I am a total sucker for good wine at a great price. I mean, what’s better? High quality wine that doesn’t break the bank? Sign me up! Unfortunately, this means that I totally fall for any advertising that promises me that. Which means I sign up for wine clubs. Lots of wine clubs. These offers always seem to arrive in my mailbox around the same time, which leads to me ordering WAY too much wine. One time I received 3 cases of wine within 3 days of each other. Plus I was in a monthly wine club and had been receiving two bottles of wine each month for several months. Some had to be stored in my closet. It just wasn’t good. I’m learning to say no to wine club offers now.
Wine clubs aren’t all bad, though. One thing I like about wine clubs is that they can introduce you to brands and grapes you haven’t tried before and may fall in love with. When I first started drinking wine, this helped me get familiar with some of the more popular varieties and decide how I felt about them without making a huge investment (as long as I remembered to cancel future shipments). Wine clubs quite often provide a great value on the wines as well. However, it can sometimes be a pain to constantly receive shipments, have to remember to cancel them if you don’t need them, and remember to drink them before the wine turns to vinegar (not all wine should be kept for years and years). Plus, you may not always like the types of wines they send you, even if they are good quality.
Wine Insiders is kind of cool in that they do offer a wine club, but you are not required to join it to take advantage of deep discounts on some really good wine. I was introduced to Wine Insiders a year or two ago through a random piece of mail promising me 12 award winning wines for just $79.99 (or something like that). Of course I opened that envelope- it was a steal! I was fully aware that there was a decent chance the wines would stink and it would all be a waste. However, a few things made me feel more comfortable trying this one over some of the other offers I received:
- They offer a guarantee that you will like every wine or they will send a replacement or issue a refund. You can’t get that type of guarantee on wines you pick up at the grocery store.
- They have a tasting panel that tries all of their wines and they only accept ones the panel rates 93 points or higher. A number of the wines they sell have also received awards at U.S. and international wine competitions.
Since that first shipment of wine, I have ordered from Wine Insiders a few more times, most recently last month. I received an offer for great food wines, so I thought I would give it a shot. The wines I received in the past were good quality, after all. There have been some I didn’t love, but that was because I just didn’t like that kind, not because the wine was poorly made. I also really like that Wine Insiders tells you what you will receive before you order. It’s not just a generic “12 great whites from top winemakers.” You actually know the specific wine you will receive, so you don’t accidentally get 3 bottles of something you hate. In this case, I had actually tried a few of the wines in the case, but I liked them so I was happy to get some more. There were also several wines I hadn’t tried before, including a Vermentino that I had never heard of.
The case arrived within a week and a half of me placing the order online. Inside the box was the wine (obviously), along with a letter from Director about Wine Insiders’ guarantee, quality, etc.; a packing list, a $100 voucher for more wine (here we go again…I may need to rent storage), and a coupon for Hello Fresh (something new to try!).
Since I’ve never had vermentino before, I was pretty excited to try the Cala de Poeti Vermentino. The wine is light, slightly floral, with just a little touch of oiliness on the tongue. Overall, a really good wine that I may reorder to have on hand. This is what I love about Wine Insiders- you can get old favorites and find new ones!
Are you a wine club fan? Have you found any favorites through a wine club?