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Nov 14, 2006 06:25 PM

Reasons for Quitting a Wine Club

I recently quit Navarro's club(after 10+ years - the overall quality seems to be slipping, I was not treated very well during a visit to their tasting room -- Has anyone left a club recently, Why?

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  1. It's hard to quit when you've never joined, but that said, it's not because I haven't liked a winery's wine(s), but rather because I may not necessarily like ALL of a winery's wines. (In fact, I usually don't -- prefering, for example, the Zinfandels from this winery, the Pinots from that one, and the Rieslings from the one over there.)

    That said, I have to say that I haven't noticed the overall quality of Navarro slipping, but there is no excuse for poor treatment in the tasting room.

    2 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      zin1953, often if you just call the winery and explain very graciously that you want to join the wine club but only want specific wines or want to exclude wines from your membership, the winery will customize a club for you. They won't publicize this in their wine club brochures because custom clubs are a headache on the backend, but just might accommodate you if you ask in a nice way.

      1. re: Ruby Louise

        Very true, Ruby -- I, too, used to run a wine club for a small winery in California -- and, quite right, it's something I used to do for our customers who, for example, only wanted red wines, or wanted all their white wines to be dry (e.g.: dry Riesling would be OK, but one with 1.2% r.s. would not). But although it can be difficult, many wineries will do it precisely because customer service is so important.

    2. That's too bad about the bad experience at the winery. That place can get pretty hectic at times, but I've never had a negative experience.

      I have quit two wine clubs. The first I quit because it became clear that they were using the club shipments not to introduce new wines, but to move stuff that wasn't otherwise selling. After getting the same wine three times over six months, I canceled. The second one I quit because of poor customer service. I had one shipment lost (it was sent and I was billed, but it never arrived and I never signed for it). The staff was initially very helpful and said they would resend it. But it never arrived, despite repeated calls. I then told them to forget about it and to cancel by membership, and it was a whole other ordeal to get a refund for the lost shipment. In both cases I probably would have canceled eventually as my tastes have moved away from their styles, but those issues caused me to quit far sooner than I might otherwise have.


      1. My friend quit his first wine club because we found him a better one (Benziger).

        Unfortunately, I quit the Benziger wine club when I moved to LA. When I lived in SF I could go every couple months and pick up my wine in Sonoma at a discounted price. Great prices, fantastic people, fun tasting room, delicious wines, and a great reason to get out of the city.

        With the shipping cost I would have to pay to have it shipped to LA, I could buy the wines I want retail, or have my friend pick up a few bottles when he goes for his shipment (and then pick it up from him a few times a year).

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pei

          Did you otherwise like Benziger? Sebby & I have been thinking of joining. We live in SF, but would probably have it shipped anyways since we only rarely get up to the wine country. Their Oonapais(?sp) is something else.

          1. re: adampaul

            I am a real Benziger fan, but do admit that half the fun is going to their lovely winery.

            Based on wine alone, I like what they make but need variety. If I still lived in SF I would look into wine clubs at one of the wine stores (K&L, Arlequin, etc). Then you'll get different bottles from different wineries every month. I think they have different programs, one of which might be CA wines.

            1. re: Pei

              Indeed, their winery is great - we'll surely have to return to try their organic & biodynamic tastings.

              Thanks for the pointer to K&L & Arlequin - I may have to check out K&L's "Premium" club.

        2. Disclaimer: I manage a small winery wine club.

          drobbia, thanks for posting this. I have two questions for you:

          1.) Did you explain to Navarro that part of your reason for cancellation was the treatment you received in the tasting room?

          2.) Could you explain a bit more what you mean by not being treated well in the tasting room at Navarro? From my experience that can mean different things to different people

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruby Louise

            I would let Navarro know about your experience. Like Nick, I've never had a bad experience in their tasting room (most recent stop was about two weeks ago). However, I don't usually taste there: I am often on my way to or from Mendocino, and the tasting room is always crowded, so I typically walk in with my list and just let them know I want to buy. They are always efficient, pleasant and helpful, no matter how much or little I buy, and really seem to care about customer service...

          2. I quit a wine club b/c they continued to send wine AFTER I called and emailed them to NOT ship for specified months I would be out of town.

            They kept shipping, got signature from the neighbour and left it on my porch during the summer.