We first discovered Honest Grapes at Taste of London and since then have discovered all the cool things they offer! Think an inclusive wine club with exclusive wines.
Last night we had the pleasure of sampling some of these delicious bottles at an Italian Islands themed evening at Polpo – a perfect pairing to say the least.
There’s another in the series on 2nd September, this time, Italy vs France – priced at £55 including wine AND food, we think this is a bargain.
What has got us really excited though is the launch of their Taste Lab.
Two sleek boxes containing 10 ‘test tubes’ of great wine which allows you to discover your personal wine profile through a blind tasting you can contact at home.
The end result is more confident and assured wine drinkers equipped to tackle and wine list and never drink a dud again! Hurrah!
Since forming Honest Grapes 10 months ago, Harrow has seen his established clientele expand to include a new group – less confident that his crew of fine wine connoisseurs but just as curious and enthusiastic. “So many people have glimpsed better wines at tastings or cellar doors. They’d like to drink like that every time and are willing to spend the money but they’re stymied by fear of making an expensive mistake. This means they keep buying the same bland and inoffensive supermarket wines time and time again”.
Meanwhile, Harrow’s business partner Hill had been keenly tracking the rise of postal services like Pact Coffee, Graze snacks and similar services for chocolate, tea and beauty products. “So much of the joy of the experience is receiving the neat boxes filled with something fabulous through the mailbox, lessening the blow of the bills and the junk mail”, says Hill. “Since Tom and I began talking about starting an online merchant in early 2014, I’ve been thinking about how you could replicate that kind of experience with wine”.
So the Taste Lab Kit was born. A kit contains 10 x 50ml glass test tubes, each containing a generous tasting measure of a different wine. The included menu systematically guides the taster through a blind tasting where – with no clue to the grape varieties, origins, and, most importantly, price of each sample – they’re encouraged to draw conclusions about their own palate and preferences. “So, this could mean that you secretly adore a high level of oak in white wines, or screw your nose up at an overwhelming amount of tannin in red”, says Hill. “It’s about removing people from any preconceived notions and asking them to identify what they really love without any of the guff that usually surrounds a bottle of wine”.
After the taster share their insights through the online Taste Selector too, the Honest Grapes wine team creates a Personal Wine Profile – including suggestions for the styles, regions and specific wines each participant should seek out. “It’s an eye-opening set of wines to titillate the senses and encourage experimentation” says Harrow. “Rather than a narrow list, it’s a great place to start, and a nice cheat sheet to refer to when confronted with a snotty sommelier or judgmental father –in-law”.
Where do we sign up!
The best bit though, has to be the price. Kits start at just £29, however if you’re feeling flush get the £110 package which gives you the complete Taste Lab experience – after the wine experts put together your Personal Wine Profile, they also send you a customised mixed half dozen bottles that should suit your palate and preferences as closely as possible. “They really should be amongst the best wines you’ve ever tasted.”