If you read many of my wine posts, you know that I absolutely love The California Wine Club. The International Series is the third different club of theirs that I have now tried and it came with the same level of quality that I have come to expect from my experiences with their other clubs.
The California Wine Club Basics
Much of the shipment from The California Wine Club International Series is just like the other clubs I have reviewed from them. They select handcrafted wines from artisan wineries that they personally visit and review. The wines that are chosen are not over-inventory or white labels of other brands. Each shipment comes with the Uncorked newsletter, which is a nice combination of wine facts, history, and trivia.
You are given various wine club perks such as gifts with purchase, reduced price on bottle reorders, and wine bucks to use on future purchases. You can also choose how many bottles you want to send, how often you want them sent, and whether you will pay the full price of the club up front to send as a gift or pay monthly ongoing if you are ordering for yourself.
What's Different About This Club?
Rather than focusing on wines from one area of the United States or a particular varietal, this club features wines from all over the world. In fact, I looked at the last 5 months' worths of shipments and they included France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and South Africa. Each shipment will include wines from one winery in one country. You can choose to have 1 bottle of red and 1 bottle of white or 2 bottles of red, which will be the same. Wine varietals will vary greatly given that most of them are specialty wines from the country of origin.
My shipment came with a bottle of red and a bottle of white, both from Chateau Pontet Reynaud in the Bordeaux Region of France. The 2011 Grand Vin de Bordeaux Red Wine had a retail price of $42 and the 2012 Grand Vin de Bordeaux White Wine had a retail price of $34. In addition to the tasting notes, a recipe for Tartine was included on the website.
I also received a packet of recipes called “Celebrate Together,” which was a celebration of The California Wine Club's 25th Anniversary. This is a great example of the type of “extras” that they include in your shipment and vary from month to month. I find that they add a lot to the club experience because they help me learn more about wine and better enjoy the wines that I am receiving.
Also, because I received this club as a gift from The California Wine Club, my box included a gift note. You can include these in any gift that you send for free. You can also print out a certificate or have one emailed to someone if you are sending the club as a gift last-minute or to someone who lives far away.
Watch the Video
If all of that description was not enough to make you want to try out The California Wine Club International Series, check out my video below. You'll see everything as it came in the box as well as learn more about how the club works and why I love it.