The Best Wine Clubs of 2020

You’ll never have to worry about running out of wine again

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a hand opening a bottle of wine using a corkscrew

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Wine subscriptions have been around for decades, and while the concept is not new, the variety of club concepts has certainly gotten better with age. Thanks to technology and an increasingly competitive market (among other factors), there’s now a wine club out there for every palate and objective—whether you’re looking to discover natural wines, stock up on sparkling, explore a certain region, avoid trips to the liquor store, or just get to know your tastes a bit better, you’ve got options. Here, we explore the best wine subscriptions to sign up for today.

Best Overall: Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

When you sign up for a Nakedwines.com membership, you become an “Angel”—essentially, your subscription doubles as an investment that benefits small independent winemakers across the globe. This makes Nakedwines.com one of the most impactful routes to take when it comes to signing up for a wine subscription. Thanks to its business model, Nakedwines.com is able to abbreviate the supply chain that a bottle typically goes through before it gets to you, which directly translates to lower cost (i.e. higher profits) for their winemaker partners as well as better prices for members.

Before you sign up, you can take advantage of the club’s built-in trial period, which offers an automatic $50 voucher that goes toward your first box of six bottles, bringing the price down to $34.99 including shipping for a half-case of wine that normally retails for around $116. From there, you’ll have 30 days of access to preferential Angel pricing. There are no joining or cancelation fees, and Nakedwines.com offers a solid guarantee on its bottles: If you don’t like it, you get your money back.

As a member, all that’s required of you is a $40 monthly deposit into your Nakedwines.com account, which you can use to purchase whichever wines you’d like at exclusive Angel pricing, and you’ll also receive free sample bottles with many of your shipments. Shipping is generally included for members, unless the order is over 12 bottles. Nonmembers can also shop the selection, but shipping fees will apply for orders under $100 and of course, you’ll be stuck paying nonmember prices, so it’s definitely worth at least checking out the trial.

Best Sparkling: Air’s Champagne Parlor’s Club Champenoise

Air’s Champagne Parlor

 Air’s Champagne Parlor

If you’ve never been to or heard of Air’s Champagne Parlor in New York City’s Greenwich Village, consider yourself fortunate to have at least encountered it today, even virtually. This cozy, nondescript place is a magical velveteen den dedicated to bubbles and lovers thereof, a place where you could just order a glass of Blanc de Blancs or something non-vintage and they’d pour whatever happened to be open that night. A place where they’d talk to you about Champagnes and other sparkling wines until your truffle fries arrived, or until you’d made your decision (whichever came last).

The team has been quick on its feet to adapt to the nation's changing landscape, and now the Air’s experience is available to oenophiles all over the country through Club Champenoise, an online wine club with none of the strings and yet all of the benefits of a personalized wine club, opening up its quirky hotlist of Champagnes and other global sparkling wines beyond the confines of New York City.

If you’re in the New York area, you can order bottles, caviar, Netflix recommendations, dinner, and cocktails from your Champagne concierge at the bar downstairs (Tokyo Record Bar) for delivery or pickup; if you’re ordering from anywhere outside the area, simply check out the shipping page to see what’s available or get in touch with the bar via email or phone to meet your concierge and get their curated recommendations based on your tastes as well as arrange shipping. Either way, sign up for the weekly emails to get exclusive access to bottle picks, deals, and more.

Best Winery-Specific: Patz & Hall Salon Society

Patz & Hall

Patz & Hall

Since 1988, Sonoma winery Patz & Hall has been connecting wine lovers near and far with the fruits of the land and those who tend it. Standing out among countless area wineries full of heart and conviction, there’s something about this house that transcends the transactional winery visit experience, a sense of home and relaxed perfection surrounding the winemakers’ laser focus on the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that their partner growers’ vineyards have to offer.

It’s an easy winery to fall in love with, and that’s exactly the kind of loyalty and affinity that calls for joining a winery-specific club versus a broad or brand-agnostic club (which are ideal for variety and discovery). If you know what you like, and that happens to be California Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, this is the club for you. The Patz & Hall Salon Society treats its members to exclusive releases, special events and experiences, special member pricing, and members-only access to large-format wines.

Choose from two different membership options: Cru, which consists of four shipments of four bottles annually at $265 each (plus tax and shipping), or Grand Cru, the $750-per-shipment delivery of one full case each quarter, some of which are meant to be cellared and the others to be sipped at leisure. Both options make for an excellent gift for the wine collector in your life.

