Sommelier’s Choice: Selecting Superb Wine Club Services

Amateur sommeliers, rejoice! You likely already know about wine clubs. A crate of wine. At your doorstep. But what about the many options? Whether you’re planning a festive happy hour, an evening of elegant entertaining, or just stocking your wine rack for the occasional sip of notes of oak, chocolate, citrus, cherry or cassis, wine clubs both feel lavish and provide convenience. There were 6,941 wineries in the U.S. in 2010 alone, and that number continues to grow. With the seemingly infinite number of varietals available, wine clubs help you winnow your wine wishes. For gifting white wines, red wines, and the best natural wines from myriad vineyards, peruse the guide below to select the best club for you and yours.

Gifting. Wine is one of those great holiday gifts that is generally an all-around crowd-pleaser, a great host or hostess gift, and adds a celebratory air. It’s also like a sweater; you rarely have an idea as to what style and color to select. Gifting a wine club membership lets you give a sampler sure to please everyone, from Rosé All Day Dandies to Pinot Noir Nobility. The recipient can sip and sample and choose their own favorite. You may even help create a new wine enthusiast. Win-win.

Budget Beverages. Some wines can get pricey, which is fine for your private jet-setting friends, but excellent wine certainly doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Several wine clubs specialize in offering bottles that retail for around $15, including some of the best natural wines out there. How? Volume. Buyers for these clubs purchase significant quantities from large wineries and pass the savings along to you, democratizing wine club membership and wine exploration for many.

Curated Cuvée. Curated wine clubs cater to those who prefer to have their wines selected by master sommeliers. These clubs offer access to seasoned pros who will take your feedback on each shipment of their picks of great labels and the best natural wines, and apply their expertise to match your next delivery to your individual palate.

Ship It! Shipping wine, and returning it, may be subject to regulations in your area. Deliveries usually require someone aged 21 or over to sign for the wine. In addition, seasonal temperatures may affect shipments; some clubs will hold shipments in excessively warm or cold weather to protect your delivery. Shipping to your office address may be a good option. It’s always wise to check with the club for more information on delivery procedures. From there, get yourself a sturdy corkscrew, perhaps a cheese plate, and salut!

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