We were recently asked to attend a wine tasting at Baranis given by the people behind Le Petit Ballon. You might not have heard of this company yet, but the quality of their offering will soon become very popular and well-known on these shores.
A French company, they operate in France, Belgium and the UK, offering a service where their sommelier Jean-Michel Deluc (formerly of the Ritz in Paris) selects 2 bottles of wine for you each month based on your preferences. They told us that one bottle was a ‘safe’ choice which they know the customer will love, and the second is a bit of a wild card, pushing their customers to try wines from countries that they might not have previously considered or from unusual grape varietals. I asked which countries customers were the most open-minded, and was told that so far it’s been the French. By continually getting feedback about what the customers have enjoyed, they get better and better at chosing wines for them. Each box comes with clear tasting notes and there are also on-line tastings to slurp along to! It means that you can take a wine to a dinner party and sound very knowledgeable! Wines are classified using a really simple system designed to take away the mystic and stuffiness that often accompanies wine tasting.
We tried 4 wines on the night, and were really impressed with the quality. The subscriptions cost £24.90 for two bottles including shipping costs, for more experienced wine drinkers there is another option at £39.90 per month. There is also an on-line store which offers 20% off the prices for subscribers to the service.