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WineQ

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I noticed a few people talking about this site in a previous post (I believe a representative of the company even responded) and decided to take a look. My initial impression was that the concept was pretty amusing (wine netflix; what's not to love?), prices were very reasonable and the free shipping was a nice bonus.

However, it looks like a pretty limited selection of California producers. So, it's not exactly going to give you a world tour of wine.

Does anyone have any familiarity with any of the producers they're using or know anyone who has tried this club? I'm more than aware of the pluses and minuses of joining these clubs generally, but if the quality is good, I would certainly not mind getting a few random bottles here and there.

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  1. I actually know of a lot of the producers, and have tried the wines before. That said, they do a great job of adding new producers frequently, so expect the various offerings to grow over the months.

    One of the great features is that you can look at other people's reviews before you decide to add something to your Q, which is what I do if I'm less familiar with the producer. You can start to get a sense of what other people's palates are like and choose wines based on that. If find a palate buddy or you want to be adventurous, you can join their "club", adding their selections to your Q, and if you don't see anything you don't want to try, then empty your Q and hang back for a while. It's very much like Netflix, in that it is what you make it.

    Everyone that I know that has used WineQ has enjoyed it, and how can you go wrong when you choose the number of bottles and the shipping intervals?

    ;-)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Vinquire

      I don't get it. You can get "community" reviews for free from someplace like CellarTracker (which will generally have a MUCH broader pool of contributors) and (if you are someplace where you can buy direct, which WineQ must have similar limitations as to) then you can go and buy whatever wine you want from wherever you want, whenever you want. Meanwhile, unlike any normal online retailer, you can't even find out what WineQ's inventory is without becoming a member.

      For the half-dozen or so wines that appear in the picture on the website if you click on "Browse Wines," they are the ONLY online retailer listed for every single "producer" on wine-searcher.com. Not a single one of these wines is reviewed in Spectator, Parker or Tanzer. Is it REALLY plausible that WineQ has miraculously discovered ALL of these great wines that NOBODY else is distributing? And if they're the only retailer, how can you have any clue whether you're paying a fair price?

      Maybe I'm just a cold-hearted skeptic, but I'm dubious.

      1. re: Frodnesor

        Those are valid points you raise but as I mentioned in my other post these are wineries with pretty small distributions. You can also purchase most of the wines direct from the winery, and if you look at their site, you will see that WineQ charges retail. The advantage to WineQ is that you don't pay shipping charges on orders of $35 or more, and you can mix and match different wineries as you go along.

        As for not being able to see the inventory - I don't think that is true. I think you have to enter your shipping state to determine what can be sent to you, but once you do that, I believe you can see the same wines the members see.

        It differs from other wine clubs in that you can choose which wines you want, and how often you want them shipped. True, you can always buy direct and get whatever wine you want, whenever you want, but then using that argument, what is the purpose of having any wine clubs at all?

        1. re: monkuboy

          Exactly what Monkuboy said.
          And yes, you can indeed see the inventory without creating a Q so there is no commitment. Personally, I was a lurker for over 6 months as I watched the wine inventory grow, and the community build.

          To each his own I suppose, and if you're stuck on Parker / Enthusiast / Jancis scores, then yes. You should go to the wine shop where you can get personal attention (which I often do for specific purposes). As a community review & search site, we offer community reviews our selves, so I know the value of this type of free information when trying to find wine.

          However, if you are interested in finding new wines and exploring flavors, or as the original poster pointed out, finding a wine club gift for Fathers Day, it's a great option because it's customizable. Other wine clubs choose the wine for you, whether it's a single producer or multiple producer, and that is what I find the most valuable offering of WineQ - plus the free shipping.

          Cheers

        2. re: Frodnesor

          The only one of the wines shown that I'm familiar with is Ceja. They are a totally legitimate Napa producer with a very limited distribution outside the winery. I have carried a couple of their wines in my shop and would have been listed on wine-searcher at the time. I just narrow down my inventory for the slower summer months, and didn't have room to continue the label at this time. I was buying direct from them, which means they don't have established wholesale sales distribution, so they are not actively seeking retail business. The wines are good!!

          1. re: Midlife

            I agree, Ceja is a first-rate winery!

            1. re: Midlife

              I really enjoy Ceja myself, and the backstory is really great as well.
              Being an ultrapremium winery, they have a large allocation list for the pinots but you can find them around here and there. They are fortunate to be at a point where they can pick and choose where they distribute.
              Yum!

        3. I pretty much agree with Vinquire's assessment. I joined WineQ last year and think it is a good operation. You are right, the selections are fairly limited but you have to take into account they are trying to find quality wineries whose wines are not readily available. Otherwise, why not just buy them from the store? I was impressed by many of the wines I tried, which I have not seen for sale anywhere else because of the small production. I would suggest trying WineQ since there is no minimum commitment and so far, it has been a worthwhile experience.

          1 Reply
          1. re: monkuboy

            Thanks a lot. I think I will give it a shot. Obviously it won't replace my regular wine purchases, but as long as it's a few bottles here and there that I enjoy, why not, right? Plus, especially if you don't live in California, it's nice to have access to some of the smaller producers out there.