Wine Clubs See Boost from Booming American Market
With wine on the grow in the U.S., wine clubs may be the wave of the future.
PR9.NET June 16, 2008 - Chester, PA - ClassicWines.com. Wine sales are higher than ever in the Unites States. The American love for wine is growing consistently (even overtaking beer in preference). Wine selection is so vast that lengthy shelves of wine have become intimidating for consumers. In the midst of all this growth, there has been a concurrent jump in community and organization. Tangled within wineries, state stores, and distributors lies the world of wine clubs, and more people are getting involved every day.
"Wine clubs seem to answer the question many people are asking these days," says Mark Spangler of Classic Wines and Wine Marketer. "That question is 'how do I sort through all of these bottles and come out alive?'" There were times when a local state store contained modest amounts of the most popular varietals, leaving the casual consumer with fairly limited options. These days popular labels are mixed in with boutique bottles, and superb wines mixed in with those of lesser quality.
That's where wine clubs hope to come in. The general protocol suggests that wine clubs hand select bottles every month or quarter and supply members with bottles worth their time and money. Of course, different clubs vary in price, variety, and consistency. Delivery tends to range between 2-6 bottles a month, or 6-12 bottles a quarter. The variety is almost as broad as wine itself.
When asked why he believes wine clubs are the right fit for American consumers, Bruce Boring of California Wine Club responded:
"Wine has finally become something to enjoy every day and is no longer reserved for special occasions. Obviously as the popularity of wine has grown, so too have the choices for consumers. Standing in a local store, facing the 'wall of wine' is daunting to even the most seasoned wine buyer. With so many wines to choose from, how does the average consumer known which one is the right one?...A wine club makes the decision…and if they do it right, makes the experience an adventure."
Scott Kastin of LiquidDiscount.com also suggests that there can be a financial benefit. Regarding his club he states: "[we] have a discount built in - e.g. for the $19.95/month club, the retail value of the wines included is always above $20."
With clubs popping up for wineries, retailers, and independent wine club bodies, it can be difficult to discern which ones are a value and which ones should be avoided. Winery clubs are generally safer because of accountability. Retailers can generally offer more variety, as explained by Linda Hunter of Wine Closet: "I recommend joining a wine club…that carries wine you're interested in. People often join wine clubs at their favorite winery and wind up canceling their membership soon thereafter as they usually end up with too much wine from one winery and basically get caught in a rut drinking the same wine over and over - in general, people like diversity."
Bruce Boring elaborates on being an independent wine club – "The California Wine Club is committed to California's small 'mom and pop' wineries. Every wine we feature comes from a real working winery…Pam and I hand select every wine we feature."
To determine which kind is best, wine consumers need only ask themselves what they are looking for. With new clubs being born every day, it seems likely that with a little homework, every consumer could find the perfect club.
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