A few years ago, when I ran a company with a lot of customers, consultants and business colleagues spread out all around the country, my favorite gift to send during the holidays was wine.
My wonderful Grandmother worked for my company as the Office Manager, HR, book-keeper and more. Our offices were directly next to each other, and I absolutely loved working with her.
In particular, I loved the holidays with my Grandma in the office. There was something really special about the holiday season with my grandmother there.
When it came time to shop for the gifts to send to a couple dozen people, my Grandma and I would spend a lot of time together finding the right gift for each person.
Invariably, we defaulted to Gift Baskets with Wine.
We spent countless hours perusing websites and the Wine Country Gift Basket gift catalog. “Oh – the chocolate gift basket with red wine would be great for Jeff, and that cheese & cracker basket with the Chardonnay would be perfect for Suzanne.” We'd repeat this process for every person.
The thing is — these people really loved wine. They could care less about the chocolates, the crackers, the cheeses and the presentation within a basket. They wanted great wine.
I didn't know about Wine Clubs back then.
I didn't realize that for the same money as a nice wine gift basket, I could have shipped them top quality, premium wine — with a delivery of 2 bottles a month for 3 months.
When I thought of the term “Wine Club”, I assumed it was a monthly service that requires an unstoppable commitment of monthly fees.
But that's not how Wine Clubs always work.
Sure, you can “join” a club that delivers a couple bottles of wine month after month, or a full case of wine quarter after quarter, but I've found that many of them allow easy cancellation, at any time.
But you don't have to “join” anything. You can simply “buy” what you want from a wine club, and nothing more.
You can simply prepay for a set number of shipments, if it's a gift.
The most popular gift of 2 bottles of wine per month, for 3 monthly shipments is under $100. (And we're talking about premium wine here!)
Wine clubs focus on the wine, not the fluff.
Wine clubs deliver delicious, high quality wine – and just the wine. (Most come with wine tasting notes to accompany the wine in each shipment.)
For wine lovers, the wine is the key.
Who wants a pretty package if the wine quality suffers?
And think about it: The cost of all those cheeses, crackers and chocolates (plus the basket, the filler and the wrapping) all cost money. And, those baskets don't just “get pretty” by themselves; someone is paid good money to assemble and package those pretty gift baskets.
All of those products, fillers, packaging and labor costs money that could have been spent focusing on the wine.
That's why I love wine clubs when it comes to sending wine as a gift. They deliver awesome wine, and just the wine!
If I knew then what I know now.
I would never replace the time I spent with my grandma looking through wine gift basket catalogs for “just the right gift basket”. Those memories are precious to me.
But, if I knew then what I know now, my “shopping for wine baskets” time could have been cut to a fraction of the time, and my grandma and I could have spent it at lunches or taking walks, or just having coffee together.
Had I known that I could have purchased amazing, delicious wine as a gift through buying a 3 month wine club instead of a pretty one-time-only wine gift basket, then I would know that my gift would have delivered much higher quality wine, and the wine lovers who received the gift would have appreciated it.
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