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FOOD GLORIA'S FOOD - December 2016 - Kansas City
The Good Life
By Gloria Gale
VinoPair is what you give to someone who has everything, or at least those who think they want to have everything.
Pairing food and wine delivered right to your door is the brainchild of professionals Michael and Mindy Kearns, an entrepreneurial couple who found a niche and decided to run with it.
Their company, VinoPair, was born out of necessity to eliminate the gap in affordable entertaining at a moment’s notice. The couple’s solution addresses the issue with a 21st century fix—a subscription box filled with small bites of artisan food paired with exactly the right wine.
The Kearns embraced the meal in a box proliferation. However, with considerable research, they found the subscription box trend, such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, lacking the wine component.
“You can get wine with Blue Apron, but you may not get it when you get the box of food. That lag time is, unfortunately, an issue for those wanting it with their meal. That leads to another situation—Mindy and I noticed that many people aren’t sommeliers and need help with determining the best food/wine complements.”
Unlike Europe where families grow up on table wine and carry the tradition into adulthood, the 77 million Americans who do enjoy wine only drink approximately one bottle a month.
The Kearns researched the trends, determining there was a need for intelligent wine pairing in this country.
“We found the Baby Boomers are drinking wine but starting to slow down. The Millennials are too busy growing up and the Gen X’ers are still figuring out what suits their taste,” says Michael.
With a subscription, customers get a box that’s essentially a surprise. Open the box and you’ll be treated to hand-picked artisanal food and drink.
“We start with the wine; it’s the keystone of the program. We source bottles globally that range from $30 to $50 retail. Then, we locate professional chefs to curate the boxes,” says Michael.
Currently, Chef Michael Werner of the Jacobson, Californos’ Chef Marita Swift, and Pro Athlete Corporate Chef, Nathan DeCaro are on board designing the boxes.
According to Michael, “The chefs taste the wine then decide what food bites to pair. There will usually be 4 to 5 different food items to a box. For example, a current selection features a hand-crafted cheese called Flory’s Truckle, a golden chardonnay from Tamarack Cellars, Volpi Pinot Grigio White Wine Salame, and Mancini Roasted Red Peppers.”
The subscription for VinoPair spans 3, 6, or 9 months. The cost of one box is $79.95 per month, air-shipped free. You can cancel the subscription on the website at any time or you can just sample a box on a one-time basis for $89.95.
Looking forward to the winter months, Michael and Mindy anticipate a variety of mouthwatering artisanal products: salted watermelon jam, Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt.Tam, Organic Fennel Pollen, Bermuda Triangle Goat Cheese, manchego cheese, cedar smoked salmon, avocados, sweet garlic puree, and apricot crisps, among others.
Next time company calls and all you have on hand is seltzer, serving VinoPair will quell any impromptu jitters.
Kansas City writer, producer, and photostylist Gloria Gale is a sleuth when it comes to discovering interesting features for the media.
As a native she's compiled a burgeoning collection of editorial features on food, travel and lifestyle for national and local magazines, books, individuals, and corporate clients.
Most recently, Gloria profiled area restaurants as a columnist for 435 Magazine and was one of KCUR's Food Critics radio program.
Want to know where to find the best tastes in town? Contact Gloria: firstname.lastname@example.org