Naked Wines was introduced to the US market recently, and I broke out the video camera and showed you what a case from Naked Wines includes. Unlike most wine clubs, Naked Wines does things differently.
Naked Wines gets their name from the transparency in the overall process. As a customer (or angel), you talk directly with other customers, comparing tasting notes and such. In addition, the winemakers themselves chime in, interacting with the angels. Money isn't wasted in marketing and other corporate overhead, giving you boutique wines at an amazing price.
Receiving my shipment from Naked Wines was exciting – the box had something witty on each side, reflecting the Naked Wines culture.
Unlike other cases which I've received in the past, where the bottles were all stood upright, my Naked Wines were shipped laying down. If the wine bottles were corked, this would make a difference. However, most (if not all) of the bottles had metal screw-caps. Still, opening the box, the wines laying down were presented nicer than seeing the tops of 12 bottles.
So far I've opened up 2 different bottles from my Naked Wines shipment, and have had different experiences.
Accord Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley 2009
I opened this wine at the end of a night; not paired with a meal or any special occasion – just intended to be a nice glass of wine on its own. However, I (and my guests) were highly disappointed in it. If I drank Lemon-scented Pinesol (which I don't), I'd imagine this is what it'd taste like. Maybe I was wrong, so after my initial horror, I glanced up at a friend who was also tasting this Chardonnay, and the look on her face told me she agrees. Two people could be wrong, so another guest tried it, who also agreed. The rest of the bottle was dumped 🙁
Matt laconis Moscato Lodi 2011
After dinner one night, I wanted to try another bottle from Naked Wines, so I chose this Moscato (which is a very popular varietal these days) from my wine cooler. After first pour, it was slightly thicker than I had hoped for (not as bad as cough syrup, but halfway there) as I prefer my wine to be thin, or with a low viscosity. However, I quickly got over this as the wine itself was delicious (others weren't happy with the lessened sweetness). We then paired this wine with a specifically-chosen cookie, and it completely changed the taste of it (more on that in a few weeks).
Of course, there are 10 other bottles of wine that need to be tasted, but after being completely disappointed in my first bottle, I'm glad the second bottle turned things around.
Unlike other wine clubs, who send nice newsletters and tasting notes, all that came with my Naked Wines shipment was a packing list. However, each bottle included a QR code, which I could scan with my phone and see info on the wine, or I could download the Naked Wines Android App and view the wines I ordered along with other users' tasting notes and ratings.
This is part of Naked Wines being “naked” – without the cost of preparing and printing tasting notes, they can be delivered electronically, giving you the best wine for your money, without the fluff.
Naked Wines isn't like your typical Wine Club. You deposit (invest) $40 each month into your account, which is used to fund small winemakers, allowing them to create the wines they love and know best. The money in your account is all yours, and you can buy any available wine at 40-50% off, or withdraw your money at any time.
You can create your own shipment of 6 or 12 bottles, or select one of Naked Wines pre-selected cases. Shipping is just $10, or free if your wine order is $100 or more.
Naked Wines Video Review
Now the moment you've been waiting for: my Naked Wines video review. Maybe I took their name too literally?