Clara Wine is a new algorithmic, data-led wine delivery subscription based in London. Started by winelover Sarah Stimpson, this unique service allows subscribers to discover new wines within their taste bracket and have them delivered monthly to their door.
Let's be frank, the thought of having a suitcase of wine come through the door rather than the usual bills and corporate mailouts is a glorious one! However the trouble with wine delivery services, whether it be late-night one-off 'liquid friends' delivery or as a cheeky add-on to your Ocado weekly shop, is easily explained in two deeply important words: Quality Control. Unless you are buying another bottle of a wine you know you love (Hello?! There is a world of wine out there people!), how do you know you're not going to end up with yet another bottle of disappointing undrinkable expensive plonk?
Well, thankfully we are living in an age where visions can be made a reality. Sarah Stimpson's particular utopic vision Clara Wine reimagines a new reality where a special-delivery package of fine wines - sourced from all over the world - can be delivered straight you door expertly curated to please your palate.
So how do they do it? Algorithms of course! Upon registering on Clarawine.com, you are asked you to fulfil a short and pleasant questionnaire that identifies your exact tastes and creates personalised algorithm-based profile that scours Clara's extensive database of fine wines for new and intriguing wines you most likely have never tried before.
Much like a questionnaire designed to divine your political lean, in just seven simple questions Clara is clued up onto your preferred: sweetness, aromas, richness and alcoholic strength. This information is then visually represented in a pleasing pie-chart which indicates how strongly you score in their 12 drinking 'tribes'.
Tribes include: 'Woodlander', 'Orbiter', 'Expressionist' and 'Velveteer'. I personally scored a high 7 on 'Fizzter' (hardly surprising with the quantities of champers consumed at the HC&W HQ) and 9 on 'Lushter'.
Therefore I was initiated into the 'Lushter' tribe: 'Lushter types have a sense of decadence. Their wine choices have ripe and tropical flavours and can have a dollop of oak in the form of vanilla characters. The wines often feel creamy, and warm you to your toes. Some can even taste like turkish delight.'
Subscription filled, within a week a delivery man presented me with a cardboard briefcase carrying two Lushter tribe wines and a bonus bottle of Prosecco from the 'Fizzter' tribe.
Each wine comes with a handy taste card indicating the grape variety and tasting notes/aromas and the Clara tag (as seen pictured) which is useful to distinguish them from your ordinary supermarket bought wines.
The wines were sweet and delicious and made a fantastic point of conversation with friends, as we passed the cards around while tasting, discovering and comparing the wines in what turned into an impromptu wine tasting. The tasting cards also make a fun cheat sheet for those pretending to be expert connoisseurs. - I can just picture myself calling out from the kitchen on a hot date 'doesn't this Chardonnay really does a good job of integrating the green fig and creamy vanilla notes with the tropical flavours...?' Yeah, maybe not. However the cards do make a great reference point, have plenty of space for handwritten notes. Tip: keep and star the cards of the wines you really enjoyed so that you can enjoy them again and again...
In this new age of convenience-based app driven life, it is all to easy to 'touch-purchase' online deliverables, groceries, furniture, boyfriends etc. But how do we know we are buying what we really want? And more to the point how can we be sure we know what we really want? The best thing about Clara Wine is that your personal algorithm continues to evolve and refine itself, as you rate the wine delivered – Ultimately getting to know your tastes better than you know them yourself!
Clara Wines is a truly wonderful option for those uncertain of their wine tastes and for those want to try something new without risking a bad bottle. If you like the idea of having a monthly delivery of high-quality new wines to try out, log on to Clarawine.com pronto and join your wine tribe.