On my last visit to Northern Sonoma Wine Country, I re-evaluated the value of my coveted collection of wine club memberships. In jest, I often call myself the “Wine Club Queen,” as I love to join wine clubs, but rarely stay in the club longer than the norm. Industry statistics show members typically remain in a wine club for 25 months. So what gives? Why join a wine club? Or better yet, why do members leave a club?
For some weekend wine warriors, wine tasting is akin to a cult group activity with the primary goal of getting a buzz. Take Southern California’s Temecula Wine Country for example. On any given weekend, there is a parade of party busses packed with pretty 20-something year old bachelorette party-ers adorned with sashes and glitzy tiaras who are seriously drinking their way through the valley. I doubt few, if any, join a wine club, or even buy a bottle of wine.
Then, there’s the yearly Sonoma County’s Wine Road Barrel Tasting Weekend event. The word on the wine trail is that the younger crowd seizes the challenge in drinking as much barely aged barrel wine as possible, despite the inevitable dizzying aftermath. I doubt few, if any, invest in the barrel futures or join a wine club.
So besides the thrill of the hunt for the perfect wine tasting event, the perfect wine or even the most beautiful winery setting, there are some benefits to joining a wine club such as meeting the winemaker, private tastings, tours and exclusive events. For me, it’s always the story behind the vines that sparks my interest. [Read more…]