How To Get More Value Out Of A Wine Club
Look for the clubs that offer discounts for bulk orders thats one place to start. Also, virtually every club will run some kind of promotion or discount at some point. Since most of these clubs offer instant cancellations, dont get too friendly keep moving around to find those that work best for your budget.
Fatcork Grower Champagne Club
Its Champagne, so its not going to be cheap. But Fatcork is grower-focused, so value is derived from founders Bryan and Abby Maletiss personal relationships with the small, family producers in their portfolio. Members of Fatcorks Fantastic Champagne Club benefit from the couples Champagne direct-to-consumer import/distribution business based in Seattle. Choose from three membership tiers based on four shipments a year: Classic, $199 per three bottles Fancy, $249 per four bottles and Extra Fancy, $349 per six bottles.
Wine Access Wine Club
This is the wine club you get when a bunch of Napa Valley insiders and various sommeliers get together and start talking wine. As you can imagine, the results are very good. The philosophy that makes this one of the best online wine clubs is simple, find the best wines at the best price. This wine club’s buyers have industry connections the average wine lover can only dream about. That means your wine subscription box is filled with premium wines and not mass-produced plonk with fancy labels.
There are two new wine club options from Wine Access that we are really excited to share with you.
The first is the Michelin Prestige Wine Club. Wine Access partnered with the Michelin Guide to find the best wine lists from Michelin Starred restaurants. As a club member, you receive shipments of the wines featured on these lists. The club is a great way to get access to wines chosen by the top somms across the country. You can learn more about the wine subscription here.
The second club is a partnership between Wine Access and Wine Folly. Wine Folly is a leading creator of wine education guides. This wine subscription is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about wine the fun way. to get on the waiting list.
Price: You will receive half a case of wine every quarter for $150 per shipment. Your wine club membership includes shipping and a 10% discount on any purchases on the Wine Access website.
Read Also: Will You Be My Bridesmaid Wine
What We Do Not Recommend And Why
Usual Wines: Usual Wines’ single-serving beaker bottles are certainly eye-catching and memorable. However, the company only offers its subscriptions in red, rosé, and brut, and these wines don’t change month-to-month. On the plus side, its wines contain no added sugars or sulfites, and the grapes come from sustainable farms. If you’re looking for a straightforward subscription you don’t really have to think about, Usual Wines is a good candidate. Otherwise, our picks above provide better opportunities for education and discovery.
Acker Wines: Acker has wine clubs for a variety of budgets and levels of enthusiasm, from the $89/month Access Club to the $999/month JK Club for fine and rare wines. Acker’s Access Club seems promising for wine amateurs, but it’s geographically limited to New York City residents. The next club level up jumps to $299/quarter for three bottles, which may be inaccessible for many shoppers.
Elicit Wine Project: Elicit Wine Project helps incubate and launch cool, innovative wine brands, so if you’re tired of seeing the same stuffy labels, you’ll like shopping here and putting together your own subscription box. The downside is that there aren’t many varietals to choose from right now. Perhaps as the service grows, we’ll see a better variety.
The Sunday Times Wine Club Members Say
Positive comments we received tended to focus on the quality and availability of the wine.
One member said: ‘A good selection of wines and they are generally available on re-order. This was not the case with Naked Wines, with whom I was also a member, so I have recently left them. The service is also really good and reliable and the offers are occasionally attractive.’
We didnt receive too many negative comments, other than perhaps this club being another that tends to be a bit heavy on the distribution of unwanted marketing material.
Read Also: Bonny Doon Wineries
The Disrupter: Wine Awesomeness
Wine Awesomeness describes itself as a “modern, souped-up version of a wine club.” CEO Logan Lee says he has “no huge legacy wine background” and, artfully dodging the question of compliance, refers to his company as a “merchandiser” of a monthly six-pack of wine that is organized around a monthly theme.
“I think its very much how you define a winery,” says Lee. “There are different definitions in different states. There is no black and white rule yet.” Lee compares the wine industrys inevitable disruption to what Uber did for public transportation and Airbnb did for the hotel industry. Lee staunchly believes that technology and the free market will win the day, and higher consumer standards will eventually force the industrys hand.
“A lot of entrepreneurs who have been enticed by the wine industry have been drawn to the romance of it,” said Lee. “We’re interested in the rebellion … We genuinely care about finding the coolest stuff and going out of our way to tell our members why its so interesting but at the same time we dont have to take ourselves so seriously.”
Price:Three bottles of all red, all white, or a variety for $45 a month. A six-pack for $75.
Packaging: The wines arrive in a custom Wine Awesomeness branded box with a handle that makes it easy to lug around. Each shipment comes with a WA-branded mini glossy magazine that takes members through the monthly theme with breezy tongue-in-cheek features and recipes that pair with the wines.
