International Writer of Mystery, Travel, and Wine

Category: Wine (Page 1 of 2)

“Vineyards Can Be Murder” Book Signing Event

I hope you can join me this Saturday, September 11, 2021, for a book signing event for Vineyards Can Be Murder. The event will take place at The Vineyard at Hillyland in Scotland, Connecticut, from 2:00 through 4:00 p.m. There will also be an antique car cruise and live music – I also heard there might be a food truck!!

Come to Hillyland and get your book signed, drink some delicious wine, view some interesting automobiles, listen to music, and have a fun-filled, Saturday afternoon. I will also have Vineyards Can Be Murder available for purchase as well as Reunions Can Be Murder and The Navarre Brotherhood.

Read below for the press release.

I hope to see you there!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 6, 2021| Windham, CT

Visit www.TammyWunsch.com for contact details, review copies, photos, and an author bio.

VINEYARDS CAN BE FUN…OR THEY CAN BE MURDER IN AUTHOR TAMMY WUNSCH’S “VINEYARDS CAN BE MURDER”

 

The Wine Tasting Mystery Series continues with old grudges, best friends, and wine!

On Saturday, September 11, 2021, there will be an official Book Launch Celebration for a novel published by local author, Tammy Wunsch. The event will take place from 2:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. at The Vineyard at Hillyland, located at 75 Murphy Hill Road in Scotland, CT. At the event, you can meet the author, have your book personally signed, enter to win a beautiful prize, and receive some book swag. Books will also be available for purchase. For more enjoyment, there will also be an antique car cruise and live music!

Inspired by her love of vineyards – and a love of wine – author Tammy Wunsch continues her Wine Tasting Mystery Series in which Kat and her friends are hot on the trail of clues in the death of Milano Vineyards’ enigmatic vineyard manager. Kat is busy in her new job at the vineyard and needs to search for the killer before he – or she – strikes again. She also needs to probe her relationship with Marco and Chance, plan a wine tasting, and decide when to harvest the grapes – all in a day’s work! If you’ve ever suffered through the pitfalls of learning the ropes on a new job, you will relate to Kat’s trials and tribulations in her new position in which she often ends up covered in wine.

Kat Snow finally feels like she fits in after returning to her hometown, the fictional town of Harmony, just north of Boston. She has an expanded circle of friends and two handsome men vying for her attention. She’s still reeling from being forcibly retired from the Boston Police Department after a meth addict’s vicious attack left her partially disabled, disgruntled, and at her wit’s end. Her best friends, Syd and Ricky, along with Amelia, Sunny, Marco, and Chance, have helped ease her transition back to small-town living. Kat has also managed to find murder nd mayhem – along with delicious wine!

Join the author for snacks and swag. There will also be an antique car cruise and live music. Bring a chair, drink some wine, and support a local vineyard at the “Vineyards Can Be Murder: A Wine Tasting Mystery Series” book launch and signing event. You are certain to enjoy this action-packed, wine-filled whodunit that will keep you guessing until the end. Readers of this book have expressed great enthusiasm for the project and avidly follow the Tammy Wunsch, Author Facebook page.

“Vineyards Can Be Murder” by Tammy Wunsch
Softcover|6 x 9 in|294 pages|ISBN 978-1639444199
E-book|294 pages|ASIN B096D4TSJB
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and TammyWunsch.com

 

“Vineyards Can Be Murder” Photo Contest

Announcing the August 2021 Vineyards Can Be Murder Photo Contest on Facebook.

Read below for details on how to enter.

Vineyards Can Be Murder Photo Contest

Remember, you must use both hashtags – #vineyardscanbemurder and #katsnow along with a photo of yourself (and friends!) at a vineyard.

Spread the love and go ahead and tag the vineyard or check in as well.

Stay tuned for information on an upcoming book launch event. Bring your books to get signed and books will be available for purchase. Details coming soon!

“Reunions Can Be Murder” Book Launch

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Vineyard at Hillyland on Saturday, September 12, 2020, to help me celebrate the launch of my new book, Reunions Can Be Murder: A Wine Tasting Mystery Series.

Thank you for bringing your friends and family with you as well. There were over 50 people who came to the event. I truly appreciate the support and encouragement from my friends, family, and the local community.

The weather was beautiful, the wine was delicious, and everyone was delightful. I’m approximately 50% complete with the second installment in the series – which will be titled Vineyards Can Be Murder – and I hope to have it published by November 2020.

If you purchased a book at the launch event – or if you already had a copy – please submit a review on Amazon.

Whether you saw my Facebook event advertisement, saw the post somewhere else on Facebook, read the press release, or saw the article in the Chronicle – or just happened to be at the vineyard – thank you again for spending some time with me.

Unfortunately, I was so busy signing books and chatting with everyone that I forgot to take photos. Please post any photos from the event – or the day – in the comments. Also, please post where you heard about the event so I’ll know where I should focus my marketing campaigns on for the next event.

Until we meet again…

 

International Writer of Mystery

If you aren’t following me on Facebook, then you may not be aware that I just published my second novel, Reunions Can Be Murder: A Wine Tasting Mystery Series. 

