has created the ultimate online wine experience.  A community with so many layers of functionality and ways to connect, it’s like the Facebook of wine.   An online brand designed to not only purchase wine and wine related products, but to actually participate in wine culture… digital viticulture if I could make an on-the-fly attempt at capturing the “X factor”?

There are an abundance of wine club type websites out there, but once landing on, it doesn’t take long to realize this online brand has harnessed the distinct technological advantage of innovation.

Beyond pedestrian wine and wine destination travel articles, offers:

Search– go hunting for wines by varietal, region or winery with multi-level search functionality (I’m talking easy, uber-search)

Customize – once you find the wines you’re looking for, build a wish-list and/or virtual wine cellar… which you can easily download/manage via an Excel spreadsheet

Buy– rare finds and bargains can be found and filtered by country/zipcode making shopping in your hood feel like winning the wine lottery

Participate – have fun rating and writing tasting notes on wines and suddenly… personal recommendations start showing up with wine suggestions that “you might like based on your taste preferences” (like book recommendations on Amazon only geared for your palate)

Eat – nirvana for foodies, wines you search and/or find come with food pairings and recipe recommendations (like a liquid Food Network)

Mingle – meet people with similar wine tastes, follow RSS feeds on wine reviewers you like, check-out forums on hot wine topics… it goes on and on

In fact, with so much going on, surprises wine aficionados and at the same time, is non-intimidating for neophyte, new sippers.  And it’s that appeal to a wide audience combined with mobile applications, seamless social marketing integration and more that makes a show-stopper.

The only marketing questionable that comes up for me is their tagline… “Find better wines”.  Hmmm… underwhelming or so strategically simplistic it sets the stage for so much more?


It’s like the people behind crawled inside the aspiring minds of every wannabe sommelier… creating a multi-dimensional experience around a great bottle of wine.  Hell, you could have been weaned on boxed wine and your uncle’s porch-climber… yet, you land on this site and aspire to more.  You want to learn more.

Lots of online brands simply follow and ride the wave.

Bravo to for being an epicurean example of leadership in their category on every plausible level… for now.