A couple days ago I received a phone call from the folks at NakedWines.com. A victim of their own success, they are closing their Angels program to new members – new applicants will be placed on a waiting list – and they wanted to grandfather me back into the program prior to the mid-August deadline.
According to the representative I spoke with, they had inadvertently angered a number of their most loyal supporters. Most of their wines are produced in relatively small numbers, and with too many Angels in the program their most popular wines were selling out more quickly than they had projected.
In case you’re not familiar with them, NakedWines is a crowd-funded winery… really more of a custom crush. The crowd funders (known as Angels) pledge $40 a month to NakedWines. In exchange they get a $40 monthly wine allowance and a 40-60% discount on wine purchases. The money is passed along as startup capital to a handful of independent winemakers who agree to distribute their wines exclusively through NakesWines.
I’m a fan of these guys and have ordered several wines from them in the past. Their customer service is consistently outstanding, and their prices are compelling. We all need a source of inexpensive “everyday” wines to stock the cellar with, and NakedWines has fit the bill on more than one occastion. By combining their ultra-aggressive promotional offers with free shipping, it’s often possible to pick up a full case for around $100.
Their wines are well-made crowd pleasers. Nothing terribly complex, but nothing you’re going to take offense at either, which is pretty much what you’re looking for with an every day pop-and-pour. At full retail I think they’re overpriced, but a fair value with the Angel discout.
So if you’ve ever been curious to try NakedWines, your window is quickly coming to a close. The rep couldn’t give me an exact date, but sometime mid-August is the cutoff for new signups. And next time you’re in Napa or Sonoma, swing by one of their tasting rooms. It’s free for Angels and only $10 (unlimited tastings!) for everyone else.