Thursday, May 24, 2018

Classic Series Wine Club by Wine of the Month Club®

Classic Series Wine Club by Wine of the Month Club® Review

Wine Clubs

Product Grade
Report Card Grade
0 Reviews
Best Feature:
Rigorous selection process and 100% satisfaction guarantee
Worst Feature:
Cannot ship to over 20 states
Best Uses:
Foolproof gift for family, friends and coworkers
Pricing:
$21.95 per 2-bottle shipment (S&H <u>not</u> included)
Manufacturer:
N/A

Where to Buy

Store Name
Price

Overview

The Wine of the Month Club is a family business based in California that was started by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr. in 1972. It was the first, original wine club and currently offers five membership levels. The Classic Series Wine Club is their entry-level membership and features two high quality bottles of wines from boutique wineries in California and around the world at exceptional values. Each month, Paul Kalemkiarian Jr., the son and current owner, tastes about 400 wines, of which only 15% are approved as potential club selections and only 1% actually makes it to members' doorsteps. As a member, you can opt to receive two bottles of red, two bottles of white or one of each, and you'll also choose how often you want to receive shipments (monthly, bimonthly or quarterly). Wine of the Month Club's 24-page newsletter will accompany every delivery to help educate you on the wines, wineries, winemakers, regions, etc. As you can see from the recently featured wine section below (and their online newsletter archives), Paul selects a wide range of varietals for you to sample, and he is so confident in his choices that he'll refund your money if you aren't totally satisfied with the wines. When you find wines you love, you can log onto their online Wine Store and reorder your favorite bottles at incredible discounts.

You can purchase membership to Wine of the Month Club's Classic Series online for $21.95 per shipment of two bottles. Shipping costs and taxes (where applicable) are not included. Wine of the Month Club claims to have the lowest shipping rates in the industry, and you can check their website for shipping costs to your region. Average totals are usually $31/month when you factor in tax and shipping.

Product Report Card Grade

We give Wine of the Month Club’s Classic Series Wine Club an A- because it features an excellent variety of high quality wine from around the world, puts together one of the best newsletters we’ve seen, publicly archives all wine selections since 1972, and, most importantly, offers its customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We deducted a few points because we were a little disappointed to see that Wine of the Month Club® cannot ship wine to over twenty states.


 
This Product
Overall Score
Our Awards
Date Reviewed
September 2012
May 2013
June 2013
Pros
100% satisfaction guarrantee; affordable, flexible membership; 40-50% off retail price when you reorder; thorough selection process; archives all previous selections on website; awesome newsletter; family-owned/operated since 1972
Premium, limited-supply wines at exceptional values; strict selection process; previous wine selections publicly archived on website; great, responsive customer service; flexible membership; great discounts on reorders; excellent discounts on reordering (up to 35%); referral bonus; gifts are beautifully packaged; if you request red-only shipments, you'll still get 2 different kinds of red wine
Premium, limited-supply Pinot Noirs at great values; excellent reordering discounts (up to 35%) and easy online reordering system; great customer service; all previously featured wines publicly archived on website; referral bonus; gift shipments are beautifully wrapped
Cons
cannot ship to numerous states
Doesn't offer instant email notification for gift recipients
Bimonthly shipping is only option; doesn't offer instant gift notification by email; domestic Pinot Noirs only produced in California wineries (none from Oregon)
Shipping Included
No
No
No
Cost per Bottle (Est.)
$11
$39.50 - $49.50
$34.50 - $44.50
Membership Minimum
No
No
No
Wine Options
Red, White, or Combination
Red or Combination
Red
Domestic and/or International
Domestic and International
Domestic (California)
Domestic (California) and International
Selection
Variety of unique wines that have been produced in limited quantities from some of the best boutique wineries in the US and around the world.
Premium, hard-to-find California wines that have received at least a 90-point rating from a national wine publication and won multiple medals at major wine competitions.
Premium Pinot Noirs from boutique wineries in California and around the world that have (mostly) received 90+ ratings from a national wine publication and may have also been awarded a Gold Medal at a major wine competition.
Newsletter
Yes
Yes
Yes
Shipping Options
Monthly, Bimonthly or Quarterly
Monthly, Bimonthly or Quarterly
Bimonthly (February, April, June, August, October and December)
Shipping Details
Processes and ships orders during normal business hours, so you won't have to wait weeks to receive your wine.
First shipment will arrive within 7 - 10 days of placing your order. Subsequent shipments will arrive sometime after the 15th of the month depending where you live.
Shipments will arrive sometime after the 15th of the month depending on how far away you live from California.
Gift Information
Offers free e-cards and also sends the first wine shipment in a beautiful linen burgundy box with a personalized gift card for free.
Offers a free gift card that you can customize and include in your 1st shipment. The bottles are beautifully wrapped and packaged in gift box that features specially commissioned artwork of wine country on the outside.
Complimentary and customizable gift card is included with gift purchase. Bottles in gift shipments are each wrapped in colorful tissue paper, placed in gift bags and stored securely in a beautifully illustrated gift box.
Extras
Free Electric Blue Push Button Stainless Steel Corkscrew included with your order.
Offers the PLUS! Program that allows current members to add an extra bottle of high quality wine to each shipment for an additional $35 - $45 (or $39 if you pre-pay).
None
Satisfaction Guarantee
Yes, Wine of the Month Club offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee! They are happy to reimburse or replace any wine you don't like or any corked or broken bottles you may receive. You can also cancel your membership at any time without incurring any cancellation fees.
No satisfaction guarantee, but they will replace any bottles you receive that are corked/damaged at no additional charge. They will refund you for any returned unopened bottles unless they are unable to restock the wine back into inventory for any reason. You can cancel your membership at any time without incurring cancellation fees.
No satisfaction guarantee, but they will replace any bottles you receive that are corked/damaged at no additional charge. They will refund you for any returned unopened bottles unless they are unable to restock the wine back into inventory for any reason. You can cancel your membership at any time without incurring cancellation fees.

