Sure, it’s easy joining a wine club when you are visiting a winery. After all, you get to taste the wines and chat with your server who tells you everything you need to know about the club and its benefits.
It is possible, however, to become a member of a fantastic wine club from the privacy of your own home or office (hey, you’re just taking a small break from the hum-drum of work, right?). In fact, in some ways you might be better off joining online. You have as much time as you want to decide if a club is really something you want to be a part of.
So, how do you know you’re joining the right club for you online? Here are some tips to follow:
- Choose a winery that has little or no distribution outside of their tasting room and online store. These wineries usually produce wine in smaller batches and, sometimes, release certain wines to wine club members only.
- If you have heard good things about a winery but have not actually tasted the wines, order a bottle of a type of wine you enjoy. Chances are, if you like it, you’ll enjoy other wines the winery produces.
- Once you’ve chosen a winery you are interested in, view the rest of the wine list. These wines will more than likely show up in a wine club shipment or two. If you tend to stick to the basics and only like to drink certain types of wine, make sure they are listed. If you are adventuresome, look for wines you’ve never tried, or even heard of. And remember, the fun part of a wine club is trying wines that you normally would not purchase on your own. You just might discover you actually do like rose wines!
- Check out the wine club member perks. Often, members receive free wine tasting at the winery and special discounts on wine and merchandise.
- Check the fine print, i.e. the shipment schedule and payment information. Often, wine clubs require a credit card number that they charge on a scheduled basis, i.e. the first of every month. Be sure the payment schedule will work for you. Also pay attention to how often you’ll receive wine. It could be once a year, twice a year, four times a year, every other month or every single month. Take into consideration how much wine you drink regularly. A good shipment schedule for your needs could have you never going to the store to shop for wine again!
- Read the shipping and cancellation policies. Most wineries, by law, require an adult signature at the time of delivery since the wine club packages contain alcohol. Many people have wine club packages shipped to their place of business. If it’s okay with the boss, this is probably the best way to go. Have a clear understanding of the cancellation policy regarding your wine club so as to avoid problems if you choose to cancel your membership.
- When in doubt, call the winery. Any good business will thoroughly explain the club to you and answer all of your questions.