It’s been a rough year and returning to your hometown isn’t always a happy experience. When my best friends Syd and Ricky insisted we go to our 20th high school reunion, I thought “how bad could it be?”.  It turns out high school reunions can be fun…or they can be murder!
Pour a glass of wine and enjoy this action-packed, wine-filled whodunit that will keep you guessing until the end!
You can buy a PDF copy at the e-bookstore or pick up a Kindle or paperback version at Amazon.
If you are going to be in the Connecticut/Massachusetts/Rhode Island area on September 12, 2020, stop by the Vineyard at Hillyland between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. I’m holding a book launch and signing event. You can pick up some swag and snacks (no purchase necessary) and participate in a group wine tasting using the tasting sheets that are included in the book. The vineyard is not currently hosting tastings, however, wine can be purchased by the bottle or glass. Bring a chair, meet the author, and enjoy some delicious wine.
You can reply to the event here so I’ll know to expect you.

We’re Moving…

Hello loyal readers,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be phasing ExpatWriter.com out and migrating everything over to TammyWunsch.com. The content will not change – I will still be writing about travel, wine, and animal welfare – however, I am also an author so I am rebranding myself as Tammy Wunsch, Author and Content Writer (and still an intrepid explorer despite this damn pandemic!).

So, follow me to TammyWunsch.com and stay tuned for my new book, Reunions Can Be Murder which will be published very soon.

Thank you for your support and I hope to see you at the other site!

My Summer 2019 Vacation in Italy – Part VI

This is my final installment on my series about my trip to Italy in the summer of 2019. I spent six incredible weeks traveling the depth and breadth of Italy. Each region and town I visited was spectacular. The sights were amazing and steeped in history. Join me on the last nine days of my trip as I leave Milan for Modena to Siena and Pitigliano and finally down part of the Mediterranean coast to Rome. I wasn’t planning on going back to Italy this year but even six weeks were not enough time to fully explore this beautiful country.

I picked up my Fiat at the Milan airport and headed to Modena, home of everything balsamic vinegar. The car was an experience unto itself. I rented a manual shift car because it was less expensive. While I am experienced with manual shift vehicles, it had been over two years since the last time I had driven one, so that was exciting. First off, if you’ve never driven in Italy, be forewarned – they drive WAY TOO CLOSE. On the highway, you’re driving about 140 KPH (approximately 80 MPH). The car behind you is driving about 142 KPH and is so close that you can clearly hear them swearing at you even though there is no way for you to move over. I ended up driving in the middle lane a lot of the time.

The car rental agency rented me a GPS – imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a Tom Tom (do they still make those) and the current settings were in Portuguese. I ended up having to pull over to the side of the road and press random buttons to finally program it to speak English and then figure out how to use a Tom Tom.

Finally, figuring out the toll system was no picnic. Most of the toll stations on the highway are the equivalent of the self-checkout line in a store. You pull up, insert a ticket, and then pay. Sounds simple, but nothing was labeled and I inserted my ticket into every available slot as well as my debit card. One time, I used cash and the change was dispensed in Euro coins that bounced out of the collection bin. I had already spent way too much time at the machine and was surely annoying the cars that were stacking up behind me, so I left it and moved on.

 

I didn’t love Modena but a lot of that was probably influenced by the rainy weather and the fact that I was there on a weekend. Nearly everything shuts down on Sundays and it’s often difficult to find a place for lunch.

While there, I took a tour of a balsamic vinegar producer and learned all about the grapes used, the process employed to ferment the grape must, and the stringent rules that producers must follow. There was a tasting and the difference between authentic Modena-produced balsamic vinegar and run-of-the-mill balsamic you find in your local grocery store is astounding. I ended up purchasing three bottles: traditional balsamic, raspberry balsamic, and truffle balsamic (after my truffle hunt, I’ve become a fan).

After Modena, I traveled to Siena and enrolled in a few day trips. Above, you can see the beauty of Siena and the largest piazza in Europe. I have recently seen a photo of the piazza and, due to the lack of people walking on it, grass has started growing through the cracks of the pavers. Watch the video below and listen to the bells in one of the smaller piazzas.

Church bells

One of the first tours I took was a Vespa tour of the Chianti hills of Tuscany. If you look very closely, you will note that I am not on a Vespa, however, a Vintage Fiat 500. Having never driven a Vespa before, the tour operators give you literally a two-minute lesson in a 20′ X 40′ parking lot with one of the operators running alongside you and screaming in your ear what to do. Naturally, I did not feel comfortable on the Vespa so I transitioned to the Vintage Fiat. When I think of “vintage”, I usually think of restored and, I don’t know, safe? These cars were anything but. My car stalled whenever we slowed down. At one point, one of the tour guides had to push the car to the top of a hill and pop the clutch to get it restarted. Another of the vehicles had its gas pedal fall off and the driver and passenger had to split up into the two other, barely-functioning vehicles. It was a nice day despite the Vespa/Fiat fiasco.

We stopped at Rocco di Castellina and had some free time to walk around. It’s a charming walled city full of character, incredible views. and interesting stone-covered walkways.

After leaving Rocco di Castellina, we meandered through the hills of Tuscany to a local Chianti Classico vineyard – Poggio Amorelli. I learned that there is a difference between what I thought of as Chianti and the Chianti Classico. The Classico is delicious with a ruby-red color and aromas of violets and cherries with an earthy spice. To ensure you are buying the correct type of Chianti, the Chianti Classico is marked by the DOCG, which stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, or Denomination of Controlled Origin. The DOCG symbol is a black, young rooster (Gallo Nero) on the label.