ProductReportCard Editors' In-Depth Review


Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Membership is flexible and one of the most affordable of any quality wine club
  • Great discounts on reordering (40-50% off retail price)
  • Love the newsletter. It is very thorough, educational and fun!
  • Two different varietals in each shipment
  • Won't charge you for wine you don't like
  • Great customer service
  • Family-owned and operated business since 1972

Cons

  • Considering how long it has been in business, it's surprising that they still cannot ship to AL, AK, GA, IN, KY, MI, MT, MY, NJ, NY, NJ, DE, OK, OH, PA, TN, KY, RI, SD, TN, UT, VT

Key Features

Products
Red and white wines from small wineries in California and around the world.
Membership Options
Membership is free and flexible. You will only pay for the shipments you receive and can cancel at any time. Members can choose the frequency of shipments and whether they want a standard shipment (a red wine and a white wine) or a shipment that is only white or only red wine.
  • If you purchase membership as a gift, prices are slightly higher because they include shipping and gift wrap. Gift membership options include a 4-month subscription (monthly or quarterly delivery options), a 6-month subscription (monthly or bimonthly delivery options) or a 1-year membership (monthly delivery option only)
Recently Featured
You can review all of Wine of the Month Club's featured wines dating back to 1972 on their website, but here are the wines from September 2012:
  • 2007 Tinto Rey (blend of Syrah and Tempranillo) from Matchbook Winery in Dunnigan Hills, California
  • 2011 Macabeo (mix of Viura, Parellada and Xarel-lo) from 2 Copas Winery in La Macha, Spain
  • 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Tic Tok Winery in Australia
  • 2011 Chardonnay from Crow Canyon Winery in Monterey, California
Newsletter
Wine of the Month Club's fun and informative 24-page newsletter, The Tasting Room, is included in every shipment and covers the Classic Series, the Vintners Series and the Limited Series. It provides background on the wineries/winemaker, regions and tasting notes on the wines. It also has a Q&A section, recipes, food pairing suggestions, club specials, wine anecdotes, and follows up on how previous selections are aging for cellaring. At the end, there is a section for you to make your own tasting notes if you want to keep a journal of all the wines you've tried.
Extras
You'll receive an Electric Blue Push Button Stainless Steel Corkscrew with your order.
Gift Information
In addition to e-cards, Wine of the Month Club includes a free personalized gift card with your purchase and sends it with the first wine shipment in a beautiful linen burgundy box.
  • If you purchase a 4-month subscription, your recipient will also receive a Burgundy Corkscrew.
  • If you purchase a 6-month subscription, your recipient will receive a Vacuvin wine saver.
  • If you purchase a 1-year subscription, your recipient will receive a "Shortcuts on Wine" cd set.
Shipping Schedule
You can elect for a monthly, bimonthly or quarterly shipping schedule. Wine of the Month Club processes and ships orders during normal business hours, so you won't have to wait weeks to receive your wine.
Satisfaction Guarantee
Wine of the Month Club is happy to reimburse or replace any wine you don't like or any corked or broken bottles you may receive. You can also cancel your membership at any time without incurring any cancellation fees.

Reputation

The Wine of the Month Club's Classic Series is great for novice or intermediate wine drinkers on a budget who want to sample good wines from California and from around the world. I honestly couldn't find any negative reviews from unhappy customers or anything that I personally didn't like about this club except for the fact that they can't ship to a number of states. Since they've been in business for so long, they have built strong relationships with many wineries and can get some of the best deals on wine for their members. They are so confident in their selections that every newsletter since 1972 is archived on their website, and they will actually refund your money if you don't like a certain bottle. From what I could tell, they also offer members some of the best discounts on reordering their favorite bottles of wine (~40%-50% off according to the most recent newsletter). I haven't come across another wine club that has a more detailed, fun and interesting newsletter, and I love that they add a personal touch to each one. This is a great club if you are looking to inexpensively educate yourself on different varietals, but these wines are ones for enjoying in casual situations and a more refined palate might need to upgrade to a more expensive membership.


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