Power Pitch

A start-up delivering wine by the glass

A start-up delivering wine by the glass
A start-up delivering wine by the glass

 One start-up is serving up a new subscription service that brings a sommelier to you.

"Vinebox allows members to discover new wines and explore their own taste preferences before committing to a full-size bottle,"  says Vinebox co-founder Matthew Dukes.

Bottoms Up

Dukes and Rachel Vodofsky, former corporate lawyers, co-founded Vinebox in January 2015. The two self-proclaimed wine enthusiasts got their inspiration tasting different wines while traveling abroad. "Not everyone has this kind of access," said Dukes. "We wanted to come up with a way to make really great wines more accessible and affordable, without sacrificing quality."

Vinebox sends its members a box of three individual vials, the equivalent of three glasses of wine, each month. The package also comes with tasting notes and pairing recommendations.

According to the start-up, its patented rebottling technology gives Vinebox a leg up over existing single-serving wines on the market. "We are working with high-quality wines with a much longer shelf life in our signature glass tasting vials," said Dukes.  

Vinebox subscription fees are $35/month, and full-size bottles are available for purchase on the company website.

High Spirits

Subscription wine by the glass club
Source: Vinebox

Nir Liberboim, founder of Uprise Ventures, wondered how the start-up planned to convert its subscribers into customers who also purchase full bottles after their monthly tastings.

"Creating a memorable experience is really the best way to add value and create that brand loyalty," said Vodofsky.

Alicia Syrett, a board member of the New York Angels, questioned how the start-up would retain users after they "discovered their taste."

Dukes said they've tailored the program so that, "You can make indications on what you liked [and] what you didn't like through your online account. Then we can cater more towards your taste."

The San Francisco-based start-up is reportedly self-funded, and has two employees.

Vinebox is accepting pre-orders, and its first boxes will begin shipping in January 2016.  

Dukes said members can expect wines from Chateau Maison Blanche in Saint-Emilion, France, and oak-aged Chardonnay from Domaine du Chardonnay of Chablis in their first orders.

"We have ambitious plans for the future," Dukes told CNBC, "including additional membership options, enhanced recommendation algorithms, and several retail and growth opportunities."

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