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Wine Club – Tips for Finding the Best Wine Club

Updated on February 25, 2010

A wine club is a terrific way to experience the pleasure of rare and vintage wines as well as fresh and exciting new wines. Many people enjoy wine of the month clubs because they provide an easy and convenient way to experience new wines from different regions. In fact wine clubs have become so popular that there are many options to choose from (most of which are online) so it can be difficult to choose. Whether you’re looking for a simple gift for a wine-loving friend or relative, or simply looking to indulge on the variety and excitement of a wine club, this article will give you some good pointers on finding and choosing the best wine club that’s right for you.

Because there are so many wine delivery clubs to check out it is overwhelming and makes you frustrated and just want to pick the first one you see. This may be fine if you’re giving a wine club membership as a simple gift to your friend, but even then you probably should know a little something about their taste in wine to give them a gift they’ll better appreciate. Even if you don’t grab the very first one you see (probably because it’s more expensive) you might be tempted to go with a cheap wine of the month club. Again this can backfire because very often you get what you pay for and some wine clubs will cut corners to save on price.

All of the best wine clubs will offer some variation of the following features:

Direct Delivery to your door – because most of the wine of the month clubs are online they source their wines from remote locations and deliver it to your door.  This is incredibly convenient and fun because it offers a surprise that’s waiting for you when you come home from a long day at work.  And everyone loves pleasant surprises.

Specialized options – because many wine aficionados prefer certain styles of wine over others, most clubs will try to accommodate their customers by providing only certain styles with broad options such as red vs. white wine of the month clubs or even as specific as pinot grigio or zinfandels. 

Wine information – one of the key facets of wine culture is knowing about your wine: where it came from, what type of grape was used, what the weather was like that year.  Whether you feel it’s snobby or educational, this information provides extra value to wine club purchase

Wine tasting notes – as more people become educated about wine culture, more and more wine clubs are providing some tasting notes to help provide a more robust and pleasant drinking experience.  These are very helpful to beginners and amateurs who want to learn more about the wine. 

Now these are the basics that just about every wine club offers.  This should establish a baseline by which to compare wine clubs by.  The next step is to decide what type of specialty you’re looking for.  In order to differentiate the online wine clubs from each other, most of them will choose a specialty to offer its’ customers. 

One specialty that a club will offer is to provide hard to find wines.  This type of wine club caters to more experienced wine drinkers who know what kind of wines they like and what to look for.  In fact many of the more prestigious wines are that way because they’re difficult to come by and therefore are higher in demand (which also means they cost more).  These companies tend to be more established wine companies that have been in the business for many years and have connections that allow them to get hard to find wines.  If you’re willing to pay for premium wines this is the wine membership for you.

Another type of wine club that is very popular are the wine memberships that offer award winning wines.  These companies establish contracts with wineries that achieve success in wine competitions that are held both across the United States as well as the entire world.  Winning a gold medal in a wine contest means that you beat out hundreds of competitive entries to be judged as the best.  Wouldn’t you want to drink the best? 

There are also wine of the month memberships that will sell you a wine by the case.  At first you may think that these are for the serious drinkers and partiers and while that may be true the other advantage of getting a case of wine a month is that you can cellar the wines and have them available to age over time which will give the wine a new flavor and bouquet as it ages.  This is the best way to take your interest in wine to the next level.  Of course this option is much more expensive but it will be cheaper per bottle of wine.  Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about what wine you should cellar as the wines of the month company has already picked out the best wines for cellaring for you. 

Now you should have a little bit better idea of the options available for you.  You should check out some of the online wine of the month clubs to see which one will best suit your needs.  Remember that the value of the online wine club is in the specialty that it provides as well as the service and not necessarily just the price.  A great wine club is hard to come by but when you do you’ll love it for the rest of your life.

Looking to Give a Gift of the Month?

Here are some other great gift of the month resources:

How to choose a beer of the month club - A quick guide on choosing a beer of the month club.

How to choose a steak of the month club - a great guide on how to choose a steak of the month club (which is a terrific gift!)


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