Last updated: April 1, 2016
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: Garagiste is a term which describes up-and-coming winemakers who toil away creating artisanal wines in their, well not usually, garages. If you're someone who wants to be up on the latest and greatest future stars of California winemaking, try the mostly red wine selection of Garagiste wines from the Gold Medal Wine Club.
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: Tired of ho-hum wines but not sure where to start? Try this wine club! The Plonk wine clubs have always been among our favorites because of the proprietor's preference for quirky but delectable wines made from grapes and regions you've never heard of (and some you have). Whether you choose two, four, or twelve bottles you'll be glad you picked Plonk. Also, if you're thinking of going red-only or white-only, you'll actually get (two or four) different selections.
What We Love: This is a truly unique wine club with a bonus bottle on sign-up and a focus on Natural Wine (organic/biodynamic) that travels the world hunting for your next wine deal.
Could Be Better: Nothing. We're pretty stoked about these guys.
Overview: This is a 12-bottle case wine club which gets to know your palate first through a sampler tasting kit and then through your wine ratings. The first couple of shipments tend to be mediocre fits, but if you keep rating your wines, they figure out exactly what you like. One of their best features is total control of your account online without having to contact customer service — change your shipment size, have your next shipment sent exactly when you want it, or even cancel online.
What We Love: Everything? No seriously, we love that they found a way to distinguish themselves from the other "personalized wine clubs" out there. We love the pricing, we love the delivery model, and we're pretty sure we're going to love the wines... since they're picked just for us.
Could Be Better: Make a gift option! We used to love to give the sampler + two bottle Tasting Room gift and would happily give this program instead.
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 red 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.
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.
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.