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Dec 19

Low-Key, Easy Wine Clubs

by Michelle

In the last few years, I’ve tried all sorts of wine clubs, ranging from winery specific to the New York Times. Those wine clubs send cases – some monthly, some quarterly. Either way, it’s a lot of wine at once. Our house was once overrun with all the wine.

Once I moved to San Francisco, I realized I needed to restock. All my wine was left at home. I did a few BevMo runs (buy one, get one for 5 cents), but that only does so much. Then I discovered a couple of wine clubs.

The one I ultimately joined, Club W, was picked because they’re local and have a nice attitude – very fun. I get three wines per month and I pay $39.00, including delivery. The Club W site is friendly and easy, with videos and wine reviews. I can just let them send me their “selected” 3 bottles for the month or I can go in and modify the order. Occasionally, my modifications up the price by about $2, but it’s no big deal. I was traveling a bit earlier this year and I put Club W on hold for a few months. It was a 1-button option and no questions or charges for the suspension.

Today I ran across another option, similar to Club W, called Wine Awesomeness (WA).  WA takes it one step further than Club W by tossing in some extras with your order. Each month, you’ll get three wines – reds, whites, or a combination based on your preferences. The cost is the same – around $40/month. WA also includes recipe and music pairing suggestions. Once again, you can modify your order and skip a month whenever you like. I’m considering putting Club W on hold for a few months and trying WA, just to see which I prefer.

Both wine clubs offer selections from unique and small wineries from all over the world, so you’re really getting your hands on something unusual.

I have a small apartment and not a lot of space. It’s somehow easier for me to deal with 3 bottles per month than a case at a time. Plus I really enjoy the “fun” that these wine clubs are adding to the field. They make sure their wines are approachable and understandable.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 1:17 pm in Wine Clubs | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 24

Cline Cellars Tasting @ Dilly Cafe

This Thursday is a tasting at the Dilly Cafe that I think you all should attend. Why? It’s a great chance to meet a great name in wine. Here’s the info from the Dilly Facebook Event page:

Short notice but too good of an opportunity to pass up! Meet Cline Winery owner Charlie Cline and taste a wide range of the outstanding value Cline wines from Sonoma County and California. Hopefully we’ll be out on the patio, with a pleasant evening, delicious wines, and tasty snacks from the kitchen. Just $20 per person.

Cline Label

I was first introduced to Cline back in 1998 or so, when I was looking to my boss at the time to guide me a bit in my wine knowledge. I was working for a startup back then and our first Christmas party was pretty much a huge, yet throw-it-together, deal. My boss went out and bought several cases of wine. Amongst the bottles were several different labels of Cline. I mentally filed this information away and several years later, on my first trip to Napa and Sonoma, I insisted we visit Cline.

Cline vineyards, Sonoma 2004

For a couple of years, we were members of the Cline wine club, until state distribution laws kept them from shipping to us without considerable expense. Thanks to that time in the wine club, we still have many bottles of Cline around the house. I used to be a big fan of Cline’s Red Truck – there’s even a photo of me with the original red truck – but I believe that line was sold and has gone through several changes. I haven’t tried it in recent years, but it now comes in a barrel, not a bottle. Cline’s Small Berry Mourvèdre has always been one of my favorite wines, and their spin-off winery, Jacuzzi, also has some great bottles.

Michelle in the Red Truck, Sonoma 2005

Cline is big enough that it is available everywhere, in varying price ranges. But they’re also small enough that when you visit the winery, you feel like everyone there is a welcoming family.

Take this opportunity to meet Charlie Cline and enjoy delicious noshes from the Dilly Cafe. For reservations, call 513-561-5233.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 12:58 pm in Special Events, Tastings, Wine Clubs, Wine Events, Wineries | Permalink | Comments (2)
Jan 21

Wine Clubs

When Kevin & I were in California, we joined the Gundlach-Bundschu winery wine club.  Gun-Bun, as its called, is a lot of fun, and we really like their wines.  Gun-Bun sends us mostly reds.

When we were in CA, we also visited (among others) the Cline Vineyard.  However, it took until New Year’s Day for me to get around to faxing in our membership form.  Our first shipment of Cline Wine is due today.  I don’t know if we’ll get two reds or a red and white.  Should be fun though.  Cline is quite yummy and are the makers of my favorite all-around, low-cost, give-to-people wine: Red Truck.
All the wine clubs subscribe to different rules about shipping.  For instance, Gloria Ferrer can’t ship to Ky or Ohio, but others can. I really don’t get it.  We asked at each winery we visited and they each had different answers.

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Posted by Michelle at 3:32 pm in Wine Clubs, Wineries | Permalink | Comments ()

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