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May 5, 2009 11:38 AM

are there any reputable wine clubs out there that don't cost an arm and a leg?

I got roped into a few mail order wine clubs that were vile. canceled memberships, of course.

then i used to belong to some specific wineries' clubs---Cakebread, Grgich Hills and Duckhorn.

I'm a white wine girl.

Thing is, those aforementioned got waaay too expensive.

Is there a wine club out there that offers great wines, whites in my case, at a reasonable, rational price?


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  1. Consider Ridge ATP (no cabernet), K&L Wines and wineries from places outside Napa, like the Sierra Foothills and Paso Robles.
    Oops, I just saw the White Wine comment. Scratch Ridge. K&L offers a mix of red and white.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SteveTimko

      Thanks Steve, will check out K&L asap!

      1. re: HabaneroJane

        curses, they don't ship to Florida. Any other suggestions out there?!

    2. Also, check out Celebrations Wine Club. They have an "All white wine" option.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Rick Azzarano

        Actually many if not all wine clubs have a white-wine-only option or a red-wine-only option. Having worked for a half-dozen wineries, I know this to be the case. It's a rather common request to specify one color only of wine. Ask.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Here is a suggestion that combines Steve Timko's answer and ML.
          Holly's Hill in the Sierra Foothills has a white wine only club
          called Au Contraire. They make a very nice vignier-roussanne
          blend called Patriarche Blanc, as well as fine standalone
          viognier and roussanne. Prices are very reasonable.

          1. re: bclevy

            Tasted some of HH's wines at the Hospice du Rhone last weekend in Paso Robles. Was favorably impressed.

            1. re: PolarBear

              I agree. In addition to the Patriarche Blanc mentioned above,
              HH's Wylie-Fenaughty's Syrah is excellent. However the gold
              standard for Rhone Valley varieties in the Sierra Foothills
              remains Cedarville.

              1. re: bclevy

                Thanks for the tip. I found a three year old article from the SFChron that mentioned their 03 El Dorado Syrah and the 03 Naylor Vineyard ED Petit Sirah as being outstanding ($25 ea, at that time). Do you have any other recos for them, any GSM blends by chance? TIA



                1. re: PolarBear

                  The most elegant wine produced by Cedarville is their
                  Grenache (typically 90% grenache 10% syrah). In Northern CA
                  the only 2 other places where I have tasted grenaches
                  approaching this quality are Unti and Ridge, and I still prefer
                  Cedarville. Cedarville has also a fine viognier, and among non-Rhone
                  varieties, a Zin and a cab. Their Zin is very different from most
                  Sierra foothills zins which tend to be over the top. It is really a finesse
                  food-friendly wine. The cab is a great value (just below $30) and
                  quite good, but at a much higher price point, better cabs can be found in Napa or Sonoma.

                  1. re: bclevy

                    Now you've really got my attention, is the Grenache available other than at the winery? I tasted Unti at the HdR, along with Denner, Torbreck, and McPrice-Myers (every thing M-M poured was excellent), which were all very good I thought. Pretty much my only prior base for comparison has been Beckmen's lower end offering.

                    1. re: PolarBear

                      A few stores in Northern CA carry some of Cedarville's wines,
                      but I have never seen the grenache there (basically
                      Cedarville sells out of it quickly). So here in Davis, I have seen the
                      Cedarville syrah, zin and cab in stores, but never the grenache.
                      Cedarville has a mailing list and this is probably the way they
                      sell most of their wines.

                      I have never visited Santa Barbara wineries, but I am due to take my
                      son for a visit of CA colleges (he graduates next year) next month,
                      and I was planning to visit Beckmen, Curtis and a few other
                      Santa Barbara wineries (a friend just came back from a trip there
                      and gave me a map and a list of wineries to visit).

                      1. re: bclevy

                        Thanks, I'll check with the winery. Lots of good places to explore in SB, Alma Rosa, Andrew Murray, Fiddlehead, Foley, Lane Tanner, Rusack, and Whitcraft come to mind immediately. Have a great trip.

                        1. re: bclevy

                          Got to try the 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2008 Cedarville Viognier two weekends ago. The 2008 was probably still suffering from bottle shock but the rest completely rocked. Posted a couple of photos from the trip to Cedarville here:
                          The 1998 Cedarville Syrah was going strong, too.
                          Supposedly all of these photos can be seen by the public, not just my Facebook friends, but I have more here.
                          While at Cedarville, co-owner Jonathan pointed to where Holly's Hill was, so when I went to Holly's Hill for a tasting I took a photo looking back at Cedarville.
                          The Holly's Hill lineup was strong, especially the 2007s. I loved the mourvedre.

                          1. re: SteveTimko

                            ST, thanks for the reminder about HH's Mourvedre, it had slipped my mind in the purple haze, but found it on my list. Other Mourvedres at the HdR I found tasty were Denner, Edward Sellers, and Unti. Couldn't find Minassian-Young, which I really had my sights set on.

        2. I am a big fan of Duckhorn too, but the Napa wine clubs are pretty spendy. My suggestion, since you clearly like California whites, is Brander in Los Olivos. It is known for its award winning white wines - mostly Sauvignon Blancs, but also Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay (done in steel - not oaky at all) and some fabulous white blends as well. If you enjoy dry roses, they have a wonderful one called Chateauneuf de Pink (as it is made in the dry style of Chateauneuf du Pape).

          1. You might try They don't do a club, but you can buy six-packs that are just white or just red. They change their stock pretty often so you can try different things. I haven't ordered from them for a while, but the times I did, I was pretty happy with the quality. They're "Wednesday wines" generally--good quality everyday wines.

            1. Yes ~ Highly recommend Fernwood Cellars ( wine club. XLNT wines, great people, great setting, award winning... and the prices are totally reasonable for the amazing quality. We've never been disappointed. The Cab just took gold at SF Intl Wine Competition. Enjoy :-).