We finished our day in Monteriggioni which is an impressive walled, Medieval town. The town was originally part of a castle which stood in this location since 1200 and whose towers can still be seen for miles across the Tuscan hills.

 

My next day trip took me to San Gimignano, another wine tasting at a vineyard, and back to Monteriggioni.

San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a medieval walled-town with 14 towers visible from miles away. It also boasts the world’s best gelato and a cistern that dates from the 13th century. The day I was there, there was a market day and the streets were closed off to automotive traffic. The streets were overflowing with market stalls and pedestrians. As you walked down the street, there would suddenly be an opening and you would look out across the hills and valleys at breathtaking views.

At this day’s wine tasting, the vineyard paired their wines with Tuscan favorites: pasta, cheese, charcuterie, and. pastries.

The tour finished in Monteriggioni where I stopped at a local wine shop for a very sophisticated wine tasting. You purchased a card with a certain number of points programmed in. When you found a wine you wanted to taste, you would insert your card and the points would be deducted from your card. Different wine tastings had different point values. It was really very clever.

After nearly six weeks of travel, I wanted to relax for a few days before coming home and jumping back into normal life. I did some research and found a spa that I could go to for one day and a hotel that was within 20 minutes of the spa in Pitigliano. I thought it would be a short drive from Siena to Pitigliano but there was not a highway so I drove about four hours through hills, mountains, and valleys on switchback-filled roads. I was white-knuckled most of the time with my jaw firmly clenched. I drove through some areas that were very desolate and thought if I had driven off the road, people might not find me for months.

Once arriving, I discovered that, without a doubt, Pitigliano was the most majestic-looking town I encountered in six weeks. It sat high atop cliffs that were brightly illuminated in the evenings. I accidentally found myself across the gorge from the town – in reality, I couldn’t find parking in town and couldn’t turn around so I ended up driving out of town until I could somewhat safely make a U-turn. The town was picturesque with narrow pedestrian streets that made you feel like you were in an Anne Rice novel. There was a festival the night I was in town and kids were running all around and competing in some games in the square – at 11:00 at night! The hotel I stayed in had their own mini-spa which even had a salt cave.

I spent a day at the Saturnia Thermal Spa and it was not quite what I had expected. Coming from the United States, we are accustomed to (probably) stringent regulations on health and safety. There was a large thermal pool which was quite sulphuric. That was as expected, however, the mold growing on the side of the pool and floating throughout when it broke off was not expected. There were also two circulatory baths. One was a wading path where you walked from hot to cold to hot water to improve circulation. The other was two jacuzzis – one hot and one cold – and you alternated ten minutes in each pool. There was also hydro-massage and saunas and quiet spaces to sit and relax. I also had a problem finding the exit but left feeling as if my body had partially recovered from the thousand miles I must have walked in the previous six weeks. It was a fantastic way to end the trip.

As I prepared to leave Italy, I drove my car down along the Mediterranean Coast. I decided to stay by the airport rather than in the center of Rome as I didn’t want to deal with the train the next day. While it is convenient, I was done with dragging my suitcase up and down stairs and onto trains and trying to find a spot for the my suitcase. I stopped and ate a a quaint little beachside restaurant. It was the perfect ending to a memories for a lifetime trip.

Bari

In summary, my least favorite town was Bari and that had more to do with the lack of internet at my residence. If I hadn’t had an assignment due and so much trouble finding internet service, I’m sure I would have been delighted with it as well. It was a beautiful city, I just didn’t have a great experience.

My two favorite towns are Perugia (Umbria) and Pitigliano (Tuscany) and I can see myself returning to both.

Lake Garda

Overall, I enjoyed Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. I can definitely picture myself spending time on the shores of the lake annually. The microclimate was perfect and the towns felt very comfortable.

My recommendations are what’s right for me. Take a trip for yourself and discover what you love most about Italy!

My Summer 2019 Vacation in Italy – Part II

After my time in Rome, I ventured across Italy to Pescara. Pescara is a lovely town right on the Adriatic Coast. My only problem was that I was staying on the wrong side of the pedestrian bridge.

If you travel to Pescara, I highly recommend that you stay near the center and not far from the train station. There is a large pedestrian central square about two to three blocks from the seaside that is packed with restaurants, bars, and shops. There are also beachside restaurants and shops on the street that runs along the beach – Lungomare G. Matteotti – that has both nice restaurants, casual dining, and gelato shops.

Unfortunately, I stayed on the other side of the pedestrian bridge where there were only a few restaurants and not many shops. I was recovering from Rome though so I was content to stay around the hotel.

 

Travel further with me through Italy today as I revisit Pescara and Bari.

It was a perfect beach day – warm and sunny; the water was cool and refreshing, but not cold. Perfetto!


I took a walk before dinner and was mesmerized by the port side of town. 

I crossed the pedestrian bridge into central Pescara and discovered a whole new world! Beautiful beach with a long promenade and a charming piazza and shopping center.

The streets of Pescara

While in Pescara, I took a private wine tour of two family-owned wineries. The wines were fantastic. I met the tour leader in Scarfa, about 20 minutes away by train from Pescara.

The scenery in Abruzzo is stunning and breathtaking and the wines were delightful. We went to the Chiesa di San Donato where locals bring in their containers to fill right out of the vats for the week. Each container only cost a few Euros to fill. The family was very nice and the owner smiled and often repeated: “Wine is life.” With the views, the wine, and the ambiance, I can’t say I disagree.

