inClub is a totally customizable wine club where you choose everything or let them choose for you. Their everyday drinkers deliver amazing quality-price-ratio due to clever buying strategies, but the magic is in focusing the wine club on your favorite regions, styles, and varietals. This is the perfect wine club gift for a very picky or knowledgable wine drinker.
No other wine club has ever, and probably will ever, deliver this level of customization. You want it? You got it. It's perfect for any oenophile.
We'd love to see a ton more pre-made "personality profiles" to make sign-up at any price a breeze. Also, the ability to buy a case at a time would be fabulous.
The inClub is a special wine club, specifically geared for regular wine buying (as opposed to wine gifting). They’re working hard to make it a good fit for the full gamut of wine drinkers who might be interested in a wine club, but they really knock it out of the park for the sophisticated, knowledgeable enthusiast type.
Cleverly designed to be precisely as personalized as you want it to be, you can say “send me anything at $49 per shipment” or you can say, “I want an Alexander Valley wine club with only high-end wines for $149 per shipment” and you’ll get exactly what you want. Somewhere in between being totally open to anything and manually selecting every varietal and wine region (which they let you do) lie a few pre-made wine profiles — like The Globetrotter which sends roughly 3 bottles of Everyday wines for $49 a month (shipping included).
If you're not familiar with Invino, see the sample page (to the right) we took a screenshot of on review day to exemplify their awesome deals. A $15 Russian River Pinot Noir (retail value of $45) is a steal on a great Pinot AVA.
The number of bottles per shipment may vary. They’ll provide you with the class of wine you asked for and stick to your budget, but that may mean they have to make some judgement calls on how many bottles to ship. This could be more variable if you’ve also selected varietals or regions that are hard to source for your budget.
You can change your mind as often as you want Have wino guests coming to stay for a week? Double your shipment next month. Almost the holidays and you need gifts for every party you attend? Upgrade to $149 and have plenty of wine on hand. Big anniversary next month? Switch your selection to Special Occasion wines and make it a dinner to remember.
Don’t know what you like or ready to try something new? Take the Palate Profile quiz. Invino is one of three wine clubs working toward personalized wine selections based on your taste preferences. Answer their series of questions and they’ll establish your Invinome (each of the wine clubs has a cutesy name for their palate selection feature). Club W also offers a quiz for this—it’s six questions about different types of flavor profiles you’d encounter in wine. It addresses taste, but not quality.
The inClub quiz has 30 questions, probing your Loves, Dislikes, and Wants, some of which have nothing to do with wine and some of which are really marketing questions buried in a palate quiz. We like that they address quality of wine which, to us, is critical. The quiz is also filled with false choices and odd assumptions, but since you don’t have to select anything that doesn’t apply to you, you can just skip over the parts that seem weird.
Here are the results of my quiz... my Invinome is Embracing Adventurer.
I’ll say this, they are the ONLY wine club with a palate quiz who got my wine type right. Lot18 missed the mark by too much, and Club W doesn’t really reveal what your “type” is, so you never really know how they're making recommendations.
For most wine drinkers, a simplified version of the club will work well, and function more or less like any other wine club. You decide on a budget and shipment frequency, and wine just comes to you. You can also make the standard selections of red wine, white wine, mixed, or sparkling, and you even get to choose Sweet wine (which is a rarity these days) and Rose (which we’ve not seen anywhere else).
For frequent wine drinkers looking to round out their everyday cellar selection, this is also a great club. You can make bigger orders (the $149/shipment selection probably gets you 9-12 bottles) and get the Invino selection of wines delivered without having to jump in to every sale event.
Then there’s the picky drinkers. We know who you are...
A lot of wine clubs that are popular, like Tasting Room by Lot18 and the WSJWine Club, assume that you don’t know much about wine and you just want to drink whatever shows up. There’s nothing wrong that, but that style of wine selection doesn’t work for people who want to have a hand in what shows up.
If you want it to be, this wine club is completely custom and tailored to you and your exact preferences. Say you love Bordeaux and Tuscan wines. Voila, there’s your custom wine club. Or say you want wines from the southern hemisphere... boom! You got it. But what if Invino doesn’t have any Australian Syrah kicking around in their warehouse? No problem... they will go out and get the wine needed to fulfill your club shipments. Yep, that’s what they said! While it’s got to be a logistics nightmare, it’s definitely a coup for wine clubs and makes them King of Customer Service.
