Wine delivery startup Vinome claims it can choose the wine you'd love most by taking a swab of DNA and putting it to the test.
The service doesn't come cheap. At $199 for a DNA test and $65 bottles of wine with a three-bottle minimum order, you better love what you get! All that's needed is a saliva sample and Vinome can send you the best kind of wine for you, genetically.
As is to be expected, there is some speculation about the “science” that surrounds this strange pairing. Some companies, such as Illumina-backed Helix, a DNA sequencing company, are willing to put their names behind Vinome and support it. Business Insider reports that Illumina is a powerhouse DNA company, which sells DNA decoding machines to medical researchers. The company is looking to tap into the consumer market, and it’s through Vinome that it’s looking to achieve this goal.
On the other hand, other DNA specialists are contesting the amount of science, or lack thereof, that goes into the DNA wine-pairing process.
"It’s just completely silly," said medical geneticist Dr. Jim Evans, who’s a professor and researcher at the University of North Carolina. "Their motto of 'A little science and a lot of fun' would be more accurately put as 'No science and a lot of fun.'"
“I’d put this in the same category as DNA matching to find your soulmate,” he said. “We just simply don’t know enough about the genetics of taste to do this on any accurate basis.”
Even with all of the push back Vinome is getting from the medical professionals, CEO Ronnie Andrews feels confident that the company is working in the right direction. His Vinome team includes scientists with extensive backgrounds in genome research.
“Listen, we wouldn’t risk our reputations to launch something in this space … if we didn’t feel like we had something that was arguably defensible in terms of the science, but more importantly would present an incredible experience and a fun experience,” he said.
What do you think? Would you give Vinome a chance?