The second winery, Castello dei Caracciolo, was located in Tocco da Casauria. We toured their 200-year old cellar and tasted their wines and olive oils. This was another wonderful winery and a thoroughly enjoyable part of the trip.

I would recommend this Private Wine Tour – which I booked through Viator. The tour leader was very knowledgeable and interesting and provided local meats and cheeses to complement the wines. We tasted Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Trebbiano, Pecorino, and Cerasuolo – all lovely wines even fresh from the steel tanks!

After leaving Pescara, I traveled down the coast to Bari. I stayed in a converted Abbey which was rather remote and had terrible internet service, but it was modern inside and quiet.

Bari is a beautiful city – I even came unexpectedly on singing priests walking down the street. That doesn’t happen every day, at least not in my life!

 I took a recommendation and went to explore the Strada Arco Basso – this charming street where women sit outside in the street to make and dry pasta to sell in the local shops. It all looked delicious!

I hope you’re enjoying my trip through Italy – it certainly beats sitting through a slideshow! I welcome all comments on new places to explore in Italy. Come back next week to see what I did in Brindisi and Lecce.

Until then remember, wine is life!

My Summer 2019 Vacation in Italy (a little late) Part I

Last summer, I spent six weeks in Italy. They were experiencing a heatwave that was blowing sands from the Sahara in Africa. It was hot the ENTIRE time I was there – 90+ degrees. I think it rained only twice in six weeks and once it dropped to the mid-70s.

I traveled all over Italy last summer. I started in Rome. Crossed over to Pescara. I had never been to the heel of the boot of Italy so I decided to travel down the Adriatic Coast to Bari, Brindisi, and Lecce.

From Lecce, I thought I would try to escape the everlasting heat and journeyed north to Perugia – which has now become one of my favorite Italian towns. After Perugia, I stopped in Florence and picked up a tour of the Lake District in Milan.

After the tour, I rented a car – that was an experience – and visited Modena, Siena, and ended my vacation in the beautiful town of Pitigliano. A short drive down the Mediterranean Coast brought me back to Rome.

It was busy and beautiful and delicious and fun! I made some new friends and discovered parts of Italy I had never visited before. The next few posts will be a visual tribute to Italy and my tour. Most were posted on Instagram or Facebook so may look familiar.

Please follow me on those two sites if you don’t already. This summer’s trip is already being planned and it’s going to be AMAZING!

Enjoy my trip to Italy. I’d be happy to discuss any portion of the trip if you would like to leave a comment.

Rome

For a large city, Rome is incredible. It manages to be both modern and ancient at the same time. Every corner you turn, you have the opportunity to discover a ruin, a beautiful fountain, or even the Colisseum.

Frascati

I took a 30-minute train ride to Frascati for a pizza making and wine tasting class. It was amazing! Slightly cooler (maybe only 90 degrees) and absolutely stunning. Sampled some local reds and whites, nibbled on delicious appetizers, learned how to make amazingly authentic pizza, tasted wine donuts that are made to dunk in your wine, and met some fun people. A fun and worthwhile experience if you’re ever in the area. Our guide Max was interesting, fun, knowledgeable, and very charming. I can’t say enough nice things about this tour!!!

Stay Tuned

Next week, I’ll continue my mostly-visual, Italian travelogue with photos from Pescara, Bari, Brindisi, and Lecce.

Please share your favorite cities in Italy and tell me what’s not to miss in those cities.

Travel is life!

Uncork the 26 Best Wine Clubs and Have Wine Delivered Right to Your Door

Have you ever had a really stressful day at work and wanted nothing more but to go home, uncork a bottle of wine, listen to some of your favorite music, and relax. Then you realize that you finished your last bottle of wine last weekend and if you want to unwind with a glass of wine then you will have to first drive across town to the wine store. Then you have to browse for a bottle, maybe ask for some recommendations. Then you have to drive home, all the way across town. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to worry about all that driving around and shopping for wine? 

Wouldn’t it be great if an expert could choose the perfect wine for you – based on your likes and dislikes – and have it delivered right to your door?

If you like the idea of having good wine delivered, tasting new wines, and exploring wines from different regions around the world, this guide will help you discover the 26 best wine clubs and help you find out how you can have wine delivered right to your door. Get ready to relax and enjoy!

what is a wine club

What is a Wine Club?

Wine clubs may be a new concept to you, but the concept was born in a liquor store in Palos Verdes Estates, California in 1972. Many wine drinkers, especially those that have just discovered wine, try an assortment of wine varieties until they find a few styles that they enjoy. 

When you join a wine club, you usually submit answers to a simple quiz about your tastes and preferences. The club then builds a flavor and taste profile to suit your palette. Most of the wines you receive through the wine club will be tailored for you and your tastes. Some wine clubs allow you to rate your wines after each shipment to better refine future selections for you.

Wine subscriptions are monthly, quarterly, or annually and vary as to the quantity and variety of wine you receive. Wine subscriptions generally allow you to customize your deliveries, buy a one-time package, skip a month, or cancel your membership at any time without penalties. Wine clubs usually sell wine at discounted prices with no membership fees.

In addition to wine subscriptions and wine clubs, most wineries have their own specific wine clubs where they deliver their wines monthly, quarterly, or annually. Before you sign up for a subscription, be sure to read the details about the plan. Good wine clubs offer a satisfaction guarantee and cancellation options. You also want to consider whether they will let you skip a month or postpone a scheduled delivery.

