Who is Palate Club?
Palate Club is the collaborative effort of an innovative entrepreneur and 25 wine, tech, and E-Commerce professionals from around the world who wish to solve the “BS” wine club epidemic with the most customizable and personalized wine club application to date. We wouldn’t base our wine recommendations on something imprecise like a wine-personality quiz. We created an app with an algorithm that selects wine catered to your specific palate.We send all bottles to you for you to taste blind; we want the labels hidden so that you taste objectively! Forget that you think you only love Cabernet from Napa Valley. The world of wine is vast and diverse just like your palate! The more you rate the wine we send you, the more data we collect that tells you exactly what your palate craves. We don’t send you wines that you find in a grocery store; we send our sommeliers all over the world to choose our wines.We promise to only deliver wine that we would drink ourselves. We firmly believe that wine should be easy and unpretentious- and that a service like ours should be hospitable. We want to help you drink stunning wines everyday, learn about your palate and (most importantly) have a personalized experience- just as if a wine professional was right there to help you pick each bottle.
Beginnings: lack of data science and differentiation in wine clubs
Palate Club was realized by innovator and entrepreneur Nicolas Mendiharat. Native to France, Nicolas naturally has a passion for drinking great wine and was tickled by the idea of American online wine clubs. He joined a host of online wine clubs and found unsatisfactory bottles of wine and experiences. After investigating as many wine clubs as he could find, he discovered that no wine clubs available on the market actually use data science to track personal palate preferences and generate unique wines for their consumers. Each club was painfully similar, pedaling mass market wines chosen for the user based on silly gimmicks, such as short quizzes that ask users to choose their favorite spice. Seeing opportunity to combine his entrepreneurial spirit with his love for amazing wine, Nicolas began to search for the perfect team to help him create Palate Club.
The founder: a french entrepreneur with a passion for drinking wine
Nicolas Mendiharat is an accomplished repeat consumer internet entrepreneur. He was the founder & CEO of skihorizon.com, the largest online travel portal for ski vacations in Europe ($100m revenues). He also founded Recommend, a social media and data platform for personal recommendations. Previously, he built Busresa, a yield management software for transports and Totem, a student travel company.
The Sommeliers: Jennifer Estevez and Aubrey Terrazas
They joined the Palate Club team with 30 years combined experience in restaurants & hospitality, with previous experience as wine directors in Michelin Starred San Francisco restaurants. Jennifer and Aubrey are Ambassadors for Palate Club, owners of Food and Beverage Consulting and Marketing firm OMvino. During their tenure at high-profile restaurants, they uncovered the sensitives to every individual palate, celebrating in their guests’ personal discoveries after being led to a new bottle of wine. For them, being a sommelier is just as much about this hospitality and service as it memorizing wine facts. Inspiration to share this service on a greater scale led them to Palate Club, where they deliver these discoveries into the realm of the everyday. The two women are explorers and live to hunt down the gems in the lesser-known reaches of the wine world. They select and import wines for Palate Club in every style and price point, with attention to small-production wineries. Nicknamed “The Power Pairing”; this dynamic duo are both currently Advanced Sommeliers and Master Sommelier candidates.
The Wine Experts-France
Based in Paris, Palate Club also receives consultation from wine experts Guillaume Puzo and Aymeric De Clouet. Guillaume is a renowned journalist and palate ninja who tastes 1,000s of wine in a year. He consulted on Le Nez du Vin- a learning tool for wine lovers that captures the essence of aromas that are discovered in wine. Amyric is the Official Judicial wine expert for the French government, who makes the final call to authenticity of wines that may be counterfeit (in other words, he defines the precise style of each appellation in France). They both assisted in the creation of the algorithm and have keen senses for undiscovered French wines that are a perfect fit for the Palate Club portfolio.
The Data Scientists
Data scientists and Software engineers Benoit Baylinn & Kevin Adda are unparalleled experts in their field. The men graduated from the Ecole Centrale Paris, one of the most highly accredited math schools in France. Working with Sommeliers Aubrey and Jennifer to understand the “wine perspective” of tasting, they built the API and algorithm for Palate Club. Their creativity and calculation allows the categorization of each wine by implementing up to 100 traits for each different bottle. The algorithm uses these traits to send users wines based on their past ratings— think of it as Pandora for wine lovers. The result is the most accurate and personalized wine club app to date. Palate Club uses real data to deliver wines of excellent quality for the price, headache & hassle free.
Tech & Development
Data scientists and Software engineers Benoit Baylinn & Kevin Adda are unparalleled experts in their field. The men graduated from the Palate Club is a vision that requires excellence and understanding in both wine and tech. Yann Kronberg, acting CTO, leads a team of 25 technology & application development from around the world to create a product that is both responsive to data and easy to use. With over 15 years of technology management experience, Yann has successfully led multiple start-ups, creating premium AdTech & data products. Yann is native to France but is now based in San Francisco.