Virginia Wine Club: That’s Different
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When looking for information on a “Virginia wine club,” the name Virginia Wine of the Month Club is prominent in search results. For more than 20 years, Virginia Wine of the Month Club has been offering regular selections of wine produced in this state.
(In the widespread world of wine, many companies and individuals use the phrase “wine of the month club.” Keep in mind that “wine of the month club” is a registered trademark of a California company.)
But this is not necessarily the place to begin. A quick search for an actual Virginia Wine Club adds yet another layer to this story. There is a Virginia Wine Club that “is open to anyone who is interested in, or enjoys wine, whether they are new to wine or an expert. The goal of the group is to provide a fun, casual, snob free environment where people can learn about, enjoy, and share good wine.”
According to the club Web site, there are more than 800 wine enthusiasts associated with the group that was founded in 2004. Yet, the Web site doesn’t indicate any of the “standard” wine club memberships that you might expect. This group seems to be more informal, focusing on “meetups” that bring together wine lovers who have particular interests. Two-bottles-per-month memberships weren’t an obvious choice on the site.
Screenshot of the Virginia wine club website
For example, current activities include: cooking classes at various restaurants, a wine-and-chocolate theme at another location and an event sponsored by the Wine Tasting Association (held in Washington D.C.)
The spring wine tasting event has an early-bird admission fee of $30, with a $35 cost at the door. A VIP tasting will be held earlier than the public event. This exclusive tasting will feature more expensive wines. The public event is billed as a “walk-around tasting.”
Another Wine Option
The other club option in the state of Virginia seems to be the wine of the month club mentioned earlier. This company seems to operate according to the usual club guidelines:
- experienced tasting panel
- exclusive selections for members
- monthly shipping schedules
- Virginia Wine Journal and so on
Virginia Wine of the Month Club started offering in-state wines in 1988, when there were 34 wineries within Virginia borders. There are now more than 130, according to the club’s Web site. Tasting panel members include a former president of the club, past president of the Virginia Vineyards Association and a wine-marketing expert.
Membership benefits are:
- one-bottle or two-bottle memberships
- with monthly delivery
- choice of reds, whites or variety
- no membership fee
- no minimum membership requirement (six months minimum for gift membership)
- subscription to The Virginia Wine Journal; details about wines and vineyards with each shipment
- recipes that fit with wines from the various vineyards, including selections from the winery chef or owner
- discount prices on additional purchases
- and $14.95 for one-bottle membership
- $24.95 for two-bottle membership
In addition to gift memberships, the club offers selected gifts for wine lovers
. Prices for wine gifts are just a dollar or two higher than stand member prices but come with the gift message.
As mentioned earlier, all wines offered by this club are in-state products. The state of Virginia is subdivided into several regions for wine-producing purposes.
- Blue Ridge
- Central Virginia
- Chesapeake Bay
- Eastern Virginia
- Hampton Roads
- Heart of Appalachia
- Northern Virginia
- Shenandoah Valley
- and Southern Virginia
The largest number of wineries is in Central Virginia, though there are also a healthy number of wineries and vineyards in Northern Virginia, Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley.
Visitors to the Web site will enjoy browsing through the archives of the wine newsletter and “traveling” through the many links to Virginia wine-related events and activities. The club has a link for recipes that fit with the club’s wine selections and even offers an enjoyable way to test your knowledge about wine.
When wine is discussed by aficionados around the globe, Virginia isn’t often at the top of the list. But wines from this eastern U.S. state are becoming very popular (and rightfully so).
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