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Jul 19, 2008 11:25 AM

Wine Clubs?

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a good wine club. I'm looking to buy it as a gift for a friend's wedding, and I'm hoping to spend between $100 and $150 for a duration of 6 months. Please let me know -- thanks!!!

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  1. Doesn't it depend more upon what wines he/she/they enjoy? Is there a particular winery they are both very fond of? A particular region of the world? Any wines they especially DON'T like???

    Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of wine clubs because a) you can get overcharged for the wine selections, and b) quite often, you get wines you don't really like. That said, however, there ARE several good ideas out there -- but which one I would recommend first and foremost depends upon the answers to the above questions.

    My FIRST recommendation is to head over to a really good wine store near where they live. (This presumes you live near each other.) Take to a knowledgeable sales person there, and have them help you pick out of case of wine . . . each time they open a bottle they'll think of you, and be sure to give them the name of the sales person that helped you, so they can shop there and get more recommendations based upon their own personal likes-and-dislikes.

    My SECOND recommendation is the same as the first, but -- presuming you don't live near one another -- arrange to have the wine shipped.

    OK, my THIRD suggestions are (presented in random order):

    2 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      The suggestion to work with a local retailer is spot on and sets the stage for future face to face conversations which will only lead to good things.

      You are a great friend thinking this way.

      1. re: zin1953

        Hat is off to Zin1953...what he says is so right on the money. K&L has a concierge service and they will fill a case when you call.

        One thing to add as a bonus -- if you buy them a mixed case, go to the paint store and pick up a roll of blue painters tape (it comes off the bottle easily). put a 5" piece on each bottle and write: 1) the place it came from (if they want to buy more), 2) the varietals, 3) when to drink it, 4) general food pairings/service notes 5) the bottle price (if you don't think it's tacky).

        This way, when said friends look at the wine months from now -- especially if it's one they don't know -- they'll have all the info they need to determine serve it.

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            1. Some love them, some hate them, but Tobin James is the only wine club that we belong to. 7 bottles plus a bottle of dessert wine in the spring, and then again in the fall. $150 shipped for some fun, over the top, huge, fruit bombs. Can't beat it. -mJ

              2 Replies
              1. re: njfoodies

                I just had their sparkling Dream Weaver and was impressed at that price point.

                1. re: JAB

                  I couldn't agree more. Their normal bottlings are awesome QPR's, and that is definitely included. I don't necessarily agree with their "Silver Reseve" and other low productions wines being $48, but these are the wines that you usually get in the "James Gang" Club Shipments. I have never re-ordered any of their wines in all actuality, just because I find them to be high priced, but that doesn't say that they aren't worth it. But what it comes down to is that the Wine Clubs shipments would cost between $300-$400 to re-order, but as a James Gang Member, you get that for $150. Like I said, it's a hell of a good deal, and these wines please many. So for anyone liking HUGE, JAMMY, in your face fruit bombs, you cannot go wrong here. Cheers! -mJ