we love wine, and we absolutely love the feeling of going to pickup a parcel at the front door and sign( or here in San Francisco, at the HOA desk ) But it's absolutely frustrating how varying the business models are on all of the different wine clubs? Who's hipster 'branding" on cheap juice? Who's higher end demanding prices on more big block vineyards? Who's owned by a bigger wine site/magazine/conglomerate? These are questions that aren't quite apparent, and there seems to be a bunch of hubbub and no one really has a straight answer either from friends who've tried, sites talking about them, or the actual wine clubs themselves! Everyone's great, cheap, super cool, super rare, super organic, etc. It really showcases the intrinsic "gunshot to the foot" problem of wine, its commandeered, and obfuscated by adjectives.
Here's our Tldr of some of the more known wine clubs. We're sure almost all of the owners/companies and people involved would be amazing to share a magnum with and chat about grapes, so if we list a pro and/or con, just know that we love you as wine family regardless, and certainly respect the work that goes into something like delivering glass bottles full of liquid to consumers and convincing said folk why they should pay a price above and beyond pocket change.
Great value, very smart team. They're taking bulk wine that's cheap, blending it in a way that ensures it's great in flavor, adding their hip label, and selling to you at a very fair price. Doing hipster things too as far as a wine club goes with wines that are petulant natural. Get this for you and roomates in the house, to try hip new varietals or takes on wine like a grenache blanc or garnacha from spain etc. Just cool grapes with cool labels at a price point that is very drinkable. These are good just to stock your damn fridge for that occasional friend visit who likes a rose or white even if you don't and they'll like the wine and look of it! Younger crowd for sure or to lack the ageism, for the hip types. Yet even while hip it doesn't taste like trash in a hip outfit. Great job WINC!
VERY cool packaging. Very over the top name. Makes you envision that confetti will blast out of the box when you let out the cardboard flappers. These guys are a bit all over the place to be honest. It's certainly good wine
Plonk Wine Club
This is certainly the "FUN" club in that it's ecclectic, worldly and not so bougie regions with not so bougey grapes, yet good. This is for someone who likes reading wine folly or the wine encyclopedia for fun. Learning random new notes, varietals, pairings by drinking. Probably won't get your tried and true favorites you want over and over but the education and new trying you certainly will, which is worth getting over and over.
Gold Medal Wine Club
Great old school solid drinking wines. I'd order this to go with mom's spaghetti. It's a Gold Medal which Amex apparently thinks is third best(platinum black cards). All kidding aside this is legendary and his been around for years and is a solid choice if you want time and true wines.
California Wine Club
Although it's expanded to international and beyond, their ties to California are strong so expect great deals and even hard to get california wines in this club, as well as calglomerate wine, yes we meant that.
Winecoon, hey it's us!
The anti wine club. We do just about what we want as long as the lights stay on. We actually use computer science and these things called scrapers, apis, and algorithms to actually sort of deduce a high probability of wines you'll actually really like. Also, we're not into ranges in club prices because, when you want good, you just want good. Not feeling like crap when you got the 50 club and it was plonk and you shoulda gone for the 75 dollar club. We charge you by that particular bottle and as long as you fill up 2-3 minimum, we ship it to you. Also we don't have highly painted boxes and pamphlets to get you to like us. We want you to like the wine(and maybe us too).
We hope you give us and all our wine friends above and beyond a try.
- Winecoon, Drink Good Wine.