as online quarterly wine tastings - a trip to the vineyard from the comfort of your home. You have the chance to meet other wine lovers, discuss bottles, learn about pairings, and even chat with your wine concierge.
Saving the best for last, after every 3rd full-sized shipment, the 4th shipment is complimentary! It's clear this benefit alone saves $150 a year, which more than pays for your TREX upgrade.
Bright Cellars Overview
Bright Cellars aims to educate and inspire a new generation of wine lovers. Initially, customers complete a 7-question Taste Palate Quiz. Mix in the Bright Points algorithm that compares your preferences with 18 attributes and within 20 seconds - your very own, unique taste profile.
Every shipment includes a handy card with information about each bottle. Use the cards to rate your wines and update your website preferences to keep current with your algorithmic numbers. Bright Cellars promises wine you're sure to love, but can an algorithm really ensure this?
With Bright Cellars, you'll receive 4 bottles of customized wines for $88 plus shipping a month. We think this is a little steep considering you won't be getting any of the exhilarating experiences and next-level personalization like you'd have with TREX.
Algorithms may sound smart and feel "scientific," but in reality, they don't do the job. Forget the silly questions about what kind of chocolate you like or if you think barns smell good. Tastebuds aren't algorithms and they aren't data. It's as simple as that.
When new customers sign up for TREX - at $49.00 a year - they also gain a subscription to Tasting Room. This includes a 6 mini-bottle tasting kit for $9.95, bringing the initial total to just $58.95.
Once you receive and rate your tasting kit, you're charged $75 for your first case of 6 first-rate wines - that's only $12.50 a bottle! After that, Tasting Room will ship a case of wine - 6 full-sized bottles at only $75 - that your personal concierge has tailored to match your tastes.
And over time, the TREX experts get to know you and continually curate their choices based on that knowledge.Whether you're a beginner or a connoisseur, Tasting Room's TREX membership is the top wine club upgrade around. Start your lifelong wine adventure today!