Friday, June 22, 2018

Gold Series Wine Club by Gold Medal Wine Club

Gold Series Wine Club by Gold Medal Wine Club Review

Wine Clubs

Product Grade
Report Card Grade
0 Reviews
Best Feature:
Strict selection process and great member benefits
Worst Feature:
Less variety if you request only red or only white wine
Best Uses:
Perfect gift for friends, coworkers and clients
Pricing:
$35/$63 per 2/4-bottle shipment (S&H <u>not</u> included)
Manufacturer:
N/A

Where to Buy

Store Name
Price

Overview

Since 1992, Gold Medal Wine Club has been a leading independent wine club provider offering five different membership levels to fit any individual's tastes and budget. Their most affordable and most popular wine club is the Gold Series, which features red and white California wines that have been produced in limited quantities from some of the best family-owned and operated wineries in the state. Unlike some other wine clubs, Gold Medal Wine Club has a rigorous selection process and doesn't rely solely on the palate preferences of an in-house tasting panel when choosing their featured wines each month. Before a bottle can even be considered, it typically has to have received multiple silver and/or gold medals at major wine competitions and a rating of at least 88/100 points from a national wine publication (ex. Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Beverage Tasting Institute, Wine Spectator, and Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate). Gold Medal Wine Club will also take into consideration the wine's seasonality and consumer varietal preferences before making a decision. Occasionally, they will offer members a "Special Selection", which is a sneak peek at a wine that has yet to be released to the public or submitted for any awards. These wines are chosen based on their "legacy", i.e., previous vintages of the varietal have won awards and been highly rated.

As with all of Gold Medal Wine Club's memberships, the Gold Series has a highly flexible membership, and members are not required to pay dues or purchase a minimum number of shipments. You will choose between receiving shipments of 2 or 4 bottles of wine and whether you want them delivered on monthly, bimonthly or quarterly basis. In a standard membership, you will typically receive a red and a white varietal, but, occasionally, you could receive two red varietals. You can also opt to receive just 2/4 bottles of the white varietal or 2/4 bottles of the red varietal from that month. In addition to your wine, Gold Medal Wine Club also includes their fun and educational newsletter, The Wine Press, in each shipment. The Wine Press will provide background on the wineries and tasting details on the featured wines, as well as offer some other interesting pieces (detailed below). Gold Medal Wine Club is so proud of all their featured wine selections that they've archived every newsletter since 1992 on their website for the public to review. They also offer an easy online reordering system on their website for members to purchase more of their favorite bottles at a discount of up to 45% off winery-direct prices.

You can purchase a membership to the Gold Medal Wine Club's Gold Series Club starting at $35/month for 2 bottles (standard mix or white-only), or $63/month for 4 bottles (2 bottles of each varietal or 4 of the white varietal). If you'd prefer only to receive red wine, the membership is $37/month for 2-bottle shipments or $66.60/month for 4-bottle shipments. Please note that prices do not include taxes (where applicable) and shipping costs. Shipping will vary depending on the number of bottles and the destination zip code. For 2 bottles, shipping is $10.50 per delivery in California and varies from $11.50 - $13.00 per delivery in other states.

Product Report Card Grade

We give Gold Medal Wine Club’s Gold Series Wine Club an A- because we feel it not only features some of the best inexpensive wines but also offers awesome member benefits (ex. deep discounts on wine reorders, referral bonuses, etc). We also really like that Gold Medal has a strict selection process and publicly archives all their featured wines since 1992. We deducted a few points because we would have liked for them to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and include two different varietals in red-only and white-only shipments.


 
This Product
Overall Score
Our Awards
Date Reviewed
August 2012
May 2013
June 2013
Pros
affordable, flexible membership; up to 42% off winery direct prices; great discounts on reorders; previous selections archived on website; referral bonuses
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
limited to California wines; red-only and white-only shipments will be same bottles; $2 surcharge on red-only shipments
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.)
$17.50 or $15.75
$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 (California)
Domestic (California)
Domestic (California) and International
Selection
California wines that have been produced in limited quantities from some of the best family-owned and operated wineries in the state.
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
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.
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 gift cards to notify gift recipients. Also sells gift baskets and wine accessories that you can add to your order.
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
Offers the PLUS! Program that allows current members to add an extra bottle of high quality wine to each shipment for an additional $18 -$22.
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
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.
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

  • Affordable, flexible membership with excellent discounts for reordering your favorite bottles
  • Great, limited-supply wines at exceptional values
  • Gold Medal clearly explains their wine selection criteria and displays all previous selections on their website dating back to 1992
  • Encourages/incentivizes customers to submit ratings on featured wines by giving away one half-case of wine to a lucky reviewer each month. Cumulative ratings are posted in the following month's newsletter.
  • Referral bonus of two bottles of wine if you refer a friend for membership
  • Easy online system for reordering

Cons

  • Strictly offers California wines
  • If you request red-only or white-only shipments, you won't receive different varietals
  • Since supplies are limited, you have to be quick if you want to reorder favorite bottles

