Vinology.com: Holiday Wine Gift Guide for 2015

Let me state this flat out: I am not a fan of wine clubs. As a general rule, they are not good values and the wine selections are pedestrian.  However, I understand why wine clubs are popular. It’s an easy gift for a wine lover: It takes away the stress of purchasing wine as a gift. So I made a challenge for myself. Are there any wine clubs out there that rise to the level of “Wine School Approved”? The first thing I discovered was that wine clubs marketed heavily on the web, and most reviews included a veritable ocean of affiliate links. That in and of itself isn’t damning (I used affiliate links to the books I recommend) but the fact that the wine clubs with the highest affiliate payouts were the ones that also were more likely to be recommended. It also seemed like most wine clubs were reviewed without ever being a client. I selected six of the best wine clubs and signed myself up. In the future, I may review the mediocre wines I received in most of the wine clubs. However, I think the major takeaway of the experiment is that there is a single good wine club. Plonk Wine Club delivered some very good wine. A Pinot from Willamette Valley, a white from Santorini, a red from Corbieres, a Chinon. All in all, a very diverse and interesting selection of wines. The selection weren’t all up to our standards, but far and away beyond what any other club offers.