Buying wine online offers many options, but it's easy for smaller wineries to fall between the cracks, lost among the huge choices available. Boutique online wine marketplaces, like Winestyr, fill in those cracks by focusing on smaller producers. Unlike wine clubs, there are no upfront costs or monthly fees. You learn about new wines and buy the ones you want. When Winestyr contacted me about promoting their site, I was doubly excited, as they are based not far from me in Chicago.
How it works: Winestyr finds great wines they can stand behind and offer them in their marketplace. Each wine and winery is fleshed out with a story, suggested pairings, etc. You buy as many or as few wines as you like through Winestyr, and the wineries ship directly to you. Shipping is no more than $10, but you can get $.01 shipping by buying $100 from 1 winery, $150 from 2 wineries, or $200 from 3 wineries. Not bad.
Winestyr is based in the Midwest, but the wineries are in California, Washington, Oregon and, big props to them, Michigan (Old Shore Vineyards).
We received wines from the Ground Effect Wine Co., a family producer with a sense of humor and an emphasis on terroir. When people talk about tasting earth in a wine, it's meant as a positive, and Ground Effect is a great winery to try if you've never quite tasted what everyone is talking about. We also loved their simple labels.
- 2011 Rock Garden Red Blend (Paso Robles, CA) - dark fruit, all about the dirt, thick and delicious; 62% Syrah, 28% Grenache, and 10% Zinfandel; no fining or filtration; cork closure; 172 cases produced.
- 2011 Gravity Check White Blend (Central Coast, CA) - tart, light fruit, minerality, and amazing acid; 37% Chenin Blanc, 33% Albariño, 30% Pinot Gris; fermented in stainless steel, aged in stainless and old wood; cork closure; 129 cases produced.
Winestyr has a nice selection of wineries from the West Coast and the Ground Effect wines show the high quality they've ferreted out. I would, of course, suggest by starting with the Old Shore Vineyards "Michigan's Best Wines Pack," though I would guess you couldn't go wrong with any of the others, either.
These wines were provided for review purposes.
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