If you like to try new wines or have limited time available to research and shop for wine, then a wine club is a great choice for you. The right wine club can save you time and money and offer a delicious variety of wines conveniently delivered to your doorstep.

how much do wine clubs cost

 How Much Do Wine Clubs Cost?

You may think that joining a wine club would be ridiculously cost-prohibitive. In fact, wine clubs can be very affordable as well as time-saving when you factor in the time it would normally take you to drive to the wine store and choose wine. 

The cost of wine clubs varies considerably based on several factors:

  • Frequency of delivery – monthly, quarterly, or annually
  • Delivery fees
  • Quantity of bottles delivered
  • Quality of bottles chosen
  • Inclusion of food options

Costs can run from a single bottle shipment of $29 to nearly $350 per shipment. You should thoroughly research each wine club and ensure there are no hidden costs or catches. Wine clubs are also a great way to experiment with new wine varieties, however, you want to make sure you receive wines that you know you will enjoy. 

Discover the Best Wine Clubs and Best Wine Subscriptions

Wine subscriptions accommodate all types of wine lovers. Some wine clubs recommend curated suggestions based on your specific preferences gleaned through quizzes, algorithms, and feedback from previous shipments. Wine clubs help members try a variety of wines and discover wines by region, ratings, and grape variety.

One of the advantages of some wine club memberships is access to small-production wineries that cannot afford expensive shipping licenses and marketing programs. Many amazing wines are being produced globally that you are not likely to find at your local wine store. Another advantage of wine clubs is the vast array of wines that wine clubs can access. Your local wine shop does not have the storage space available to stock all the wines produced in the world or even five percent of the wines produced domestically. 

There are a lot of wine subscription services and wine clubs, many of which will fit your needs and provide enjoyable wine. The best wine clubs usually offer discounted prices on bottle prices as they tend to order in bulk and eliminate the distributor. The best recommendation is to select a wine club that fits your preferred style of wine. Most wineries also have their own wine subscription service, so if you love the wines at one specific winery, consider joining their club. 

Following is an A-to-Z Guide of the 19 Best Wine Clubs and Wine Subscription Services, obtained by research and comparing “Best of” lists from experts such as Urban Taste Bud, Consumer Advocate, Wine Club Services, Wine Club Reviews, My Subscription Addiction, and Forbes. Prices provided for wine clubs and subscriptions are exclusive of shipping and should be verified as prices are subject to change. Always read the fine print as shipping prices vary by club. Start enjoying wine chosen for you – and brought directly to your door – and relax!

bright cellars

1. Bright Cellars Wine Clubs 

Benefits: Created by two MIT grads who had a passion for wine, the focus of this club is on finding unique wines from small vineyards from all over the world. Bright Cellars uses an algorithm to score each wine by comparing 18 attributes and matches the attributes to your preferences. If you receive a bottle you don’t love, you can select a free replacement bottle in your next delivery. Your preferences are determined when you take a quiz that creates your unique taste profile. 

Costs: You will be matched with four new wines that are shipped to you for $80 per month. You may skip a month or cancel at any time.

cellars wine club

2. Cellars Wine Club 

Benefits: Founded in 1999 on the belief that wine is meant to be shared, Cellars finds excellent wines that are new discoveries, timeless classics, and overlooked gems. They believe in the concept of doing good and 15% of your purchase price is donated to a nonprofit organization. Cellars has 9 different wine clubs that serve the palates of beginners and connoisseurs. You can choose the number of shipments, the frequency of shipments, and your wine preference. All the plans, except for the Single Bottle and Red Trio Clubs, include two bottles of wine.

Plans and Costs:

  • Premium Wines come from all over the world and the cost is $45.
  • 90 Plus Point Wines all rank 90 points or above on wine rating scales and the cost is $79.
  • Sweet Wines are mostly white, but there are also some rosé, red, and sparkling wines. The cost is $49.
  • International Wines allows you to explore wines from around the world from the comfort of your home. The cost is $49.
  • West Coast Wines lets you explore wines from Napa Valley up to Washington’s Red Mountain. This club highlights boutique wineries and the cost is $49.
  • Sparkling Club introduces members to the diversity of flavors in sparkling wine. The cost is $59.
  • Natural Club features wines made with minimal intervention. They may be organic, utilize biodynamic farming, ferment with indigenous yeast, or possess low or no sulfites, higher acidity, or unusual or historical techniques. The wines are fun and the selection will run red, white, rose, and even orange (rosé made with white grapes). You will also receive cellaring suggestions and the cost is $65.
  • Red Trio Club explores reds from translucent magenta to deep Burgundy. These exceptional wines come from boutique vineyards and the cost is $59.
  • Single Bottle Club is a great introduction if you are searching for a special occasion treat or a nice gift. The cost is $29.

empathy wine

3. Empathy Wines  

Benefits: Empathy believes that great wine starts in the vineyard and they have partnered with farmers in California to source high-quality grapes. You will receive three wine shipments per year – Rosé ships in the spring, White Wine ships in early summer, and Red Wine ships in the fall.

Plans and Costs:

  • 3 bottles per season at a cost of $81.
  • 6 bottles per season at a cost of $150.
  • Club Empathy: 12 bottles per season at a cost of $240.

