If you're ready to upgrade to a higher quality wine from California and explore what all of the artisanal buzz is about, this should be your first stop. These mostly red wines from the best small wineries typically retail in the $35-90 range but you pay a much lower price to have them delivered. Joining for yourself means variable shipment prices, but if you buy as a pre-paid gift subscription you'll know your price in advance. Hint: Buy yourself a pre-paid gift subscription instead of joining as an ongoing member.
We spend a lot of time wine tasting in California and are personally familiar with many of the wineries shipped in Gold Medal's Platinum Series. They ship our favorites and must-try wines like Dilécta GSM from Paso Robles, Volker Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, and Frank Family Petite Sirah from Napa to name a few.
With such an amazing breadth of white wine being produced in California, we're sort of disappointed that all of the white wine in the Platinum series has been Chardonnay. We'd love to see some bold Rhone white selections from Paso Robles, some Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Barbara, and of course, surprise grapes.
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Platinum Wine Club membership costs $96.00 for 2 bottles of wine. Shipping costs extra and is $10.50 per shipment plus sales tax where applicable. The price per bottle, with shipping, ranges from $53.25 to $58.25 depending on how you configure your membership.
Shipments are sent monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly.
We received this shipment of the Platinum Wine Club in November, 2014.
The Platinum Series by Gold Medal is one of their premium-level clubs and at this price-point, Gold Medal brings its customers impressive California wines, ready to drink now or to rest a bit in the cellar. Every wine in this high-end wine subscription is rated 90 points or higher. Each shipment contains two noteworthy wines and their full-color tasting sheets giving you all of the info you need and want about the wines.
In 10+ years of reviewing Gold Medal Wine Club, we're sure they offer one of the better Premium wine clubs. They constantly strive to wow their customers — and their customers' lucky gift recipients.
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!
The Platinum Wine Club comes with several options:
Our Platinum Wine Club Wine Ratings
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Our reviewed shipment included the Sagebrush Annie's Cabernet Sauvingon from Santa Barbara County (retail price $60). Let's just say the last bottle of wine we tried from Sagebrush Annie's (an old-vine Merlot) knocked our socks off and this one was also excellent.
The other gem in this shipment is one we're very familiar with. 2012 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir (retail price $60) from Dragonette Cellars — one of our most favorite wineries. We tasted this at the Dragonette tasting room in Los Olivos a week before we received this bottle, and we already knew it was a great choice.
Some of their more recent shipments include these droolworthy selections:
Gold Medal Wine Club is located in Santa Barbara and they definitely have a bias toward the wines of Santa Barbara County. We can't blame them — when it comes to exceptional quality and taste, the Santa Barbara region overdelivers on value. No need to pay Napa prices to get amazing red wine these days.
If you have a red wine lover you really want to impress, this is a fantastic wine club gift. Between the gift presentation and the incredible selection of wines, you'll be that wine lover's favorite person for a while. Four shipment gifts are "a year of wine" and would make the gift extra special.
The wines in the first shipment come wrapped in organza gift bags. Upgrade for a custom printed gift notice and an artist-designed gift box to make it extra awesome.
Our Platinum Wine Club 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 10+ 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. The Platinum Series wine club comes with a two-page brief on each wine included in the box. They discuss at length the winery and winemakers, and then a section covering all the essentials about the wine itself.
As a luxury wine club featuring boutique wines from California wineries, we think this club is perfect for:
Platinum Wine Club sounds good but you want wines that are even more rare? Try their Garagiste Wine Club.
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At WineClubReviews.net we take an objective approach to our star ratings system. Our written reviews are very much subjective, based on our 10+ 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.
Platinum Series Wine Club