How Much Is a Wine Club Membership

June 18, 2024

Wine clubs have become increasingly popular among wine enthusiasts, offering a convenient and exciting way to explore a wide range of wines from around the country and the world. These clubs provide members with regular shipments of hand-selected wines, often including exclusive or limited-edition bottles that are not readily available in stores. Joining a wine club can enhance your wine-tasting experience, giving you access to valuable knowledge from experts and offering a sense of community with fellow wine lovers. A wine club membership can also be a special gift for wine lovers.

However, one of the most common questions for potential club members is, “How much is a wine club membership?“ This article will delve into the various factors that influence the cost of joining a wine club, helping you understand the different pricing structures, what you can expect for your money, and how to choose a wine club that fits your budget and preferences. Whether you’re a casual drinker or a seasoned connoisseur, we’ll guide you through the financial aspects of becoming a wine club member.

Table of Contents

  • Overview and Benefits
  • Types of Wine Clubs
  • Pricing Structure of Wine Clubs
  • What’s Included in the Membership?
  • Discounts and Promotions
  • Customizability and Flexibility
  • The Importance of Member Reviews and Testimonials
  • Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Types of Wine Clubs

Types of Wine Clubs

There are different types of wine clubs, and each of them offers unique benefits and experiences to cater to different preferences and lifestyles. Understanding the types of wine clubs available can help you choose the one that best suits your needs and interests. Next, we will delve into the main categories of wine clubs: winery-based, retail-based, and online clubs.

Winery-Based Wine Clubs

Winery-based wine clubs are operated directly by wineries. Membership often includes shipments of the winery’s wines, sometimes including exclusive or limited-edition bottles. Usually, these clubs offer additional perks such as discounts on purchases, invitations to special events, and complimentary tastings at the winery. Joining a winery-based club is a great way to deepen your connection with a particular winery and gain access to premium offerings. It also allows the winery to build and foster a loyal community and following.

Retail-Based Wine Clubs

Wine retailers or specialty wine shops manage retail-based wine clubs. These clubs usually offer a broader selection of wines from different producers, regions, and styles, with the added benefit of knowledgeable staff who can help pick out bottles and provide better value when buying in person. Retail-based clubs often provide members with educational resources, such as tasting notes and food pairing suggestions for the wines included in the selection. Membership benefits may include discounts on store purchases, early access to new arrivals, and invitations to wine tastings or events hosted by the retailer. This type of club is ideal for those who enjoy exploring a wide range of wines and expanding their wine knowledge.

Online Wine Clubs

Online wine clubs operate exclusively through e-commerce platforms or media organizations, offering the convenience of browsing and purchasing wine from the comfort of your home. These clubs offer personalized wine selections based on your taste preferences, determined through surveys or algorithms. Online clubs may also provide virtual tastings, educational content, and community forums for members to share experiences and recommendations. The flexibility and customization options of online wine clubs make them a popular choice for tech-savvy wine enthusiasts looking for a tailored wine experience.

Pricing Structure of Wine Clubs

When considering joining a wine club, understanding the pricing structure is essential to determine the best fit for your budget and preferences. Wine clubs typically offer flexible membership plans that vary based on frequency, tier levels, and the types of wines included. Below, we explore the most common pricing models implemented by wine clubs.

Monthly, Quarterly, or Annual Membership Fees

Monthly wine club memberships are popular for their regular delivery schedules, providing a steady supply of wines to enjoy. Prices for monthly wine club memberships can vary based on the club’s exclusivity, quality and the quantity of wines offered. For example, Cooper's Haw, a winery with an extensive network of restaurants, offers a monthly membership starting at $22.99 for one bottle. On the other hand, Firstleaf offers a customizable monthly subscription starting at $79.95 for six bottles, with free shipping on the first order and $14.95 for subsequent orders. This regular influx of wines is ideal for those who enjoy discovering new wines frequently.

Many wine clubs offer the option to purchase a gift membership, making it a great present for wine enthusiasts.

Quarterly memberships deliver wines every three months, offering a balance between frequency and variety. These plans are often chosen by those who prefer to savour their wines over a longer period. An example is the Discovery Club, which ships quarterly and includes curated selections along with detailed tasting notes and pairing suggestions. Prices for quarterly memberships generally range from $150 to $200 per shipment, depending on the club and wine quality. This approach suits those who like to enjoy their wines leisurely while still having access to new selections.

Annual memberships are billed once a year and often come with additional benefits such as discounts on extra purchases and exclusive event invitations. These plans are ideal for those committed to exploring wines over the long term. Membership costs can vary widely, with some premium clubs charging upwards of $1,000 annually for exclusive, high-rated wines. Annual plans often provide the best value for those who seek consistent, high-quality selections.

