Wine clubs are typically operated by companies that either source wine from wineries around the world or purchase wine and bottle it under their own labels.
Customers sign up for a plan—typically a monthly one, but there are also quarterly plans and other setups—and are usually asked about their wine preferences, or given a short set of questions in order to determine what their tastes are and which types of wine they may prefer. The wine club will then either select wines for members or let members choose from a selection of wines curated or produced by the club.
Most wine clubs will allow you to choose whether you’d like reds or whites or a mix, and if you’d like any sparkling wines. Some also allow you to purchase wine related accessories and gifts. Wine clubs tend to send between 2-4 750 ml bottles per shipment, but some allow you to order significantly more.
With your shipment, many wine clubs will also send informational sheets on the wine, as well as recipes to pair with the wines in the shipment.
How Much Does it Cost?
There is a wide range of prices you can expect to pay for a wine club subscription, depending on the club you join and the quality of the wine. Most companies will allow you to sign up for a basic plan or a premium wine plan, with the latter having a significantly higher price per bottle. Others, like Firstleaf, keep the prices affordable, with 6 bottles for $79.95, or a little over $13 per bottle. Companies like Naked Wines have a wider range of prices, with wines costing between $9 to $39.99 per bottle. California Wine Club takes it even further, with 2 bottles per month for between $40.45-$231.00, and single bottles for order at anywhere between $8 to $135.
Finally, with most wine clubs, you can also expect to pay a shipping fee with each order, typically around $10 or less.
How to Choose the Right Club For You
Your first step in choosing a wine club is to determine how much you want to pay for wine, how often you want to receive it and how much you want to receive. Once you determine this, you should think about why you are looking to receive regular shipments of wine. Perhaps you just want good, affordable wine to show up at your doorstep on a regular basis. If this is the case, then look for an affordable wine club option that tries to match your tastes in wine. If you want to use a wine club to learn more about wine, look for a club that provides a wide variety of wines from a number of different wine regions around the world.
The beauty of each and every one of the above wine clubs is the remarkable convenience they offer. Without ever thinking about it and without having to waste time browsing over walls of wines at crowded grocery and retail stores, wines that match your tastes show up at your door on a regular basis.
The other great advantage to joining wine clubs is the savings. Every wine club on this list is able to provide its members with tremendous value and savings by either having bought large amounts of a given wine from wineries or having produced the wine themselves and disposing of the middlemen that jack up the price.
More than anything, though, it’s the sense of fun and discovery that comes with every box of wine delivered straight to your door. And we could all do with happy discoveries these days.