Last updated: February 1, 2015
Most wine drinkers are content to open a quality bottle of wine to enhance their meal. These food-friendly wines are usually Chardonnays, Cabernets, and Pinot Noirs. Once you’ve tasted these varietals many times over, you may be in the mood for a little more adventure.
We’ve selected this list of Most Interesting wine clubs to tantalize your palate, and to surprise your inner wine geek. Discover wines from remote and little-known wine regions, organic and biodynamic wineries, and experiments from well-known vintners. Maybe you’ll come across a Gruner Veltiner, a Picpoul Blanc, or even an Alicante.
Overview: A true one-of-a-kind wine subscription chock-full of delightfully unexpected wines and a serious desire to connect wine drinking with art and culture.
What We Love: For the oenophile, no such experience exists but the Le Metro wine subscription. Every step of opening the box and drinking the wine was delight.
Could Be Better: Nada.
Overview: Entry-level tournament where you compare two wines head-to-head. Best when shared with friends as you open two full-size bottles at one time.
What We Love: The most in-depth wine education experience in any wine club. Someone even gets to play the sommelier! (Feels kind of like being the banker in Monopoly.)
Could Be Better: The "game" experience could be structured to support various levels of interest, in case you're tired and you mostly just want to enjoy the wines and the experience of comparing them.
Overview: Highlighting California wineries making very small amounts of wine, this wine club sends you wine from the hardest-to-access, artisinal wineries.
What We Love: We look forward to discovering new wineries from all over California. We know we're getting very good wine at below-retail prices and helping small family businesses grow.
Could Be Better: Like other Gold Medal Wine Club series, we'd really like to see more information about the winemaking and viticulture in the educational materials.
Overview: A personalized wine program powered that gets to know your palate by starting your subscription with a tasting kit—real wine tasting in your living room. A significant step up from anonymous case clubs.
What We Love: Lot18 delivers on value, but at a higher level than other case clubs you might be considering. These selections are tailored to your preferences and they send exclusive wines you won't find anywhere else. Online account management is a big plus.
Could Be Better: We've had some complaints about quality. This is probably more a factor of their high-end marketing push which makes buyers think these are exceptional wines, when really, they're just good wines. We also receive complaints regarding their customer service being hard to reach and membership being difficult to cancel. This is reflected in the Customer Service rating we give them.
Overview: Custom wine club where you choose everything. These higher-end wines deliver amazing QPR due to clever buying strategies.
What We Love: No other wine club has ever, and probably will ever, deliver this level of customization. You want it? You got it. It's perfect for any oenophile.
Could Be Better: We'd love to see a ton more pre-made "personality profiles" to make sign-up at any price a breeze. Also, the ability to buy a case at a time would be fabulous.
We've hand-selected these wine clubs for you because: They exceed our expectations as compared to similar wine clubs; They offer better value or a better selection of wines than similar wine of the month clubs; Our readers prefer these to similar clubs.
The best red wine clubs are a mix of two things: the best wine clubs overall, and getting the most value on red wine (which can be expensive for the good stuff). We sifted through our independent wine club reviews to figure out which wine clubs are really the best red wine clubs. These red wine clubs are sure to delight.
Not surprisingly, there are a number of amazing values in white wine clubs. Since white wine is often cheaper than read for similar quality, we went even further with our best white wine clubs list, looking for the clubs that offer you interesting whites, not just good whites. Use our reviews to further refine your selection.
When it comes to California wine clubs, we've reviewed the most. And probably tasted the most, too. We live in California and frequently go wine tasting at the wineries. We know which producers deliver tremendous value, and then we use this information when we review all wine clubs featuring California wines.
A monthly wine club makes for a wonderful gift, for any type of wine lover. If your recipient drinks occasionally, or is someone you don’t know really well, you’ll find this selection of best wine club gift reviews a perfect place to shop.
When considering the best international wine clubs, we decided it was critical to look at how the wines are selected. Are these bulk wines being unloaded by international producers to an unsuspecting American audience? Gasp! The horror! Trust that these clubs will deliver delight, and not leftovers.