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Despite the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” I find myself selecting both my books AND my bottles of wine by solely that – the cover! Let’s be real, a pretty book cover grabs your attention and somehow makes you feel extra special curled up, reading it. Similarly, with wine, I glance down the aisle at the and select a red with an interesting label or a white with a beautiful one. More than not, despite the pretty label, my selections turn out not so great taste-wise. So, in fear of selecting something horrendous, I tend to stick to my usual: Edna Valley Chardonnay – oaky, buttery, easy to find in California, and affordable. It ticks all the boxes.
But for how much I love wine, I feel so stuck with the same old, same old.
It left me feeling uncultured and unknowledgeable in something I really enjoy. Enter: Bright Cellars. About 6 months ago, I had heard about Bright Cellars from a friend and decided to check it out. The website was super easy to navigate, and I immediately started to take their Customizable Wine Experience Quiz. The questions were easy to answer and even address things like how crazy you want to get and what ratio of red to white you prefer.
As a Chardonnay lover, I opted for mostly whites with an interesting red thrown in here and there. Then I was set up with a monthly wine experience – easy as that! It seemed like a great, affordable way to try out new wines based on what I like. My favorite part? As you get your shipment, you can rate the wines you receive. The more you rate, the more the Bright Cellars team learns about your taste and can better curate your specific wine experience for you!
In a week, my first order was delivered to my doorstep. P.S. Since it’s wine, it does require a signature upon delivery. I tried the wines over the course of the month and literally LOVED them all – even the single red they included.
Needless to say, I continued my membership, but over time, I found that I wasn’t drinking the wine fast enough and was having to store far too much wine. I checked out my Bright Cellars profile but didn’t see the option for a less frequent delivery. So I reached out to my personal concierge, and she responded within 10 minutes explaining that they would be happy to deliver my wines as often as I’d like – every other month, every 3 months, etc. It was so nice to hear that they could tailor my personal experience EVEN FURTHER and were willing to work with me. I chose to receive my wines every other month.
Fast forward to this month, I received 4 beautiful looking wines and had a chance to try them all so that I could better explain the Bright Cellars experience.
First, I opened up my Life in the Woods Rosé. I selected this one because
1. Its description sounded summery, and I was enjoying the last few weeks of summer
2. A little secret – I can’t open wine bottles, and my husband wasn’t home, so I was very glad to receive this twist-off.
More about this beautiful bottle of wine: “This California Rosé has ripe and lifted aromas of pink grapefruit, raspberry, lemon, and green apple. Hints of minerality, tangerine, and pink lemonade on the palate pair delightfully with appetizers on the patio, strawberry salad, and fresh cheeses.”
Taste Profile: pink grapefruit, lemon zest, raspberry, green apple, and tangerine
I found it very fresh-tasting and easy to drink. I would absolutely LOVE to pour this on a warm summer night. It is also not too flavorful or overwhelming, so it would be a safe choice for a get-together or party.
The next bottle I tried was the Mojave Rain Cabernet Sauvignon. Per its description, it pairs well with hard cheeses like Gouda, so I brought it over to a game night with friends. We paired it with Manchego, aged Gouda, aged Cheddar, and some crackers.
More about this bottle of wine: “Mojave Rain Cabernet Sauvignon is ripe and full-bodied with raspberry, plum, and black cherry on the palate. A touch of oak gives this wine warming vanilla spice notes and smooth, velvety tannins. Mojave Rain Cabernet is the perfect pairing for a steak! We also enjoy it with hard cheeses like aged Gouda.”
Taste Profile: plum, black cherry, black raspberry, bell pepper, and baking spice
Everyone raved about this delicious red. As a white wine drinker, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty and easily I could drink this. I also received so many questions and compliments about the beautiful and interesting label.
Next up, I tried the Circa 33 Moscato. I did not have high hopes for this bottle as I do not enjoy sweet wines.
More about this bottle of wine: “A classic example of a California Moscato, this wine is sweet and fruity. Ripe fruit aromas of mango, peach, and pear are complemented by perfumy notes of orange blossom and honey. The sweetness found in this wine lends it to pair perfectly with spicy foods.”
Taste Profile: orange blossom, mango, peach, pear, and honey
Sure enough, this bottle was far too sweet for my taste. This was actually the FIRST bottle from Bright Cellars that I did not finish. I had a glass but offered the rest of the bottle to my sister-in-law who LOVES sweet wine but always feels left out because no one else in our family does. She paired it with some chips and spicy salsa and said that the wine really was a perfect match for spice!
And the Last One…
Last but not least, I tried the Herz & Heim Grüner Veltliner. I was intrigued by this bottle because it is from Austria!
More about this bottle of wine: “Grüner Veltliner is one of Austria’s most important and most grown grape varieties. Lively citrus and stone fruit aromas greet your nose. On the palate, a punch of citrus fruit, fresh herbs, and spicy white pepper are laced with a mouth-watering acidity. The finish is clean and pristine with lingering acidity compelling you to surrender to another sip.”
Taste Profile: lemon, lime, nectarine, peach, and white pepper
This wine was delicious and far too easy to drink. I may or may not have finished the whole bottle in a whole night – okay, I shared one glass. As the description states, it has a clean finish but still leaves you wanting more. It reminded me a lot of Chardonnay despite being from a different variety of grape.
Sum It Up For Me!
Overall, I am obsessed with Bright Cellars. At just $60 a month plus shipping, I get the opportunity to try out new wines that I otherwise may not have. On top of that, the website is a wonderful resource for all things wine. Each wine has its own description, taste profile, information on the specific grape, and insight on the region. I feel like I’ve learned more about wine within the 6 months I’ve been a member, than after 6 years of drinking it.
And of course, the ability to rate and further personalize your wine experience is so valuable. As I am learning more about the wine, I am learning more about what I like. Most importantly, I’m learning how to verbalize that. If you find a bottle you absolutely love, you can purchase it through Bright Cellars. They offer so many different discounts on 6 or 12 bottle purchases; I haven’t taken advantage yet. But, $10 a bottle for some of these amazing wines, I don’t think I will be able to pass up forever!
If you decide to try out Bright Cellars for yourself, be sure to let us know what you think and share your experience with us! We’d love to hear about the wines you are sent!
CMO of Babes, Books & Bordeaux || Animal Rescue Advocate || GIF Aficionado