As all of California shelters in place, for the time being, food delivery has become the safest alternative to going out. Most restaurants are closed, and liquor shops, too. If you’re looking to get a bottle of red or white, wine clubs like Palate Club are here to serve.
The closure of most businesses in order to comply with the shelter-in-place mandate in California has left a lot of entrepreneurs and customers concerned. Since they are not considered “COVID-19 Essential Services,” most companies and organizations have to shut down for the time being. This left the food and wine industry reeling, as streets are usually teeming with people wanting to go eat at their favorite hangouts on any given day.
Everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing, and the government has advised against gatherings of large groups of people. This means cancelling plans with your friends for now and trying to self-isolate as much as possible to avoid further spreading the virus. How do you satisfy your cravings though? What if you want to eat sushi right now? Or pizza? Or a burger with some greasy fries on the side? What if you are thirsting for a bottle of Bordeaux? A glass of Riesling? The good news is, Palate Club has got your back.
Premium wine subscription
Based in California, Palate Club is a wine club that ships artisan wines from around the world. What sets it apart from other wine subscriptions out there is that it uses data science to calculate what bottle to send you next according to your palate profile.
Think of a system similar to Pandora or Netflix—you get absolutely personalized wine recommendations. This is accomplished by analyzing 200 wine traits found in Palate Club’s selection and measuring these against your wine ratings made through the namesake app. The more bottles you rate, the further you unlock details about your palate. You learn why you like what you like, deepening your knowledge and appreciation about wine.
What’s more, shipping options are very flexible—you can adjust it to a monthly subscription, or every two months, or even every three months. Only the best labels are chosen at competitive prices, and you can order on the site or choose in-app wine purchasing. It’s a modern, innovative, and truly convenient option if you want to wine and dine even while social distancing—as most Californians are now happily discovering.
Your taste matters
Palate Club also solves the problem that commonly plagues other wine clubs today, in that a lot of them deliver pretentious, overpriced, and mass-marketed labels which, in the end, don’t really taste good. In wine-country California, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a popular bottle that hasn’t been reviewed to ruins, from novices to critics. But if it’s sought-after and often talked about, does it mean it’s delectable?
Founder Nicolas Mendiharat, a true oenophile, experienced this for himself when he travelled to the U.S. in 2015. Despite being well-acquainted with French wines, he found it frustrating to buy American wines. Sure, wine clubs have learned to curate good bottles, but it’s exactly that—they’re good, but not great. What he found missing was the marriage of excellent value and your own personal taste. Thus, Palate Club was born.
Once you sign up for the wine delivery service, an initial blind tasting kit will be shipped to you, with the labels disguised so you can focus on the wines themselves without any bias. By not having any prior information about the bottles, and by rating them just by how they taste, you will have a genuinely objective experience.
After you log your ratings in the app, Palate Club’s artificial intelligence then determines and gives you the most accurate picture of your tasting profile, doing away with any preconceived notions you might have about what kinds of wine to buy. This intrinsically smart technology tells you all about the wine descriptors you like (tannins, fruitiness, body, acidity, etc.) as well as the best matching wine regions and grapes.
Stay home, drink wine
Social distancing has seen the rise of interpersonal activities in the past few weeks. As naturally social beings, we have to work hard to keep our existential dread of having to be indoors for long periods of time at bay. From online book clubs to rooftop aerobics, from livestream bingo games to singing from balconies, there is no shortage of creativity of the human spirit.
But perhaps none is more relatable than happy hour, liquid seventh heaven for mortals. You can drag a chair and sit by your garage, and toast your neighbor from where you are. Or you and your friends can all collectively raise a glass over a Zoom conference.
For Californians, where wine is both culture and a lifestyle, Palate Club’s blind tasting is a wonderful way to have a social event while keeping safe. Now you don’t just have to rely on critic scores. You don’t have to fall prey to marketing tactics. You don’t even have to take a sommelier course. Everything you need to know about wine and your taste profile you will have, right at your fingertips. So drink up, and stay home.
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