Different Tiers or Levels of Membership and Their Costs

Different Tiers or Levels of Membership and Their Costs

Wine clubs often offer different membership tiers that suit different tastes and budgets. Basic memberships provide a cost-effective way to enjoy a curated selection of wines. These plans usually include standard offerings and may not feature rare or exclusive bottles. For example, the Gold Medal Wine Club offers a basic tier starting at $49 per month, focusing on high-quality California wines. This tier is perfect for casual wine drinkers who want to enjoy quality wines without a big financial commitment.

Mid-tier memberships offer a broader selection of wines, often including international varieties and higher-rated bottles. These memberships may also come with added perks such as detailed tasting notes and access to exclusive content. For example, Plonk Wine Club provides a mid-tier membership at $110 per month for three bottles featuring organic and biodynamic wines from boutique wineries. This level is suitable for wine enthusiasts looking to expand their wine knowledge with unique and diverse selections.

Finally, premium memberships are perfect for wine connoisseurs seeking exclusive, high-end wines. These plans often include rare, limited-production bottles and additional benefits such as invitations to special events and private tastings. For instance, the Diamond Wine Club, a premium tier of the Gold Medal Wine Club, costs $219.90 per shipment and includes a cellar selection of luxury wines rated between 93 and 99 points. Premium tiers are designed for wine collectors who want to have exclusive access to top-tier selections.

By understanding the various pricing structures and membership levels, you can select a wine club that best suits your preferences and budget, ensuring an enjoyable and rewarding wine-tasting experience.

What’s Included in the Membership?

What’s Included in the Membership?

When you join a wine club, you’re not just signing up for regular wine deliveries; you’re gaining access to a curated selection of wines adapted to your preferences, but that also allows you to explore new varietals you might not have discovered otherwise. Each wine club offers unique features which can significantly enhance your wine experience. Let’s delve into what you can expect to receive as part of your wine club membership.

Number of Bottles per Shipment

Wine club memberships usually specify the number of bottles you will receive per shipment. This number can vary depending on the club and the membership tier you choose. Many clubs offer different options, ranging from four to twelve bottles per shipment. For instance, the Wanderlust Wine Club provides choices such as four bottles for £48, eight bottles for £116, and ten bottles for £200. This allows you to select a quantity that best suits your drinking habits and storage capacity, ensuring you have a manageable supply of wine.

Types of Wines Offered (Red, White, Mixed)

Wine clubs usually suit a wide range of preferences by offering different types of wines in each shipment. Most clubs provide a selection of red, white, and rosé wines, giving you the opportunity to explore a wide range of styles and flavours. For example, some clubs offer memberships that include a mix of reds and whites, often featuring blends, single varietals, and sometimes even sparkling wines. This selection ensures that whether you prefer the robust flavours of red wines, such as a California cabernet sauvignon with its rich flavour profile and distinctive winemaking style, or the crisp freshness of whites, there’s always something to suit your taste. Additionally, many clubs highlight their unique selections, allowing you to discover wines from different regions and producers, enhancing your wine-tasting journey.

Additional Costs and Fees

If you are considering joining a wine club, it's important to be aware of the additional costs and fees that may be applied beyond the basic membership fees. These extra fees can impact the overall value and affordability of the membership. Here, we break down two common additional costs: shipping fees and taxes.

Shipping Fees

Shipping fees vary between different wine clubs and are a key factor to consider. Some clubs offer free shipping as part of their membership benefits, while others charge a flat rate or variable fees based on location and shipment size. For example, Plonk Wine Club offers free shipping on all their subscriptions, which is a great benefit considering their monthly cost of $110 for four bottles. However, other clubs, like Winc, charge a flat shipping fee of $9 for orders below a certain amount, with free shipping on orders of four bottles or more. Ridge Vineyards, on the other hand, includes shipping costs in their membership pricing but allows members to pick up their shipments at the winery to save on these fees.


In addition to shipping fees, taxes are usually added to the cost of a wine club membership. These taxes vary by state and can be based on the value of the wine shipped. For instance, clubs like Firstleaf clearly outline that taxes will be added to the membership cost, with six wines costing $79 plus shipping and applicable taxes per shipment. It's important to read the club's policy on taxes to understand the full cost of membership and avoid any surprises.

Understanding these additional costs and fees will help you make an informed decision about which wine club to join.

Discounts and Promotions

Wine clubs often offer discounts and promotions to attract new members and reward existing ones. These incentives can enhance the value of your membership. Here, we explore common discounts for new members and seasonal promotions or special offers.

Common Discounts for New Members

Many wine clubs provide attractive introductory offers for new members. These can range from discounted rates on the first shipment to free bottles included with the initial order. For example, Firstleaf offers six bottles to new members for $44.95, including shipping, as a welcome offer. 

