These days, many of us consider ourselves self-taught mixologists as we continue to spend more time entertaining at home. But while it’s easy to source a DIY cocktail recipe online, wine is a whole other ball game.
Made from a labour of love, wine is often complex and requires time dedicated to taking in each note, lingering finish, and the overall mouthfeel. Personally, I’ve been eager to broaden my wine knowledge for ages, so when I discovered that I’d have the chance to try a wine subscription for the first time, my enthusiasm roused.
This was, in part, because Wine Vikings isn’t your average wine club — their spring subscription box sold out in less than one month. Bolstered by an awesome name, the quarterly wine club partners with the best local food spots in the city, allowing members to bring the restaurant experience home.
Wine Vikings is now selling their summer subscription box, which sees them teaming up with Bar Corso’s Michelle Kanis and Anson Lo. This means you’re getting six unique wines — handpicked and given the ultimate stamp of approval by them. They’ll tell you why they love each wine, share tasting notes, hot tips on how to enjoy, and suggested dish pairings from their Commercial Drive tapas haven to order with your vino.
I had the pleasure of trying a selection of these delectable dishes and wines during a sneak peek of the summer subscription box, and my expectations were exceeded beyond belief; let me explain why.
The element of surprise
Let’s face it, we could all do with a little excitement in our lives right now. I quickly discovered that a wine subscription is a fabulous way to spark your curiosity and sense of adventure.
You see, Wine Vikings feature a fluctuating mix of red and white wines — unavailable at government and limited independent liquor stores — in their subscriptions. You only find out the exact wines you’ll be tasting when your delivery arrives, and that enhances the wonder of the experience.
Travelling through taste
Since travel outside of Canada is off the cards at the moment, anything that makes me feel as though I’ve been transported to a faraway destination is always welcomed. A subscription with Wine Vikings does this as soon as you open the first bottle.
Journeying from France to Italy from the comfort of my home in Vancouver was made possible with a sublime Gamay Noir, Chardonnay, Lambrusco, Vermentino, Tuscan Red, and Southern Italian Red. What’s more, this sensory experience and the bottles of vino are a curated selection designed to educate the subscriber.
Learning by the glass
Wine Vikings don’t just drop off your delivery and leave you to figure out the rest for yourself. They create engaging virtual tasting videos — led by the featured wine viking — to help you “learn smart, not hard.” As a novice to the world of wine, I adore how easy the process is with Wine Vikings.
Learning about the different wine producers, how the landscape impacts the flavours of varieties, and how best to enjoy a glass of wine from each bottle involves simply scanning the QR code on the insert within your subscription box. Then, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and take it all in.
Indulging in pairings
If you’re like me, you’re probably experiencing some fatigue when it comes to cooking at home. But the beauty of becoming a member of the Wine Vikings wine club is that you can plan your takeout nights ahead of time, knowing the exact pairings to elevate the rouge or citrusy white you’ll be drinking.
This summer, Bar Corso’s Kanis and Lo will be sharing their pairing recommendations with members of the club, giving you exclusive access to the best well-loved local eats. I can already tell you that their share plate of slow-cooked meatballs in Sunday sugo and parmigiano reggiano complement a glass (or three) of Southern Italian Red to perfection — a rich and full-bodied match like no other.
There’s no pressure
Dipping your toes in the world of wine (not literally, unless you’re grape stomping at a vineyard) can feel overwhelming if you approach it in a complicated way or attend a pretentious tasting event.
One of the things I love about the Wine Vikings subscription is that it removes the intimidation factors sometimes associated with wine. Instead, it opens you up to a new realm of wine while you unwind at home — regardless of whether you’re wearing sweatpants.
It’s a kind of bliss that won’t break your budget either — priced at $210 before tax and shipping each quarter. You can order your Wine Vikings summer subscription box now until May for delivery from June 1 to 15. There are limited quantities available each quarter, so to ensure you get yours, head to winevikings.com and sign up now.
Cheers to “good times” and “great juice.”