Wine Clubs Whiz Out of the Woodwork

I don’t know about you, but a quick scroll down my Facebook page a moment ago brought up ads for no fewer than 13 online wineries or wine clubs:

Buy Wines OnlineDry Farm WinesDuckhorn VineyardsEmpathy – Firstleaf – Justin Vineyards & Winery – Last Bottle Wines – Naked Wines Soujourn Cellars – Tasting Room – Twisted VineVinesseWinc

A couple, such as Duckhorn and Soujourn, may be names you already know as “traditional” wineries; others such as are relatively new, and a bit different–in this case, just sending a text to order once you’ve signed up. Some are private-labeled proprietary wines while others offer either a selection, or a single day offer of branded wines. Either way, it’s pretty clear that the scourge of Covid19 has increased both home consumption, and Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) offerings.  Of course, not all wineries or retailers can send to all states.

Some, too, are a bit gimmicky for my taste, such as Tasting Room, which gives you a 30-second quiz and then sends you a “tasting kit” (so you can assemble your tongue?) of six “mini bottles”…”depending on your answers” about things like what kind of chocolate you like. Then in the future, you get wines chosen for you based on how you rated the samples, although I think you can say yes or no before shipment. Firstleaf, which I discuss here, does somewhat of the same thing with a 20-question quiz instead which takes a bit longer. Winc also does the same thing, and based on your answers they send four bottles a month, at $13 a bottle–and you can even buy shares in the company. These and others “curate” for you, they call it (which is kinda nonsense) and are subscription services that assume they know what you’ll like. But even the Columbia Record Club used to let you choose the specific cassettes you wanted. Others like LastBottle, which I use extensively and wrote about here, send you an email once a day with their offerings, and you buy only if you choose to.

I will try out a couple more of these services, including at least one of the “curated” ones, and let you know how it goes. In any event, I’d say DTC is here to stay and will grow exponentially, virus or not.

Go have a glass, and be well.  Cheers!