Guests to Fox Run Vineyards in the Finger Lakes of NY are getting a taste of predictive technology in addition to their wine, thanks to VineSleuth flavor technology.
Fox Run Vineyards is the first winery in the nation to offer a truly personalized wine tasting for each guest by using interactive tasting menus backed by sensory science.
Looking for a fruit-driven wine that’s dry and high in acid? Want something that’s full-bodied and a little sweet? Overwhelmed by the dozens of different choices and varieties?
VineSleuth’s technology breaks down wine tasting terminology in plain language, empowering anyone to indicate just what he or she is looking for in a wine. Equipped with an iPad at the tasting bar, tasters can adjust basic wine characteristics (such as body, sweetness, oak, or finish) on an interactive sliding scale. VineSleuth technology narrows down the list of choices in real-time, creating a personally-curated wine list of Fox Run wines for each guest to taste instantly.
Next, a Fox Run tasting room host guides guests through an exploration of the wines selected, helping guests identify their favorites.
In the first week, guests were trying new wines and finding matches they didn’t expect. One self-proclaimed red wine drinker was surprised when a Riesling showed up at the top of his list… and ending up not only enjoying the wine, but also buying a bottle to enjoy later.
Studies conducted at Columbia University, (Sheena Lyengar) Stanford (Mark Lepper) and others have concluded that too many choices can be, well, too much. Guiding shoppers by narrowing in on best choices for them can be a positive thing for both shoppers and business. When it comes to wine, a personally curated list can help guests get right to the best choices for them more quickly.
“I developed VineSleuth’s flavor data and preference technology to help everyone find the wines they like more quickly and easily,” Amy Gross, VineSleuth Founder and CEO says. “By basing our results in rock solid, unbiased data from our tasting team, the results we share with each guest are truly personal and incredibly accurate.”
So how does the predictive technology work?
VineSleuth recruited Anna Katharine Mansfield, Ph. D, of Cornell University’s enology department in Geneva, NY, winemakers including Peter Bell of Fox Run and an applied mathematician to develop a unique (and three time patented) wine analysis method focusing on flavor attributes. This enables VineSleuth to create an accurate, precise and unbiased profile of every wine in its database. VineSleuth does not rely on lab analysis, winery tech sheets, crowd-sourced reviews or traditional critics reviews for any of its data.
For Fox Run, the VineSleuth team analyzed the wines offered in the tasting room and used that data in building an interactive, Fox Run-branded iPad menu that tasting room guests use to determine their top choices quickly and easily. The interactive menu also serves as an educational tool that helps to start meaningful and engaging customer-centric conversations about wine, winemaking, and taste.
“Fox Run is focused on making wine approachable, so using technology that allows customers to dial in their specific preferences really made sense to us,” said Scott Osborn, President and Co-Owner of Fox Run Vineyards. “Customers seem more confident and engaged in conversations about wine. It often encourages consumers to try a wine they would otherwise pass up. And it empowers them to make the best purchasing decisions for themselves.”
In time, users will be able to create accounts within the technology and VineSleuth’s proprietary predictive analytics will make more wine suggestions for them as they indicate which specific wines they favor.