By John ~ February 15th, 2008.
Adopting your favorite winery by joining its wine club and following its vintages year after year is a great way to learn and feel like part of their family. When you join your favorite winery’s wine club, you not only get a first taste of their latest vintages that they send you automatically three or four times a year, but you typically also receive discounts on purchases, free winery facility tours, and invitations to special events. In many clubs, you can also specify whether you want all red wines, all white wines, or some of each.
Taking advantage of these opportunities enables you to get to know the winemaker and feel like a part of the winery’s family. And best of all, you can drop your wine club membership anytime you wish if you find a new favorite winery.
There are also a number of commercial wine clubs not affiliated with a particular winery. They typically advertise that they have special access to uniquely good wines of a particular type, either new wines not in general distribution, a variety of wines from around the world, famous waiting-list wines, and/or premium wines from a particular region. The wines are selected by the club operators and sent to you automatically every month or every other month.
While we’re sure that some wine enthusiasts have found great new wines this way, we don’t believe it’s a very efficient way to find new favorites. You’re at the mercy of a club operator, who may have a financial rather than a fiduciary interest in the wines you receive.
We personally prefer the wine club of a winery whose wines we already know, have performed well in our own blind tastings, and whose new releases we want to access as soon as possible. What are your thoughts/experiences with wine clubs?
Filed under: General Wine Information