“It’s the tiiiiiime, for the seeeeeaaason of… giveawaaaaaaaaaays….”
It does indeed seem to be the season of giveaway action here on 1WD, and this week we’ve got another one; I’m teaming up with ClubW.com to giveaway one month’s free subscription to their wine club (that’s three bottles, or about $50 worth)! We’ll also be announcing a discount code next week (so that those who play along and don’t win won’t have to wail and gnash their wine-stained teeth).
Living in the Communistwealth of Pennsylvania, I’m unable to indulge in activities that threaten the stability of the state, such as receiving a wine from a wine club. But make no mistake, I adore our enlightened Harrisburg dictators! Honest! Please, don’t bulldoze my home!
Anyway, ClubW.com happens to be one of the wine clubs that I wouldn’t at all mind checking out, given that their wine curators have picked some very interesting selections, all of which are $19 or under. The ClubW selections include capable, off-the-beaten-path producers like Colorado’s Infinite Monkey Theroem (remember them? I do, because they impressed me when I tasted their wares in CO last year), as well as other wine brands that I’ve been following for a little while now, like Tuscany’s Poggiotondo, and Yarra Valley’s Innocent Bystander (headed up by Giant Steps pioneer Phil Sexton). They also have wines I’ve liked from John Duval and Casas del Bosque (the latter of which really kicked ass in `07 with their Private Reserve blend).
One of the most interesting aspects of ClubW.com is that it offers you subsets of their selections based on a taste profile that you fill out before signing up for the service. So, in this giveaway, we’re going to explore, in practice, how it works…
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I was recently interviewed for an article that appeared on financial management website Mint.com’s Frugal Foodie blog, titled Will Joining a Wine Club Make or Break Your Budget.
The topic (obviously) was the potential financial implications of joining a wine club, and how to find the right club without getting fleeced. This was strange one for me; although (obviously) related to wine, the only experience I have with wine clubs is (enviously) assisting other people in selecting the best ones to fit their wine goals and budgets.
That’s because I live in the Communist-wealth of Pennsylvania, whose state-run monopoly of alcohol sales and distribution essentially make joining a wine club, for me, impossible (or, at best, economically infeasible).
My basic take is that it’s probably never been easier to find good deals on a wine club. Why? For one, there’s a great deal of competition, despite the strange archaic state of U.S. alcohol shipping laws – and there are even a good number of international wine clubs cropping up. The other factor possibly fueling high competition and good deals in the wine club space is that there’s still a glut of wine inventory that has built up due to the down global economy. My guess is that people can wheel-and-deal their way to some sweet buys with those wine clubs – at least until the market picks up.
One of the key differentiators (if not THE key) between wine clubs is customer service. Given the level of competition, if a wine club isn’t willing to customize for you then it’s probably not worth giving them your hard-earned cash.
Many of you out there will have much more practical experience than I do with wine clubs. Are you a wine club member? Have you ever had to ditch a wine club? Shout it out in the comments!