8 Dos and Don’ts When Joining a Wine Club
There are many benefits to joining a wine club from a specific winery or vineyard:
· You have access to the winery’s limited releases and wines not available in stores
· You can customize your shipments
· You typically receive discounts on orders and shipping
· You usually receive complimentary tastings when you visit
· You can attend member-only events
· It’s very convenient to have wine delivered to you
We have belonged to several wine clubs offered by wineries, including Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, Failla Wines in Napa, and Alexana Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Make sure you really like that winery’s wine. Sometimes a wine enjoyed once at a tasting – especially after a day of winery visits – is not as wonderful as you first thought.
Inquire about the terms and conditions before joining. The terms and conditions of a wine club can vary significantly and affect the overall cost. Some, but not all, wine clubs are free to join. There is usually a minimum purchase or number of shipments before you can resign from a winery’s wine club. Ask about shipping fees, discounts, and benefits.
Consider how far the winery is from you. Some wineries offer barrel tastings, “name our new wine” parties and special events, such as sailing trips or tickets to baseball games to their wine members. If these perks interest you, but you live too far away to enjoy them, you may end up disappointed when you receive those invitations. We dropped at least one winery’s wine club membership for this reason.
Assess the cost. Joining a wine club provides you with great discounts, but it may be more wine than you would have otherwise purchased from that winery.
Feel pressured to join at the spur of the moment. You can always sign up later. I’d be leery of any winery that tries to hard sell its wine club.
Overdo the quantity. It’s great to have a well-stocked cellar with wines from some of your favorite wineries, but it can be overwhelming to receive and store all that wine. Make sure that you have the capacity, since you know that it will be replenished regularly. If not, you may want to cut back on the number of winery wine clubs, the number of shipments per year, or the number of bottles per shipment. For more information on storage, check out our post about organizing a wine closet.
Have the wine delivered to your home if you can avoid it. Wine shipments cannot be left on a porch; an adult must sign for the delivery. While most wine clubs are very good about telling you when you should expect a shipment, that still means someone needs to wait for it. This can be very frustrating – it’s like waiting for a repairman. You’ll have more flexibility if you can have the shipments delivered to your place of work or somewhere else where you know an adult will be available.
Feel qualms about ending a winery’s wine club membership. We’ve dropped several wine clubs so we can try new ones. You can still order wine from those wineries on an ad hoc basis. You’ll probably get emails from the winery alerting you to special promotions. We do, and sometimes place an order.
We hope these tips provided some insights for the next time you’re considering joining a wine club. Have any other advice or questions about joining a wine club? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always feel free to reach out to us with any feedback.
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8 Dos and Don’ts When Using a Membership Wine Pass