The world moves at the speed of technology. Even the notoriously traditional world of wine is not immune to the power of the internet - which has manifested itself via online storefronts, social media marketing, even curated web-based wine clubs. Chances are you're probably already well-acquainted with online shopping, and ordering a bottle of wine on the internet is no more complicated than clicking "buy" on a nice pair of shoes, but would you trust somebody you've never met to pick out a selection of wine to be shipped directly to your door every month? This is a question we've been pondering ourselves for quite some time and we recently decided to take a crack at finding the answer.
Curated online wine clubs in particular have been exploding in popularity as of late. There are a wide range of different options out there - each with their own distinct selling points and advantages. Some clubs are put together by Master Sommeliers from the wines they taste on their global travels, others by adventurous winemakers producing unique and experimental bottlings, and some are curated based on certain themes or styles. There seems to be a club for anything and everything a person might be looking for and selecting the right one can prove extremely difficult.
One of the more interesting recent trends in the international wine community has been the emergence of natural wine. The natural wine movement is particularly unique because the ideas it champions are not actually new at all. Rather the focus of this movement is to return wine production to the ways of old. The preached philosophy of this movement is that by forgoing modern pesticides and highly interventional winemaking practices one can create cleaner, brighter, and better wine. Lately we have found ourselves intrigued and delighted by many natural wines we've tried, so we concluded natural wine seemed like a perfect theme for us to explore via an online curated wine club.
Enter Raw Vino. Based out of San Francisco California, Raw Vino is a relatively new online natural wine retailer that also curates their own monthly club shipments. They carry a small rotating selection of some of the most interesting natural wine being produced today, and each month they ship a series of specially-selection of wines to your door based on your chosen preferences. The price for their service is extremely fair and they carry a number of unique, rare, and interesting wines, so after careful deliberation we felt comfortable choosing Raw Vino for our first curated wine club experience.
When our first 4 bottle shipment arrived we immediately dug in to take a look at the goodies we had received. To our delight the package contained a diverse range of wines from unique wine regions all over the world. We pulled out a delicious indigenous red blend grown on the volcanic slopes of Sicily, a Chardonnay from the wonderful little California appellation of Clarksburg, a rare old vine red from the mountains of Tacate Mexico, and a Sauvignon Blanc from one of Chile's trendiest young growing regions. The selection was impressive and would have been impossible to replicate at any of the local wine stores we frequent, which we consider a big win as it allows us to try wines we would otherwise never experience.
We sipped through the four wines over the coming weeks and we're happy to report that each bottle was absolutely lovely. The wines were fresh, juicy, and delicious; exactly what we've grown to expect from the best natural wines we have run into. Raw Vino did an excellent job in their curation and our standing fear of trusting someone else to pick out our wine was clearly all for naught. If you're interested in reading our individual reviews of each wine they can be found here, here, here, and here, but regardless just know that we were extremely impressed with each bottle.
On top of simply selling great wine the Raw Vino platform won us over for a number of reasons:
First - all Raw Vino packaging is completely sustainable and recyclable.
Second - Raw Vino donates 5% of their profits to the California Certified Organic Farmers foundation, a nonprofit organization that fights to advance organic agriculture through certification, education, advocacy, and promotion.
Third - Raw Vino intentionally seeks out and highlights wines crafted by female winemakers, many of whom have already helped to inspire us on our wine journey.
To put it simply, the folks at Raw Vino practice what they preach, and we respect their dedication to making the world of wine a better place.
If you're curious about joining an online wine club and/or are looking to further explore the genre of natural wine, we highly recommend looking into Raw Vino. While there are a great deal of absolutely amazing natural wines out there some of them might just be too weird for most people, so having a retailer you can trust like Raw Vino can be the difference between an awesome experience with natural wine or a poor one. If you're like us and enjoy drinking unique, diverse, and unmanipulated wine then Raw Vino is exactly the service you've been looking for.