Ask the Wine Club Reviewers: March 2013
[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left]From time to time we receive questions from our Wine Club Monthly newsletter that are asked so frequently that we want to share the answers with all of our readers. Without giving away any personal details of those who asked the questions, here are a few from the last month.
How Do We Get the Wines that Review?
In all honesty, it depends on the wine varietal, the size of the wine club, how well we know the company, and a lot of other factors. Sometimes wine clubs will send us anywhere from 2 bottles to a full case for free just to do the review for them (and that's really awesome!). Sometimes we will order a club and pay for it ourselves because we can't get enough information to do a fair review of it any other way. And sometimes we order them just because we are interested in the club personally and would be ordering it even if we were not doing a review for it.
No matter how we get the wine (whether it comes to us for free or we pay for it ourselves), we do the exact same type of review including packaging, quality of the wine, value for the money, etc.
Aren't All Wine Clubs About the Same?
Definitely not! And the more that we review, the more differences that we find. Some wines focus purely on quality with small quantities. Other clubs focus on quantity and the quality can be mediocre (but usually never bad). Depending on where the club is purchased, the wine might all come from the same vineyard (like Windsor Vineyards Wine Club) versus from vineyards all over the world (like Gold Medal Wine Club).
There are also huge differences in how the wine is packaged. While it is always shipped securely, some of it is wrapped in pretty packaging with a gift card while others come almost warehouse-like. Obviously one would make a better gift than the other, but the other is perfect for personal use.
Do You Have a Favorite Wine Club?
This is such an incredibly hard question for many reasons. First of all, there are 3 of us who own the site, and we all have different tastes. So we would never come up with one club that we all like best. Also, because we use the wine clubs for different purposes, we each have multiple favorites ourselves. I might like one club for restocking my wine refrigerator, another one for gift giving, and a third one for special occasion wine.
If you are trying to find the perfect club based on our recommendations (and you can!), think about what YOU like or want first and list out attributes in order of importance–price, quantity, shipping times, gift card, etc. Then check out our top wine club reviews and see which is the best fit. You may end up with several favorite wine clubs as well!