California is home to some of the world's best wine regions and wineries, many of which are boutique wineries. A boutique winery is typically a small-family operation with limited distribution beyond their tasting room. This wine of the month club is a great way to get introduced to what California wine has to offer at reasonable prices and it makes an excellent gift.
Consistency. We've been receiving their shipments for years and we've never had a wine we didn't like. You can't really ask for more than that from a wine club.
As a general rule, we think Gold Medal Wine Club has little they can do to improve. Whether you're buying for yourself or as a gift, they've really done a lot to create a wine club worth joining.
Exclusive Deal For Gifts Give a wine club gift of 3 months or longer and get a bonus bottle of Napa Cab, a free artist-designed gift box, free gift bags, and a free printed gift notice. Click for This Deal.
We received this shipment of the Gold Series Wine Club in October, 2018.
We've been reviewing Gold Medal wine club for more than five years. Without a moment's hesitation we can say that they have the most consistently excellent two bottle wine club out there. They have an extraordinary expectation of wowing their customers—and their customers' lucky gift recipients.
We've been reviewing Gold Medal Wine Club for almost 10 years. Without a moment's hesitation we can say that they have a consistently-excellent two bottle wine club. With a tight focus on small California wine producers, you always get hard-to-find wine of premium quality. Regular club shipments are up to 40% below winery retail.
The Gold Series wine club comes with several options:
Being a member of a Gold Medal Wine Club is like being a member of every winery wine club in California. Gold Medal wine club members get very similar pricing to the winery's own wine club members (sometimes better). Of course you do miss out on those fun wine-club pick-up parties, but then again, you get the wine shipped right to your door and don't have to lug it home!
Our Gold Series Wine Ratings
|Quality of Wine|
|Price of Wine|
Gold Medal is proud of its wine selection. The Gold Series is their “entry level” subscription, sometimes people think of these wines as “everyday wines” or “weeknight wines.” We think they’re quite good any time.
What’s super important to know is that the wine you receive in the Gold Series is always produced by a small California winery and could be labeled Artisan or Craft. Whether the owner/winemaker grows his or her own grapes and estate bottles them, or purchases them from high-quality vineyards to make at a crush pad facility, you’ll never find mass-produced “factory wines” in your shipments.
An interesting assortment of grape varieties and and wine regions shows up in the Gold Series wine shipments. These shipments highlight what's happening with small wineries in California these days.
Some recent highlights and their production size include:
The price of wine in any wine club is certainly important. Gold Medal claims they sell their wine up to 40% below winery retail. What we've seen over the years is that their biggest discounts go into their Gold Series club and that they average around 20-25% below winery retail. Those are good discounts to be sure.
Gold Medal also offers "buy more, save more" pricing. If you upgrade to a 4-bottle club you'll save 10% and if you subscribe for 12 months, you'll save another 5%. They also have a membership rewards program which reduces the cost of your wine club reorders (you know, those bottles you love so much you have to have more).
The regular gift shipment. When our readers send 1 or 2 shipments of the Gold Series as a gift, they can upgrade to include this package.
When it comes right down to it, we recommend the Gold Series Wine Club as one of the two best wine club gifts to give. Amazingly, our opinion of their wine club as a gift and it’s appearance as #1 or #2 on every gift list on our website hasn’t changed in years.
Why #1 or #2? The other wine club gift we recommend has very similar wine and pricing. From an ongoing membership perspective we consider them equal. Sometimes the other wine club is offering a more valuable deal and we put them in #1. The rest of the time, we prefer this offer from Gold Medal Wine Club because it’s always available to our readers and not available from any other website.
If you give a Gold Series gift of 3-months or more, you get all of their gift options for free AND you give a bonus bottle of wine in the first shipment. This free gift package has a $27.99 value.
When our readers give a 3-month gift or longer of the Gold Series, this is the first shipment.
The gift box is designed by an artist and makes for a beautiful presentation of wine country when they open the box. The custom-printed gift card matches the design on the box.
The two bottles of Gold Series wine are wrapped in organza wine gift bags, as is the bonus bottle of 2012 Steele Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley (Carneros). The bonus wine, part of a 900 case production, is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, was aged 24 months in oak, and gets 4 out of 5 stars on Vivino.
Of course all of the ongoing benefits of membership apply to gift subscriptions, too.
Our Gold Series Membership Benefits Ratings
Discount Opportunities. Gold Medal does not regularly offer an introductory offer, though during peak holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Christmas you'll find free gifts with purchase like gourmet truffles (chocolate) and wine accessories.
Gold Medal does offer discounts on reorders, while supplies last—buy 2-5 bottles more and pay the regular price, buy 6-11 bottles and save up to 10%, buy 12-23 bottles and save up to 12%, buy 24 or more bottles and save up to 15%. Four-bottle members save more on reorders.
Lastly, members-only special deals are limited. There are occasionally members-only sales. Since their wines are already very competitively priced, we don't mind that there aren't more offers coming from them.
Customer Service Record. In six years of working with Gold Medal we have never had a single customer complaint. That's amazing to us. Our usual Internet sleuthing failed to turn up any customer complaints. Kudos to them!
Satisfaction Guarantee. In our eyes, this is the weakest aspect of the Gold Medal wine club program and it's why they don't have a 5-star rating from us. They say "Satisfaction Guaranteed" on their website, but what they really mean is that they believe you'll love what they ship, not that they'll replace anything you don't like as most other clubs of this caliber promise.
Their Return Policy: “If a shipment is damaged in transit we will replace the product at no additional charge. If the wine is corked from the winery, we will replace the bottle at no charge. On the rare occasion members receive the wrong product, a discount is offered, or the shipment can be returned at no-charge to the member.”
That said, we'd be genuinely surprised and concerned if you received a stinker from Gold Medal.
Convenience. Gold Medal is a more old-fashioned company. If you need to hold your service for a vacation or want to cancel your membership you'll need to call and speak to someone during regular business hours. You can handle reorders yourself online, as well as see a record of the wines you've received and when you received them.
Wine Education. Like other older wine of the month clubs, Gold Medal sends out a glossy multi-page brochure (called The Wine Press) with each shipment of The Gold Series. The Gold Series from Gold Medal comes with its own magazine called "Gold Series Wine Press." This issue is loaded with wonderful photos and stories about each winery and the winemaker, and also includes food pairing recipes chosen by each winemaker.
The Gold Series is a value-priced wine club featuring boutique wines from California wineries. We think this club is perfect for:
Gold Series sounds good but you prefer International wines? Try their International Series wine club instead.
|Best Deal:||Bonus bottle + Gift package|
At WineClubReviews.net we take an objective approach to our star ratings system. Our written reviews are very much subjective, based on our 9+ years of wine club review experience and our own ideas about what good wine and good value mean. The star ratings are based on 11 attributes that we feel define what a wine club should be. Here is how Firstleaf Wine Club stacks up on these traits.
Gold Series Wine Club