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Forbes Wine Club Review (with Video)

WCG - Todd reviewing Forbes 350w Recently, I had the pleasure of reviewing a really unique and fun wine club, from a brand we all know well, Forbes.

Yep, Forbes has launched their own branded wine club now, and in typical Forbes fashion, it’s not your run-of-the-mill wine club. Instead of entering into this wine club business by introducing another “normal” wine club, Forbes is using technology to match delicious wines with the unique taste preferences of each customer. (They’ve partnered with TastingRoom, a really smart wine technology company to help make sure the Forbes wine club is sure to please.)

WCG - Forbes Logo 120x60

As you’ll see in the review, Forbes doesn’t simply select wines and send you a couple bottles of wine each month. Rather, they use a fun technology process that results in you receiving wines that you like!

Here’s how it works:

  • You spend $9.95 (total) and Forbes sends you a “Tasting Kit”, which is 6 small bottles (a.k.a. “tastes”) of wines.
  • You then log in to your account with Forbes Wine Club to tell them what you like, by simply tasting the wine in each bottle and indicate which you prefer. (It’s super easy, and really fun!)
  • From there, your personalized “Wine Profile” is created.
  • Better still, based on this personalized Wine Profile, your first shipment of a case of wine is created!  You pay $80 (total) for this full case of wine. It’s an insanely low price for great wine. It’s even more of a value since the wine is selected specifically for you, based on your Wine Profile.)

Like when you received the Tasting Kit, when you get this first case of wine, you’ll want to continue to rate the wines you receive in order to further refine and enhance your customized Wine Profile. (With this additional data, Forbes can continually improve the accuracy with which they select wines for your unique wine preferences.)

The idea of using technology like this to match your personal taste preferences with their selections of high quality wine is really intriguing and the experience alone is worth the initial low costs, in my opinion.  I really like the personalized Wine Profile, too.  It’s really clever and is ridiculously accurate!  (However, mine did not specify that I despise / loath / detest Reisling.  I guess they prefer to focus on the positives only. )

So let’s recap.

  1. $9.95 for the tasting kit and the resulting Wine Profile.
  2. 30 days later, you get the first shipment of your personalized case of wine for $80.
  3. Every 3 months thereafter, you get another case of wine that’s been curated for your unique wine preferences for $149.99 plus a flat $20 shipping.

It’s a great deal, on a unique club, from a brand you know.

Check out our full review and my video here!

Please let us know if you try this unique wine club experience and give us your feedback on the process, the value and their wine selections.

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Todd loves wine - but not all wine. He's a fan of robust, dry, deep or spicy reds. The only white wine he likes is a pinot grigio and an occasional savignon blanc. Although his palette is limited to dry red wine, he's no wine snob! Warning: if you try to force a glass of Riesling in his hands, you are asking for a fight. Ask Todd a wine question!
2 Comments
  1. Todd, I appreciate the way you continue to review new wine clubs. The explosion of wine in general, and clubs in particular, means that wine lovers, especially those without the time required to research clubs on their own, can greatly benefit from your valuable service.

    However, in the interest of good journalism as well as service to your readers, I’d like to delve a little more deeply into the approach adopted by Forbes and TastingRoom. You see, I considered this model some years ago and rejected it after several weeks of consideration.

    It SEEMED to make sense – in a world where Pandora has trained us all to believe anything can be customized to our personal tastes, a personalized wine club seems like a no-brainer! But the devil is in the details, as always.

    In this case, one needs to know that TastingRoom, despite their impressive investment in technology, has yet to master the nearly impossible task of creating a tiny sample of wine that tastes identical to the full bottle. It starts out well, but the tiny sample changes noticeably after only a couple of weeks. This was the first detail that proved a stumbling block – members selecting wine based on a small sample were not satisfied with the identical wines in full bottle.

    TastingRoom will march out differing test results, and I respect them and their research. They are doing what they can to make a great idea workable. They’ll eventually crack this nut. But to date, they’ve not done so to my satisfaction. Once they do I’ll be interested to see if the samples are still cost effective.

    But the greater concern is the ability to accurately match wines by style and price point using a computer. Sure, Pandora has done a good job of this with music, but think about how many times you have to “thumb down” a tune before the system learns what you like. It’s easy when there’s no cost to a system error, but when you’re spending money on each one, plus shipping, it gets a bit more dear.

    I’ve been in the wine game a long time, and I know that a large segment of wine lovers only want what they like. The mindset seems to be “I’ve tried a lot of wines I don’t care for and if I’m spending precious dollars on a luxury beverage, I don’t want to risk them – so give me what I like!!” This valuable market segment is brand-loyal, and their happiest place will be found when they get the same wine from the same winery on a regular basis.

    But another valuable segment of wine lovers enjoys trying new things, learning about the new aroma/taste experiences and food pairings, and is on a constant quest for their NEXT favorite. Such wine adventurers are unlikely to find happiness in a single winery’s club, or in one that spoon feeds them nearly identical wines in different labels.

    To each wine lover, their own wine club!

    Cheers!
    Dave Chambers
    http://www.DaveTheWineMerchant.com

  2. Thanks for the comment, Dave. Your perspective is appreciated. (You *are* the expert!)

    I did enjoy one of my favorite bottles of Pinot Noir (ever) from a delivery in your wine club. I do love what you’re doing with your wine club!

    Thanks again.

    Todd

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