If there was an initial theme to the courtship, it was coffee. I'd heard about the company for the first time while meeting Anna for coffee. She was the genius who thought to put us together. I met the first member of the exec team at Cafe Barrone for more coffee - hipster coffee. Throughout the interview process there were more offers of coffee and at least one was accepted. But I know myself better than to drink too much of the stuff. As my more gracious friends would say, I'm "a high energy person." Which is another way of saying "she doesn't really need caffeine and you're better off not giving it to her."
Coffee may have been the opening theme but it didn't take long to move forward to everyone's true passion: wine. My first dinner with the exec team involved several delicious bottles of it. My final offer was agreed upon over a glass of San Giovese.
How can you not love a company where part of your job is to learn about - and taste - wine? I'll tell you. You can't.
But when you add a brilliant team, a kick-ass business model and a genius product offering you get as close to nirvana as I can imagine. My job is now to persuade you and your friends on the merits of wine tasting at home. And I have a great case to make (you're going to love this).
You're in your house and the box comes. Inside the box are six perfect little bottles of wine. They're pretty. In fact they're so pretty you're tempted not to drink them. But that would be a giant mistake. Because inside each of those beauties is the perfect taste: 50ml of wine.
You get out your glass and start from left to right. Open the bottle and pour. Look at the color in your glass. It's kind of amazing how much variety you get just from the color. Now lift up the glass and swirl it around a little - not so much that it comes flying out of the glass - just enough to open up the aroma. Don't drink yet. I know you want to but hang on for just a minute. Tip the glass and put your nose in it - go ahead, don't be shy. Inhale. Don't get caught up trying to smell the cherries and the chocolate and the blah blah blah that wine people will tell you about. That puzzle comes later - if you want it to. For now, breathe it in like the scent of a beautiful woman (or man). Let your nose experience the wine first.
Now your mouth really wants it, so drink up.
The bottle doesn't bring enough wine for you to have a whole glass, which is good because you have five more bottle to get through. This is tasting, not drinking. You're here to explore.
Since you're not in an actual tasting room, and you're not being paid to drink, you don't have to spit your wine out in a bucket unless you really, really want to. Go ahead and swallow what's in your mouth and then what's in the rest of your glass. Think about what you just drank. Did you like it?
What if I promised that all of the bottles you tried were good, that there was no bad wine in your sample? That your job was to try all of them and figure out what you liked. Not, what was good, because that's been done for you already - by expert wine drinkers. And no, I don't know who you have to kill to get the job of the expert wine drinker, but it's on my list to find out.
That's what you get from TastingRoom.com. And if you like the wine you taste, it's easy to buy the bottle and you should, because this is how great wine cellars are built. And no, I'm not talking about the spiderwebbed temperature controlled nasa center cellars our friends have. I'm talking about the "honey, David and Sara are coming over and I'd love to open that Pinot we tried the other day" cellar. The kind we'd all like to have but most don't have yet.
As you can see, I'm a little excited about all of this. Good people, good model, good products and now me.
I start on Monday.