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Should You Join More Than One Wine Club?

too-much-wineThe other day we received an email from someone asking the questions “Should You Join More Than One Wine Club?” and it was such a good question that I decided to create a whole post about it.

If you look around our site, you will see that there are many wine clubs to choose from, and we have only scratched the surface of trying all of the thousands that are available. Some of the clubs we are given to try for free and some we buy ourselves just because we really love them. To figure out whether it is worth it to join more than one club (or to give a wine club gift to someone already in another club), you need to consider quantity, cost, and variety.

How Much Wine Do You Drink?

Despite all of the wine clubs that I get for free to try, I still pay for at least a couple of wine club memberships at any given time. Is it because I drink a tremendous amount of wine? Not at all. In fact, my husband and I only average about 1-2 bottles a week when we aren't entertaining. Throw in the holidays, Bunco group, pool parties, and my in-laws visiting and we might drink as many as 10 bottles in a month. Most months? More like 4-6.

So in a normal month I am usually receiving 2-4 bottles to try free, paying for 4 bottles from the clubs I am in, and buying 2-4 bottles at the grocery or liquor store. Some months that will barely be enough and other months I will add to my little wine storage area in the basement. I like to keep at least 12 bottles on hand at a time (6 red, 6 white). So being a member of multiple clubs works out nicely for me.

Is the Wine Worth the Money?

Monthly wine clubs can range in price from as low as about $20 to as high as hundreds of dollars. There are so many factors involved in the pricing. But as a general rule, you won't find wine less than $10-15 a bottle. If you always buy wine that is less than $10 a bottle, multiple wine clubs will not be a good deal for you no matter what.

However, if you buy wine that is in the $10-20 a bottle range or higher, you might find that buying through wine clubs is actually cheaper than you can buy anywhere else. Some of them cut out the middle men (like Club W) and some of them allow you to buy extra wine at member prices (like The California Wine Club). If you are consuming at least 4 bottles a month in this price range, wine clubs may prove to save you money.

In addition, many of the clubs run introductory offers (like WSJ Wine Club) where you do actually get the wine for less than $7 a bottle. I wouldn't suggest joining and canceling club after club after club. But those might be a good place to start to see if a club makes sense for you from a quantity standpoint.

What Do You Get Different from Each Club?

I love trying different clubs because they all have different perks that distinguish them. Cooper's Hawk is the local wine club that my husband and I belong to. The social perks are great. We get monthly tastings, 2 bottles a month, wine dinners, and discounts. You'll find us there at least once every single month. However, now that we have tried all of their wines (multiple times), we find ourselves just drinking the same things over and over. Because they only introduce one new bottle a month, we aren't really trying new wines very often.

On the flip side, the online wine clubs that I have joined do not have any of the social perks, but I am getting to try a huge variety of wines from all over the world. I discovered wines from Oregon and Washington when I tried The California Wine Club Pacific Northwest Series. Tasting Room allows you to sample wines and tell them what you like before you even order and then you receive bottles you would have never found in the store.

Different clubs offer everything from recipes to wine education to bottle openers to seasoning salt. Some are part of their introductory kits and others you get for staying a member over time. We try to point out all of those perks whenever we do our full reviews but the clubs tend to switch them up a lot as well.

Are You Persuaded?

The only drawbacks I can see to joining multiple clubs would be 1) if you drink less than 4 bottles total a month, and 2) if you only buy wine that is under $7 a bottle. If you meet either of those, stick with one wine club. If you don't, I would encourage you to seek out clubs that offer completely different things. Join one that ships what they want each month and one that is personalized to your palate (like Tasting Room or Club W). Join one online and one local. You will be amazed at the differences in the clubs and what you take away from each!

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