As Monday came to an end at GeekWire HQ, the smell of Trader Joe’s smoked gouda and the sound of a bottle uncorking filled our office.
That meant one thing, and one thing only: Our first bottle of Amazon wine had arrived.
We wrote about our wine purchasing experience this past Thursday, examining Amazon’s new wine service that offers bottles from wineries around the country. By Monday morning, our first bottle had already arrived and we were ready to put Amazon wine to the test.
I snagged some parmesan crisps and smoked gouda cheese from Trader Joe’s to set the mood for GeekWire’s first-ever official wine tasting event, and when 5 p.m. came around, it was time to uncork.
Our first package was a $26.26 order of white wine called ‘Kelso’ from Claar Cellars ($13.99 for the wine, $9.99 for shipping and $2.28 sales tax.) It came in a box with an alcohol-label stuck to the side, making sure it was delivered to someone 21 years or older.
We were impressed with the way the wine was packaged inside the box. My colleague John Cook even asked if the packaging design had been patented.
Once we stopped talking about how great the packaging was, it was time to check out the actual bottle. The label looked just like what we saw on Amazon’s website.
Now for the most important part of the evening: the taste test. John uncorked the bottle like a pro and we toasted the moment with our respective glasses: Todd Bishop’s blue Microsoft mug, John’s paper cup from the water cooler and my plastic container from Top Pot. Yes, this is how geeks drink wine at the office.
Neither John, Todd or myself are big wine guys, but as you can tell from the empty bottle, we actually enjoyed the Kelso. I’m not going to get all food critique-y on you, but it was a smooth, slightly fruity taste that was actually nice to drink. With that fine cheese and those elegant parmesan crisps, it was a great combo.
But just as we were polishing off the bottle, huge news broke.
“Holy shit!” Todd yelled. “Sinofsky is leaving Microsoft!”
And that concluded the Amazon wine experience. Todd somehow, some way buckled down and posted a story about the departure of Microsoft president Steven Sinofsky. Whether or not the Kelso helped or hurt his performance, we’ll never know. Regardless, I was impressed — in my book, that was the mark of a true pro.
All in all, it’s safe to say that we really did enjoy our Amazon wine experience. Looking back, we probably should have bought in bulk to get more bang for our buck. Would we pay $26 for this bottle to be shipped to our doorstep again? Probably not. But we could have ordered six Kelso bottles at $14 per bottle, for the same amount of shipping. That’s something we’d certainly consider.
Our second bottle has yet to arrive. The first-ever GeekWire wine-tasting went so well we might just have to do it again.
UPDATE, 9:20 P.M.: Just to be clear, the wine is shipped directly from the wineries and Amazon simply serves as a marketplace. The nice packaging was all Kelso.
Previously on GeekWire: We just bought our first bottle of wine off Amazon: Here’s how it works