Friday, June 22, 2018

MonthlyClubs.com International Wine of the Month Club Premier Series

MonthlyClubs.com International Wine of the Month Club Premier Series Review

Wine Clubs

Product Grade
Report Card Grade
0 Reviews
Best Feature:
100% satisfaction guarantee and Design Your Own Club™
Worst Feature:
Nothing – we love this club!
Best Uses:
Fun gift for family/friends, coworkers and clients
Pricing:
$29.95 per 2-bottle shipment (S&H <u>not</u> included)
Manufacturer:
N/A

Where to Buy

Store Name
Price

Overview

The International Wine of the Month Club's Premier Series was the first monthly club started by MonthlyClubs.com in 1994. Since then, MonthlyClubs.com has launched five other clubs (focused on beer, cigars, cheese, chocolate, and flowers), but the Premier Series has remained the company's most popular membership and the most affordable of their three wine clubs. As a Premier Series member, you will get to taste and enjoy a wide variety of exceptional limited-production, estate-bottled wines from boutique wineries all over the world. After nearly 20 years in business, MonthlyClubs.com has built excellent relationships with importers and wineries, and so they are able to get their customers high quality wines at the best value.

All of the club's featured wines have been thoroughly vetted by a panel of over 40 wine enthusiasts during a rigorous two-stage selection process that is overseen by Don Lahey, International Wine of the Month Club's Head of Product Development and a respected wine expert who has 40+ years of experience in the wine industry. The first stage is a tasting with 10 sommeliers, professional tasters and winemakers, and only about 10% of the wines tasted make it through to the next round. From there, thirty or more tasters (ranging from wine novices to experts) come to a consensus on the best bottles to send out. Every effort is made to provide members with a good mix of wines including well-known to lesser-known grape varietals and wines produced in classic growing regions as well as emerging ones. The International Wine of the Month Club is so confident you'll love their selections that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and allow you to review all of their previous wine selections since 1999 on their website. Any of your favorite wines can be easily reordered online at a great discount while supplies last. Finally, another great feature of the International Wine of the Month Club's memberships is that you can customize your own club through their Design Your Own Club™ program.

You can purchase membership to MonthlyClubs.com International Wine of the Month Club's Premier Series online for $42.95 per 2-bottle shipment (price includes $13 for shipping & handling).

Product Report Card Grade

We give International Wine of the Month Club’s Premier Series Wine Club an A because we honestly couldn’t find anything wrong with it! It has a great selection of inexpensive wines, its newsletter is fun and informative, it publicly archives all previous wine selections, and it offers its members a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Members can also customize their membership and combine it with any of MonthlyClubs.com’s other clubs (beer, cigars, cheese, chocolate, and flowers).


Pros
100% satisfaction guarantee; affordable, flexible membership; thorough selection process; archives all previous selections on website; Design Your Own Club™ program; environmentally-conscious company
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
basically none
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.)
$15
$39.50 - $49.50
$34.50 - $44.50
Membership Minimum
Yes (2 shipments)
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
Estate-bottled, limited production wines from boutique wineries in some of the world's most renowned wine producing regions.
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
Shipments arrive on the 3rd or 4th week of each month.
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 free printable gift cards to notify gift recipients.
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 Design Your Own Club™ program in which you can customize your membership and combine it with any of their other clubs (beer, cigars, cheese, chocolate, cigar or flowers).
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, MonthlyClubs.com offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee! If you are unhappy with any item you receive, MonthlyClubs.com will replace it or refund your money. 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

  • Thorough selection process in place
  • Great variety of featured wines
  • Website features all previous wine selections since 1999
  • Easy online reordering available for club members while supplies last
  • Design You Own ClubTM program
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Environmentally conscious company that uses 100% recyclable pulp packaging and, in 2008, installed a solar array at their corporate office that generates almost all of their power

Cons

  • Cannot ship to Hawaii, Alaska or Utah.

Key Features

Products
In the Premier Series, you will receive red and/or white wine from different international wineries. While the grape varietals and regions vary, all of the featured wines are considered estate-bottled, limited production boutique wines.
  • "Estate-bottled" essentially means the wine was produced and bottled at the winery. Since the grapes were grown on the winery's vineyard, the winemaker is able to oversee the maturation and harvest of each grape varietal to ensure its quality. This is an important distinction because some lesser quality wineries will purchase grapes each year on the open market to mass-produce wine. In doing so, their wine will lack the unique flavor, aroma and feel of a grape varietal grown/bottled in a specific region.
Membership Options
The Premier Series requires a 2-shipment minimum and allows you to choose whether you want an ongoing membership or whether you want to set your membership between 2-12 months. Each shipment will contain two bottles of wine, and you can opt to receive shipments of only red wine, only white wine or a mix of red and white. You can also decide to pay for your membership in one installment or to pay for shipments as they are sent out. Shipping options include a monthly, bimonthly or quarterly delivery schedule, but you can also choose a different schedule through the Design Your Own Club™ program (details below).
Recently Featured
Examples of past wine selections include: a 2010 Reserva Malbec from Tremonte Single Vineyard in Chile, a 2010 Pinot Grigio from Forchir Villa del Borgo Winery in Italy, a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Peltier Station in the US and a 2008 Shiraz from Black Pearl Winery in South Africa.
Newsletter
In each shipment of wine, you will also receive the International Wine of the Month Club's monthly newsletter, Cellar Notes. Cellar Notes will provide some background on each of the wineries, tasting notes on both bottles and interviews with the winemakers. The newsletter will also educate readers on the wine's growing region and the grape varietal. Finally, it will include some food pairing suggestions and recipes to try while you are enjoying your wine.
Extras
The International Wine of the Month offers a Design Your Own Club™ program in which you can customize your membership and combine it with any of the other clubs MonthlyClubs.com offers (beer, cigars, cheese, chocolate, cigar and flowers).
Gift Information
During checkout, you can email or print a customized gift announcement. You can send the email notification immediately or schedule delivery for a future date.
Shipping Schedule
Shipments will arrive during the 3rd or 4th week of each month depending on your location.
Satisfaction Guarantee
MonthlyClubs.com offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with any item you receive, MonthlyClubs.com will replace it or refund your money.

Reputation

I couldn't find any independent (unbiased) online reviews of the International Wine of the Month Club's Premier Series, but MonthlyClubs.com's says that 98% of their customers highly recommend them. In general, MonthlyClubs.com is a reputable company that has received an A+ rating from the BBB and has been a BBB Accredited business since October 2005. While most things about the Premier Series are typical of any value wine club (newsletters, gift notification, etc.), there are a few features that set it apart from the competition. First, they seem to have a more rigorous selection process in place with over 40 wine enthusiasts (from novice tasters to sommeliers) weighing in on each bottle. By offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee and publicly archiving their previous wine selections, the International Wine of the Month Club demonstrates complete confidence in their product, as well as a true commitment to customer service. Another feature that differentiates MonthlyClubs.com is that you are able to use their Design Your Own Club™ program to customize your wine club membership and even combine it with any of their other monthly clubs. Overall, I think this would be an excellent, foolproof gift to give any family members, friends or coworkers this holiday season.


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