4. Firstleaf Wine Club 

Benefits: Firstleaf eliminates the middleman and works directly with wine producers, saving you up to 60% off the retail price of wine. Answer a few questions when you sign up and the Firstleaf experts will send you an introductory order of 6 wine bottles. You rate the wines and they use your feedback to improve your wine selections for every future box. Every Firstleaf subscription is unique to the subscriber’s taste profile. 

Costs: The cost is approximately $13 per bottle; each shipment is $79.98 plus $9.95 for shipping.

5. Laithwaite’s Wine Clubs 

Benefits: Laithwaite’s offers two quarterly wine clubs with expert tasting notes and serving advice.

Costs and Plans:

  • The 4 Seasons Wine Club offers 10 of their best-value bottles per quarter customized to your tastes. The cost is $149.99.
  • Laithwiate’s Reserve Club provides the same benefits as The 4 Seasons Club but offers fifteen better quality wines which are often produced in extremely limited quantities. Within this club, there are four options, each at a price of $219.00.
    • Italian Treasures
    • Luxurious Mix 
    • Sumptuous Reds 
    • Fine Bordeaux

martha stewart wine club

 

6. Martha Stewart Wine Club 

Benefits: If you are a fan of Martha Stewart, then you will enjoy the two wine clubs with wines that were hand-picked by the lifestyle expert and include her personal serving and pairing suggestions.

Plans and Costs:

  • Martha Stewart Six provides six bottles every six weeks. The cost is $49.
  • Martha Stewart Twelve ships twelve bottles every eight weeks. The cost is $89.

7. Ninety+ Cellars 

Benefits: Ninety+ searches worldwide for delicious wines from highly rated wineries. They have three different options that include a hand-picked selection of new and seasonal wines.

Plans and Costs:

  • Ninety+ Three provides three bottles of mixed wine varieties every quarter. The cost is $50.
  • Ninety+ Six ships six red wines or six mixed wine varieties every quarter. The cost is $95.
  • Ninety+ Twelve offers twelve reds or twelve mixed wine varieties every quarter. The cost is $180.

plonk wine club

8. Plonk Wine Club 

Benefits: Plonk curates a monthly adventurous wine journey around the world to present you with a custom-designed shipment of boutique wines. The wines are organic and grown using biodynamic methods – no pesticides or commercial additives of any kind. 

Plans and Costs: 

  • A four-bottle subscription is $110. 
  • A twelve-bottle subscription is $285.

9. Tasting Room Wine Club, by Lot 18  

Benefits: This wine club provides mini bottles of wine to taste. You choose which ones you like then order the full-size bottles that suit your taste preference in shipments of three, six, or twelve bottles. 

Costs: The cost of a bottle of wine varies from $13 to $15 per bottle.

the california wine club

10. The California Wine Club  

Benefits: The California Wine Club promotes artisan and small-batch wineries. They have five monthly wine clubs. These small wineries produce extraordinary wine but are generally only distributed in their local area.

Plans and Costs:

  • Premier Series Wine Club features small-batch wineries from Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Mendocino, and Santa Barbara. Monthly shipments of two bottles start at $40.45.
  • Signature Series Wine Club includes two bottles of limited production, highly rated wines that were held in reserve and rated 90+. The wine club selections are mainly red, with an occasional white. Monthly shipments start at $134.
  • International Series Wine Club imports handcrafted wines from Argentina, France, Germany, and more. Each two-bottle wine delivery starts at $71.
  • Aged Cabernet Series Wine Club explores aged cabernets with rich textures and complex flavors. Each two-bottle shipment has been aged for 8-12 years and originates in Napa Valley. The cost starts at $231.
  • Pacific Northwest Series Wine Club provides new discoveries from Washington or Oregon. Each two-bottle delivery starts at $77.

 

11. The Fat Cork Club 

Benefits: Fat Cork is a wine club that explores diverse champagnes. The wines come exclusively from the Champagne region of France and showcase a variety of terroirs and grower styles. Most of the champagnes come from vines that are aged between 20 and 60 years. 

Plans and Costs: 

  • Classic Club provides three bottles per quarter at a cost of $199.
  • Fancy Club provides four bottles per quarter at a cost of $249.
  • Extra Fancy Club provides six bottles per quarter at a cost of $349.

12. Uncorked Ventures 

Benefits: Uncorked offers three wine clubs that feature wine from small-production wineries.

Plans and Costs:

  • Reserve Selections is a high-quality wine club with memorable, small-production wines. The cost of three bottles is $225.
  • Special Selections offers interesting and exemplary red wines, some of which are extremely limited-production. The cost of two, sometimes three, bottles is $115.
  • Explorations Wine Club provides an exploration of wine around California, Oregon, and Washington State at an affordable price point. The cost of two bottles is $55.

13. Vine Oh! 

Benefits: Receive a monthly selection of wines from California, either whites, reds, or a mix of varieties. You will also receive a special surprise treat four times a year.

Plans and Costs: 

  • A four-bottle shipment costs $59.99 
  • A six-bottle shipment costs $89.99. 

14. Vinebox 

Benefits: Vinebox has taken a different approach to wine clubs. They select nine of the season’s best wines and ship it to you by the glass. You taste the wines and discover new regions and wine styles. You receive bottle credits from your subscription which you can use to purchase full-size bottles of your favorite wines. Vinebox offers a price reduction as an incentive to prepay for your annual membership of four quarterly shipments.

