Wine clubs require a lot of trust. You’re buying wines that you haven’t seen, and betting they’ll be good. How can you avoid the disappointment of a poor wine shipment? Here is our list of top wine clubs that are backed by years of industry expertise.
Expertise is one of the biggest factors driving our wine club recommendations. A sommelier or wine buyer’s name on the line means knowledge and accountability. They will have industry relationships to secure exclusive wines at lower prices. Wine clubs that don’t have a professional behind their selections should merit extra scrutiny. These clubs could simply be an outlet for cheap wine that can’t sell.
The great news: there are plenty of expertly curated wine clubs for all types of drinkers. From celebrity wines to organic wines, here are our top picks:
For Champagne Lovers: K&L Wines
Cost: $35/bottle, not including shipping
What makes K&L Wines’ Champagne club stand out from others is their process. Over the years, K&L has built up relationships with suppliers around the world. Buyer Gary Westby travels to Champagne to meet directly with top grower-producers and bring back unique wines at below-market prices. Another plus: every other month, members receive both a small-production, grower-producer wine and a bottle from a grand marque producer. This gives members more variety than most other Champagne clubs, which only provide grower-producer wines.
For the Wine Geek: SommSelect
Cost: $33/bottle, shipping not included
If you love testing and expanding your wine knowledge, SommSelect is your club. Master Sommelier Ian Cauble (of the movie SOMM) is focused on delivering a curated selection of unique wines from around the world. With Cauble himself selecting each wine, you know the quality will be high. Cauble and his team work directly with top winemakers and vendors to source exclusive wines. Check out their monthly blind tasting subscription, where you’ll receive six wines wrapped in black tissue paper, ready for tasting.
For the Health-Conscious: Plonk Wine Club
Cost: $27.50/bottle, including shipping
Organic and biodynamic wines aren’t always clearly labeled, making them difficult to find. Plonk Wine Club does the searching for you with its monthly subscription, offering organic and biodynamic wines from around the world. The wines are curated by founder Etty Lewensztain, a WSET- and American Sommelier Association-certified wine expert recently named in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 under 40 Tastemakers List.
For Pop Culture Enthusiats: Nocking Point Wines
Cost: $33/bottle, including shipping, coffee, and gear
Wine, coffee, and pop culture coincide with Nocking Point Wines. For just $99 a quarter, members receive handcrafted wines including exclusive celebrity guest wines, gear, and micro-roasted coffee. Collaborations have included Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa, comedian Aisha Tyler, and Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes. This unique service was started by pro wrestler Stephen Amell and is based out of the Walla Walla Valley, Washington. While these might not be critically-acclaimed wines, they are premium, artisanal wines with a story and unique label art. Each wine is custom-created in partnership with a local winemaker.
Best Value: Martha Stewart Wine Club
Cost: $7-8/bottle, including shipping
If you’re on a tight budget but looking to branch out from the grocery wine aisle, consider Martha Stewart’s wine club. Wines are sourced from around the world, from Bordeaux and Tuscany to California, making the price pretty hard to beat. If you’re still feeling unsure about Martha Stewart’s wine expertise, rest assured knowing that the collection is custom-developed by a panel of experts that includes a former sommelier from The French Laundry. Sound too good to be true? Stewart also has a quality guarantee behind her club. If you aren’t satisfied with any bottle, the club will refund the price (within reason, of course).