How to Find More Wines Worth Drinking
From vineyard to glass: about making my life easier and more interesting at the same time — with UnscrewMe, a simple service that will help me taste new, exciting wines more regularly.
Growing up in the south of Germany, vineyards were always in sight. Thanks to close relatives owning vineyards and making wine, I was exposed to the wine trade early on. Not that I did anything useful at the time, however, I still remember vividly running around vineyards on cool October days, riding on the back of the exciting Unimog truck and having fun with my sister and my cousin.
As I got older, I began to actually help in the vineyards by distributing empty buckets and later also carrying buckets full of grapes to the giant vats. Admittedly, not a huge contribution to the overall operation — most of the time probably being in the way rather than any help — but nonetheless an activity that I enjoyed. Being a child, it was a fun contrast to nursery and later primary school. Most importantly perhaps, this early experience of the labour and effort going into a bottle of wine helped me appreciate the product and develop an interest in the trade.
Fast forward around 20 years. After a break of a decade or so, I had started again helping with the annual grape harvest for just a day or two when I was studying. Just for fun, as always. Eventually, I ended up living in a small city an hour north of Stuttgart for two years where I was spoilt by wine marketing students, organising wine tastings and student parties. Then I moved to London, and after settling down in a flat share, I came across a wine shop doing tastings right around the corner. To nurture my interest in wine and sharpen my palate, I started going to tastings more regularly.
Until this day, I often go to at least one tasting a month on average. I discovered exciting wines, made new friends and had legendary evenings.
Over the years, I went to a wide range of different tastings at various locations across London. I soon discovered that while London is an excellent place for wine tastings, finding interesting events and not forgetting about date and time was a real challenge. Not to mention the effort involved in shepherding friends to join me for the tastings.
One day, a nice tasting was approaching, and once again I was busy in the cumbersome task of organising some friends. As I was walking home across beautiful Regent’s Park during a Sunday afternoon in April, I was about to message a friend about the upcoming tasting, and it struck me: This could be the side project I was looking for all those years — something useful for myself, a topic I am passionate and knowledgeable about, and to some extent also a web and mobile development challenge. Finally, maybe even a business opportunity.
When I got home, I started doing some research and quickly decided to give it a go. Challenge accepted ☑️ — the journey began 🚀.
Now, with UnscrewMe, I’m building a better way to discover wine events all over London, so we all can spend less time searching ⏳, and more time tasting 🍾🍷.
While my friend and colleague Ed, who supported me since I first told him about the idea, mocked me for it, I decided to start with looking for a name before anything else. Stay tuned to learn more about how we selected UnscrewMe on https://medium.com/unscrewme.
(As much as I would like to have written the draft with a glass of wine, sometimes it’s easier to get things done with a nice cup of coffee. I started writing at Pantry Marylebone over a nice flat white and a delicious cake with raspberries and blackberries, before heading over to Kaffeine in Eastcastle Street to complete the first version.)