Your Try Before You Buy Wine Store
Here are our radical opinions: You are the best wine expert in the world when it comes to finding wines you like—you just need to try them first. And an enjoyable bottle of wine shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg!
That’s why all our wines are $15 or less per bottle, and we hold complimentary tastings daily to let you taste-test our wines before purchasing them. We typically have 12-15 wines open for sampling, and because we have over 100 wines in stock, the selection of wines available to sample in-store changes regularly.
Do you prefer oaky wines? Jammy notes? Not sure? At Utopian Shift you can relax, laugh with friends, and discover new things about your palate while trying through our wine selection. We strive to provide you with an excellent experience—your one-stop-shop for your everyday drinking wines.
How We Select Our Wines
We have a unique data-driven approach to selecting our wines. We drink a lot of bad wine so that you don’t have to! Only 1 in 10 wines we try are good enough for us to consider stocking. However, before we stock a wine, we taste-test it with a group of 20-30 regular folks here in Austin.
If 50% or more of our taste-testers enjoy a wine, we’ll stock it, and half the wines don’t make the cut.
Once we carry a wine we continue to test it. Once several hundred people have tried it, if 90% or more say they could totally drink a glass or two, we denote that wine as a Party Pleaser. Less than 2% of all wines reach Party Pleaser status.
We’re allergic to sommelier-speak, so we ask our regular folks what flavors they taste in each wine. These flavor profiles are reflected on your tasting sheet in bold print.
Searching for the perfect slate of wines for your wedding or event? Speak to one of our friendly Utopian Engineers to learn how we can help you curate a party-pleasing list.
How We Keep Prices Affordable
In a Utopian world, you shouldn’t have to pay a premium to support a small business. We intentionally keep our prices low by purchasing wine in bulk in a way that big box stores don’t. They stock thousands of wines but usually have just 1-2 cases of each wine on hand, and when they run out they order 1-2 cases more. We instead have about 100 wines and frequently order 50+ cases at a time. We order like a chain of stores, but instead of making 25 deliveries of 2 cases each, our distributors can make one delivery of 50 cases, saving them money. We pass those savings onto you, and that’s why our prices will always be lower.
What’s Behind the Name “Utopian Shift”?
We love helping people find great wines at super-affordable prices and disrupting the wine industry … but we don’t want to stop there. We want to change the way that people do business.
In the daily decisions we face as a startup, we ask ourselves: “What would a more Utopian world look like?” We make sure our actions align with our values, which is why we pay our staff a living wage, treat our customers like friends, and successfully lobbied the SEC to allow crowdfunding as a way to address wealth inequality. We then used crowdfunding to finance this store, raising $95,500 from 113 individual investors. It’s simply the Utopian way of doing things.
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