Best for Groups: SommSelect’s 'The Blind Six' Blind Tasting Club

SommSelect

 SommSelect

Wine drinkers with a penchant for friendly competition, this one’s for you—SommSelect, founded by Master Sommelier Ian Cauble (who you might recognize from cult-favorite wine documentary "Somm") in 2014, is behind this blind tasting club designed for “wine geeks looking to hone their blind tasting skills,” either on their own or with friends. Unless you have a Coravin or other preservation system, it makes the most sense to go in on this kind of club with a group of six to 12 friends (or fewer, if you’re not a fan of sharing) and making a night out of each monthly blind tasting that features a lineup of six black tissue paper-clad bottles (three white and three red) ripe for the guessing, notebooks, and instructions served on the side.

Cauble, with the help of his stable of fellow sommeliers and experts, personally makes sure that each bottle that hits your doorstep is up to snuff, no matter how you order or which club you join. If blind tastings aren’t your thing, go for the less-labor intensive (and more moderately priced) four-bottle monthly Drink Like a Somm club for $99 per month plus $15 flat-rate shipping. You can also opt for the middle-of-the-road format, THE SOMM SIX, which brings you six curated bottles each month, some of which are cellar-worthy and some are to be enjoyed right away (no black tissue paper here).

Shipping is included in both THE SOMM SIX and The Blind Six clubs; billing occurs during the first week of each month and shipping generally takes place later that week. You can cancel your membership with any one of these clubs at any time without penalty (and there’s no minimum commitment).

Best Nonalcoholic: FRE Alcohol-Removed Wine Club

FRE

FRE

Everybody deserves to enjoy a nice drink, especially when avoiding alcohol. In a market where historically there have not been a whole lot of choices for those not partaking, it’s about time we make good nonalcoholic options a standard. FRE Alcohol-Removed Wine Club is designed for those who love the idea of a glass of wine but aren’t drinking for whatever reason.

With this club, members can expect a quarterly delivery of 12 alcohol-removed bottles of wine, and between shipments, you’ll also have access to exclusive member sales and promos as well as unlimited access to the shop to stock up in the event that you run out before your next box (you’ll get 20% off as a member). The beauty of this club is not only its accessibility, but also its variety—FRE offers a great selection of different styles and varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, rosé, Chardonnay, sparkling brut, blends, and more—and each membership box is customizable, which is always a plus.

Simply log in to your account when you get the customization alert via email, then make your selections. If you miss the window for customization, you’ll simply receive a curated variety to explore. Depending on which wines you end up with, this club can cost anywhere about $58 to $105; boxes are delivered in February, May, September, and November. FRE Alcohol-Removed Wine Clubs require a commitment of at least three shipments.

What Is a Wine Club?

A wine club is a regular subscription service that brings wine to your doorstep on a regular basis. There are wine clubs for beginners, experts, casual everyday drinkers, wine nerds who love to blind taste, and the natural-born host, to name a few. These clubs are typically managed online, and you’ll often have access to an account to manage your preferences, billing, and more. Many also have dedicated concierges for members, a valuable amenity for any and all answers or recommendations you seek.

What Are the Benefits of Joining a Wine Club?

Where do we start? Wine clubs are a great way to expand your knowledge and palate, and the convenience factor of regular deliveries can’t be beat. Often, you’ll be exposed to bottles you might never have chosen on your own. And, unlike a traditional wine shop, if there’s a bottle you don’t like, you can simply consult your club’s standards and guarantees to see if you’re eligible for a full refund (often, you will be). Wine club subscriptions also make great gifts for wine lovers of any experience level.

How Much Do Wine Clubs Cost?

The cost of a wine club depends entirely on which club you choose. There are many different billing formats, which is something to take into account when signing up. Do you want to be billed the same amount regularly? Choose a club that does so. (This could be anywhere from $40 monthly, like Nakedwines.com, to $199, like SommSelect’s THE SOMM SIX and The Blind Six clubs.) A difference between these two examples is where that money goes: Your $40 monthly contribution to Nakedwines.com supports its partner winemakers, and you can either put your account funds toward a wine purchase that you curate for yourself or save it for the following month’s purchase. With SommSelect, $199 gets you a box of six high-end bottles every month, including shipping. Finding the right club for your budget is all about determining your objectives and priorities.

How We Chose the Best Wine Clubs

With so many different wine clubs available, it’s tough to pick favorites. But with variety, approachability, and general quality in mind, we zeroed in on five of the very best, each of which brings something unique to the table. These also might not be the wine clubs you hear about constantly, as we’ve made it a point here to highlight membership concepts that either support small businesses or are small businesses themselves.

As usual, we made sure to include something for every taste on this list—reds, whites, sparkling, international, domestic, alcohol-free, budget-friendly, and splurge-worthy are just some of the bases covered here. We also chose clubs with lax cancellation policies because no one likes a high-stakes commitment.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.