What is this Unscrewed thing?

Wine is fun.

Shopping for wine sucks.

Let’s remind ourselves why:

There are too many
Seriously. 1,500 wines at your grocery store! Good luck. I run two wine tracking companies and I can’t keep up.

It’s expensive
Usually the most expensive single thing in your cart. Unless you have copper river salmon in your cart in which case you are rich. Good job.

You can’t even remember what you like!
Did you love this syrah with the approachable yet classy label or did you pour it in your sink?

Peer pressure
And then there are your friends and party guests. It seems like they are judging your wines. Because they are.

No idea about quality
How do you assess quality when your only information is the (high) price and whatever the WINEMAKER TELLS YOU on the label?! Do you study nerdy wine journals all day? Or do you just figure the label isn’t embarrassing and it’s in your price range?

So wine is fun, but it’s also weirdly stressful.

WHAT TO GET?
So how do I get the most enjoyment out of my hard-earned $$? How do I outsmart the advertising bullshit? The up-selling? The overpricing? The hype? The clever labels?

I built Unscrewed to answer these questions. I wanted to find the best wines for my money at MY stores. I wanted recommendations from people I trust. I wanted to be reminded which wines I like and don’t like. I wanted to experiment and discover new wines without getting burned.

I wanted fun wines, all the time.

I wanted VALUE, all the time.

WHAT’S WINE VALUE?
There are raging debates between largely boring people about the relationship between wine price and wine quality. I’ll comment on that buzz-neutering topic someday. But, for now, see if we can agree on the following:

1. Have you ever had a $15 bottle you loved?
2. Do you generally want to spend as little as possible while still getting a wine you love?

If you answered yes to these, you are normal and cool. If you answered no you are a snob and probably a liar and probably you had to think for a minute about whether or not wine is fun.

There are great wines under $15. Great because they hit the spot. Because they are made with care and balance. Because they complement your food. Because they remind you of something you loved. Because they make you funnier and better looking.

Seriously, tell an Italian drinking fifty-cent chianti that his wine is shit. He will cry. No, he might not cry. But, he will feel sorry for you because he knows wine is fun. He knows, in the words of wine buddha Richard Betts, that “wine is a grocery, not a luxury”. It’s the most glorious of groceries, yes. But it’s a grocery.

Are you more likely to find higher quality wines at higher prices? Yes. Duh. And you should stretch the budget sometimes because there are epiphanies to be had.

Whatever your budget, Unscrewed is here to help you discover the best. If you’re spending $8, do it with confidence. If you’re spending $80, you better do it with confidence.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
Well, first you download the app (Android is coming soon, so please sign up here and we’ll tell you when!). Here’s what it does:

-Knows where you’re shopping (Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Costco, Ralphs, Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, etc., etc.)
-Knows what wines are in the store
-Does all the research and comparison shopping for you
-Makes recommendations based on your taste and budget (like Under $10 Whites, $15 Italian Reds, or Highest Scoring Whites by Robert Parker)
-Shows you what friends, experts and tastemakers like and don’t like in that store (writers, chefs, mixologists, craft beer makers, stylists, wine bloggers, etc. You decide whose taste you care about)
-Points out wines likely to be high-value based on ratings and price comparisons
-Helps you keep up with all those attractive new wines that are always arriving in your stores
-Knows when that wine you love or you’ve been wanting to try is nearby

Basically, if there’s something to know about a wine, we try to show it to you. What information you choose to trust is up to you. Trust professional wine critics? Awesome. Think they’re paid-off bullshit artists? Fine. Trust me? Cool. Trust the chef at your favorite restaurant? Super. Trust a country? A winemaker? A blogger? A grape? A vintage? Great. Go get it.

We’re currently testing in Seattle and Los Angeles, but more cities coming soon. Want us in your city faster? Tell us!

HELP US IMPROVE
Want more or different information about wines? Let us know! Want new features? Tell us! Are there tastemakers you’d like to see? Recommend them! We’re just getting started and we want YOUR input. Because getting unscrewed is all about your choices, your tastes and your values.

But ultimately it’s a about fun.

With sincere cheers,

Tom

Write me any time at tom@unscrewed.com
Download the iPhone app here: www.unscrewed.com