Joining an Online Wine Club
There's a lot of appeal to joining a wine club: the wine comes to you, you always have something new to drink, and you always have a store of wine to bring if you're going to a dinner party.
A lot of online wine clubs have introductory offers that are appealing. $100 for 12 bottles or 30% off.. or whatever. So I decided to give a few of these a go.
Keep in mind, when I say a wine is "bad" I mean it was watery or just didn't have anything unique about it. Ok- let's go...
Intro offer: 15 bottles for $69.99
The quality of wine was the best in this club over the rest. I'd say 60% of the bottles we're just bleh, but the other 40% were enjoyable. Unfortunately, this wine club seems very commercial and doesn't have much character. Regardless, this is the best bang for your buck. I believe they charge you $20 for shipping.
Intro Offer: 12 wines for $89
In this club, they'll assign you to a wine sommelier that can help pick out wines that match your preference. Unfortunately, I found a lot of their wines very young. If I wanted to find a good bottle, I would have to pay a lot more than if I just went to a wine shop. But I have to hand it to them, the customer service is on point. When I said I cancelled and indicated that I disliked my bottles, they refunded my account and set me up with a sommelier to pick out other wines. Unfortunately, I didn't like those bottles either.
Intro Offer: $20 off your first order & complimentary shipping on 4+ bottles
This company has fantastic marketing. When you first sign up, you get a cute questionnaire that you fill out to narrow your wine preference. The only problem is that I don't think it works very well because I disliked each and every wine bottle they sent me.
In the end, I'm pretty annoyed I spent that much money as I could have easily sourced better wine on my own... Of all the wine clubs, Vinesse had the best customer service and Wall Street Journal had the best wine. All these clubs have a customer satisfaction policy, but in my experience, it's exhausting to call customer service- I would rather pick out a bottle of wine at the store that I KNOW I like.
Another thing to keep in mind is I tried the cheapest option these clubs had. Wine and price are a tricky subject. When I calculated it out, each bottle from these wine clubs were on average ~$10/bottle. Personally, I can find a better bottle on my own at that price.
Would I try any more online wine clubs? No, although I've heard good things about Naked Wines. I've just sunk too much money into bad wine. I'm burnt out. Maybe I would try to join an actual winery's club (which tend to be pricey) or try out a local wine club (hoping the quality is better). Otherwise it'll be trips to local wine shops for me.