Wine clubs can seem a bit of a lottery. After paying for a case of wine, what if you don’t like the selection that lands on your doorstep?
If you choose your wine club wisely, however, it can be a great way to sample new wines, broaden your palette, try niche wines not available in the supermarket and get some great deals on top-quality bottles.
Perfect if you never want to be without an excellent bottle. Berry Bros & Rudd has a comprehensive members-only wine club. You purchase membership and receive 12 bottles every month with full tasting notes (great for novices) as well as ten per cent off other cases.
You’ll be treated as wine royalty, receiving priority bookings at its wine school, tasting and dinners. Membership is flexible and there are different packages for different needs, such as the Wellington Membership for connisseurs, and Napolean Membership for those passionate about Bordeaux and Burgundy wines.
Laithwaites offers a fantastic value-for money service, which guarantees you’ll never run out of wine again. The introductory case is £51.48, and then every 12 weeks their experts will reserve a special 12-bottle case for £89.99 with tasting notes. That works out at just over £4 a bottle.
The wines are chosen from smaller, family-run wineries, so you are able to try more unusual selections. There’s no obligation to buy another case and there’s a 100 per cent money-back guarantee on all wines.
Naked Wines is much more than a wine club, as it funds talented, independent winemakers, who want to set up their own business but don’t have the cash to do so. Its customers, called Angels, invest £20 a month into their Naked Wines account towards future orders, which the company invests in grapes, winery space, barrels, bottles and other direct costs, in return for exclusive wines at wholesale prices. This means every month you’ll be able to get beautiful, original wines and be doing some good at the same time.
If you find that the products being sent by your wine club aren’t quite hitting the spot, this is a great option. The VIP membership at Rude Wines gets you your own personal WSET-trained wine advisor, who can help you to pick the right wines for you. Other benefits include in-depth flavour notes, ten per cent cashback on every order, free delivery, a £10 voucher on your birthday, free wine at Christmas and free invites to Rude Wines tastings in your area. This one really is for the wine lovers. It’s also quite affordable; at £99.99 a quarter, you’ll be spending only £10 a week on wine, and be guaranteed to have one you really love.
Virgin’s Wine Club is an easy, fuss-free way to try new wines. You’ll get deliveries every three months of wines from around the globe for £7.49 a bottle. The best thing about this club is that you know what’s in the case before you receive it, so you can opt out at any time and you never pay for a wine you don’t like. There is a Reds Club for anyone interested in sampling only red wines, there’s no minimum membership, and you can leave the service at any time.
Every 12 weeks The Sunday Times Wine Club’s experts reserve a special 12-bottle case for £89.99. The wines are chosen from smaller, family-run wineries, so you experience new wines while helping to support the wine industry. They also come with tasting cards and there’s no minimum order for using the service.