I recently received a rather lovely delivery: two bottles of specially selected wine, chosen by Alain Gousse, the former Head Sommelier of a number of Michelin starred restaurants. I received this courtesy of My Vitibox, a monthly subscription wine service that is already popular in France and has recently launched in the UK.
A wine subscription from My Vitibox starts from £26 per month and is non-binding so you can start and stop whenever you want. As well as two bottles of wine chosen by expert sommelier, Alain (you can choose whether you prefer red, white or a mixture), you receive a booklet telling you how to taste each of the wines, together with notes about each and some recipe ideas to help with understanding the rules for pairing food and wine. This was great for me, as I love wine, and I know what I do and don’t like, but beyond that I will happily admit to being a bit of an ignoramus, so having a step by step guide, written in a jargon-free style, to help me understand the basics of tasting wine and identifying the scents and aromas (the two are different!), is perfect – and adds an extra dimension of fun to drinking the wine.
In addition to the two bottles of wine, I received a sample box of small bottles of wine aromas, entitled “Le Nez du Vin”. These are part of a larger collection that is available to help you train your nose to become expert at identifying the different aromas in wine – and which is used by professional sommeliers to help them learn their craft – and came with a booklet explaining how to identify the aromas, and which wines they appear in. Mr W and I had a fun session trying to identify the different aromas from the mini-bottles. Some, such as grapefruit and blackcurrant, were easy to spot, but other more delicate ones such as violet and pear, were much harder to identify – and the smell of toast coming from a bottle of clear liquid was just downright weird! The full collection of 54 aromas includes weird and wonderful varieties such as cut hay, leather and butter, as well as a variety of different fruity aromas. There’s even a set of coffee aromas too if wine is not your thing.
I love the idea of My Vitibox. It’s so much more interactive than your average wine subscription service and makes the somewhat impenetrable – and often somewhat pretentious – subject of wine appreciation seem much easier and less daunting than I’ve found it before, despite having attended more tutored wine tastings, wine pairing sessions and the like than I’ve had hot dinners. Well, not quite, but you know what I mean. Suffice to say, I’ve never really managed to understand more than the basics, whereas with this service, over time, I think I could probably learn a lot more. It’s also lovely to be able to do this in your own home, with user-friendly guides. And if you like the wines you try each month, you can buy them at a discounted price. I love the brand too – the website is fun and easy to use, and the packaging of the wines and the way the booklets were designed and worded was great.
A My Vitibox subscription would make a fantastic present to the wine-lover in your life, whether that is yourself or another person, and Le Nez du Vin is an innovative gift idea too, either on its own or in tandem with a subscription.
My one month subscription box and Le Nez du Vin sample from My Vitibox was complimentary.