It is our goal at CoolVines to create an environment, both in our stores and on the web, where anyone can shop for wine without feeling overwhelmed by the complexity that often surrounds the experience of shopping for wine. We believe that one should be able to enjoy the search for wine as much as the drinking of it (well, almost as much). We believe that it is possible for every wine drinker to learn how to find wines that suit his or her personal palate…and not be held captive to the wine ratings of "experts". We believe that it is a wine merchant's responsibility to know and be proud of the wines that are on its shelves, rather than to let the buyer beware.
How do we do this? We follow three steps:
- "Only the Best" - hand-select our wines and present only those that represent true value
- "Arranged by Taste" - guide our customers in the choice of wine to suit one's preference and fit the occasion
- "A Website Driven by Your Preferences" - provide tools to customers for learning about one's personal palate "signature"
Our goal is to find wines that are the "best of their breed." To us, this means that the wines are 1) true examples of their type and 2) a good - no, great - wine for the price. On the first point, we look for wines that demonstrate the characteristics of being "true to type". While each vineyard, each winemaker and each vintage impart its own characteristics on a bottle of wine, we look for wines that exhibit the trademark expression of that style of wine; whether the style is regional, varietal (based on the grape or blend), or production style (sur lie, crémant, late harvest, etc.). We also search for wines that outperform their peers in quality for the price. Ironically, this rarely happens with a highly rated, or otherwise highly promoted wines. High scores and large ad budgets tend to drive up the price of wine beyond the point of "good value". The best values are typically found in the bottles with labels our customers won't recognize, made by wine makers who love making great wine more than they love angling for top scores or shelf position. These are the wines that you will find on the shelves of CoolVines. Every wine has been tasted and selected from a competitive set of wines of the same style and price range by our tasting team; not based on their personal preferences, but on their judgment of which wines will bring the greatest value to our customers.
A large part of an enjoyable wine experience is having the right wine for the occasion; whether that occasion is the enjoyment of a fantastic home-prepared meal, or a casual afternoon on a picnic blanket. Matching the wine to the preference of the wine drinkers, the occasion or event, the accompanying food, etc. - all serve to enhance the pleasure from the pour. Instead of demanding that our customers know the vagaries of every wine-producing region's labeling conventions or the subtle differences of the each grape variety when grown in different parts of the world, using the myriad methods that are available to the winemaker, we provide a standardized taxonomy, represented in clear, simple and visual form that communicates the character of the wine with regard to its taste and its affiliation with food. We use a common format for deciphering the label information, so you can understand every bottle, no matter the country or region of origin. This information is used in the organization of our wines on the shelves of the store; on the bottles themselves (see more on our Bottle-tags in The CoolVines Difference), and on the web in our ecommerce shopping option.
With over 100,000 wines released into the market each year, it is impossible for anyone to keep track of those that are enjoyed and those that are not. Even the "same wine" from different vintage years can be very different in how they are appreciated by a given wine drinker. Remembering which wines you liked and which you didn't can be a significant challenge. CoolVines aims to help you with this. With both tangible and web-based tools, we offer a way to "remember" the wines that you drink. Each bottle has a custom tag on it that contains all the information you'll need to add this wine to your journal - the key label information (producer, vintage, etc.) as well as information about the wine style - is it red or white? Light or full-bodied? Dry or off-dry? The back of the tags contain an area that you can use for recording your impressions of the wine. All this is available in your on-line journal as well. Each wine purchased on line is automatically added to your journal. From there, you can add a simple rating, some word associations about your experience when drinking it, as well as some free-form text comments, should you wish to add any. In this way, you quickly learn your own palate and can make decisions that help you expand your preferences at times when you're feeling adventurous, or pick a sure winner at times when you want to be confident that you'll buy something you really like.