The Benefits of Joining a Wine Club
The growth in the popularity of wine clubs in the latter part of the 20th century shows no sign of abating. More and more wine clubs are being established all around the world as consumers become increasingly attuned to the pleasures and benefits of wine drinking. Those who are considering joining a Wine Club may want to know exactly what this entails and, more importantly, what benefits they are likely to derive from their membership. In this article we provide a straightforward explanation of the basic premise of the Wine Club and set out some of the reasons that dedicated wine drinkers – from the social consumer to the connoisseur – decide to join one.
What is a Wine Club?
Like most other clubs, a Wine Club is a medium through which like-minded members of the public join together for what they perceive to be their mutual benefit. Also known as Wine of the Month clubs, they supply their members with wines and deliver these to their homes, usually every month or three months, thus negating the need for the member to source his or her own supply. The Wine Club is generally regarded as having been conceived in California although, as we have mentioned, it is now a worldwide phenomenon. Some Wine Clubs are part of an individual vineyard whilst others are a limb of a specialist wine retailer. There are varying criteria for the composition of a particular wine supply. Some clubs will deliver red or white only bottles, whilst others will supply a mixed delivery. The quality and cost of wines can vary significantly but there is almost certain to be a wine club that meets the individual taste – and budget - of virtually every wine drinker.
What are the Benefits?
Many Wine Club members consider the cost of the wine to be a significant advantage of joining a Wine Club. It is almost always the case that wines are provided for a lower cost through the medium of a wine club than if the consumer sourced the same bottle directly from a vineyard or wine retailer. The more discerning wine drinkers also take the view that membership of a wine club provides them with the opportunity of enjoying a wider range of quality wines than they might otherwise be able to sample. Furthermore, it is a feature of the Wine Clubs that they are able to source specific wines (many of which may never appear on the shelves of a wine store) that the average consumer is, quite simply, unable to access single-handedly. In addition, some Wine Clubs have a team of dedicated staff who not only visit vineyards to sample their wines before deciding whether they are of sufficient quality to be included in their stock but also provide ongoing support to their customers when it comes to choosing the contents of their delivery. Some specialist clubs also provide regular information sheets, wine news bulletins and/or regular newsletters for the benefit of their members. Finally, Wine Club members often communicate with each other, through posting reviews on the Club’s website or Social Media, thereby sharing their experiences with particular products and increasing every member’s knowledge of the products that are being supplied by their club. This creates a mutually beneficial camaraderie that is another attractive ingredient of membership of a Wine Club.
If you are a wine drinker there are clearly several good reasons for joining a club. If you decide to do so, however, it is important to bear in mind that not all Wine Clubs are the same – or provide the same benefits to their members. It is a good idea to check out as many as possible, consider in advance the type of wines that you are likely to want and the particular type of club that you would enjoy being a member of, read any customer reviews, check prices and delivery policies, look for the “extras” that some clubs offer over and above the norm and access their Social Media sites for members’ feedback. In these ways you are likely to gain the greatest benefit from adding yourself to the increasing number of worldwide Wine Club members.