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Is American Cellars Wine Club a Scam?

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American Cellars Wine ClubWe’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about American Cellars Wine Club and whether it is a scam. We have now reviewed the actual club plus have done some research on the negative reviews we found online. What have we found? Keep reading and we will share all of our research with you.

What is American Cellars Wine Club?

American Cellars Wine Club is the flagship wine club of the brand Vinesse. They have participated in a number of rewards and points clubs (like the Delta Frequent Flier program or the American Airlines program), so their name is fairly well-known across many shoppers. They offer both wine clubs as well as sales of wine by the bottle. Their website says that they are “one of the largest and most respected wine clubs in the country.” The American Cellars Wine Club is one of many clubs offered by Vinesse and is their most affordable club.

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Our Experience with American Cellars Wine Club

American Cellars Wine Club

We were sent a shipment of the wine club to try for ourselves and also tried a number of the other clubs that Vinesse offers. We didn’t experience any problems with billing, shipping, etc. In fact, we found it was quite easy to get in touch with people at Vinesse about their clubs. As for the wine itself, the wine in the American Cellars Wine Club breaks down to about $7 per bottle and they market the bottles as being a retail of between $10 and $15. If you want a higher quality of wine, you should try one of their other higher-end clubs such as their Pinot Noir Wine Club.

I received a nice assortment of different wines in my shipment including:

  • 2013 Old School Lane Cellars California Chardonnay
  • 2013 Gracenote Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • 2014 Vendaval Mendoza, Argentina Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2013 Alerys Utiel-Requena, Spain Bobal Rose
  • 2013 Scoperta Puglia, Italy Aglianico di Puglia

Each bottle came with about a half page of tasting notes that includes the background of the wine, the grape composition, how the wine was aged, when you should drink it, and food pairing suggestions. Scores for their tasting panel ranged from 89 to 92 points.

What Do Shoppers Say about American Cellars Wine Club?

As for the quality of the wine, we have found mixed reviews, but that is often the case when it comes to wine. What one person loves another person will hate. What’s more important is whether you personally enjoy the wine. You will only know that if you make a purchase yourself.

As for their business practices, we found 14 complaints on Ripoffreport.com over the course of over 3 years. Most of them revolve around credit card charges for allegedly unauthorized purchases, cancellations that were not processed,  and irregular shipping fees/schedules. This is often the case when people are making purchases through points programs just to get points. They don’t read the fine print to understand the actual terms of the offer and then get angry when they are shipped more than they expected.

The Better Business Bureau in Santa Barbara gives them a B+. Their score was lowered because of “Advertising/Sales Issues” and “Problems with Product/Service”. The BBB didn’t lower their score considerably given those claims, so they must consider it to be an acceptable number of claims based on the volume of sales and the way that American Cellars Wine Club resolved the claims. How a company resolves claims plays a HUGE part in whether we would recommend them.

We reached out to them for contact information in the event that any of our readers have any problems. For help with memberships and orders, members have had success calling their toll-free customer service at 800-823-5527 from 6 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time, Monday – Friday or via email, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by emailing service@vinesse.com.

Should You Buy From American Cellars Wine Club?

If you are ordering the club just to get the travel points or whatever rewards are being offered, set your expectations accordingly. Just be sure to read all of the fine print on the offer and watch your credit card carefully. The most complaints seem to come from people who purchased this way. I’m never an advocate of buying something to get points unless it was something that I would have bought anyway.

What if you are ordering it because you are truly looking for a great wine club?

We’ve had great success with their Light and Sweet Wine Club as well as their Sparkling Wine Club. Vinesse offers types of clubs that you will not find anywhere else. Our experience with them for those two clubs has been very positive. In addition, all of our communications with the company have been great.

If you are interested in a wine club for yourself or a as a gift, we invite you to take a look at our Top Red Wine Clubs, Top White Wine Clubs, and Top Mixed Wine Clubs. Most of our reviews include information such as shipping costs, how easy it was to cancel, the quality of the wine, and how the club compares to other clubs.

Have you had any experience with American Cellars Wine Club?

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Although Tricia enjoys both red and white wine, she doesn't like anything too heavy or too sweet. Far from a wine snob, she's willing to try just about anything once (including wine in a bag, box, or can). One of her favorite days of them month is wine club delivery day and she is always looking for cute wine accessories.
  1. I signed up upon getting an email from Vinesse promoting that they were working with American Airlines and would give me 2000 miles after the first month and 3000 miles after the second month.

    The first shipment arrived as promised and I did receive the 2000 miles for the first month. However, they double charged my credit card. When I called them to report this, they said I must have hit submit twice by accident when I signed up for the club. Maybe, but the only problem with this theory is that they only sent me one shipment of wine, not 2 shipments like they say I accidentally signed up for.

    It seemed like they just double charged me hoping I wasn’t checking my credit card statement and hoping I wouldn’t notice.

    They did refund the money for the double charge. Then I received the second month’s shipment. The shipping charge was very high so I decided to cancel my membership since it wasn’t worth paying $130 a month for 6 bottles of mediocre wine.

    They never gave me the 3000 bonus miles for the second month’s shipment of wine even though I received and paid for the wine. I have called several times and even though the representatives were polite and said they would look into it, they refused to give me the 3000 miles as promised for the second month.

    Finally, AA decided to reimburse me the miles from their end since they felt bad that a company they were affiliated with had cheated me.

    Do not order anything from this company as they will try to scam you, not reward you as promised, and send you overpriced and mediocre wine.

  2. I have had a great experience with American Cellars Wine Club. They have done what they said they were going to do. I have had 5 shipments of wine and enjoyed all but one bottle of wine.

  3. Hello, I recently move to Brasil and I would like to continuo purchasing my wine from you guys, what’s the possibilities of delivering here in Brazil?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Roger,

      We actually are not the wine club itself. We just review the clubs. You will need to contact them directly for subscription information.


  4. I have been a member on and off for many years due to moving in and out of the country. I have enjoyed every bottle received red or white. I have been disappointed at times when I could not get more of a particular bottle. Customer service is a pleasure. I would recommend this club for the novice as well as the more experienced wine connoisseur.

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