I had appreciated wine for quite some time prior to moving back to the Chicago suburbs approximately 12 years ago. I was pleased to find a new local wine shop near my home town that offered free wine tasting on Friday nights. That was incentive enough for me to frequent the place. I was pleased to find the owners were well versed in wine and would take the time to walk us regulars through as much detail as we could absorb in regard to each offering; it really helped me develop my wine palate. I learned how to identify the particulars of the nose of a wine, the taste, and the color. I learned how each detail held hints about both the grape used to make the wine and the region it came from; most importantly I figured out what I liked and what I didn’t. I developed an appreciation for wines I hadn’t previously heard of. I suddenly found myself seeking out a quality Chilean Malbec or an aged Amarone della Valpolicella.
One day, I was asked to join their wine club. For a monthly fee I would receive two bottles of wine selected by the owner (white, red or a mix). I was reluctant at first, but figured I always made a point to buy a couple of bottles on my weekly visits anyway. The owner consistently provided great wines that suited my preference. The fact that the wine club offered a mix of wines from different producers gave me the opportunity to try varietals from wineries I wouldn’t have otherwise tried. Even better, I got to introduce my friends and family to new wines as well.
My experience with that wine club made me more open to the idea of joining wine clubs directly from wine producers. I’m a member of 3 wine clubs today. When I travel to a wine region and find a tasting room with wines I really enjoy, I join their wine club. In return, I receive wine that I like at a discount and can build a library of it to age. When I am ready for a change, I have the option to cancel my membership and join another. I hope in the future to introduce you to wine clubs that I think you will enjoy as well.
The only thing better than finding a new wine I like is finding it at a great deal. I will be reviewing some wines soon from Naked Wines. They, like my local wine shop, offer wines from a mix varietals and quality producers. They are offering $100 dollars off a case of wine or $50 off half a case and no shipping fees. I have some vouchers for you to take advantage here.