Wine clubs are curious things. You might love a particular wine so they give you a 20% discount, they’ll ship wine to you and offer complementary tastings while visiting (including tasting of your current visit.)
Does it make sense to buy overpriced wine, have it shipped in a hot truck and you have no choice of which California Bottle of Wine you receive?
Winery club shipments are generally free to join (though tasting fees were complimentary once upon a time so we’re awaiting a time when fees are charged for joining.)
CBW’s 8 Problems Wine Clubs Should Fix:
✰ Some clubs ship quarterly (too many shipment & shipped during warm months)
✰ Some clubs offer no options (you may love one of the wines but are shipped your loved bottle amongst many others that may not be your favorites.)
✰ Some clubs dump poor selling wine in their club shipments.
✰ Some clubs dump premium bottles in the club shipments to escalate the ‘value’ of the shipment and you might not like them.
✰ Some clubs don’t insulate their packaging. Your wine is bouncing around in the back of a hot delivery truck.
✰ Shipments of alcohol require a signature (somebody has to sign to receive.)
✰ Shipments generally occur in the afternoon, but you still have to be there in the morning, just in case (Ok, we know wineries cannot fix this.)
✰ Some clubs charge you for wine pick up parties (one local winery here charges $65 per person to participate, $130 per couple, so you can pick up your $300 purchase.)
CBW’s 10 Reasons to Join a Club
✰ Some clubs ship six bottles twice a year (spring and winter) so the wine is not bouncing around in the hot truck in August or July.
✰ Some clubs allow you to specify shipper (FedEx, UPS or other ground carriers.)
✰ Most clubs throw free pick up parties at their winery.
✰ Some clubs throw free pick up parties in your city (Cass Winery has parties around the country.)
✰ Some clubs let you specify white only, white and red of just red only.
✰ You receive great wine at your doorstep.
✰ Some clubs give prizes, hotel stays and bottles of wine at their pick up parties.
✰ Some clubs include branded tchotchkes with their wine shipments (coasters, T-shirts, wine coolers.)
✰ Complementary tastings at the wineries and your guests (and sister wineries.)
✰ Some clubs’ discount their wine and accessories (hats, clothes, sweatshirts, you name it)
We’ll shortly post guidelines for choosing a wine club that fits your needs.
Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Bakersfield.
Some notes on our wine ranking system.
– -✰ means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰ means -Not liking it too much
✰ means -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+ with a slash, it means we disagree.