February 2, 2106
Per Wikipedia, wine clubs ''are designed to provide customers with a series of wine bottles on a monthly or quarterly basis that they would otherwise have to find and purchase on their own.'' Winedabbler has no intentions whatsoever to join ANY wine club. In the wine stores nearby I can buy the wines I know I like, try wines I think I might like, see what's on sale, and buy it all in my price range. I do not want UPS, FedEx or the US Postal Service to get between me and my choice of beverages, and I don't like ANY ''club'' telling me what I should drink.
As best as I can tell there are basically three types of wine clubs:
The winery will send their club members new releases and other notable wines of their collection, sometimes before they are sold to stores.
If you like a specific winery a lot, then belonging to their club may be a good choice. I do know a number of friends that are members of such clubs.
Some mostly up-scale wine stores offer a club which promises to send you periodically some wines they think you will like based on some questionnaire you filled out.
Probably a choice for some if you know the store, you have been there, you trust the staff and management there, and you are too lazy to get your butt there and make your own selection
Most of these clubs give you no real physical address other than perhaps a PO box. They offer wines from several wineries. Some claim that they travel all over the world to find the ''hidden treasures'', the wineries nobody knows of. In my opinion most of these clubs go out and find cheap wines that normally would be used for blending, or that the wineries have not been able to sell. Some use wineries that specialize in private labeling and use their own fantasy labels, essentially to prevent you from finding out what the real value is. Typically you will not find these wines in the retail market, and probably for good reasons.
Some are right out scams - see The Great Groupon Wine Rip-Off (yes, Wine Insiders has a wine club).
I don't know anyone who is a member of such clubs, and I would advise anyone considering joining such a club to do some serious research (including BBB and Google) before making a commitment.
Come to think of it, there is a fourth more informal type of wine club - the Wine Drinkers' Club; small groups where members bring their own wines from their cellars (actually mostly coolers) and share them with each other.
I do belong to one of those - the Little Wine Table & Big Wine Table ''Club''.
Winedabbler has no intentions whatsoever to join ANY wine club. In the wine stores nearby I can buy the wines I know I like, try wines I think I might like, see what's on sale, and buy it all in my price range. I do not want UPS, FedEx or the US Postal Service to get between me and my choice of beverages, and I don't like ANY ''club'' telling me what I should drink.
Date: February 27, 2017
By: JoeM, Whitestone, NY
Posting: Wine Insiders wine club, and why more people don't drink wine.
Your excellently researched blog was spot on. I wish I had read it before I placed orders (yes, two!). The wines were indeed for the most dismal. A true racket... anyone is better off with a jug of Carlo Rossi!
Date: February 25, 2017
By: susan, yelm, wa
Posting: This article
Thanks for the warning. I was about to order my six bottles for $4.99 each. I knew it was too good to be true!
Date: February 23, 2017
By: Nancy, Bismarck, ND
Posting: Heartwood and Oak Wine Club
I was presented with an offer to purchase a case of "award winning" wines from this outfit for $60 as an introductory price. Out of 12 bottles, only 1 wine was drinkable and the rest tried hard to resemble vinegar but didn't succeed. When I complained, they sent two bottles to replace the 8 that are undrinkable and suggested that I not order duplicate wines in the future. That won't be a problem as I will never order wines from them again. This outfit is nothing more than a scam to clear out substandard and overpriced wines.