Wine Club(s) – To Join or not to Join

There are A LOT of wine clubs out there and maybe you’re not sure who to turn to or understand what the difference is between them all. Wine Expressions preaches about shopping for wine at your local independent wine retailer, so if you find yourself in the grocery store in the wine aisle, it better be for cooking wine! I also find wine clubs to be a super fun way to learn about wine and by joining the right kind of club(s), you’ll get introduced to wines you would never have thought of buying yourself. When is the last time you bought a bottle of Malagousia? Exactly.

I’m a surfer and if you are only drinking Chardonnay or Cabernet, to me that is the equivalent of surfing the same break all the time. That doesn’t excite me or keep me “stoked.” I thrive off of diversity not only in waves and life, but in wine too. I get bored, and I love to challenge my palate and culinary experiences in the kitchen. Trust me, stepping out of your wine comfort box is a good thing to do.

Pretty much all wineries have wine clubs, not necessarily my style of a wine club because you are only getting their wines. However if you are a huge fan of a particular winery, then by all means it’s very beneficial to join their club. You get access to wines that are strictly for their members, which is actually pretty cool. Another perk is that you’ll always get the wine you love and won’t have to waste time hunting around town for the new vintage.

Maybe you’re like me and have an affinity for imports. Most of those wineries do not have wine clubs, let alone have the ability to legally ship direct to your home at this point in time. This is where finding the right wine club can fit in. Most wine bars these days have wine clubs that you can join, so if you enjoy the wines at that wine bar, then maybe joining their club is a great idea! They usually host pick-up parties and don’t ship, so it’s a great way to meet other wine enthusiasts and taste the wines when you pick up.

There are some clubs on the larger scale that you can join who do ship direct, so it’s a matter of doing your research and finding the right fit. Some focus on wines that are high scoring by magazines like Wine Spectator. I’m here to tell you, scores do not matter when it comes to buying wine, but if that’s important to you then you’ll know what kind of club works for you. Typically wines that are high scoring can be easily found in a wine shop, but maybe you don’t have time to go shopping, so that’s another perk to a wine club.

There’s a slew of online wine clubs popping up all over the interwebs and mostly through Facebook. Many hook you through a deal of 3 wines for $5 each, or you take a quiz and it matches you with wines. I haven’t signed up for any of these, however after some brief research, I found a lot of the same wines being offered in the different clubs. Absolutely nothing wrong with these, but not who I’d put my trust in to do my wine shopping (especially if they give me a quiz to take). Some are also set up like a pyramid business – you can join and make money by selling wine to people. Could be fun if you would like some cash on the side, but my question though is how savvy are some of those that join and sell? Anyone can sign up if they’re 21 and over.

Wine Expressions will soon have a wine club that will be fun and educational, how I think it should be! Each wine will be hand selected by yours truly and come with information about the wine & winery. I started Wine Expressions to connect with people interested in learning about wine (and healthy cooking) in a casual way. Adding a wine club element will just tie it all together. Now this isn’t a push to get you to join my club, but if you are someone who can put your trust in me, a multi-certified wine professional who’s spent her entire career in the industry, then I might be a good fit for you. It is for someone who is up for a wine adventure and wants to learn more. Wine Expressions focusses on wines with integrity, wines that come from families and not companies. Wines that are farmed naturally and sometimes biodynamically. Wines that you can drink and not feel awful in the morning (check my other blog about wine hangovers). Lastly, wines that are a tremendous value and that will pair beautifully with food, not overpower it.



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