I recently learned of a new wine shop in LA that really got my attention: The Accidental Wine Company. The name alone got me wondering about all the things this wine store could be doing or selling in order to call itself that. The following ideas immediately came to mind for ‘accidental wine’:
1) Someone slipped up in blending and added a little too much yeast
2) Someone left grape juice out, unintentionally fermenting the stuff
3) A heat wave took over before the bottles could be cellared on time
4) Etc. etc.
Well, as you may have hoped or guessed, these are not realistic reasons for a wine shop to be open and receiving positive press, so I went to their website to learn more. What I discovered were some more acceptable accidents:
1) Bottle labels become damaged, torn or stained
2) Bottle labels are somehow misprinted
3) Wine company goes out of business
How it works is this company goes out and finds the higher quality wines that for one of the 3 reasons listed above, can no longer sell a quantity of bottles, and buys them at a discount. They then resell the bottles back to you at a cost that is lower than you would pay for an otherwise perfect label. I say, as long as there is nothing wrong with the contents, sounds good to me!
Something made me hit the ‘buy’ button. I’m not sure if it was the idea of getting an amazing deal on a cosmetically tarnished bottle, or the fact that ordering wine from them is as exciting as opening up a fresh box of Cracker Jacks
with a surprise toy inside, but for whatever reason, their plan worked.
I got suckered in, ordered the wine and eagerly waiting for my shipment to arrive, which by the way, was FAST (2 days). I opened the box in anticipation of deep purple-red abstract splatter patterns all over the labels, or a rough tear straight across the vineyard name. But what I got was none of that – just 3 well preserved bottles with fully intact, clean labels. After checking each of the vintages out online, I also discovered that all of the wineries were still in business. So where’s the accident? What was the F*#$ up? I wanted to know!!
In the end, I guess you could say that I felt cheated and uneasy for not knowing exactly what was wrong with my bottles. I realized that I would feel much better about what was inside the bottles if I could only tell what the accident was that occurred outside the bottle. I still haven’t figured it out but the good news is that the company did live up to its promise regarding the quality. Although I have yet to taste each of them, the bottles all seem to be well received in various tastings. I guess I wasn’t really cheated (the price I paid was less than the value of the bottles, even with shipping included). My final recommendation is, if you want to try something new and don’t mind the potential for damaged exterior, go for it. However, if you are a rubbernecker like me, and your primary purpose for ordering is to see some damaged exterior…well you might end up feeling cheated and be better off going to the supermarket.