Other clubs, like Winc, offer a more personalized approach with introductory drink offers based on a palate profile quiz. Their new member deal includes four bottles for $29.99 with free shipping, making it an affordable way to try out their service. These initial discounts are designed to lower the barrier to entry and allow new members to experience the club's benefits without a significant upfront cost.

Seasonal Promotions or Special Offers

Seasonal promotions and special offers are common among wine clubs, especially around major holidays and events. These promotions can include big discounts, bonus bottles, gifts, or exclusive items added to shipments. For example, during the holiday season, Wine Insiders often offers up to $100 off for new customers who spend over $200, along with additional perks like free shipping and bonus bottles.

On the other hand, clubs like Vine Oh! Provide seasonal promotions that combine wine with lifestyle items. Their quarterly subscription often includes discounts like $10 off the first box plus an extra bottle or glass of wine when using a specific promo code. These promotions not only make memberships more attractive but also add an element of surprise and additional value for members.

By taking advantage of these discounts and promotions, you can enjoy premium wines at a fraction of the regular price, making your wine club membership both enjoyable and economical. A wine club membership can also be a special gift, especially during major holidays and events.

Customizability and Flexibility

Many wine clubs offer customizable and flexible purchase options to ensure members can adapt their experience to their preferences and needs. This customization enhances the value of the membership and makes it more convenient for users to enjoy their wine club experience.

Options to Customize Shipments

Many wine clubs provide different options to customize shipments. Members can often select the types and quantities of wines they receive in each delivery. For instance, The Calling Wine Club allows members to personalize each shipment, choosing from different tiers and including specific wines such as library wines and member exclusives. DAOU Vineyards also offers customizable allocations, allowing members to select wines based on their preferences and even pick up their orders at the vineyard.

These customization options are designed to satisfy individual tastes and preferences, ensuring that members receive wines they will enjoy and appreciate. Some clubs also provide tools like taste profile quizzes to help refine the selection process, making it easier to find wines that match members' and friends' tastes.

Policies on Skipping Shipments or Canceling Membership

Flexibility in managing shipments and membership is another key feature offered by many wine clubs. Policies typically allow members to skip shipments or temporarily suspend their membership without penalty. 

Firstleaf, for example, provides a flexible membership model where members can adjust the frequency of shipments (monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly) and cancel at any time without additional charges. This is convenient for those who may travel frequently or want to pause their deliveries.

Importance of Member Reviews and Testimonials

When choosing a wine club, member reviews and testimonials play a key role in guiding your decision. These insights from current and past members provide valuable information about the overall experience, quality of wines, customer service, and more. Here’s why taking into account member reviews and testimonials is essential:

Real User Experiences

Member reviews offer a window into subscribers' real experiences. These reviews highlight both the positive aspects and potential drawbacks of a wine club, giving prospective members a balanced view. For example, reviews on platforms like America's Test Kitchen and Hello Subscription often detail specific experiences with a wine club manager, selections, shipment handling, and customer service responsiveness, which can help you gauge the reliability and quality of a wine club.

Quality Assurance

Testimonials and reviews often include feedback on the quality of wines provided by the club. This information is essential, as the primary purpose of joining a wine club is to receive high-quality and enjoyable wines. Positive reviews from satisfied members can reassure you that the club maintains high standards in its wine selection process.​​​​

Retention and Satisfaction Rates

High retention rates and positive testimonials are indicators of a wine club’s ability to satisfy its members over the long term. By analyzing member reviews, you can identify clubs with high satisfaction levels and a loyal customer base. This is a strong signal that the club consistently meets or exceeds member expectations.

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Final Thougths

Final Thoughts

Determining if a wine club membership is worth the cost depends on several factors, such as your wine preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Wine clubs offer many benefits, such as access to curated selections, exclusive wines, and educational content that can enhance your wine-tasting experience. By understanding the different types of wine clubs, their pricing structures, and what each membership includes, you can make an informed decision.

An aspect to keep in mind is that many wine clubs provide a wide range of customization and flexibility options, allowing members to tailor their shipments to their tastes and manage their memberships according to their schedules. The availability of discounts and promotions can add more value to your subscription, making these memberships more affordable and attractive.

Finally, member reviews and testimonials are key to assessing the overall quality and reliability of a wine club. They provide insights into real user experiences, the quality of wines, customer service, and the effectiveness of personalization options. Positive feedback and high retention rates are strong indicators of a satisfying wine club experience.

Ultimately, a wine club membership can be a worthwhile investment if you enjoy tasting and discovering new wines, value the convenience of home delivery, and appreciate the additional perks offered by the club. By carefully considering all aspects discussed in this article, you can choose a wine club that best suits your needs and preferences, ensuring a rewarding and enjoyable wine journey.