Just like all wines aren’t created equal, not all wine clubs are created equal either. While we are all familiar with the tried-and-true club model you would find at some of your favorite wineries, there is a growing cohort of offbeat and non-traditional wine clubs and subscription services out there that feature the best of different winery offerings, hospitality-driven amenities, and independent, custom-created brands delivered right to your door.
Whether you’re into natty wines, wild and wonderful blends, traditional bottlings and luxury experiences, nothing but bubbles, or by-the-glass pours, there’s a club out there for you. And, since someone has to do the dirty work, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up some of our favorites to keep you well-stocked and sipping in style, this summer and beyond.
This innovative club concept uses a blind tasting experience to match you to sommelier-sourced sustainable, artisan wines from around the globe. The subscription starts with the Palate Club Blind Tasting kit, which features four half-bottles of all red, all white, or a mix of both, wrapped up so their identities are concealed. Once you’ve had a chance to blind taste the wines and rate them through the Palate Club app, which has been calibrated with over 200 hundred wine traits to match wines to your unique taste, you’ll then receive a selection of wines based on a data-driven analysis of your un-biased palate preferences every month.
Founder and Sommelier Ronda Fraley started The Wine Party Co. with the goal of making wine more inclusive and less intimidating for consumers. This California-based, female-owned online wine shop features natural, organic, small-production, sommelier-selected wines available either as bottle purchases or membership-based monthly shipments. In keeping with the mission of making wine more accessible, The Wine Party Co. also offers self-guided online wine classes on topics like food and wine pairing, wines of the world, and how to select the perfect bottle, all aimed at enhancing your understanding and appreciation for the wines in your glass, without any of the wine snobbery.
Tank Garage claims to have built the winery “as a bastion for dreamers and those looking to defy conventions,” so naturally we are on board with their mission. Their MADE Club is also one of the coolest wine clubs around. Members not only get access to Tank Garage’s rare and small-production wines featuring blends that would make the maddest scientist proud, not to mention ultra-creative label art, but also a ton of other perks such as complimentary tastings, events, hotel discounts, and entrance to the mysterious “Backroom,” the winery’s hidden speakeasy.
If you are someone who is always on the go, check out Maker. Born in Stanford’s Start-Up Garage course by friends Kendra Kawala, Zoe Victor, and Sarah Hoffman, who created the brand to promote small-batch wines from unconventional people, this premium line of wines comes in perfectly portable, single serve, earth-conscious cans. Maker offers a 12-can and a 24-can club, which not only includes quarterly shipments of wines chosen by or curated for you, but also access to members-only discounts, exclusive events, and cool merch.
If you are someone who loves the perks that come with loyalty (perhaps you are an elite member of a hotel group or airline?), you will want to sign up for Jordan Winery’s Estate Rewards program. Accumulate points with every purchase at the winery’s stunning Healdsburg property, online, or by phone, which can then be redeemed for a range of premium amenities and experiences, including access to the newly (and gorgeously!) renovated Chateau Suites, private culinary experiences, and exclusive winery events. Membership is free to join, and comes with 3,000 bonus points to start.
We love Sip Wines because every winery they showcase has been selected not only for quality, but for their commitment to environmental and social responsibility. By signing up for the Sip Wines club, which features a shipment of three small-production wines each month, members can take pride in knowing that they are getting selections from independent producers focused on sustainability, while also embracing the cause of “conscious consumption” – aka, engaging in commerce with a greater awareness of how our consumption has broader impacts on our communities and society as a whole.
We can get behind any business with a tagline like “Discover the world by the glass.” This is just what In Good Taste does with its tasting kits, each featuring a flight of wines from around the world, with themes like “Wild Child Wines,” “California Wine Mixer,” and “Cascade Wines of Washington.” Wines come in adorable single-serve apothecary-style bottles that can be upcycled in creative ways. You can also mix and mingle with other wine lovers as you sip your way through each flight during one of In Good Taste’s virtual tastings.
For a fun, easy-on-the-wallet wine club featuring easy-drinking selections with bright, eye-catching labels and whimsical names like “We Go High,” and “Hard Knock Life,” check out Love Cork Screw Wines, founded by black female entrepreneur Crishon Lampley. The wine club offers multiple tiers, including a single bottle monthly club all the way up to a seven-bottle bi-annual reserve club. Lampley is also passionate about leveraging her platform to inspire and mentor other young women and budding entrepreneurs, so you can feel good knowing every sip is helping to fuel the careers of other go-getters out there.
The recently-launched Crurated is a membership-based wine community centered around connecting wine connoisseurs with top wine producers primarily in France and Italy. Perks of the four membership levels range from curated mixed cases and access to single lot auctions and library wines, to wine storage, exclusive events, and priority allocations, not to mention state-of-the-art logistics that guarantee quality and provenance through cellar storage and blockchain technology.
Headed by famed winemaker Roman Roth, Roanoke Vineyards produces less than 4,000 cases a year and most of these go straight to wine club members. Its vineyard master, George Fernandez, meticulously edits each vine to make sure every cluster of fruit has plenty of air circulation around it, and that its yield is reduced so the brand can be assured of concentration. This produces world-class, site-specific wines, many of which may not return the next year or even in the next shipment. The best part? Only members can visit the quaint, quiet Tasting House on Long Island’s North Fork.