Tasting Room Calls it Quits.

Tasting Room Calls it Quits.

So…no-more little wine bottle samples!?!? That sucks. I loved getting those in the mail!

Online flash wine retailer the Tasting Room has called it quits and shutdown all operations.

The basic premise behind Tasting Room was to offer 100ml mini wine bottle samples (in prepackaged flight gift packs) of popular wines for consumers to “try before they buy.” TastingRoom.com have supposedly “initiated a partnership” with Lot18, a invite-only online wine store, who also seem to be struggling themselves…

The TastingRoom.com press release reads:

It has been a pleasure serving you and sharing with fellow wine lovers our samplers and wines from producers around the world.

Unfortunately, we wanted to let you know that the TastingRoom website is no longer available. The great news is that we have arranged a partnership with Lot18, the premier provider of artisanal and boutique wines on the web. To get you started, we will be providing you with a voucher that can be redeemed on the Lot18 website upon account setup.

Watch your inbox for an email announcement from Lot18 that will include:

The voucher that will provide Lot18 credits
Instructions on how to redeem your voucher for any wine offered on Lot18.com.
To ensure your voucher reaches your inbox, please add today@lot18.com to your address book. Your voucher should arrive on January 24th. We have done our best to make this process as seamless as possible, since your satisfaction is and always has been our top concern. While this closes a chapter for us, we look forward to communicating with you in the near future about plans for a new TastingRoom.com.

Thank you.

Click here for the full article from WineIndustryInsight.

My Thoughts…

Wasn’t Gary Vaynerchuk an investor in this thing? I think he was…

I had mixed feelings about this business from the start. The main purpose that I see with mini wine bottles is that you can sneak them into a movie theater easier…but maybe that’s just me. It personally takes me a hell-of-a-lot more than 100ml of a wine to discern whether I enjoy it or not.

I did actually like the basic concept behind Tasting Room, but it just didn’t seem scalable. I have no-doubt that their biggest challenge was convincing wineries of the idea…and then in turn convincing wine drinkers of the same thing. Too much convincing to be done.
With that said, the business model of “miniature wine bottle flights” will be repeated by some online business in the not-too-distant future, mark my words! The concept is just too “cute” for it to be given-up upon.

I would love to add more insightful reasons as to why TastingRoom.com shut their doors…but I never really followed their progress that much. They approached me about affiliate advertising twice (from two different accounts) back in June and July, which lead me to believe something was “up” back then.

Oh well, on to the next one…

1 Comment

  • January 28, 2013

    Josh Stein

    They targeted the wrong market. The market for this should have been wineries and sending samples to writers, bloggers, and club members, not as samples for general DTC. A good idea killed, literally, by wrong execution…

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