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Join the Club: The Joys of Wine-of-the-Month Clubs

As the holiday season approaches, I have the perfect idea for a gift that keeps on giving. Rather than buying a bottle or two of wine as a gift, consider a wine-of-the-month club membership. It’ll cost more, but it’s a great way to support the smaller winemakers, and – much like a magazine subscription – the person you give it to is going to remember your generosity every month of the year.

There are some complications with state borders in the U.S. and provincial restrictions in Canada, so ideally you should look for a club close to home, but some of the American clubs ship to most States. Here are some suggestions:

California Wine Club
You can order two-bottle packages for about $47, or monthly packages. Each comes with a 12-page newsletter. The founders wanted to replicate the effect of “one friend recommending a great bottle of wine to another friend,” taking the guessing out of wine selection.

Californiareds.com
This is another California wine club that obviously specializes in red wines.

Wine Insiders
The Wine Insiders club uses an expert panel to make their selections, buying the wines in large volume and “cutting out the middle man.” They offer a California Wine Club, World Classics and a Connoisseur’s package, all in the affordable price range of three months for $89-149.

Virginia Wine Club
The Virginia Wine Club is one of several clubs in smaller growing regions. This is a perfect way to sample wines that might not be widely available. From their website

“As a member of the Virginia Wine of the Month Club, you will be privileged
to savor an impressive array of award-winning Virginia wines...delivered
directly to your doorstep. As you delight in each month's wine, you will
also learn about the winery's history and the dedicated vintners who create
these wonderful wines.”

In Canada:

Winerytohome.com
This is a very popular club that delivers Ontario wine selections each month chosen by top experts such as Tony Aspler and David Lawrason.

BCwineclub.ca
In British Columbia, the B.C. Wine Club charges $60-80 per month, including all shipping and taxes.

This is just a sampling on the wine-of-the-month clubs out there. Many individual wineries will also have their own. I belong to the Hillebrand Winery's club in Ontario, and I like the surprise each month of opening the box to discover a new treasure.





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“Join the Club: The Joys of Wine-of-the-Month Clubs”