Local and Online Wine Clubs to Try
Clubw.com Need wine?
Thinking of starting 2013 with a wine club membership for yourself or as a gift for a fellow wine lover? Afraid of commitment? Looking for special access to members only wines? Discounts? Today, we compare some online and local options, all of which have free membership.
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Page Spring Cellars
Page Spring Cellars offers three levels of membership: Friends, Family and Cellar Door. They also have an "inner circle" membership, but that's by invitation only. (Sad face.) According to their website the Friends level membership is full at this time. All membership levels are free to join but require a one year commitment. Membership includes discounts on all wine purchases, free tastings in the tasting room, access to special wines before release and members only wines, exclusive invitations to special events, pre-sale and reduces price tickets for their annual Harvest Festival. Page Springs ships to 24 states, but currently membership is currently only open to Arizona residents, which is a little strange but does make one feel a little special.
The Family Club level offers 15% discount on regular Page Springs wine purchases and your quarterly wine shipment will not to exceed $110-$125 (prior to tax & shipping). You get 18 bottles of wine per year in quarterly shares of bottles chosen by a winemaker. It is also possible to pick up your quarterly share in Cornville; the schedule for distributions is February, May, September and December.
Right now Page Springs Cellars has a website special: Sign up as an Arizona Shipping Member online and receive free shipping on your Wine Club Releases through the end of 2012! You must live in AZ and select "shipping" as your delivery method to qualify. They also have a $20 credit if you sign up before December 31, 2012.
Overall grade: B+
We like the prices, generous discount and local support, however it can also be frustrating not to know exactly what you're getting each quarter.
Club W claims not to be a "club" but offers 3 bottles of small production wine from around the world, each month, for $39 per month. If you buy 6 bottles or you're your shipping is free. Sound like a good deal? It is, however you only get to choose from 12 bottles of wine each month.
Wines are chosen by 6 "curators," like Brian Smith who is listed ad "Sommelier, Winemaker, Ex-Pro Snowboarder" who "usually wakes up to Brooklyn." As long as they have inventory you can order more of your favorites from a previous month. Club W is a mostly online experience, you can connect your account to Facebook if ya like to share and they have Pinterest contests etc. You can take a pallet profile quiz before you join to view recommendations and you're charged each month. There's really no commitment and you can skip months if you choose that option before that month ships, of course.
Overall grade: B-
We like the flexibility, and the opportunity to try something new, however it seems Club W is trying a bit hard to be hip and it would be nice to mix in some better known labels.