Monthly wine clubs make popular gifts, or can be a great way to have new wines delivered right to your door. But before you sign up, you should know the pros & cons of joining a wine club.
Delivered Right To Your Door
Pro: The wine is brought to you! How great is that? It’s always exciting to receive a new shipment, and opening up the box, unpacking the bottles, and reading the tasting notes that come along with it.
Con: Someone age 21 or over must be at home to sign for and receive the shipment. Or you can have the shipment sent to your workplace. But if you miss the shipment, you’ll have to work with the shipping company (UPS or FedEx) to pick it up.
Wines Chosen For You
Pro: Many times, wine drinkers will fall into choosing the same wines again and again. I never had a Viognier until one was delivered in one of my wine clubs. When a club chooses the wines for you, you’ll get to experience new varietals and new vineyards.
Con: You may get something you don’t like. While you typically choose a general direction for your club (for example, a Pinot Noir, Champagne or Chardonnay wine club), the club chooses the particular wines you receive. Many times, if you like a wine, you can buy more directly from the club, or you can try to find it locally.
Pro: You can have the most clubs delivered monthly, every-other-month, quarterly, or on other shipping schedules. Personally, I receive 2 bottles per month
Con: If you’re like me, maybe you go through phases of drinking more or less wine. When we host a party, we’ll open a few bottles that night. Or if we’re traveling, the wine will stock up.
Wine Club As a Gift
Pro: A wine club can be given as a last-minute gift, as many clubs have electronic or printable gift certificates. Also, some clubs allow the recipient to choose the club they prefer, so instead of receiving a bottle chosen by the giver, the receiver can choose a club that includes wine they generally choose when buying wine themselves.
Con: Compared to a bottle of wine, a wine club isn’t that impressive. You can’t enjoy it right away, and it may appear as though you forgot (bonus “pro” – if you forget to buy a gift for someone, you can quickly give a wine club!).
Wine clubs make great gifts, and allow wine lovers to discover new wines that they might not purchase in the store. But before you join a club, understand both sides of purchase, and then decide if subscribing to a wine club is right for you.
Eric Nagel is one of three wine lovers who reviews wine clubs at WineClubReviewsAndRatings.com. He lives near the Niagara Wine Trail and loves Pinot Noir and Scotch (not a wine).