With virtual tastings becoming the norm, creating a way to ship wine samples without sending an entire bottle is more cost-effective. Recently, I received wines shipped for a tasting called Unexplored Oregon. It was one of the first tastings where I previewed an effective way of shipping small samples first hand. In this case, these Oregon wines employed a method of small bottle samples called Master The World wine kits.
Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier, is one of the masterminds behind these kits. He saw a demand for small sample bottles and wine kits when wineries across the country moved to virtual tastings during the pandemic. The system provides a way of getting wine out to both the experienced wine enthusiast and the novice, who may not be sure about their palate. It becomes a great way to explore different regions or wine varieties and develop your palate. Evan says, “we developed proprietary tech .. for each wine in a kit….”
Together with his partner, Limeng Stroh, their Master The World wine kits are used by both the trade and consumers seeking to hone their palates or practice their skills with blind tastings. Training your palate is the objective of the Master The World wine kits.
Master The World Wine Kits
Although the idea for the company was conceived in 2015, incorporated in 2017, started testing in 2018, and began its soft launch in January 2020, it was fortuitous the Master The World wine kits came out just before and not as a result of the pandemic.
Each wine kit comes with six x187 ml wine samples, which come delivered to your door. Each MTW wine is the quintessential example of a grape variety, region, and/or style. A panel of Master Sommeliers selects the wine used. For each wine chosen, dozens are tasted and rejected. Not every winery that applies for inclusion makes the cut: MTW currently works with a growing list of wineries.
Wine Kit Process
One has to wonder how the process protects the wine. Without getting too techy, here is what occurs with each wine sample.
The process involves the following: Each 750ml bottle is checked for TCA etc., by two CMS Advanced level sommeliers. Individual bottles are completely rebottled in an inert gas environment in less than 45 seconds before being immediately sealed using an industrial capper. If the initial 750 ml bottled wine is screw-capped or technical cork sealed, we audit 2-3 bottles per case for consistency and to ensure no issues such as TBA, excessive oxidation, etc. For traditional punch cork sealed wine, we check every individual bottle and get the two aforementioned sign-offs before we move to rebottling.
While it is hard to know precisely how many wines are flagged and pulled for cork, it happens. Sometimes with more frequency than we anticipated. These bottles are then picked up by the supplier and returned to us for a future rebottling session.
They track the wine evolution, too- all wines have a 750ml bottle kept back, and then lab checked against a series of 187’s pulled off of our line at dedicated intervals. Wines are traced specifically against key metrics important for determining wine stability: Free S02, DO, TA, ABV. Master of the World lab folks are quite comfortable with the evolution of the numbers.
Further, Evan Goldsmith personally checks wines regularly for organoleptic development. In fact, Evan recently checked the first kit that sold in January 2020 and was very pleased. Master of the World recommends users consume the wines within six months of receipt. Most people are not cellaring these kits but rather enjoying them within 30 days of receipt. Since January 2020, Master of the World has shipped thousands of kits, rebottled tens of thousands of 187s.
Facts About the Master of World Wine Kits
Upon receipt of the wine, wait for at least 5days to taste. It is good to let the wine rest after delivery, thereby showcasing them at their best. Once poured, let them breathe in the glass for 15 to 20 minutes.
It is advisable to use your kit within the year after the “born date”(noted on the side of each box). Make sure you store the wine in a cool, dark place, with minimal temperature fluctuation.
Master of the World offers ‘Tools & Tips’ online, which offers slides, videos, and blogs.
Future goals include creating wine kits that explore specific terroirs, grape varieties, and other wine-related topics, along with enhancing the tasting tool for consumer-friendly wine tasting parties. The ultimate objective, supplementing one’s wine knowledge in a fun yet efficient way.
Master the World wine kits were developed as an educational platform used to train sommeliers, those in the industry to hone their palate, and those studying for various wine designations. The Napa Valley Wine Academy uses the wine kits in conjunction with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET)program.