Wine clubs offer a good way for consumers to try different bottles of wine throughout the year. Most wineries have their own wine clubs sending current releases to members, often with the incentive that subscribers will also receive highly sought-after wines not available to non-club members. In recent years, wine clubs have become more innovative in an attempt to reach broader markets, and there are many that provide interesting and unique experiences and fantastic, award-winning wines from all around the world.
1. Vine Box - Wine Tasting in a Box
Vine Box is a unique wine club in that it sends nine single pour tastings every quarter for $72 to $79 depending on whether you purchase an annual subscription ($288 plus tax for the year) or a quarterly subscription ($79 plus tax for one quarter with automatic renewal). The wines come in cute 187 mL single serving screw-cap tubes, and you'll receive a selection of nine carefully curated high-quality wines from around the world. For example, a recent box contained French single varietal wines (Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Merlot) with each made in very different styles such as a Pinot Noir rosé versus red Pinot Noir or an oaked Malbec versus an unoaked Malbec. These boxes are a fantastic way to taste various styles of fine wine; it's essentially a tasting flight in a box to help you understand both varietals and types of wine (you'll receive wines such as Bordeaux or Burgundy, for instance), as well as how place and terroir affect the wines. For people looking to educate themselves further about various types of wine as well as sample some of the world's great wines, this is an affordable way to do so.
2. Gold Medal Wine Club - Highly Rated Wines
The Gold Medal Wine Club has been in business since 1992, and during that time it has earned a good reputation. Consumer Advocate gives it a 4.6 out of 5 rating, and one of its club options, the $75 a month International Wine Club, is a Forbes recommendation. The wine club focuses on highly rated and award-winning wines curated by an expert panel.
There are several options:
- The Gold wine club starts at $39.98 per shipment and includes two well-rated California wines receiving ratings from 85 to 89+ points.
- The Platinum club ships two or three highly-rated ultra premium California wines receiving 90+ ratings from wine experts for $96 to $108 per shipment.
- The International wine club costs between $75 and $85 per shipment and ships three bottles of ultra-premium wines from around the world.
- The Gargiste wine club focuses on artisan independent wine makers making small batches mostly in Washington, Oregon, and California. The cost is $69 to $85 per two bottle shipment.
- The Pinot Noir wine club focuses on California Pinots, and it costs $76 to $89 for a two-bottle shipment.
- The Diamond wine club is expensive at $175 to $205 per two-bottle shipment, but you'll receive ultra-premium collectors wines receiving ratings of 93 points or higher from wine experts.
3. International Wine of the Month Club - A Classic Wine Club
Since 1994, International Wine of the Month Club has been shipping award-winning and highly rated wines to consumers. Consumers Advocate awards the club 4.5 out of 5 for quality and selection of wines.
Consumers have four options:
- Premier Series costs around $40 a month plus shipping and handling (about $13), and it includes two bottles of estate bottled limited production wines. Members can choose reds, whites, or one of each.
- Bold Reds Club starts at about $52 for two bottles (plus $13 shipping), and it ships exactly what the name implies: bold reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Rhône wines, and more.
- The Collectors Series wine club is where you'll find the most highly-rated, award winning wines. It costs about $73 a month plus shipping, and you'll receive aged limited edition estate bottlings that have received acclaim. The wines come from international and domestic boutique wineries, and you can choose two reds, two whites, or one of each.
- The Masters Series wine club members receive one Premier Series bottle and one Collectors Series bottle in each shipment. Cost is $55 plus shipping.
4. SommSelect - Sommelier Selected
If you're looking for high quality wines selected by experts, then the SommSelect wine club is a great bet, but you'll pay a premium for the expertise and the wine. Wine Folly recommends SommSelect as a curated wine club worth exploring. At $199 per month plus shipping for two of their options, you'll receive six bottles of premium wines from around the world each month. The wines are hand selected by professional sommeliers. The selections come from the site's daily picks; each day you can log on to the site, see their chosen wine, read tasting notes, discover why they've chosen it, and order a single bottle or many.
You have three options for monthly wine club shipments:
- Blind Six ships six numbered bottles wrapped in black tissue monthly; it's designed for people training to become sommeliers to test their knowledge of classic wines by taste only. You don't have to be a sommelier or student to enjoy this fun way of tasting wines, however. Passionate hobbyists can also enjoy the blind tasting to test their palates and wine knowledge.
- Somm Six also ships six bottles a month curated from their daily selections for the previous month. Wines may include reds, whites, sparkling wines, or rosé wines from around the world, all curated by the team of expert sommeliers.
- For a lower-priced option, the Drink Like a Somm club is $99/month plus $15 shipping. It includes four bottles picked based on a theme. For example one month might be wines made from a specific type of grape or wines that are from a particular region of the world.
5. FatCork - Curated Grower (Vignerons) Champagnes
If you're more of a bubbly wine lover, then you'll adore FatCork, a curated monthly Champagne subscription featuring estate-bottled small-batch vignerons (grower) Champagnes from France. FatCork is a Seattle-based company specializing in vignerons Champagnes, which are small-batch Champagnes made by the grape growers in France's Champagne wine region. Because they are made by the grower, the Champagnes are often distinctly different and unique, giving a sense of place and terroir you won't find in mass-marketed, cooperative, and négociant brands. These are unique, curated artisanal Champagnes.
In the FatCork club, you can join at three levels:
- the Classic club is $199 per quarterly shipment plus shipping ($9.95) which gets you three bottles.
- the Fancy club is $249 per quarterly shipment (with free shipping) which gets you four bottles, including one tête de cuvée, which is the best of the best Champagne cultivated from a Premier Cru or Grand Cru vineyard.
- the Extra Fancy club is $349 per quarterly shipment (with free shipping) and includes six bottles including three tête de cuvées.
6. Cellars Wine Club
Cellars Wine Club provides itself on being unique from other wine clubs in that it provides "a wine subscription for everyone." There are several plans you can choose from based on the types of wine you enjoy and your budget. You can also set your preferences for frequency of delivery and the number of bottles in each shipment. The club also has a "no bad bottle" guarantee and they will replace a wine with no questions asked. Another nice feature of this club is the lack of monthly minimums which makes it more affordable for wine enthusiasts who want to try a club out but cannot afford a long-term commitment. Wines are curated from local, national and international sources by wine experts and each shipment comes with a newsletter with more information on the wines included.
- There are 12 different clubs you can join with the lowest being the single bottle subscription at $29 per shipment.
- The most expensive is the 90 Point Case subscription which is $369 per shipment. This club includes 12 wines that rank 90 points or higher on well known wine scales like Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.
- You can also choose from a Natural Wines club that features wines made with more organic techniques for $69 per shipment or the Import Case club for $219 per shipment featuring a selection of 12 international wines.
- Shipping is included in all club subscription pricing.
Wine Clubs With Curated and Award-Winning Wines
Whether you're seeking wine curation, highly rated wines, or award-winning wines, you can find them in a good wine club. And while not all wine clubs are created equal, those discussed here receive acclaim from major publications, reviewers, and customers so you know you're joining a club that will supply you with quality wines.