[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left]My review of the Zagat Wine Club felt a little like deja vu because my very first wine club review was the WSJ Wine Club. Both clubs being from Direct Wines, they are very similar. However, the gifts that you receive and the exact wines in the shipments are different, so it is worth taking a fresh look at the Zagat Wine Club. Zagat advertises that the wine will only cost you $5.84 a bottle when you place your first order. Is the Zagat Wine Club worth it?
The Zagat Wine Club Deal
When you order Zagat Wine Club, you get the first shipment for $69.99 plus shipping and handling ($19.99). Subsequent shipments will be at $139.99 plus the shipping and handling. Here's what you get in that introductory shipment:
As you can see, the club includes 12 bottles of wine (either all white, all red, or mixed white and red). 8 are different and 4 are duplicates. You also will receive a binder of tasting notes. The tasting notes are nice in that for every wine you will learn more about the varietal in general, the winery where it was made, and how the wine should be served.
Everything comes shipped in one big box, and it is very heavy. I had it delivered to my P.O. Box so that I would not have to wait around to sign for it. It's actually so heavy that I probably would not even try to carry further than from the front door to my dining room without removing some of the bottles. It's sturdy, though, so you do not have to worry about breakage.
The wines are not wines that you will find in your local grocery or liquor stores. Zagat keeps the price down by working directly with wineries that most people do not know about. Because of that, it's hard to figure out what the actual value of each bottle is. Essentially it is up to your own tastebuds. While the wine is certainly not high end, I would compare it to the wine I generally buy at the store that is around the $8 a bottle range.
The Free Gift With Purchase
[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_left]Each of the Direct Wines clubs comes with some kind of gift with purchase. I've seen these change and vary over time, but the current gift included with the Zagat Wine Club is a set of four wine glasses from master glassmaker Luigi Bormioli.
The wine glasses are actually tasting glasses like you would use in a winery. I priced them online and the set is worth between $20 and $30. Clearly this adds to the value of the overall shipment and these could actually be given as a gift themselves.
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Is The Zagat Wine Club Worth It?
So the big question is whether the wine club is worth the money. I don't think that Zagat is a great gift idea because it does not come with any type of special gift card options. Also, the heavy box would make it difficult for some people to receive. If you had it sent to yourself, however, you could easily turn it into a nice gift.
As for the quality, Zagat is not a high end club and it does not pretend to be. This box would be great to do a wine tasting night just to try new wines. It's also perfect for having bottles on hand to have with any dinner or general company. If you do find that you enjoy any of the wines in particular, you can reorder them from Zagat.
If you are relatively new to wine, Zagat would be great for you. You'll get to experience different wines from all over the world with the accompaniment of tasting notes to walk you through it. If you don't like a wine, you only lost $5.84. I've spent much more on wines I ended up turning into Sagria before! (a good tip if you stumble across a whole bottle you don't like) You can always cancel the club if the volume of wine is too much for you or you find that the wines are not what you expected. I've found the customer service at all of the Direct Wine clubs to be really great.
So watch the video below and see for yourself whether Zagat Wine Club is for you. If you've tried the club before, let me know what you thought!