Last updated: April 6, 2015
There are about as many reasons to sign yourself up for a wine club subscription as there are reasons to drink wine. Deciding what type of wine club is right for you and then which specific wine club(s) to join is a fairly simple process. This guide outlines the steps you should take.
In this article:
What type of wine club should I join?
This depends largely on what type of wine drinker you are.
If these wine profiles don't work for you, here are some more specific options to try on for size
For some, red wine is the only wine. These folks may be single-varietal drinkers, focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, or may have a preferred style, like big and bold. No matter what you like, there is a red wine club for your purple-tongued preference.
Often pegged as a ladies-only beverage, the delight of a white wine on a hot day or with a light meal can't be matched by the rouge stuff. Whether you like 'em Light and Sweet, Aromatic, or Whatever Comes Your Way, there's a white wine club for you.
There are some pretty major style differences between California wine and the grape juice produced on other continents, or even other areas of the U.S. California wines are bigger and bolder, in no small part, because of our long growing seasons. Whether it's Napa, Sonoma, or all the wine regions of California, there is a California wine club that will ring your bell.
For those who prefer a more global approach to their wine drinking, there is no shortage of wine clubs to tickle your fancy. Choose France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand or take a trip around the world with an International wine club.
This is the category we fall into as wine drinkers. We love beautifully-made wines that taste like their terroir, creative wines from grapes we've never heard of in quirky colors, and anything that carries the soul of the vintner in it. Check out our Editor's Picks for your next wine adventure.
As wine education increases, there is a growing audience for people who want wines hand-picked for their palate. Fortunately, there are several wine clubs that are meeting that demand. Here are wine clubs with a high-degree of personalization, though each has its own way of achieving it.
Wine lovers who lack extensive wine experience (don't know the difference between Cabernet and Syrah; think the only options for white wine are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio) typically buy their wine at the grocery store or local liquor store and rarely spend more than $20 on a bottle for everyday drinking. We've got you covered.
Value-Seekers (Under $15 a bottle)
Value-seeking wine lovers typically buy their wine at the grocery store or Costco and rarely spend more than $12-15 on a bottle for everyday drinking. For us, if you're not a white-wine drinker, that's a hard sell. We rarely truly enjoy a red wine that retails under $18. Nonetheless, there are some tremendous values in wine clubs and we've got 'em picked out for you.
Some tips for joining wine clubs
- Start your search with wine clubs that ship to your state. This is highly recommended! Because of the complex interstate liquor laws in the United States, not every wine club can ship to every state and you don’t want to be disappointed after you pick out the perfect wine club and discover you can’t receive the wine. Select Your State and we'll remember it while you browse the site.
- Upgrade to more bottles per shipment, ship less often. The more shipments you have, the more shipping you pay for, so it's better to have 12 bottles delivered each quarter than to have 4 bottles delivered every month. Also, many wine clubs reward their customers with better pricing on bigger shipments. Warning: a case of wine is very heavy (like 60 lbs heavy).
- Can't decide which one? If you can’t find “the club” for you, don’t worry. Purchase a couple of subscriptions, see which one you like better and cancel one. Or keep them both and discover more wine! Almost every wine club has a no-hassle cancellation policy that can be used at any time, and very few wine clubs have a minimum purchase.
- Go for Introductory Offers. Many wine clubs offer freebies as an incentive to get you to sign up. Take advantage of this where you can. You may get new wine glasses, a professional corkscrew, or even a discount on the first month’s shipment.
- Go Premium. Something that often holds us back from buying nicer wine is that we're afraid we won't like and will have wasted our money. Most wine clubs offer a Satisfaction Guarantee and they have professionals picking the wines. Between these two perks, we think upgrading to premium wines when choosing a wine club is an excellent way to discover the artistry of fine wine.
- You can't please all of the people all of the time. Not all of a wine club’s selections should be expected to please every palate. It’s good for you to expect that once in a while you won’t love a wine. If you open a bottle and it tastes “off,” you should contact the wine club. Occasionally, wine can be “corked,” or have some other flaw that makes it imperfect, but wine clubs know this and are happy to send replacements, as necessary.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying wine at home in a convenient and exciting way!