20% off your first box with code ALLBOXES20
Last of the Summer Wine Box (September 2015).
If you’re anything like me, then you’re easily exhausted by the amount of decisions required to make even the smallest purchase. Vinoa offers some respite- at least when it comes to wine- taking the fuss out of selecting the best varieties available based on their research and expertise. In addition to doing the hard work, they invite subscribers to undertake a journey across winemaking regions and learn something new.
My Vinoa box arrived in a cardboard box containing a surprisingly compact purple package- I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of size and heft, but the four bottles are 50ml samples and fit snugly inside. There was little wastage in the packaging, as the bottles were only accompanied by a small booklet. Be warned that the box was bulkier than some mail slots might allow- including my own. Thankfully, I have a helpful concierge on site who kept it safe for me! Despite this drawback, the packaging was robust enough to ensure no breakage- all bottles were safely fixed inside a resilient sleeve. The package design was minimal and sleek.
The Last of the Summer Wine Unboxed:
Four 50 ml bottles:
- 1 x Domaine de la Villaudiere (Sancerre) from Jean-Marie Reverdy & Fils (France).
- 1x Le Pas du Moine from Chateau Gassier (France).
- 1x Birillo from Tenuta Marsiliana (Italy).
- 1x Consensus from Jose Neiva Correia (Portugal).
In addition to the samples:
- An information booklet.
- Four vouchers for full-sized bottles.
- Four vouchers for cases of 6 bottles.
Subscribers are provided with a booklet that gives a useful description of each product, detailing information on the producer, country, region, grape varieties, vintage and ABV. To complement the booklet, there is a website portal (and smart phone application) with additional information about the wine, guided tastings and an online shop where each one can be purchased directly.
The website is easily navigable and once you set up an account, you can access an interactive guide to your wine box. You have the option to follow a guided tasting or a short tasting- the former explores the wines through the senses (sight, smell and taste), inviting you to submit your impressions of each product through a sliding scale interface. The latter provides the information without this interactive element.
The wines in the Last of the Summer box represented a wide variety of styles; the Domaine de la Villaudiere is a Sauvignon Blanc characterised by complexity- its chalkiness balanced fruity notes and it had a clean and refreshing finish. I am generally weary of Sauvignons, but this surprised and beguiled me and I would be happy to drink it again.
The Le Pas du Moine is a satisfying rosé that is a perfect choice for afternoon sipping. I found it easily quaffable because it lacked the saccharinity of some rosés. It has a creamy finish that makes it taste like an expensive wine (it isn’t). I was pleased to discover this because I often struggle to find a crisp rosé.
The Birillo is a Bordeaux blend is soft and not overwhelming- it lacked the heaviness of a full-bodied red wine, making it ideal for red wine lovers in the summer months.
Finally, the Conensus is a red wine bursting with fruit and intensity- it’s more complex than the Birillo and made from a blend of Pinot Noir and a Portugese grape, Touriga Nacional. This is a wine for lovers of bursting, ripe flavours with a wallop of tannins, but was too intense for my palate.
I enjoyed the concept of the Vinoa box- it appeases both novices and connoisseurs alike, allowing them to engage as much (or as little!) as they want with the wines through the website. If you’re interested in trying something out of the ordinary, it provides a great channel for this, as the Vinoa experts pride themselves on including a diversity of products that are not readily available in supermarkets. Finally, a mix of different styles of wine guarantees that subscribers will discover something unfamiliar- I know I need convincing to veer from a dry white wine!
The inclusion of vouchers allows you to continue your love affair with your favourite sample, either knocking £1 or £2 off a bottle or- if you’re infatuated- up to £15 off a case of six bottles. The monthly plan is a reasonable £9.99 (shipping included) for four samples, and there are also six month and twelve month plans available via the website. Given the rarity of some of the samples and the likelihood that all items in the box will be enjoyed, this box represents good value for money and would make an excellent gift for that wine lover in your life.
Vinoa is an interactive, guided wine tasting.
Each month, our members discover one of the world’s classic wine regions through 4 miniature bottles of exceptional wines.
Vinoa helps you discover a world of wine from the comfort of your home for just under £10 per month.
£9.99 per box, including free delivery.
20% off your first box with code ALLBOXES20