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Tasting Room Lot18 Wine Club – Full Review

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  • Company: Tasting Room by Lot18
  • Available on:
  • Estimated Price: $149 + $19.99 Shipping

What Are They About?

Lot18 has put together a simple, but exceptional, wine club.  For those not familiar with it, Lot18 is an online wine retailer that places its emphasis on quality.  They seek out the best quality wines at any price point and make them available online.  Most wines are difficult to come by and often small batch, so they don’t stay on the site long.  A constant rotation keeps things interesting and guarantees that while not all wines may match an individual’s taste, all are exceptional examples of the varietal.

Lot18 is known for curating not only exceptional wines but also exquisite housewares made available on their site.  Users of the site love their “Secret Cellar” where wines go before they are gone from the site. These limited quantity wines are always popular and quick to go – so hopping over to that section daily is a good idea.

With a love and understanding of good wine the folks at Lot18 have put together The Tasting Room, their take on wine clubs.

Membership Overview (1 Plan)

Tasting Room Wine Club

$168.99Every 3 Months
  • Delivery Every 3 Months
  • 12 Bottles in Each Delivery
  • 12 Bottles for $149 + $19.99 Shipping - $168.99 ($14.08/bottle)

What You Get

Every third month members receive:

  • 12 bottles of wine selected to match the club member’s profile.

Not a huge list, but here’s the thing: Tasting Room truly focuses on a personalized experience of wine – not a pretty box with glossy inserts and pairing notes.  As a matter of fact, when you sign up the first thing you’ll receive is your welcome kit which contains 6 mini bottles of wine that cover a wide spectrum of body, texture, climate, varietal, terroir and more.  When you’re ready, you’ll log on and do a guided tasting that simply looks at what you prefer.  When you’re done you’ll get an in depth profile explaining your taste in wine.  Do you prefer warm or cold climate wine?  Spicy?  Floral?  And based on what you like, what should you eat with it.  This is the profile that is used to create your shipments every three months., You can rate each shipment of wines so that your boxes are even more likely to expose you to new wines you’ll love.  And if you don’t like a wine just let Lot18 know and you’ll get a credit for a free bottle to make up for it.

Why it Works & What Could be Better

Wht it Works
  • The Science – By having club members do an actual tasting of known wines Tasting Room gets a sense of what drinkers actually like.  This about it this way: you might love Chardonnay but there are a LOT of different expressions of the grape, so you might not like ALL Chardonnay.  Tasting Room sends you particular wine samples and has you rate them to get a true understanding of your palate and preferences.  They use that to pick your wines.  And they believe in this system so much that if you don’t like a wine they replace it with one you like better.
  • The Simplicity – Twelve bottles that match your tastes every three months.  Tasting Room does all the work!  You don’t have to decide on frequency, on makeup of the shipment, on number of bottles… just be prepared to get twelve new bottles every three months, drink them, rate them and get twelve more.
  • The Transparency – Tasting Room provides some of the clearest information on pricing possible.  The starter kit is $9.95 and every subsequent shipment is $149 plus a flat $19.99 for shipping.  No guesswork, no swings – you pay every three months the same amount that averages to about $14 a bottle for wines that, for the most part, are worth more.
  • No Hassle – Cancel any time without penalty or fee.

What Could Be Better
  • One Other Option – We’ll go out on a limb here and say that pretty much nothing could be better about Tasting Room by Lot18.  But if we had to say ONE thing, it would be to maybe offer a six bottle shipment.  Only because some of us don’t drink quite fast enough to keep up with twelve bottles every three months.
  • Clear Posting of Eligibility – The rules are different from state to state and whether or not a state can receive can change based on shipping arrangements, but that’s no reason not to have a list of current states where wine can be shipped.  Lot18 does not have this available and it’s tricky to figure out exactly what can be delivered where.

FAQ

faq  “Can I Order This As A Gift?”

Yes!  You can purchase a gift card, give a voucher, or set up an account for someone, but be sure to let them know it’s coming if you choose the last option.  As with all wine clubs, someone 21 or older must sign for all shipments from Tasting Room according to federal law.

 

faq  “When Does My Subscription End?”

Subscriptions are ongoing – but you can cancel at any time without fear of penalty unless your shipment for that month has already been sent.

 

faq  “Can I choose the makeup of my twelve bottles?”

No.  Tasting Room by Lot18 determines your shipment based on your tastes… which is likely to reflect your preferences (red, white, rosé, etc.).  Further, there are wines that cross the spectrum so you are likely to get wine of a color you might not prefer that actually meets our personal preference.

All In All

This is a wine club that takes itself seriously in all the right ways.  From truly developing a system for discovering members’ preferences and using it to determine shipments to allowing ongoing rating of the shipments to further select wines that change as the member’s tastes do, it doesn’t get much more personalized.  Add that to the fact that there isn’t much to think about and the completely clear pricing and you have one of the best, if not the best, club out there for wine lovers of any preference.

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Is Tasting Room by Lot18 available where I live?

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Nancy Koziol

Nancy Koziol is a wine writer specializing in wine news, culture, politics, and emerging regions. She has traveled throughout various wine regions and constantly strives to deepen her understanding and appreciation of the holistic experience of wine, from seed to glass. Nancy writes for a variety of wine publications spanning everything from how to make amazing Sangria to understanding the ecological impact of winemaking. She lives in Vermont where she is developing an appreciation for hybrid grapes - something she never thought would happen - and obsessing over orange wines.

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