Wine Clubs Basics

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By joining a wine club, members pay a membership fee to experience wines that they may otherwise have never had the opportunity to taste or purchase on their own.

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Aside from the membership fee, which is usually billed monthly, quarterly, or annually, members will pay discounted prices for the wines they receive each month with most wine clubs. However, other clubs require a set monthly fee which includes the shipment of the wines. It really just depends on the particular club.

Simple illustration how wine clubs deliver the wine to you.

Regardless of how the billing is set up, most wine of the month clubs behave in a themed manner which means that members will receive either

  • white wines,

  • red wines,

  • or a combination of both.

This preference is usually determined at the time of sign up but can always be changed as the member becomes more familiar with certain wines or interested in new experiences.

Though there are individual international and state shipping laws which may limit some wine clubs, the United States and other countries are seeing a definite growth in wine club memberships as well as wine consumption.

It is interesting to note that the first documented wine club was introduced in 1927 by the Wine of the Month Club. Since then, hundreds of wine clubs, with different themes, have sprouted all over the world. Regardless of the club’s age or origin, most wine clubs will focus on particular wine regions or varietals. For example one wine club may offer red wines from France only, while another focuses on both red and white.

With so many choices today, the possibilities are endless as to what type of wine club you may join!

Typically, wine clubs are based on monthly or quarterly shipments. Monthly wine clubs will generally ship between 1 and 4 bottles each month to a member, while quarterly wine clubs will ship between two and twelve. The amount of bottles a member receives in each shipment is usually indicated by the particular membership guidelines or the club itself.

Negative Aspects of Wine Clubs...

A cause for concern with wine clubs is that there are no governing bodies overseeing or regulating their actions. Wine clubs can set their own monthly or quarterly rate and prices. This means that there is a risk to joining, as they may choose to send lesser quality wines or jack up their prices.

Before joining any wine club, it is a good idea to read about it... and that's why is here - we take you by the hand and guide you through the wine club jungle :-)

While there are many up and coming wine clubs, there are also clubs that have been around for years and are quite highly recommended.

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