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    Wine club

    Any of you drink wine and are part of a wine club?

    I'm not looking for a "wine is marked up 70% between the vineyard and the retail store, so we save you 65% by cutting out the middle man and provide access to michelin quality wines for a fraction of the price with our propretiary algorithm, that actualy just works out buzz words to sell on overstock wine no one else could ship."

    Instead I'm looking for something that is more about providing a monthly collection of varied wines at reasonable prices to explore. Something a like a sophisticated retailer or importer might put together, and preferably in upper-midwest, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee area, but not a deal breaker obviously.

    #2
    It's not exactly the same thing, but do you have a Total Wine in your area? I've always found their staff to be very knowledgeable, and they do regular in-store tastings. They have tons of wines they can point you to that are inexpensive but still really good. I bet you could even ask them to suggest a few varied wines to try each time you go in.

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      #3
      Originally posted by ModifiedMind View Post
      It's not exactly the same thing, but do you have a Total Wine in your area? I've always found their staff to be very knowledgeable, and they do regular in-store tastings. They have tons of wines they can point you to that are inexpensive but still really good. I bet you could even ask them to suggest a few varied wines to try each time you go in.
      Yes, indeed--my experience with the Total Wine people is excellent. Several times, I've told one of the people working there something like, "I really like EXPENSIVE WINE NAME, do you have something like that but costs less?" And they come through 9 times out of 10.

      Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm surprised Total Wine doesn't have a wine club.
      WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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        #4
        Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
        Yes, indeed--my experience with the Total Wine people is excellent. Several times, I've told one of the people working there something like, "I really like EXPENSIVE WINE NAME, do you have something like that but costs less?" And they come through 9 times out of 10.

        Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm surprised Total Wine doesn't have a wine club.
        I believe they do .... it's called their Winery Direct Club ... I get coupons from it all the time in my email when I want beer coupons

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          #5
          Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
          Yes, indeed--my experience with the Total Wine people is excellent. Several times, I've told one of the people working there something like, "I really like EXPENSIVE WINE NAME, do you have something like that but costs less?" And they come through 9 times out of 10.

          Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm surprised Total Wine doesn't have a wine club.
          Exactly. I'd always had one go-to sparkling wine for NYE...it was cheap and I thought it was great. Couldn't find it right away one time and asked one of their staff. He told me where it was, but then asked if I'd tried another brand they had on sale for roughly the same price. I opted for his suggestion, and it was even better than my go-to. Unlike most liquor stores, they really seem to know their stuff in detail and seem interested in chatting about my selections at checkout too.

          While they don't have a wine club, the ones here do offer wine, beer and spirit "classes" where you learn some history about the alcohol subject of the class, and you get tastings as part of the class. They usually do snacks too. Prices for the classes are reasonable, and even discounted if you're a rewards member. Makes for a good date night too.

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            #6
            Originally posted by hockeysc23 View Post
            I believe they do .... it's called their Winery Direct Club ... I get coupons from it all the time in my email when I want beer coupons
            I thought Winery Direct just referred to a certain selection of wines they try to feature at the store.

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              #7
              Originally posted by ModifiedMind View Post
              I thought Winery Direct just referred to a certain selection of wines they try to feature at the store.
              Ah, if so my apologies for the misinformation. It seemed to me like a ship to home of select wines ... I used to live very close to one but not any more.

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                #8
                Total Wine was going to open locations in Nashville but some government issue came up and they decided not to. Their prices are amazing.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by JBarwick View Post
                  Total Wine was going to open locations in Nashville but some government issue came up and they decided not to. Their prices are amazing.
                  Looks like you might be getting one after all:

                  https://www.npr.org/2019/06/26/73252...ailers-big-win


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                    #10
                    I haven't yet found an actual wine club that provides the variety I prefer, but my favorite online go-to is WTSO (Wines 'Til Sold Out) https://www.wtso.com. They provide continual flash sales on small lots of varied and often unique wines. Once the current lot is sold out, they post a new sale wine.

                    The upside: good prices on a wide variety of wine and shipping is free with minimum bottle quantity purchases (typically equating to an order of about $60 or more). No club fees, no mandatory shipments. Buy only what you want, when you want. Shipping is quick and I've found their customer service to be responsive.

                    The downside: They only offer one wine at a time, so you need to be patient and monitor their sales (which they make very easy with an app, browser notifications or emails). I've found that most wines eventually make their way back into rotation, but if you find one you like, you may have to wait a while before it's available again. And of course, you have to live where they can legally ship wine.

                    Caution, WTSO can be habit forming. You've been warned
                    Sent from my CONTROL shoe phone inside the Cone of Silence

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                      #11
                      Yeah. I quite like WTSO but find the quality (and claimed discounts) to be suspect and variable. I’ve had a couple of hits and couple of misses. Currently enjoying a Ribero del duero, but what I’d ideally like is a little more “curation” for lack of a better word.


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                        #12
                        I hear you on the “discount” issue – they can be variable indeed. I run a quick independent price check on any WTSO offerings that look interesting. Factoring in the free shipping and lack of tax, I’ve found that most of the bottles I pick up are a good deal, and some of those are a really good deal. By good, I mean cheaper than I can find locally or elsewhere online (and I have access to Total Wine and less expensive stores, as well as Costcos that sell wine and liquor). Even better, WTSO offers some restaurant wines that you are not likely to find most retail places.

                        I tend to take the opposite of the “curation” path. As a level 3 somm told me at a tasting a couple of weeks ago, “wine points ratings and others’ opinions are all simply BS.” Our personal senses of smell and taste are shaped and developed over time by our own experiences. We all smell and taste things differently, often significantly so. The only way to find out what you like and don’t like is to taste it yourself… the more, the better. Hits and misses are part of that process, and they are a lot more interesting to me than having someone else tell me what they think I should be drinking. The exploration is a big part of the experience. Cheers!
                        Sent from my CONTROL shoe phone inside the Cone of Silence

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