Gold Medal Wine Club
Last Updated: 10/21/16
What to Expect from Gold Medal Wine Club
Gold Medal is an old school wine of the month club, they long pre-date the subscription box services we've come to know and love. Their efforts are focused around delivering a couple of great bottles each month, rather than being your primary source for wine buying. Rather than asking you to do all the work, Gold Medal puts a great deal of effort into sourcing some of California's best wines at the right price for each level of their wine club. You won't find these wines at your local store, and you may not even be able to buy them at a winery.
Why we recommend Gold Medal Wine Club
More than most wine of the month clubs we've reviewed, Gold Medal really wants to please folks who love California wine. Five of their six wine clubs only feature California wine (the sixth club is an International series which introduces you to other wine regions you might love). They offer the highest level of Pinot Noir wine club on the market, they have the Garagiste series which focuses on teeny tiny production wines from up-and-coming winemakers and wineries, and their online store offers steep discounts of winery retail pricing. We also really love their gift presentation — it's probably the nicest one we've reviewed.
The Gold Medal Wine Club Ratings
To get our wine club ratings, we look at 11 characteristics of each wine club. Some of these apply to the company as a whole, so we've included them here.
Note: This rating is our objective analysis of Gold Medal’s satisfaction guarantee—not our assessment of whether or not you’re guaranteed to be satisfied with their wines.
For Gold Medal, this is the weakest aspect of their 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.
What They Say About Refunds on Wine Purchases
Due to the nature of our products, refunds occur within 14 days after bottles are returned to our facility unopened. We do not pay for shipping of returned products, or refund payments if we are unable to restock the wine back into our inventory for any reason.
That said, we'd be genuinely surprised and concerned if you recived a stinker from Gold Medal.
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.
The Gold Medal Wine Club is not especially unique—we're also big fans of The California Wine Club which operates under a very similar model. What is unique to Gold Medal is the quality of the wines at exceptional prices and the special holiday incentives they offer. Their Plus Bottle offer is also unique in that you can really stretch your small-production winery discovery with yet another boutique wine in each shipment.
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. It contains detailed tasting notes about each wine, the wineries they come from, the winemakers, and the wine region. They also include food pairing recipes and wine trivia in each issue.
Unless you're buying for a very adventurous wine-lover, this is the best wine club gift on the market. For wine drinkers of any level and any preference, it would be hard to not make a great impression with a Gold Series gift. Remember, send 6 months and save 5%—and if you're thinking of holiday gifting, they always have great bonus gifts in the first shipment!