ST. CLOUD, Minn., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- How do you revolutionize the timeless tradition of wine tasting? Pair a charismatic cork dork with a media-savvy computer geek.
That's what St. Cloud, Minn.-based Cru Wine Online has done to create a multimedia experience that takes Web-based wine education to a new level with high-end production and a fun-forward approach. The site, http://cruwineonline.com started taking memberships June 9 and lets enthusiasts learn about wine through live tastings, video segments, audio specials and more.
"This is literally revolutionizing the wine industry because we're making wine accessible by bringing it home," says Nick Barth, the certified sommelier who hosts the tastings and audio and video segments.
For $7.99 a month, members can access a collection of features that are heavy on information with a generous splash of humor.
"We see entertainment as the focal point and wine as the medium," Barth says. "We want people to have a good time, and if they learn something along the way, great."
The main event is the weekly Cru LIVE Tasting hosted via the Web by Barth and designed for hands-on learners of all levels.
Another key attraction is Cru Wine TV, with two sizes of video: weekly two-minute Splits; and monthly Magnums, half-hour shows that explore grapes, regions, and food and wine pairings (an extra $3.99 for members, $9.99 for nonmembers).
Members also can tune into Cru Wine Radio's weekly episode focused on a particular region.
Other features include a wine blog, newsletter, wine forums, "Nick's Value Pick of the Week," Cru Wine Shop and Cru wIneQ trivia game.
Cru Wine Online is a division of Cru Wine Specialists, Inc., a company Nick Barth, the "cork dork," formed in March 2009 with his brother, Andy Barth, a sales and marketing specialist. The "computer geek," J.C. Turner, joined them this winter. Inspired by an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that featured a live tasting via Skype, Turner came up with the idea of online tastings and provided the IT and media expertise to make them happen.
In less than six months, Turner and the Barths have taken their idea to the global market and made their slogan, "Making Wine Accessible," a reality.
SOURCE Cru Wine Online