Not sure what wines to buy? Always buy the same thing? Looking for a regular supply of wines direct to your door? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then you should consider joining a wine club. Wine clubs have become increasingly popular in recent years and offer a number of benefits when it comes to buying wine.
The main advantage of joining a wine club is that you get to enjoy a regular supply (monthly or quarterly depending on the wine club) of expertly selected wines. Unlike a supermarket or wine shop when you are faced with rows and rows of wines and unsure what to buy, with a wine club all the research is done for you. You get to taste a whole host of award winning wines, customer favorites, pre-releases and undiscovered gems that you otherwise may not have chosen. What’s more, you’ll be sure to have a bottle of wine to hand, perfect for every occasion.
Another advantage of joining a wine club is that you will receive detailed information about each of the wines. This can help when it comes to picking out wines in the future (particularly if you are new to wine), as you get to learn more about what you are drinking and the winemakers who produce the wines. Some wine clubs encourage you to rate or comment on the wine. This can be useful as you get to remember your favourites and you also get to see what other customers think of the wines before you taste them.
Joining a wine club is one of the easiest ways of buying wine. As you sit back and enjoy your wines, you can rest assured that the hard work is being done to prepare your next wine club case for you. And with delivery direct to door, you don’t have to lift a finger.
Some wine clubs offer an incentive to encourage you to join, such as a price reduction or free gift. Once you’ve joined, you’ll also probably benefit from other savings such as discounted cases or exclusive promotions. Virgin Wines’ online wine club goes the extra mile and offers a money back guarantee, so if you find that you don’t like a wine that has been selected for you, you can get your money back.
In addition, as a member of a wine club, you may receive invitations to tasting sessions or events. These can be a great way of meeting other people interested in wine, chatting to the experts who select your wines and trying new ranges. Finally, with many wine clubs to choose from, it’s worth picking one that offers you freedom and flexibility. So if you decide that you want to skip a case or modify the selection where you don’t like a wine, this shouldn’t be a problem. A wine club is a great option if you are looking to learn more about wine and they are a really convenient way of keeping stocked up with wine. Wine clubs do vary from one to another, so it’s best to check the details and terms first to ensure that you choose the best one for you.
Wine Clubs – A Convenient Way To Know Wine
Wine clubs have been sprouting up in recent years as a result of an increased interest in wine and greater wine consumption. In fact, according to figures from the Wine Institute, sales of wine in the United States went up four percent in 2004. Exports of wine by other countries to the U.S. remain steady since foreign wineries have found the United States to be a lucrative place to do business. For wine lovers and would-be wine drinkers, joining a wine club would bring numerous benefits.
Many wine clubs count expert vintners or sommeliers among their members. But you don’t need to be a wine aficionado to be able to join a wine club. A great many clubs welcome both newbies and experts. They offer much information not only about various wines out in the market, but also about many wine-related topics; for instance, which type of wine should be served with a certain entrée; or news about the latest goings-on in the wine industry.
Wine clubs offer varying membership programs. For the fee you pay, you will receive wine selections from vineyards whose offerings meet the club’s standards. Clubs can send you their handpicked selections, or give you the opportunity to make your own selections. Most clubs usually send two bottles of wine to each member per month; they can be two bottles of red or two of white, or one of each. Along with the wine, you will also receive pertinent information about them, such as the winery where they came from, any awards, publicity or accolades that have been accorded to the vintner, and a description of the conditions under which the grapes used in the wine were grown.
Wine club membership offers several other perks. For instance, premium members are offered the ability to buy wines at discounted prices. If they have a Wine of the Month program, you can be sure that you’ll realize significant savings from being a member than if you just bought the featured wine at regular prices. Joining a wine club would be a good investment if you are a regular wine drinker — which many people are becoming because of much publicized news about how regular wine consumption has numerous health benefits. Also, most of the wine clubs today offer gift membership program, which you can give to people who would enjoy wine either by itself or with a meal.
Many wine stores or retailers have their own wine clubs, which you can join for a fee. Some clubs offer open-ended programs, meaning you can cancel your membership anytime. You should base your wine club choice on several factors. Are the services they offer worth the rate they are charging? What are their expert credentials — do they have wine experts who can give sound wine recommendations? Do they have additional activities for members, such as wine tastings or perhaps visits to vineyards? You should evaluate these factors and more before you select a club to join. There are hundreds of wine club web sites online, and they provide detailed information on what you get for your money.