Key Features

Products
The Gold Series features award-winning and highly rated red and white wines that have been produced in limited quantities at smaller, family-owned and operated wineries. Some of the wines are listed as "Special Selections" and available to Gold Series members before they have been officially released.
Membership Options
There are no signup fees, no monthly dues, and no minimum obligation to be a member. You will choose between 2- or 4-bottle shipments, a standard mix or red-only/white-only, if you want to pre-pay or pay in installments, and whether you want to receive deliveries on a monthly, bimonthly or quarterly basis. Other membership points to consider for the best deal:
  • If you purchase a 6-month membership, you will receive a 5% discount, and, if you purchase 12- or 24-month membership, you will receive a 10% discount.
  • If you decide to upgrade to 4-bottle shipments, you will also receive 2 complimentary bottles of wine and an ongoing 10% discount on your monthly shipments. 4-bottle members also earn a higher reorder discount in the Wine Store.
Recently Featured
You can review all previous wine selections on Gold Medal Wine Club's website, but here are some recent examples:
  • A 2009 GSM Red Rhone Blend from Ledgewood Creek Winery in Suisun Valley, which earned a gold medal at the US National Wine Competition, another gold medal at the NextGen Wine Competition, and a third gold medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
  • A 2005 "Mare Nectaris" Reserve from Midnight Cellars in California's Central Coast, which earned 93 points from the Beverage Tasting Institute and a Gold Medal in the World Wine Championships.
  • A 2010 Three Coins Chardonnay from Lawer Family Wines in Napa Valley, which earned 89 points from the Beverage Tasting Institute and a Silver Medal in the World Wine Championships.
Newsletter
In each shipment, Gold Medal Wine Club will include their monthly newsletter, The Wine Press. The Wine Press is 8 pages long and covers the winery's history, tasting notes on the featured wines, an interview with the winemaker, background on the region and news from wine country. It also includes suggestions for food pairings and offers fun new recipes to try out while you are enjoying your wine.
Extras
The PLUS! Program allows current members to add an extra bottle of high quality wine to each shipment for a great price. Only 250 cases or less of these wines were produced, so it is a great opportunity to sample a unique wine you'd never find anywhere else. If you pre-pay, it costs an extra $19.50/month, otherwise monthly costs will range from $18-$22.
Gift Information
Gold Medal Wine Club offers free gift cards to notify gift recipients. Gold Medal also sells many gift baskets and wine accessories that you can add to your order if you want.
Shipping Schedule
The first shipment will arrive within 7 - 10 days of placing your order, and then subsequent shipments will arrive sometime after the 15th of the month depending where you live.
Satisfaction Guarantee
Gold Medal Wine Club is confident you will be happy with your membership and welcomes feedback on all the featured wines you received. Since there is no minimum membership requirement, you can easily cancel your membership at any time, for any reason.

Reputation

Gold Medal Wine Club's Gold Series is an excellent, affordable wine club that has received great reviews from customers online. As a member, you will only receive high quality, award-winning wines that you never would have otherwise had the opportunity to try since they are produced in such small quantities from boutique wineries. Although I'm not currently a member of the Gold Series Club, my husband and I have been treating ourselves to the Platinum Series Club for almost a year now, and we have always been more than impressed with the Gold Medal Wine Club's selections and overall service. If you tend to drink a bottle or more in a given week, I would suggest ordering a 4-bottle membership for the best overall value. In addition to receiving the 10% discount on monthly shipments, 4-bottle members also get better discounts when reordering their favorite wines in the Gold Medal Wine Store.

If you want to try more than California wines, this probably isn't the club for you; otherwise, I can't think of any reason why anyone wouldn't love being a member. Besides getting an awesome variety of great wine delivered to your doorstep every month, I think most people will love that membership is flexible and customizable. If you have any special requests (quantity, varietals, etc.), you can just call Gold Medal Wine Club and they are happy to adjust the membership to suit your needs/preferences. Another thing I really appreciate about Gold Medal Wine Club in general is that they offer tons of great benefits for their members beyond what you get in each shipment. You'll have access to online tasting videos, deep discounts on quality wine from other clubs, referral bonuses, quarterly contests for vacation getaways, wine tasting discounts at a number of their featured wineries, discounted rates for trips to Napa Valley, etc. Membership to Gold Medal Wine Club's Gold Series truly is the perfect gift to give yourself or any wine enthusiast in your life.


Reviews

Customer Responses, Reviews, or Complaints

Username:
laurendon2
Location:
San Antonio, TX
Age:
28
Wine Club Review
Review submitted: 2014-04-08
Gold Series Wine Club by Gold Medal Wine Club An incredibly popular wine club delivering the highest-quality wines among the two-bottle monthly wine clubs. I have had EXCELLENT service, bottles arrive intact and the social group I have got know is better than I imagine. I belong to several wine clubs, but this by far is my favorite. MY family owns a wine club and unfortunately doesn't have the vibe, and energy this particular wine club has. I believe that it is very important to keep your client happy and with attention to detail. The only thing I would ADD to this wine club is more social gatherings to talk about wine and other clubs around.

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