How To Buy From A Wine Club
Here are some tips from wine expert, Charles Metcalfe on how to make the most of a wine club membership.
- Buy a familiar wine style to start with. Is it better than the wine you would usually buy? If it isnt, go no further. If it is, experiment with different styles.
- Dont get tied into a long-term relationship with a club whose wines you dont enjoy. Most allow immediate termination and refund.
- See what tastings and other events the club offers.
- Check wine prices by using a price-finding app such as Wine-Searcher or Vivino.
- Check delivery charges. If you live on, say, a Scottish island, some wine clubs will charge no more than if you live in Birmingham.
- Expect to pay a bit more for wines from wine clubs. They provide tasting notes and information, and may organise tastings for members, free or not. It’s up to you to decide whether these benefits are worth the extra cost of the wines.
Additional reporting by wine expert, Charles Metcalfe, speaker, author, and co-chair of the International Wine Challenge.
Also Check: Snacks To Go With Wine
St Francis Winery & Vineyards
Its no wonder so many of the St. Francis Patron Society wine club members have been active for decades. In addition to curated wine allocations, members also gain exclusive pricing and access to the beloved Sonoma County winerys small production Artisan & Icon collection and their nationally-acclaimed culinary experiences, special accommodation pricing with local lodging partners, and entrance to the Member Parlor & Terrace where they can sip new releases while taking in stunning views of the estate vineyards and Mayacamas mountain range. From $150, 4-12 bottles/shipment.
Naked Wines Members Say
The sheer number of positive comments reveals Naked Wines as a real Which? member favourite. The subscription model, which allows you to build up money in your account is popular, as is the Naked Wines mission statement to support smaller growers.
Here’s an example of what members told us: ‘Paying in £20 each month works really well for me. It isn’t a huge amount and yet it builds up so you can suddenly order a case without seeming like youre spending any money. And they have some good freebies every now and then.’
There arent too many negatives according to those we surveyed, but the marketing, and being referred to as an ‘Angel’, does divide opinion.
Don’t Miss: Wooden Pallet Wine Rack
Best Wine Clubs Of 2021
Why We Chose It: This club offers the perfect mix of quality, variety, and value.
What We LikeWhat We Dont LikeBottles in each shipment are a bit of a surprise
From our findings, most wine clubs tend to fall into two camps: those geared toward novice wine drinkers and those geared toward folks who tend to get a little geeky about wine. What makes Picked stand out from all the rest is that its designed for just about all wine drinkers, no matter your level of knowledge or passion.
Membership starts by answering a series of questions, including what kind of wine drinker you are , your preference for reds or whites, and how adventurous you are. Youre then able to choose your budget, whether its as little as $15 a bottle to as much as $45 a bottle, as well as anywhere in between. Youre also assigned your own personal sommelier who will select your wines and continue to help tailor each shipment as you rank the wines you drink. You can also send notes to your sommelier if youre hoping to taste something in particular in your next shipment. This is really where Picked stands outit meets wine drinkers wherever theyre at.
Theres really not much to dislike about Picked. The only negative is while you can personalize most aspects of your shipments, you wont know the exact bottles youre getting. This surprise might be fun for some drinkers, while others might prefer to know ahead of time.
Key Benefits Of The Martha Stewart Wine Club:
- Premium wine bottles at an affordable price.
- Choose a monthly subscription delivery of 6 bottles or 12 bottles per shipment, or shop their online store whenever required.
- Receiving pairing and tasting notes from Martha Stewart.
- Club members have the option to skip deliveries or change preferences whenever needed.
- On the rare occasions that you are unhappy with a particular bottle of wine, you can replace it for free.
Also Check: How To Make Glasses Out Of Wine Bottles
Q: How To Pick The Best Wine Club Service Other Than Price
It is 2021, which means that you can buy everything online, and there are so many super cool wine subscription services available theres truly something for everyone.
Here are some tips on how to find the best one for you:
- Look a the variety of wines offered and how many bottles you would get with each shipment.
- Look at the Frequency of shipment some offer a monthly shipment, some every other month, and some offer shipment every three months. make sure to choose the one that best matches your wine drinking needs
- Look at the wine selection process do you prefer personally matched wines, or do you like to be surprised with new wine types to try?
- Look at the wine source Some wine clubs offer only local California wines, some provide a worldwide tour of wine, and some even focus on only organic or sustainably grown wines.
- Look if the wine club offers special membership perks like free shipping, free wine gifts, credit, reward points, and more.
Excellent Wine Clubs For The Wine Enthusiast
Courtesy of The Wine Party Co.
Groucho Marx had probably never joined a wine club when he famously said, I dont want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members. Being a wine club member or part of a wine of the month club program is one of lifes greatest little pleasures.
