There are a few similarities between Advance Tasting Clubs, Winery Mailing Lists, and Cellar Clubs, but the differences between these can be considerable. There are some winery cellar clubs that offer bonus advantages and benefits to the members, while others are just a facade and a means by which the winery can dump all its odd lots. There are different types of winery cellar clubs. Here are a few of them: . Mailing Lists: The winery will first send you its promotional brochures on a consistent basis, keeping you up-to-date about the up and coming release dates, while offering you the first grabs.
Most of these wineries are geared to ship specific wines to you, provided that the law does not prohibit this. Almost all of the wineries offer large discounts to their mailing list clientele. .
Subscriber/Futures Lists: You have to agree beforehand to purchase a particular amount of wine when the concerned winery releases it. Futures prices are almost 30% less than the actual retail price. For instance, the Brander Winery in Los Olivos provides reasonable prices to its futures clients and the list is generally open to all new subscribers.
These subscriber lists are used by smaller wineries, which produce limited amounts of good quality wine. However, once you are part of the list, rest assured you will be able to purchase all those special wines. . Advance Tasting Clubs: You have to give the winery your credit card number and request them to ship at least 2-6 bottles of the wine before it is released to the public.
This will give you the right of first refusal on those wines that may be hard to procure when released. This list is generally serviced twice annually and the products that are on offer are standard release wines at discount prices. . Wine-of-the-Month Clubs: Most retailers offer special package deals wherein they look for all those rare bargains and send you at least two bottles of wine each month at a fixed rate. Yes, this type of subscription is real fun, but the bargain rarely appears to be good once the cost of shipment is added in.
. Cellar Clubs: Cellar Clubs is a term that is used to describe certain programs where wineries send out two or more bottles of wines anywhere from one to three months. Costs range anywhere from $25 to $75 for every shipment. The wines are given out at discounted rate, 20% being the standard discount offered. Discounts generally apply to most short-term purchases, but sometimes it can apply to every purchase. There are two categories of Cellar Clubs: Those that send out their regular release wines, and those that produce special bottles for their members.
Maintaining an established wine market for small amounts of trial wines allows the winemaker to try out new varietals, techniques, and blends with greater flexibility and ease. The most successful of these experiments often leads to new and regular wine releases. However, if you are wondering what the winemaker does with all that Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah that are left over, then you should know that all these are used to create special blends, which are only for the most loyal cellar club members.
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