Wine clubs are a great way to explore a variety of exceptional wines from around the world without having to leave home. However, it can be difficult to discern the best club to join with regard to wine quality, pricing, customer service, and delivery.
Here are five that have been extensively reviewed and rated by wine aficionados, directories, and rating systems.
1. Wall Street Journal Wine Club
Based on high-quality wines offered, exceptional customer service, and secure shipping, the directory found it appealing to a wide audience. At $5.84 per bottle, the WSJ Wine Club is one of the more reasonably priced clubs you can join.
2. Zagat Wine Club
In an effort to match WSJ, the Zagat Wine Club has also priced its wines at $5.84 per bottle, and received an excellent rating from the Wine Club Directory. This club has somewhat of a competitive advantage over other clubs in that its large social network of like-minded wine lovers list wine reviews and ratings on each bottle.
Of special note, Google owns the Zagat Travel group now and is most likely the source of ZWC’s mailing list. Thus, it may become more involved in interfacing Google+ and even YouTube’s social network functionality into what the club can offer its membership in the future.
3. Laithwaites Wine Club
The Wine Club’s Directory’s #1 Best Wine Club distinction in 2013 goes to Laithwaites Wine Club. The distinction was based not only on delicious wine picks, but also on Laithwaites’ efforts to educate its members.
With this club you’ll learn where the wine originated, what determines the growing season, and how the grapes were harvested. While matching both the WSJ and ZWC on pricing, Laithwaites also ensures a money-back guarantee if purchasers are not satisfied with their wine club selections.
4. The International Wine of the Month Club
Wine connoisseur Stacy Slinkard selects the International Wine of the Month Club offerings based on the “wine-themed transparency and undeniable pride in their top notch wine picks along with the variety of style and impressive array of regions and countries that this particular wine club offers its members.”
The pricing is broken into three tiers, ranging from $30 to $65 per month, depending on the member’s budget. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 100% satisfaction guarantee for club members, this is one wine club “that is willing to go the distance to make sure their members enjoy each and every sip, each and every month,” according to its promos.
5. Michael Mina Wine Club
Michael Mina and his long-time wine director and sommelier Rajat Parr have started their own high-end wine club called — what else? — the Michael Mina Wine Club. Since Mina owns 18 restaurants across the country, the idea is to offer bottles from the wine lists of Mina’s restaurants, and give members access to hard-to-find wines from small producers around the world.
Membership in the club includes four shipments of six bottles per year, spaced three months apart. The Hidden Gems level costs $120 per shipment (average bottle cost $20), while the Wines of Consequence (presumably pitched toward captains of industry and other deep-pocketed sorts) is $300 per shipment (average bottle cost $50).
Of course, if you’re deciding to join one of these premier wine clubs, you will also want to make sure you stock your wine cabinet with the latest in wine glass stemware and accessories.
From top-of-the-line sommelier glasses designed by Riedel to wine tasting kits, Wine-Reserve should be your top online resource for wine products manufactured by all the popular brands. When you create an account, the online store makes it very convenient to track your orders and save items to your wish list for that special occasion, or for the upcoming end-of-your holidays.
From wine clubs to table, Wine-Reserve is your perfect accompaniment.