Joining one not only allows you to try a wide range wines often curated to your specifications, be your preference pinot noir, rosé, wild and wacky blends, nothing but bubbles, or everything in between, it also offers a long list of other perks like, exclusive access to events and wine allocations, deep discounts, the chance to meet the winemaker, complimentary tastings, and more.
To help you navigate all the options out there, from Napa to Sonoma and beyond, we have rounded up some of our favorite wine clubs and wine subscription services, from the traditional to the offbeat, so you can fill your cellar and tasting calendar for months to come.
Also Check: Cabernet Franc Grape Vines For Sale
How Does A Wine Subscription Work
Pick a cub and order your wine, then sit by as patiently as you can until you get the grand opportunity to drink it. As we all know, wine is best enjoyed with others, so if you get the chance, share the experience relish in it. Youre paying more for this wine than usual because you want to taste every step of the process that led it to your lips.
Majestic Wine Members Say
Most respondents were positive about Majestic, with the ability to click and collect orders from Majestic stores proving popular.
One respondent said: ‘The selection always offers wines I would otherwise not have purchased and, on each occasion, there is at least one very welcome surprise.
‘The wines are good quality, cheaper than I could otherwise buy them. The service is excellent and, on the two occasions we have not enjoyed a particular bottle, they have been exchanged helpfully and without question.’
You May Like: Lowest Sugar Content Wine
So Youre Thinking About Joining A Wine Club
Media outlets, retailers, importers and restaurants all want your business. Heres a hint: Look for transparency, real wineries and customer service.
- Read in app
Consume enough media and you cannot help but stumble over an invitation to join a wine club.
I still receive a daily home delivery of The New York Times. When I pick it up in the morning, I sometimes find an insert advertising The Wall Street Journals WSJWine club. Ive found this puzzling, since The Times has one of its own.
Hundreds of wine clubs operate in the United States. The most visible are those associated with illustrious brands that have little to do with wine, like these publications and media outlets.
Too often, these sorts of clubs offer mundane wine selections with little to attract curious consumers. They appeal more to people who enjoy associating themselves with these brands.
Other types of clubs are far more focused on good, interesting wine. They cater to customers who not only want to enjoy wines regularly but are curious about how the wines were made and the people behind them.
Even some respected wine importers have clubs. RWM Selections offers regular shipments of wines imported by Neal Rosenthals Rosenthal Wine Merchant. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, another venerated importer, also offers a wine club.
How To Taste Wine
Go slow and use the right techniques. “Tasting wine to learn something about it is different from just knocking a glass back casually with friends,” said Price. “Take the time to think about what you are tasting. Make sure you stick your nose in the glass and really smell the wine. When you drink it, coat your entire palate. After you swallow, think about how long the flavors and textures linger in your mouth.”
The sommelier and wine writer also recommended starting a tasting group with your friends or family. “Pick a theme and have everyone bring a bottle within that theme. For example, if you want to understand Syrah, the line-up should include a Northern Rhône , Barossa Valley , Stellenbosch , Paso Robles , and Tuscany bottling amongst others. Each person should bring their bottle wrapped so you can’t see the label , and put the wines out for everyone to taste and guess which wine is which. It’s helpful to write your tasting notes down so you see how you progress over time. The entertainment value goes up even more when afterward you discuss your impressions as a group, enjoying the wines you brought with friends.”
Read Also: How To Make Glasses Out Of Wine Bottles
Does Packaging Affect The Quality Of Wine
Wine packaging does indeed affect the quality of wine youre getting. Alternative wine packaging such as canned wine, boxed wine, tetra packs, and glass vials have started to gain popularity in recent years. Here are some of their differences:
Premium Boxed Wine: If youre looking for an aged vintage, boxed wine isnt an option for you. Boxed wine cant be aged, but what makes it popular is that once opened it can last for up to six weeks. For those who are environmentally conscious, this is a good option. Boxed wine containers require less energy to be recycled and youre getting more quantity for the price. Consider it as buying in bulk.
Tetra Pak: Tetra paks have been around for some time. We use them for juice, soups, and to store other types of foods. But its recommended that wine be consumed within three to six months after purchase. After that, it may run the risk of oxidation.
Glass Bottle: Bottled wine can be aged, which is necessary for some types of wine. This means that it can be enjoyed for longer periods of time in an unopened bottle. The average bottle of wine can be stored in a wine refrigerator but must be consumed soon after opening to enjoy the best results.
Canned Wine: Canned wine, like tetra paks, is made to be consumed soon after purchase for the best results. According to experts, the best canned drinks of this variety are rosés or fruiter wines that can be chilled and enjoyed for their sweet refreshing taste.