On the crisp, autumnal Friday evening of October 20th, frustration hung like a cloud over central London. Along with the temperature, the Northern Line was also down, meaning that commutes across the city became a frantic attempt to get home in time to salvage something of the first night of the weekend.
In Clapham, however, the evening was just warming up. Guests, including Fiyin from Cook & Pour, battled against the odds and turned out in force for the much-anticipated launch of Clara Wine. Clara, a new data-led wine subscription service for like-minded adventurers, promised a night full of laughs, nibbles – and most importantly, free wine!
Upon arrival, all guests completed the clarawine.com taste quiz, sorting them into one of 12 Tribes which cluster like-palated tasters. These Tribes reflect what users tend to enjoy in the world of flavour, aroma and taste – akin to the Hogwarts Sorting Hat. The Tribes are split into 4 white, 4 red, 3 sparkling and 1 rogue Tribe, for those who refuse to fit into any clearly defined group.
The results of the quiz showed each guest not only which Wine Tribe to which they belong, but also how they scored against the other 11 Wine Tribes, providing them with a deeper understanding of their tastes.
The focal point of the evening was yet to come, in the form of a battle between ‘Man’ and ‘Machine’. The ‘Man’ being Salvatore, a highly experienced traditional sommelier from the RAC Club in London, and the ‘Machine’ – Clara’s new data-led algorithm.
There were 29 wines up for tasting in total, pre-selected using Clara’s algorithm – a combination of scoring based on existing user preferences, wine characteristics and online reviews.
Following a conversation with the ‘Man’ about their favourite existing wines and taste specifications, the guests then tasted a wine chosen by Salvatore, based on their preferences. Meanwhile, the algorithm whirred away, also making its own selection to be tasted. The guest was then asked to pick between the two wines presented to them – having not been told which was which.
Before we reveal the results of the battle, can we have drum roll please…
The ‘Machine’ beat the ‘Man’ over 75% of the time! But Clara’s intelligence doesn’t end there. Guests were then also invited to try as many of the other available wines as they would like. It was found that the guests weren’t keen on wines attributed to Tribes in which they had scored lowly – showing that the data really works!
As the night drew to a close, Fiyin from Cook & Pour commented that she had enjoyed wines spanning across a few Tribes, and that she had thoroughly enjoyed the night. One guest, who was placed in the Wine Tribe ‘Velveteer’, commented, “…this is incredible…the wines chosen for me by Clara are bang on…delicious!” Several guests also commented during the evening on how accurate the choices of wines were.
At clarawine.com, customers can feed back on their wines and manage their orders through their personalised user portal, and connect with other customers via all highly engaged social media platforms.
Clara’s vision is to create a community of free-spirited wine lovers who embark on their journey to explore their taste, develop their knowledge and make great friendships through the story-telling nature of wine culture, too.