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Snooth User: Niv Nissenson

Hello Snooth! - Winecrasher

Posted by Niv Nissenson, Feb 15, 2016.

Hello,

New here and not sure if this is the appropriate place for this...

I recently co-founded and launched a Priceline/Hotwire inspired California Wine Startup:

http://www.winecrasher.com 

Similar to Hotwire/Priceline we provide all the information on a bottle of wine (region, score, varietal etc) but only reveal the label of the wine after the purchase is complete. This allows us to offer the best price in the market while protecting the winery brands from publicly discounting.

We have some great offers and we're also providing (limited time) Free California through FedEx and flat rate $9.99 shipping to 44 states.

Would love for everyone to check us out and would also love to hear comments and ideas!

http://www.winecrasher.com

 

 

 

Replies

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Reply by outthere, Feb 15, 2016.

Trust me!

 

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Reply by GregT, Feb 15, 2016.

Niv - the link doesn't work.

But the model doesn't make any sense at all to me. It's not like Hotwire exactly. It's more like Hotwire offering you a wonderful vacation at an exclusive resort but you don't know where it is until you pay. So you might end up down the block or somewhere in a war zone or worse.

Why would I want to pay for a wine from some region that was rated 90 by some critic, unless I know exactly what the wine is? There is ALWAYS someone, somewhere who will rate a wine highly. It's the weirdest model I've yet encountered - will people actually buy those mystery wines?

The guy who's mastered that sale is Jon Rimmerman, who runs Garagiste. But he took years to build a base of trust, and the mystery wines are a very tiny and occasional part of his sales. You might want to do a search on a few wine boards you're posting on to see what the consensus is regarding the mystery wines.

Good luck though.

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Reply by Niv Nissenson, Feb 15, 2016.

Gregt - 

The critical rating is not for a region but for the specific wine we're offering. Wine is the most diverse product in the world. How many wine brands can a person remember. 

Most people choose by, region, varietal, price and score - because they typically can't remember more than a couple producers in each region. 

This is exactly what we're offering - all the information you need and a best price guaranteed.

 

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 16, 2016.

Whose ratings????  When we have access to more than one rating we have more to judge buy. And when we know who's doing the rating we can judge its relevance. Etc. This is key.  How much detail in description of the wine style? Of the region in detail down to the actual vineyard? Of the wine's varietals (sometimes more than just the main one) and style (!!) and...? All of these are essential information, the more data the better.

You're preaching to the wrong choir here, because here it is all about the actual producer and label. Many of us on these boards have tasted thousands of different wines, some 10s of thousands. We know the differences that you say no one can remember. This forum and others like it are all about upping that knowledge.

Have you had any interest from angels or VCs? I'm with Greg, wondering about the model based on ratings rather than a brand name. I'm guessing you're figuring your edge is on price since you're placing effort on getting lowball offers from the producers without damaging their brand through name disclosures. But you are doing no service to the consumer by witholding the one absolute (ratings and style descriptions certainly aren't) of the wine's actual name. I would be more than merely disappointed or frustrated if the wine I ended up buying was a Jess Jackson version rather than from someone who was more respectful of a specific grape or vineyard's potential without obliterating them through various manipulations, thanks to lack of the ability to confirm a name combined with a questionable rating and limited stylistic description.

 

Good to see you got the link fixed. BTW, what's a 'white triple 90 pts'? Three bottles rated 90 by somebody?

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Reply by Niv Nissenson, Feb 16, 2016.

DMCKER - thanks for your comment. 

The rating we use isn't questionable - we only use the top critics: Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Burghound and Vinous - It's clearly mentioned in each product we sell, who rated it. 

We also show a tasting note and as much information as possible. We don't think people only buy wine from producers they know? If that was the case, wine wouldn't have been the most diverse product in the world.

The triple 90 points are:

2013 Chablis Mont de Milieu 1er Cru 90-92 by Burghound

2012 Napa Chardonnay 90n points by Wine Advocate

2011 Rhone Vacqueyras White Blend 90 Points by Wine Spectator

 

 

 

 

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Reply by Niv Nissenson, Feb 16, 2016.

See images for an illustration of how it works:

Once purchase is complete you get:

 

 

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Reply by outthere, Feb 16, 2016.

It's not rocket science Dmucker. All one has to do is Google the tasting note to find what the exact wine is. Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to. Free will and all. His prices are lower than K&L FWIW.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 16, 2016.

Understood, OT. I was just trying to figure out how that model might work, or rather not. And there are still surprisingly many people in many contexts who don't know to run a search. Plus, basically, why have to hack it?

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Reply by Niv Nissenson, Feb 16, 2016.

If you think about it - there is no real point in hacking it.

Do people only buy wine from producers/vintages they already know and tried? Wine is the most diverse product in the world...

This is about creating another class of wine product that can be discounted without compromising the "quality" of the wine.

Same thing with the Hotels - a person who really likes Hilton would pay extra to stay at a Hilton, but a person who doesn't care if it's Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt etc. can pay a little less and get the same quality and also he/she may discover some new things. It's a different product.

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Reply by outthere, Feb 16, 2016.

It all depends on your target market. I mean most wine buyers, probably 99%, don't buy wine online. The ones that do are normally looking for something specific or jump on a deal on something they are familiar with or want to be familiar with. Obviously that is not fully encompassing but it's probably not far off the mark. The trick in your situation is finding the right marketing vehicle in order to reach your intended customer base. Most wine forums are full of geeks to whom labels do matter. That 's likely why you are seeing the pushback here and on WineBerserkers. I'll be interested in hearing how things play out for you. Don't be a stranger.

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Reply by GregT, Feb 16, 2016.

Yep. I just don't see it working for most people - telling them some wine got 90 points from someone just doesn't mean anything. If they don't care about the wine, then they sure as hell are not likely to know the various critics working for the various publications. And if they don't know Wine Advocate or Wine Spectator, then it doesn't matter what publication is quoted - just go for any rating from anybody. That's what retailers like Rare Wine Company and Wine Library do - take a look at the huge list of critics they quote.

Seems to me the customer base would have to be interested in wine but not sufficiently to know enough to trust their own explorations. The model seems somewhat akin to some of the various wine clubs that appear in WSJ, NYT, etc. The people who order from those are trusting someone else to do their selecting. But in that case, the ratings don't matter.

Anyhow, i do like the idea of looking up the wine by the review and taking advantage of a good price, should one appear. And I'm also interested in hearing how it plays out.

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 16, 2016.

There's that "blink" reaction, that was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell a little while back, and for me the reaction is that it just doesn't fly. However, it's not as bad as most of the ideas kicked around these boards which can get pretty outlandish!

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Reply by Niv Nissenson, Feb 18, 2016.

Thanks for the replies. 

We think some wine enthusiasts have the wines they're looking (trophies, go-tos etc) and wines that are "daily drinkers" or let's try it.

Out of 14,000 online wine stores we're hoping to be a little different and emphasize a tradeoff similar to the hotel concept. 

If you don't mind too much who the producer is - you can get a better deal (and you know you get quality wine).

 


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