The Cellar Series Wine Club Review
All-Around Wine Club Rating:
The Cellar Series is the 6-bottle upgrade for each of the Wine of the Month Club's standard 2-bottle series: Classic, Vintners, and Limited. If their selection works for you, you can now get six bottles per shipment, which lowers your per-bottle shipping cost.
Wine Club Ships to
What We Liked
Paul Kalemkiarian, second generation proprietor at Wine of the Month Club ™ goes out of his way to source interesting wines, and in this price point that can be a challenge, particularly in finding California wines. So he leans on an International selection to bring you better value in this price range.
For more info on the Cellar Series, we suggest reading our full reviews for The Classic Series, The Vintners Series, and The Limited Series.
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Cellar Series Wine Club Review
The Cellar Series from The Original Wine of the Month Club is preferred on both value and wine quality by Consumer Reports Magazine when compared to The Wall Street Journal Wine Club and The New York Times Wine Club.
There is no other wine club that we know of that works harder to deliver value to its customers than the Wine of the Month Club ®. Every aspect of their business is optimized to pass savings onto their customers, from shipping costs to the price paid for each case of wine they order, to their operations and facilities... it’s all driving value.
To help meet the demand of so many loyal subscribers, for whom two bottles a month just wasn't enough, Wine of the Month Club ® has put together a six-bottle wine club. It features the exact same wines as their popular two-bottle wine clubs: The Classic Series, The Vintners Series, and The Limited Series.
Cellar Series Wine Review
Because this club can be configured to include any of the primary wine club levels — The Classic Series, The Vintners Series, and The Limited Series — we are not including wine ratings in this review. Here is a summary of our thoughts on the wine from each of the primary wine club levels.
The Classic Series and The Vintners Series
Over the years we've been reviewing The Wine of the Month Club, The Classic & Vintners Series' quality has gone down hill. A dogged determination to keep prices low despite every cost related to the program going up (shipping costs, packaging costs, amd wholesale wine prices to name a few) has led to a decrease in the quality of the wine.
There are two things of note here: 1) They're not selling you "bulk wine" which was produced in a nameless, faceless facility and has a random label slapped on it (some clubs do!) and 2) Taste is subjective, but quality is not. Certain flavor profiles do not belong in wine, and we saw a surprising amount of funk in the last shipments we received (July 2014).
The Limited Series
By comparison, The Limited Series has been consistent. We wouldn't call these wines collectible, or even the best representation of the varietals and regions, or wineries for that matter, but you're getting good value on decent wines. We think this is a better quality wine than what you'd find at BevMo! if you plan on spending $20/bottle.
Our Classic Series
Membership Benefits Ratings
Satisfaction Guarantee They offer a top-tier satisfaction guarantee. We love satisfaction guarantees because it's a major differentiator between buying from a wine club and buying from your local wine store or grocery store.
"You never pay for a wine you do not like. If for any reason at all you don't think the wine is for you, call or email us and we will send you something you do like… no questions asked."
Customer Service Record. The Wine of the Month Club has an excellent customer service record. It's a big part of why they're so successful.
Discount Opportunities. 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?
The Wine of Month Club is big on deals. Their introductory offer, FOR GIFT ORDERS ONLY, includes a free wine accessory called "Wine Explorer's Kit."
Discounts on reorders are available and steeply marked down from the shipment price for the same bottle. This is a terrific deal if you liked the wine. The member guide shows the 2012 Triada Malbec from Argentina retails for $19.99 (we don't believe this is accurate), the member price is $10.98 (that's what you pay in the shipment), and the reorder price is $7.99 (about what the wine is really worth).
Lastly, they do offer special members-only deals. When they want to close out inventory, they'll mark it way down. We've seen Classic Series wines priced as low as $4.99 a bottle. We've also seen free shipping deals with some frequency. For members, these deals are a great way to a lot of wine at prices that are hard to find elsewhere.
Even more value! When you subscribe to The Wine of the Month Club, you'll also get access to members-only pricing on everything they carry in their Wine Shoppe.
Wine Education. The Tasting Room, The Wine of the Month Club's publication that goes out with their wine clubs, is chock full of information about the winemaking region and the winery, but a little light on info about the wine—our favorite element of their booklet? The drink-by date! This is an important data point that many wine clubs leave out.
Convenience. The Wine of the Month Club 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 change your address and update your credit card online. They also make reordering easy from your account section.
Cellar Series Wine Gifts
If you're on the hunt for an affordable six-bottle wine of the month club gift, this is your best bet. The gift packaging presentation is impressive and the free wine accessory with every gift really adds to the fun for the recipient.
Other delight-generating aspects of The Wine of the Month Club are the charming custom shipping box and the heavy-duty binder to hold all of the recipient's tasting notes.