26 September 2023

Cellar Door At Home

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By Christine Salins.


Billed as the “world’s first wine club for millennials”, Four Somme is a new tech-based business that enables you to enjoy a cellar door experience at home.

Parent company Rubay Wines launched in the Australian market earlier this year. Its formula involves sending subscribers of its Four Somme wine club a preview pack of four 187ml red or white wines every two months.

By tasting the wines before purchase, you can decide which ones you like the best and customise your order so that the full-size bottles subsequently delivered to your door are the wines you have enjoyed the most.

It’s a simple, fun concept – we enjoyed tasting our sample preview pack with friends, with everyone contributing their thoughts on the wines they liked best.

The four wines in the preview pack are labelled simply with vintage, varietal and region, and to add to the fun, one of the four is a mystery region.

By scanning a QR code on the pack, you get a (very brief) guided tasting, some information about the region, and an opportunity to indicate your preferences.

Based on the selections, subscribers are sent eight 750ml bottles for $170. The next preview pack (normally $45) is then supplied for free so that customers can order their next two-monthly selection.

The free preview packs and the bottle prices, said to be 40% cheaper than cellar door prices, reward customers for data that is valuable to both Rubay and the winemakers.

Rubay Wines’ co-founder, Avron Rubin, says that by giving winemakers, consumers and retailers an opportunity to tap into this data, winemaking can evolve to “better align with consumer preferences”.

“Choosing the right wine in a world of over 10,000 grape varieties presents a complex dilemma,” says Rubin, who developed his love of wines while studying in South Africa’s Stellenbosch wine region.

“Rubay’s goal is to ensure that, no matter where you sit in the wine sector, gone are the days of having to rely solely on subjective data and evaluations to make decisions on what wine to buy, sell or grow.”

Rubay created the WineQ technology that it uses to capture consumer preferences, right down to detailed information about the wine’s physical properties (sugars, alcohols, acidity, tannins, and chemical compounds).

The result, it says, is a sophisticated preference prediction that is “far more accurate than other predictive wine matching solutions”.

“These predictions will assist retailers in knowing which wines to sell, and in time the learnings will even enable wineries to better understand which wines will sell and to which target markets.

“The combined wine experiences and technology platform will connect wineries, retailers and wine lovers to bring them together to create a better experience for all.”


The following FourSomme wines were tasted:

2021 Central Ranges Shiraz: Organic, preservative-free, vegan, dark inky-violet colour, plum and red berry notes with a touch of cinnamon spice. Quite tannic initially, it opened up in the glass and paired beautifully with Hunter Belle’s black garlic brie (a super cheese, incidentally).

2021 Orange Pinot Noir: That’s Orange the region, not orange wine. Dark and rich with cedar/pine forest aromas; a little earthy. Soft and silky, tasting like raspberry jelly, this was my pick of the four (though not for my fellow tasters, which just goes to show that everyone’s taste is different).

2021 Canberra Shiraz: Mouth-filling and very aromatic, a big, plummy rich wine, not as delicate as I’d expect of a cool-climate Canberra wine. My second choice of the four.

2021 Merlot, mystery region: Earthy and savoury with generous black cherry notes, hints of licorice, vanilla and chocolate, an easy match with a wide range of meat dishes.

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