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Wine Clubs: A Beginner's Guide

If you love trying new wines then you might consider joining a wine club. As a member of a wine club, or wine of the month club, you will receive different bottles of hand-picked wine delivered straight to your home or office on a re-occurring basis. Not only would this be a superb gift for yourself, it would also make for a wonderful gift for any wine lover!

Because there are so many different wineries from so many different regions from all around the world, there are a lot of different wine clubs with a wide range of features and benefits that you can choose from. To ensure that you'll get the most from your wine club membership, there are certain things you should consider before deciding which wine club to join.

The first thing you should consider is the number of bottles you'd like to receive, and how often you'd like to receive them. Depending on the wine club, you can choose to receive new bottles of wine on a monthly, bi-monthly, or even quarterly basis.

You can also decide on the number of wine bottles you'd like to receive at a time, whether it be two, four, or an entire case of wine. Some wine clubs are more flexible than others when it comes to how much and how often they deliver, so be sure to choose a wine club that offers what you desire most. Also, you can usually order more wine than what is included in a normal delivery for an extra cost. This flexibility is ideal if you think that you may need more wine during the holidays or special occasions.

This leads us to price. Prices vary according to quantity and quality. The more wine you receive, and the higher quality of wines, then the higher your cost will be.

Luckily, there are wine clubs to fit any budget, and choosing a longer membership can usually save you money in the long run, just so long as your wine club offers it. If you buy wine on a regular basis anyway, then you might actually end up saving more by joining a wine club, since most wine clubs offer discounts on the wines they offer. This is good information to know up front, especially if you know you'll be ordering a good amount.

You should also have a pretty good idea of the quality of wine you'd like before joining a wine club. The quality is usually reflected in the prices but there are other ways to tell as well.

For instance, many wine clubs also have reviews, forums, or message boards where people post their experiences. This can be really helpful when deciding for yourself. Many wine clubs also offer different membership levels such as Standard and Premium so that you can switch to higher quality wines without having to switch wine clubs.

You will also want to note the flexibility of your wine club. How easily will it be to cancel or change your membership? How many types of wines will your wine club offer? How much say will you have in the types of wines that are sent to you? How easily can you return a bad bottle of wine? You can usually find all this information and more on the wine clubs FAQ page.

Region may be another factor that you may wish to consider. If you prefer wines from a specific region then you may want to search for a wine club that specializes in that particular region. You can probably find a wine club that specializes in any region you can imagine. If you enjoy wine from a specific region but would also like to try new wines from other locations, including international, make sure you regional wine club offers wines from other places.

A bonus when joining certain wine clubs is some of the extras that might be included. Such things as brochures, catalogues, tasting notes, wine information, regional information, and special discounts might be included as an added benefit to your membership. If these types of extras are important to you then make sure you choose a wine club that offers them.

Another important thing to consider is the type of shipping options that may be necessary for you. If you're in no particular hurry, or you can have your wine delivered to your office, then standard shipping is usually fine. But if you are only available to receive your wine at certain times, such as evenings or Saturdays, or on specific dates, then you may have to pay extra for your specialty shipping options.

The internet is the best place to start when looking for a potential wine club. First begin with your favorite wineries and check to see if they have a wine club available to join. If you do not have a favorite winery and would like to explore different wineries, consider taking wine tours that will introduce you to a lot of different wineries in a local region. Talk to the people at the different wineries and inquire if they have a wine club, you will likely come home with a bunch of different brochures on wine clubs to choose from.

If you are not planning on visiting any wineries soon and would still like to taste different wines, then host your own wine tasting party. Ask friends and family to bring a nice bottle of wine and to make things interesting give each guest a region from which to bring a bottle of wine. For instance, have one person choose a Napa Valley wine, have another choose a Spanish wine, and perhaps have someone choose an Italian wine, you get the idea.

This will expand help you and your friends to discover different types of wines from all over the world for less cost than doing your own personal wine tasting. As most wineries have their own website, do some research on your favorite wines from your personal wine tasting party and inquire about wine clubs. If you have a friend that is also planning on joining a wine club, consider swapping extra bottles of wine so that you can try other wines while still keeping your wine club membership.



Apr 20, 2012 10:15am
wow..thanks a lot. I'm Newbie about wine :D
Jun 8, 2012 4:55pm
Those are some great points to consider! Joining an individual wineries club can also give you access to exclusive events at that winery. Provided you are close enough to partake in the festivities.
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