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May 30, 2005 02:25 PM

Favorite California Wine Clubs?

  • d

I and a couple of friends want to buy a wine club membership for a recently-married couple moving to SF. I saw The California Wine Club online. It looks pretty good, but I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions/experiences.

Thanks much!


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  1. m
    Michael Rodriguez

    Navarro has been sending me wines for quite a few years. Rarely has a bottle disappointed me. Their wines aren't available through retail outlets.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Michael Rodriguez

      We also belong to the Navarro Wine Club. Excellent wines at good prices. Clos Pegase in Calistoga also has an excellent wine club shipment.

    2. Some friends of mine subscribe to Seghesio's wine club, and I think their wine is excellent.

      But I imagine there are hundreds, if not thousands, of such clubs.

      1. What kind of wine does the newlywed couple like to drink? I think taking that into account woud make all the difference in the world. Most, if not all, vineyards in Northern California have wine clubs, but their wines are all different.

        I, personally, love Navarro and Ridge, but many other people have different ideas about what tastes good.


        1. The suggestions so far have mostly been winery-direct. While I don't have personal experience with them, I have friends who have been very happy with the wine of the month programs at K&L and Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.

          1. You may or may not be already aware, but wine club membership requires a continuous receipt of wines (with frequencies anywhere from monthly to bi-annually) that are billed prior to shipping. Hence, a very nice and generous gift would require you and your friends to pony-up for the the wine shipments up until an unlimited period of time.

            Anyway, I have friends who likes their membership with K&L.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rcc

              I would imagine that most wineries with wine clubs would have some mechanism by which you could specify how much money you want to spend. I know with my Benziger membership I can try my own shipment, then decide if I want to buy more for myself or send a particular bottle to a friend.

              I like Benziger for a few reasons: their dedication to organic and biodynamic farming (without sacrificing taste), the fact that the wines are shipped only 6 months out of the year (I don't drink THAT much wine), and the graciousness of their knowledgeable staff.

              Melanie: thanks for the tip on that 2003 Benziger Tribute! We had it straight out of the barrel the other week, and it was fantastic--IMO better than the 2002. I can't wait until they're bottled and shipped.

              1. re: rcc

                K&L lets you specify how many months to give -- I think that the minmum is 3. The recipient can then choose whether or not to continue the membership.

                I've liked my K&L premium membership, especially because you can pick up the bottles at the store if you don't want to pay shipping.