When considering a two-bottle a month wine club for yourself or someone else, this wine club ought to be near the top of your list.
When it comes to places to find deals on wine, we often look to the California Wine Club. Not only do they start with great prices on their Premier Series wines, but they also have fantastic discounts after the shipments have gone out.
We'd like to see them offer bigger shipments.
There is much to love about The California Wine Club, not the least of which is their devotion to California's Mom & Pop wineries, where some of the best value and most interesting wines in America come from. This helps the wine club find great quality wines to ship to their equally-devoted monthly members.
The Premier Wine Club is The California Wine Club's entry level club, with two bottles a month shipped to you or you favorite oenophile. At first glance, this might look like any other wine club, but when you scratch just a little below the surface, you start to uncover some delightful details.
One of the things we've noticed, reviewing this wine club periodically over the last four years, is that as industry prices have gone up—both the cost of boutique wine and the rates their competitors are charging— The California Wine Club's prices have barely moved. They've gone from being a tad expensive to being downright reasonable, offering a greater quality-to-price ratio (commonly known in wine circles as QPR) than their closest competitors.
Another reason we recommend this wine club is the recent shipment we received from them. We didn't get the standard club shipment, but instead we were sent all of the current wine club releases—from Premier Club all the way up to the Signature Series (which knocked our socks off) and Aged Cabernet Series.
The wines in the Premier Club shipment were the Campus Oaks label from the Gnekow family winery. Normally when I see Mendocino or Lodi on a wine label, I find something else to buy (or order). In this case, I was impressed not only with the quality of the wines sent at this price point, but also at the way each wine made me reconsider what these AVAs that I typically associated with lesser-quality wines can achieve when good winemaking is involved. The 2011 Lodi Chardonnay was a delight to drink but the 2009 Old Vine Merlot was impressive. I opened it while the husband was away and I felt a little guilty as I usually try to save the good stuff for sharing. Usually.
As a gift, The California Wine Club makes an excellent selection. In the first gift shipment, each bottle will be wrapped in colorful mylar and a ribbon, and the recipient will receive a nice-quality folder filled with goodies enumerating the joy they are about to uncork. Literally. The wine club's full-color monthly newsletter is included in the folder and the newsletter is titled Uncorked.
Inside there is a wine scorecard to fax or mail back (the member can also go to the My Account section of the website and rate the wines online). The scorecard conveniently reminds the member of their 10% reorder discount— one of the biggest benefits of joining a wine club is the reorder discount! They'll also find a $25 credit toward a future purchase, and information about The California Wine Club that makes you look like a wine gift pro.
Not sure if "entry-level" California wine is what you were after?
We also recommend these other excellent wine clubs from The California Wine Club... especially that (pricey) Signature Series.
Introducing our original and most popular wine of the month club. Our Premier Series is a great way to learn about wine and the California wine scene, perfect for the wine novice or aficionado. Just $38.95 per month (plus s/h) and tax where applicable.
Exciting Wine Of The Month Club Deliveries Include:
Each wine club shipment includes two bottles of award-winning wine and our detailed and beautiful 12-page, full color publication, Uncorked. Uncorked offers an up-close and personal look at the family behind the wines plus tasting notes, recipes, wine luminary interviews, games and so much more.
Recently Featured Premier Series Wines:
Every month we feature two different wines from a winery located in not just Napa and Sonoma, but also places like Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and even the Sierra Foothills. Your CWC wine of the month club adventure will take you to wine regions not normally represented outside of California's wine community.
Our Wine Club Guarantee:
There is never any bulk, closeout or private label wine. Each wine club feature is hand-selected by Bruce & Pam and one that they proudly serve in their own home to family and friends. There are no wine of the month club membership fees, you can cancel anytime and every wine is 100% guaranteed.
Save on Your Favorite Wine Club Wines:
Bruce & Pam work with the wineries directly. No middleman and no distributor mean members get the best choice of wine, at the best possible price. Members can even reorder their favorites and save up to 50% off normal retail.
Easy to Join:
Stay for as long as you like! Most wine of the month club members keep a credit card on file which we bill each month, right before shipping. There are no joining fees and you may cancel your wine club membership anytime.
Last Updated: 12/30/13