Wine Clubs: No Books Included!
Internationally and locally, wine clubs have increased in popularity. This goes hand in hand with the rising overall interest in vino. People are more creative in the quest for vino. It is not only the beverage that is inviting. All aspects of wine are attracting attention.
Wine Clubs have become very popular on the international stage, in recent years. This accompanies the rise in overall interest in vino and how people imbibe.
Wine organizations have become the chosen way to help novice and expert wine drinkers alike, to select new and exciting wines without the headache of standing in the vino department of the local liquor store, agonizing over which bottle to select.
Types of Wine Clubs
There are three main types of wine clubs. They each have a broad description that can make it difficult to categorize. These are Wine of the Month Clubs, (which may include International wines), Winery Clubs, and Local Clubs.
There are no hard and fast rules for the gatherings, and each of these could be a hybrid of the others. They will inevitably have variations in their make-up. I will provide a general description of these.
Wine of the Month Clubs
This is the type of organization that sends out a predetermined selection of wine each month. This is a less social type of club. This type is ideal for people who do not have access to larger retail outlets or have difficulty getting to a wine store. Typically, these clubs will specialize in premium or specialty wines. They usually can offer great discounts on their prices.
Wine of the month clubs can offer different wines every month.
The wine is shipped to your door.
Often there are International choices.
Most clubs offer some selection by the purchaser. The problem is that this becomes a logistical issue, so the control remains largely with the club administration. The problem with this is you could end up with vino you do not like. An example might be “April is White Wine Month”, and the club is sending out 6 bottles of Pinot Grigio from different parts of the world, and you don’t like white varieties….
There is a variety of numbers of bottles you will get per month.
Shipping can be an issue, but most clubs offer free shipping as an added incentive to choose them over another club.
An example of a monthly wine organization is the Wine Collective.
Wineries often have their own club attached to their specific wine. The owners will frequently offer much more specialized attention to their club members. They will create special events, offer exclusive visits to members’ only tasting rooms. The effect is to make the club member feel appreciated and special, in order to gain their loyalty.
Wineries can offer special vintages at a discounted price to the members.
The disadvantage is that the winery is limited to their stock, which means that there will be repeat tastings throughout the year.
If you are a devotee of a specific wine, this would be a great fit.
This type of club is usually a hybrid of the others. It will have members only exclusivity, combined with the convenience of monthly door delivery of vino. They may have occasional gatherings, and they usually offer more control to the member regarding what they will be getting from month to month.
Who Should Join a Wine Club?
The ideal fit for a wine group is a person who likes to explore vintages. They are great for someone who wants to explore various wines, and do not have the time to peruse wine stores, unsure of what they want.
These clubs are great for busy people.
There is also the social aspect that may entice someone to join a club.
Networking can be a contributing reason to join a club.
Some individuals want to support small business, so they might join a local winery club.
In most cases, a club will order their wines in bulk, so some people have the intention of getting their selection at a discount, as the reason to belong to a club.
Another advantage of becoming a club member is that you may be able to access smaller winery products that otherwise may not have been available, because the small winery cannot afford extensive marketing and shipping costs.
Access to International wines is another advantage to being a member of a club.
When you attend a meeting or receive a shipment from your club, you have the ability to listen to the sommelier or wine representative discuss the selection, or have written information with a shipment. This could include the history and varietal and suggested food parings. This information enhances the overall experience.
If you want to have a regular, varied supply to your home, a wine group is ideal.
If you want to replenish a depleted collection, a wine club will help you.
- One should always remember the purpose of the club is to sell their product
- Budget may be a concern. It is important to be aware of the costs that are involved in being a member of a wine club. Usually the sign up is free, but you should look for any additional fees that may surprise you at a later date.
- Other things to look for: is there a contract required?
- Is it easy to get out of this contract?
- What is the length of the contract?
- Is there a minimum number of bottles you must order each month?
- Are there penalties for returns?
- What happens to your credit card information?
- Are you able to order wine from past selections made by the club?
- Is this club affiliated with companies that have nothing to do with wine?
- Do they offer a gifting program?
Wine club memberships are on the rise. It is important to choose your wine club carefully. Consider the social aspect, the wine types offered, the amount of wine you will consume, and your budget. I have a wine club that I am a member of and the name of it is Direct Cellars. This is a wine club with a twist. I have created a post that describes this wine club in more detail. To view that post click here.
But most of all, enjoy the journey!
If you have any questions of comments, I welcome them below.
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