Here are some additional selections you could make for yourself that we’d recommend (invino took our suggestions and pre-made some of these!):
The possibilities are pretty much limitless!
While we applaud the inClub and the completely amazing customization they’re offering, their website requires patience, and lots of it. Of course the reward is never having to run down to the local wine store to ask that surly gentleman what he thinks is a good wine, and you’ll always get wine you like, or you can get your money back with Invino’s Palate Guarantee (something that local wine store won’t offer you).
At WineClubReviews.net we take an objective approach to our star ratings system. Our written reviews are very much subjective, based on our 5+ 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 inClub - Everyday Wines stacks up on these traits.
Over the years we've received several cases of wine from invino. Some we've ordered as customers and some we were sent as wine club reviewers. Everything we've ordered has been sub $15 and would be characterized as "Everyday Wines." The are the best wines you're going to get for less than $15 per bottle. Full stop.
This is an area where invino has an extreme edge over all their competition—they're already buying in volume at great prices. The inClub pricing model is quite opaque in terms of understanding how you get your value (you don't know how many bottles you'll get in each shipment or what they really cost)—until your shipment is sent! Then, you see exactly what you paid for each bottle and what it's retail value is. In our case, our "$149 case" had $139 of wine in it. Shipping is free for inClub customers, so that would be $10 for shipping. I can tell you, it costs WAY more than $10 to ship the wine, which really means you're getting a membership loyalty price that's below what regular invino members pay for these same wines.
Invino gets the top score for convenience a wine club can get. All aspects of managing your club can be handled online, including pausing and cancelling your membership. You can, at any time, change the size of your shipment, how often you receive it, and what is in it. You can change it as often as you like. You'll also receive timely shipping notices so you always know when your wine is inbound.
A personalized wine club used to mean you picked the color of your wine and how often you received your two-bottle selection. Thanks to wine clubs like inClub, Tasting Room by Lot18 and Club W, personalization now means just that, the club is tailored to your preferences. ONLY inClub offers you a completely personalized selection where you can order exactly what you want and let them pick the wines that fit your palate. Warning: this assumes you know what you like! If you don't, choose one of their "pre-made" options to get a great wine club experience with less personalization.
The inClub by invino is truly unique. There is not another wine club in the country that dares to personalize every member's subscription.
With all of their focus on getting you exactly what you want and a price you can't help but love, invino doesn't put a ton of extra effort into wine education in the box. Like other modern clubs, you'll find your tasting notes online and you can access them from your Previous Orders page in perpetuity Because every wine they ship in their wine club came from their normal stock, you get a TON of information about each wine including: "Why we're drinking it," tasting notes, "The Story to Know," professional ratings and reviews, and even sometimes extra tidbits like this one:
INSIDE FACT: In 2009, drought conditions, low yields, and heavy storms during harvest produced wines with intense flavors, deep colors, and concentrated tannins and acid—a welcome relief after the previous year’s extreme temperatures and wildfire smoke.
We look at three areas when evaluating the discount opportunities offered by a wine club. Is there an introductory offer to sweeten the deal? Are there discounts available for buying more of wines you loved in your shipments? Are there special discounts only available to members?
inClub does not have an introductory offer. With free shipping and already discounted prices, they really don't have room in the budget for it.
There are no discounts on reorders or inclub-specific members-only deals, though you may find your favorites show up on Happy Hour specials or other members-only deals at invino.
We give the customer service at invino a thumbs up! Given the complexity of their wine club and the customer support needed to make it all hang together, we anonymously called in with a bunch of questions which they handled with ease. We've never had any customer complaints about invino.
Invino relies on its extensive network of connections in wine country (where they're located) and around the world to source awesome deals on great wines. After that, most of the curation is done by you!
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.
Invino offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
How to Use Their Palate Gaurantee
If for any reason you experience a problem with the quality/taste of a bottle, we invite you to please email us at [email protected] within 90 days of your purchase for an instant credit (minus the cost of shipping and tax) to your account. Simply provide the details of how the wine did not meet your satisfaction, and we'll take it from there. Your Insider Credits will then be available to use on any future wine you'd like.
The giftworthiness of inClub is a bit of a mixed bag. If you're buying for someone who's really into wine and knows a ton, this is the dream wine club gift. If you're buying for someone with less wine experience, this club might be overwhelming for them. If that's the case though, you can choose from among the Everyday Wines, Upscale/Premium Wines, and Special Occasion Wines to get a cool wine subscription to your wine lover. Caveat: They don't do gift packaging.