I was so fortunate to meet and attend a lovely event with Foot of the Bed founders: Martin Sheehan-Stross, Chief Wine Officer and Co-Founder and Luc Bergevin, Founder and CEO.
The founding of the Foot of the Bed started by a chance gift of a barrel of Sonoma Zinfandel that Luc received as a graduation gift. Luc was a recent college graduate and what to do with a barrel of Zinfandel when space is of the essence? Well you do the smart thing and place in your bedroom at the foot of the bed hence became the name of Luc and Martin’s curated wine business.
I very much like what Martin and Luc are doing. They are curating very nice wines from across California and presenting them on their label. It is not just finding great wines–it is finding great wines at a great price point. Martin and Luc put together a monthly subscription of 3 wines for $15 a bottle. Finding a high quality bottle of wine at $15 is as rare a rubies. I did a search on line for wines like this and I couldn’t find them for this price point. These are wines that are not just passable but easily and joyously shared with those closest to you.
The tasting I attending and enjoyed with food at Cultivar was the following three wines:
- Cole Valley Riesling
- Lodi Rosé of Syrah
- California Barbera
I thought all of the wines to be nice polished and such a great value price point. I like that you can pick your monthly pack i.e. all reds or all white or a mix pack. The cost is $45 per month plus $12 shipping. And if you are local in the Bay Area there is a monthly release party.
One of the most often questions is about wine pricing and the main concern is getting great wine and a fantastic price point. This is one solution provider and with a very good ability of finding some very nice wines that are easy on the wallet. So put your wallet in a relaxed state and rev up your palate!
They ship to 30+ plus states and here is a map where they ship to.
Please see my interview with Martin below:
Q1 – What do you like about your business model? (delivering exceptional
value and wines to your customer, finding a new customer, introducing a
variety or region to your customer, etc..)
A1 – I get a kick out of bring new regions and grape varieties to our customers but in a very approachable way. Our model allows our members to try new things without too much of a commitment in terms of price. Perhaps event more important however, is that our members get access to easy-to-read educational materials, parties where they can meet other members, and the ability to change their subscription mix or pause any month. We try to bring a fun, hospitable vibe to the wine club.
Q2 – How long have you been finding wines for your customers? When did you start operating Foot of the Bed?
A2 – We launched Foot of the Bed in October of 2016 so this March was actually our 30th monthly release. Each month, we’ve introduced two new wines, and have also thrown in some additional offerings over the past couple of years as well. To date we’ve released over sixty-five different wines from over forty-five different winemakers!
Q3 – How do you find the wines in your collection? Do you have a master plan or do wines find you or both?
A3 – I worked on the restaurant side of the wine trade for about ten years prior to starting Foot of the Bed which gave us an idea of some producers to work with. The wine community is very generous and people who have had fun working with us often put us in touch with their friends who may also have delicious wine available. As we’ve grown, some great people have reached out to us as well with some really interesting wines for the program. I try numerous wines before deciding on each month’s selection. I’m looking for wines that have wide appeal, a great story, but are really just delicious above all else.
Q4 – Do you have any past Foot of the Bed wines that are still top of
mind today? (e.g. they taste better today then when bottled, a
phenomenal wine, etc).
A4 – That’s a tough one. We’ve done three different, totally dry Rieslings since launching. They are definitely some of our better, most ageable whites. Thankfully we’ve stashed a few bottles away.
Q5 – Do you have varieties or regions that you would like to have for
your wine line up?
QA – We are definitely on the lookout for some tasty Gamay or Trousseau! Overall, we’ve been thrilled with the wide range of grape varieties and regions we’ve been able to explore…from Counoise to Colombard, Merritt Island to Potter Valley. The West Coast is so diverse, we are really lucky.
Q6 – Any sparkling wines for future shipments of Foot of the Bed wines?
A6 – It’s such and important category of wine. We haven’t done it yet, but it is definitely something we are looking forward to doing.
Q7 – Have you found wines from Washington, Oregon or even other places in the US that will become Foot of the Bed in the near future or perhaps later?
A7 – We’ve had some surprising finds in both Oregon and Washington. I really think that Washington continues to fly under the radar, especially amongst California wine drinkers. We’re extremely passionate about telling the stories of West Coast farmers and winemakers, so sticking to these states makes sense for us and our members.
Q8 – Your price point is sterling. Is it hard to find great wines at
this value price point?
A8 – It definitely takes a little leg work, but finding great wines and developing relationships is one of the most gratifying parts of our job. We’ve made some great friends along the way.
Q9 – What is your favorite wine country experience? When/where/what?
A9 – It really depends on the occasion. I love showing Napa Valley off to people in from out of town who have never been. If I’m just relaxing with friends, I think a weekend in Sonoma with no plans at all is always a great way to go.
Q10 – When you cook what is your signature dish and what wine would you pair with it?
A10 – I would say seared salmon with lemon butter and a nice full glass of our 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The wine is rich and full-bodied to match the natural texture of the fish, but still has a clean, bright finish to go with the citrus in the sauce.
I love what Luc and Martin are doing and I think their focus is rare and they prove the point that good wines don’t need to be expensive. They have great finds and I trust they will continue to do so in the future.
More information on Food of the Bed and their subscription service can be found here.
James the Wine Guy
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
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