Plans and Costs:

  • Annual: $288 – $72 per quarterly box and $30 bottle credits
  • Quarterly: $316 – $79 per quarterly box and $15 bottle credits
  • One Time Trial: $87 per box

vinesse wine club

15. Vinesse Wine Club 

Benefits: Vinesse provides hand-selected, high-quality wines that are approved by a tasting panel of wine experts. You receive limited-production wines that are not often found in retail stores. 

Costs: The cost of six bottles is $96 per shipment.

16. Vinley Wine Club 

Benefits: Vinley provides two or three bottles of boutique wines from regions around the world or two bottles of their favorite sparkler and pretty-in-pink rosé. Each bottle is curated to provide fancier, adventurous, and affordable wines. The wines are often organic and biodynamic.

Plans and Costs:

  • Adventurer’s Club offers two or three bottles of quality, affordable wine. 
    • Two bottles cost $59. 
    • Three bottles cost $79.
  • Bubbles & Rosé Wine Club provides two bottles of sparkling or rosé wines. The two-bottle cost is $59.

winc wine club

17. Winc Wine Clubs 

Benefits: Winc sources grapes from exceptional vineyards and focuses on quality over quantity. They bottle unique wines from classic blends to obscure single vineyards. They provide four bottles monthly based on your taste profile and refine future shipments based on your ratings. 

Costs: The cost starts at $51.96.

18. Wine Awesomeness Wine Club 

Benefits: Wine Awesomeness approaches wine as an adventure and a learning experience. 

Plans and Costs:

  • A monthly three-bottle club is $49.
  • A monthly six-bottle club is $79.

19. WSJ Wine Club 

Benefits: WSJ allows you to expand your horizons and increase your knowledge of wine. They offer two wine clubs that provide a case of wine each quarter.

Costs and Plans:

  • Discovery Club introduces subscribers to their Top 12 wines. The cost of a case is $159.
  • Premium Club offers extra-special, tiny-production wine releases, most of which are 90+ points. The cost of a case is $259.99.

wine and food club

 

Savor the Tastes of the Top 3 Best Wine and Food Clubs

You have invited some friends over for dinner next Friday night and cannot decide what to serve. Worse, how can you plan which wine to buy if you’re not certain what food you will be serving?

Or, perhaps you enjoy good food but you don’t have a large repertoire of family recipes or the knowledge about pairing wines to compliment the food you serve. 

Maybe you just don’t have the time to menu plan and pair wines accordingly. Don’t forget the time it takes to drive to the store, shop for the food and wine, and then figure out how to cook and serve it while still enjoying your guests.

Let the three best wine and food clubs take the guesswork out of what to serve and what wine to  pair with different menus. You can savor delicious food that is paired perfectly with wine to please your palate – even the palates of your most discerning guests.

1. Blue Apron Wine Plan 

Benefits: When you join the Blue Apron Wine Plan, in conjunction with their meal plan, you receive exclusive access to delicious wine from well-known winemakers. You will receive a monthly delivery of six 500 milliliter wine bottles – which is two-thirds of a standard-sized wine bottle, and the perfect size for two to share. You can choose reds, whites, or a combination of styles. Each shipment includes tasting notes, pairing tips, and a story behind every wine. 

Costs: The wine is $10 per bottle plus tax.

2. HelloFresh Wine Club 

Benefits: HelloFresh members can join the wine club and the cost of the wine is added to the food cost. The Club lets you choose six bottles of wine, red, white, or mixed wine varieties. Your wines are carefully paired with HelloFresh meals – just match the icon next to your bottle with the icon on the recipe. You can add extra flavor to your dinner by using a splash of the paired wine in the recipe. 

Costs: The cost is $89.

3. Wine Down Box 

Benefits: Wine Down is a hand-selected wine club that also delivers cheese and charcuterie pairings as well as handmade crackers and pairing notes. They offer reduced prices for longer subscriptions. Wines are curated from small-batch California vineyards. 

Plans and Costs: 

  • A one-month subscription is $70.
  • A three-month subscription is $68 per month.
  • A six-month subscription is $65 per month.
  • A twelve-month subscription is $63 per month.

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Enjoy Monthly Deliveries with the Top 4 Wine of the Month Clubs

Are you bored with drinking the same old style of wines, month after month? Would you like some variety in your wine selection or a chance to taste wines that are not readily available to the average consumer? Would  you like to explore high-quality wines that are curated especially for wine of the month club members? If so, than a wine of the month club membership may be just what you need to add adventure and variety to your life.

Your local wine shop unfortunately just doesn’t have the shelf space to source wine from the gamut of global, ever-changing, diverse wine producers. Access and explore wines you would not otherwise have discovered – and save time by having them delivered right to your door!

A Wine of the Month Club is a great choice for wine drinkers with discerning tastes who enjoy exclusive wines and having their wine delivered. There are a wide variety of options to suit your needs, tastes, and preferences. Join a wine of the month club today and ensure that your wine cellar, wine refrigerator, or wine rack is restocked monthly with high-quality wines.

1. Gold Medal Wine Club  

Benefits: Gold Medal features wines of the highest quality. Each wine comes from one of 150 different family-owned wineries.

