On Wine Clubs

On our last visit to California for wine, I noticed all the wine clubs offered by wineries. In general, a wine club involves a commitment for a year or two to purchase the wine the winery sends to its members. Different clubs have different options involving the number of bottles per shipment and the number of shipments her year. Two common choices are receiving three bottles four time per year, or six bottles twice a year.

We were at a very, respected winery when the math hit me between the eyes. The club price was about $190 for six bottles. In the previous shipment, two of the bottles retail at $70 each – thus the remaining four bottles total about $50. However, as I looked around the tasting room, the cheapest bottle for sale was $18 – bingo … the math is obvious – yet a win-win situation for the winery and the member.

Two years later, I still have not joined a wine club. Last year I put it off because we were trying to sell our house. Since we are still here (and off the market), it is time to select a winery’s club … and last week I received 6 zinfandels from Peachy Canyon, a winery in the Paso Robles (Central Coast) area.