How to Choose a Wine Club

Wine By Mail

How to Choose a Wine Club During the holiday season, a lot of people explore the idea of buying wine club presents for their friends and family (or for themselves!). The present seems ideal - the recipient can learn about wine each month, the gift goes on for the entire year, and usually the price can be paid out monthly. What could be better?

There are many other reasons to look into wine clubs, of course. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Just the idea of learning more about wine in a guiided manner. Sometimes a person might live in a location where it's impossible to get unusual wines. A wine club helps solve that problem.

There is an enormous range of wine clubs out there. Some offer starting wines for people just learning about wine, while others offer $100+ selections of the finest wines available in the world. There are many clubs in between these two ends as well. How do you know which to choose?

Choose a Price Range

Probably the first thing you need to do is examine your budget. Would you rather just spend $20 or less a month on a single bottle, in order to learn about wines in an inexpensive manner? Do you have a bit more to spend? Decide what price range this wine purchase will fall within.

Choose a Wine Style

There are clubs on every type of wine under the sun. There are Californian-only wine clubs, red wine clubs, sweet wine clubs, port wine clubs. There are "all the best across the world," "the tiny wines you can't find anywhere else," and all sorts of other combinations.

What are your goals with this club? To learn more about a particular region? To have fun tasting exotic red wines you can't find in the store? Narrow down what kind of club would suit your needs best.

Examine your Options

You should have enough information now to be able to look through the clubs that meet your criteria, and see which best suits your needs. Here is a chart of the major clubs out there, with what they offer. Note that all wines in the table are sent monthly.

Let me know if any prices need updating!



Wine Types

CA Wine Club $41/2Small CA wineries not commercially available; newsletter;
ex: White Oak Cellars, Somoma County
French Wine Club $30+/1Various French wines; tasting notes
Global Wine Club $45/3Small wineries around the world
ex: Cheetah Valley Chard from S Africa
Gold Medal Wine $39+/21 red & 1 white, mostly dry, can customize

+ means shipping and handling is extra

Things to Watch For

Make sure you understand all costs before you sign up. Ask about sign-up costs or any extra shipping costs. Find out if there is a minimum number of months you have to belong to the club, and what the cancellation and return policy is.

Also, see if you can find out how long the average member stays with the club. Do most members leave after a year? Are most members long-timers? Those figures will tell you how much the club tends to please its clients.

Often, there can be many side benefits to belonging to a club, besides just getting to try great wines! For example, the CA Wine Club lets its members reorder favorites at up to 50% off retail. Other clubs offer similar discounts.

Most of all, though, enjoy your wines! Sit back and wait for those wines to arrive at your home every month, and have fun exploring the world of wine!

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All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.