Plans and Costs:

  • Gold Wine Club provides wines from California’s best boutique wineries. You will receive two bottles per month and the cost is $39.
  • Platinum Wine Club features two rare collectible wines from California’s top winemakers, including pre-releases and member exclusives. The wines all have 90+ ratings and the cost is $88-108.
  • International Wine Club presents wines from family-owned international estates that cannot be easily found in the United States. Three wines are shipped quarterly and the cost is $65-85.
  • Garagiste Wine Club introduces small-lot winemakers who produce less than 1,500 cases annually. 
    • Two-bottle shipments cost $65-85.
    • Four-bottle shipments cost $122-162.
  • Pinot Noir Wine Club includes limited-production wines from top California wineries with an occasional international selection. The two-bottle cost is $69-89.
  • Diamond Wine Club is limited to 500 members. All wines are rated 93+ from California and around the world. This is a quarterly wine shipment of two bottles and the cost is $175-205.

great clubs wine of the month club

2. Great Clubs’ Wine of the Month Club 

Benefits: Great Clubs ships three bottles of rare, international wine per month from small, award-winning wineries. You can choose all red, all white, or mixed shipments. 

Costs: The cost is $44.95.

3. The International Wine of the Month Club 

Benefits: Founded to deliver quality, variety, and value through a very strict wine selection process, the International Wine of the Month Club is an environmentally conscious organization with packaging that is 100 percent recyclable. The International Wine of the Month Club features estate-bottled wines, hard-to-find vintages, and rare finds.

Plans and Costs:

  • Premier Series features two exceptional quality bottles from boutique wineries at a cost of $39.95.
  • The Bold Reds Wine Club features limited production, boutique wines which are medium- to full-bodied. Each wine will have deep fruit flavors and oak tones from barrel aging. You will receive two bottles at a cost of $51.95.
  • The Masters Series delivers one bottle from the Premier Series and one bottle from the Collectors Series to create a club of value and luxury. The monthly cost is $54.95.
  • The Collectors Series offers the limited-production wines produced from the finest vintage grapes. The wines are packed with flavor and character. The monthly cost is $72.95.

original wine of the month club

4. The Original Wine of the Month Club 

Benefits: The club that started a trend was conceived in 1972 and delivers two carefully curated bottles per month. With 9 different customizable plans, you are sure to find one that fits both your budget and your taste.

Plans and Costs:

  • Classic Series offers two and four-bottle shipments. 
    • Two bottles per month cost $24.95 
    • Four bottles per month cost $49.92 
  • Vintner Series offers high-end wines that broaden the spectrum of flavors. 
    • Two bottles per month cost $34.96. 
    • Four bottles per month cost $69.92 
  • Limited Series offers two- and four-bottle limited production, boutique wines tailor-made for special occasions. 
    • Two bottles per month cost $45.96 
    • Four bottles per month cost $91.92 
  • California Wine Series offers a red-only wine club that features the outstanding wines from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara. Two bottles per month cost $29.96.
  • Napa Wine Series delivers unique and expressive Napa Valley wines. 
    • Two bottles every other month is $50. 
    • Three bottles every-other-month is $75. 
  • Bordeaux Series offers two and three bottle shipments from this iconic wine-growing region of France every other month. 
    • Two bottles cost $50.
    • Three bottles cost $75. 
  • Rosé Series delivers two bottles of rosé every-other-month from around the world. The cost of two bottles is $40.
  • Pinot Noir Series offers two of the best pinot noir wines every other month. The cost of two bottles is $80.
  • Cellar Series provides a customizable option to receive six bottles of wine. You will receive a mix of Classic, Vintners, and Limited Series of wines. The cost of six bottles is $105.88.

Are Wine Clubs Worth it?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when joining a wine club. The best wine club to join for me may not be the best wine club to join for you. There are many options to consider when contemplating joining a wine club and the best wine club to join varies by individual. 

A wine club would not be for you if you enjoy visiting your local wine shop and speaking with the staff to discover a new bottle or variety of wine. Or if you are content to drink one wine all the time, you could potentially still benefit from joining a wine club by joining that winery’s wine club and having that delivered directly to you. 

Wine clubs can be a great choice or gift if you:

  • like your wine shipped directly to your door;
  • don’t want to worry about having wine on hand;
  • want to sample wines you may never have chosen before;
  • want access to exclusive wines available only to wine clubs;
  • want someone else to plan a menu, pair the wine, and ship everything to you.

When you find a wine club that meets your budget and wine needs, then it is definitely worth it. 

If you cannot decide on the best wine club for you, try a limited subscription and decide if you like it or not. You can always cancel and try another one.  When you find the right wine club for you, sit back, relax, and enjoy your monthly, quarterly, or annual deliveries.

open bottle wine

 

Uncorking the Best Wine Club to Join

There are literally hundreds of wine subscription services and wine clubs. This article covered the 26 best wine clubs as rated by dependable, well-respected, online wine experts. Select a bottle of wine from your wine cellar or wine rack, pour yourself a glass of wine, and research the clubs that both interest you and fit your budget. Try one that appeals to you and, if that doesn’t live up to your expectations, cancel that wine subscription and try another. 

The next time you have a stressful day and just want to be home and relax with a glass of wine, smile as you don’t worry about fighting traffic on the way to the wine store and sorting through racks and racks of wine to choose a bottle that you will enjoy. Relax and remember that you now have wine delivered directly to your door. Wine, and maybe food, that you will savor and enjoy in the comfort of your own house with your favorite people. Sit back, uncork that bottle, and be secure in the knowledge that choosing the best wine club for you has helped to de-stress your life.

Life is too short to not sit back, relax, and savor a delicious bottle – or two – of wine.

 

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