Cellars Wine Club Review
A good bottle of wine can go pretty far in my life. It seems like I am always ducking into the store to pick up bottles for little events that I host or attend. Showing up to a party with wine is always a good default option for me because I'm pretty lousy when it comes to whipping up an artichoke dip or casserole.
I have to confess that I'm slightly addicted to trying out new subscription boxes. I've had a few really bad days saved by the thrill of getting home from work to find a box of goodies waiting on my stoop. My past subscription adventures have ranged from beauty kits to outfit-of-the-month boxes.
Most people who know me know that trying out box-of-the-month clubs is one of my guilty pleasures. I'll admit that I got pretty excited when a colleague explained to me that there are subscription clubs for wine! What I didn't expect was that something that seems so indulgent could actually be a really practical thing.
I decided to try a company called Cellars Wine Club after doing my research. I chose this particular subscription service because people seemed to be really pleased with the club's customer service and selection. Those two things seemed really important to me when it came to trusting someone to ship wine bottles to my house.
Is it really necessary to have wine delivered in a world where liquor stores are in every strip mall? Can you really trust strangers to pick out your wine? I'll share my experience with you!
My Own Experience With Cellars Wine Club
We are all very aware that box-of-the-month clubs are really big right now. I'll admit that I've actually been disappointed quite a few times by boxes that seemed flimsy or incomplete. The thing that you learn pretty quickly when trying lots of subscription boxes in various genres is that many of the newer companies are still trying to work out the process.
One of the things I learned about Cellars Wine Club is that this company has actually been around since 1999. This company predates the box-of-the-month trend by many years. Knowing this gave me peace of mind because I wasn't just forking money over to a company that was still learning the ropes.
I was impressed by the way this company was able to combine the ease of working with a modern-day subscription club with the peace of mind of working with an established wine provider. One detail that really convinced me to try this club is the fact that you aren't locked in for a full year. Cellars Wine Club doesn't require any type of minimum commitment.
The Pros of Using Cellars Wine Club
Do you hate the idea of getting boxed in by a subscription box? You may have been turned off by the way some other clubs simply offer one box to every customer. Cellars Wine Club is different because the company offers 12 different subscription levels to choose from.
Having 12 different tiers to choose from is really nice if you're someone who's picky or on a budget. You can go as low as $29 per shipment. There is also the option to go all in with a premium tier. Here's a breakdown of the club levels offered by Cellars Wine Club:
- The Bottle Club ships one bottle of premium wine.
- The Premium Club ships two bottles of wine from around the world.
- The International Club ships two bottles of international wine.
- The Sweet Club ships two bottles of sweet wine.
- The West Coast Club ships two bottles of wine from various regions of California.
- The Sparkling Club ships two bottles of sparkling wine or champagne.
- The Red Trio Club ships three bottles of red wine.
- The Natural Club ships two bottles of organic or specialty wine.
- The 90+ Point Club ships wines that are rated 90+.
The prices on these tiers range from $29 to $79 per shipment. I'm currently doing the Red Trio for $59 per shipment. I've been really satisfied with the red combinations I'm getting with this tier.
You also have the option to sign up for case clubs. The case clubs offered by Cellars Wine Club come with 12 bottles per shipment. Here's a look at the prices on those:
- The Premium Case Club is $139 per shipment.
- The International Case Club is $216 per shipment.
- The 90+ Point Case Club is $389 per shipment.
Going with a case is actually smart if you go through a few bottles of wine per month. You're essentially paying something like $11 per month for each bottle when you go with the Premium Case Club. This is the option I'm probably going to try out when it's time for me to swap out my current subscription.
You've probably been burned by hidden subscription fees at least once if you've done the box-of-the-month rodeo before. I am happy to report that Cellars Wine Club doesn't hide any fees. In addition, you aren't going to get stuck with a membership fee.
Did I mention that shipping is free on Cellars Wine Club boxes? This is a detail that makes me really happy. In fact, free shipping is one of the reasons why I feel okay about jumping up to a higher club tier soon.
One really cool thing about this subscription club is that you aren't totally locked in once you sign up. You're free to change your order by the end of the first week of the month. I really like this level of flexibility because it allows you to focus on a specific type of wine for a specific occasion.
Customer service rocks at Cellars Wine Club. The company is still locally owned and operated out of Washington. You can reach out using a toll-free number or email whenever you have questions.
One of the early concerns I had before signing up had to do with getting stuck with a broken bottle of wine that cracked during shipping. It turns out that Cellars Wine Club offers what it calls a no-bad-bottle guarantee. This guarantee essentially means that you will get your bottle replaced for free if it arrives damaged. I will share that I've never actually received a broken bottle during my time as a subscriber.
The Cons of Cellars Wine Club
Remember that no-bad-bottle guarantee? It does not cover wines that you simply don't like. You're pretty much stuck with a bottle of wine even if it really isn't your cup of tea.
Another thing that left me feeling a little bit disappointed is that Cellars Wine Club doesn't provide any information about reordering a specific wine if you happen to fall in love. However, you may be able to find a specific wine on your own once you discover it through the club.
Patience is necessary once you become a patron of Cellars Wine Club. The company only ships boxes out during the third week of the month. It will take you some time to get used to this if you're used to subscription companies that ship out your first box immediately after you sign up.
The last con I'm going to bring up has to do with presentation. Cellar Wine Clubs doesn't include any frills or fancy touches with its boxes. You're just going to receive a plain box that lacks any booklets, photos, recipe cards or pairing suggestions.
Giving Cellars Wine Club as a Gift
A lot of you are probably curious to know if a Cellars Wine Club subscription would make a good gift. I actually haven't given this subscription as a gift to anyone yet. However, I did inquire about the process because I am thinking of using this service to go through my shopping list quickly the next time the holidays roll around.
Most of the club tiers offered by Cellars Wine Club can be used as gifts. You actually have the option to choose the duration of the gift. The only thing to keep in mind is that an adult signature is required at delivery. It's also important to know that Cellars Wine Club currently does not deliver to Alaska, Alabama, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Hawaii, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Kentucky, New Hampshire or Utah.
My Final Thoughts on Cellars Wine Club
The truth is that nobody needs to have wine delivered to their house. I feel like a wine subscription is one of those things I do for myself because I like to feel pampered after working so hard. The price of the Red Trio Club is reasonable enough that I really don't feel like I'm splurging or being ridiculous by having my wine delivered. I'm going to run through my pros and cons one more time for you.
The bottom line is that I really love discovering new wines that I would have never thought to pick out on my own. I chose to go with the Red Trio Club because I knew that I would generally love all the reds. However, I will admit that I still pick up some of my favorite wines at the liquor store.
Would I recommend this club to a friend? I've inadvertently convinced a few other people to sign up after showing up to little gatherings with really great bottles of wine. People always think that it's so interesting that I actually belong to a wine club that surprises me with new wines every month.
Do you want to be the one with the good wine at every gathering? Take a look at the club tiers I shared above to see if one sparks your interest. You can see how much fun belonging to a wine club can be once you sign up!