People enjoy the benefit of receiving their wine at their doorstep — no more need to zip around to a wine seller’s physical location for a bottle of vino. However, you should remember that most U.S. states have strict laws regarding the shipping of wine from state to state. Perhaps you might consider choosing a club that has a branch in your particular state because in such cases the law is not as strict. This is another factor that you should look at when you are evaluating which club to join.
You can choose to join a wine club that has international coverage — one that features wine produced in the world’s most popular winery regions, and whose membership runs in the thousands — or you could opt for a smaller, more specialized wine club, which focuses on only one or two specific wine-producing regions. Then there are clubs that concentrate on providing only a certain type of wine, such as red, white, or champagne.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing a wine club to join. But then, as you can also probably see, there are numerous benefits you can experience if you choose the right wine club.
What A Wine’s Appearance Says
Like it or not, the first quality of a wine that lends itself to the taster is the visual clue given by the appearance of the wine in the glass. To appreciate the true colors in the wine you must tilt the wine at an angle of about forty degrees and hold it against a white background, this environment lends itself to viewing the wine in the best of circumstances. This initial stimulus sometimes hints at a clue as to what the wine will taste like or perhaps more probably what it will not taste like. A deep red color in the glass may well borrow it’s likeness to a quality grape, even to circuit professionals and the most ardent of tasters. Caution is advised though because while, hints may be given as to the quality of the wine, do not pay too much credence to the color (even the best have been fooled by this).
Look at the clarity of the wine, it should be brilliantly clear without “debt” or a cloudiness. Debt is a technical term in tasting which describes the balance between the clarity and haziness of the wine. Bottled wine must be carefully poured in order to separate the wine from the sediment in the bottle which could in turn lead to the wine turning to debt.
The depth of the color of the wine refers to the brightness of the color in the glass and the hue concentrates more on the actually shade or tint of the overall color. These two aspects give clue to the maturity of the grape and perhaps the age of the wine. A young and immature wine will have little color compared to an over matured wine which will give a dense and yellow colored wine. Mature red wines will often have an incredible lush red with a fantastic hue and tint. Wines which borrow natural processes with oak casks gain significance in color from the tannins in the cask this gain may be only temporary but will credit itself to an enhancement of the color depth.
There are many, many factors affecting the color of the wine and it is impracticable to be dogmatic about the significance of any particular hue or overall color. If you have some background knowledge of the grapes in a particular wine then it will be possible to make a judgment on the wine, it can for example show faults in a wine and give clues to imperfections in the process of making the wine of indeed in the storage of it.
Taking a careful look at the rim of the glass will give you a definite indication of the age of the wine. A dense purple edge will indicate a youthful wine while a darker almost black rim will give you the first sign of aging. It is very difficult to judge a wine from color alone and there is no real standard in all of this and it is not possible to credit any particular terms as they are all observational and unique to each person.
Wine Collecting For Beginners
Collecting wine can be a very fun and exciting hobby – especially when you try to find the wine. If you are looking to collect wine, you may end up spending a bit more money than you thought. Wine collecting is a great hobby, although it can be very expensive. If you are just starting out, the tips below may come in very handy to help you get started.
The first thing to do, is find a place to store your wine. You can store your wine at home, although you’ll need to have a location with the proper amount of space and cooling temperature (between 50 and 65 degrees F). You’ll also need to determine what brands and types of wine you are planning to collect. There are several options to choose from, including red and white wine. You’ll also need to find some places with good quality and refinery to buy your wine from.
You can always participate in tastings and trade shows as well. Here, you can meet other people who are into wine collecting, and get to know local traders. You should also strive to learn as much as you can about wine. You can learn a lot about wine on the Internet, or by reading magazines and newsletters dedicated to wine. By doing so, you can also learn more about storage, buying wine, and even cooling your wine.
To better prepare your wine for storage, you can try tasting different varieties. This way, you can identify which wines you need to age more. You’ll learn more about wine this way as well, such as how to distinguish tastes. You may also want to learn how to identify the flavor quality as well. As you may already know, there is a difference among rare vintage wines and wines that are instantly processed.
If you are just beginning to collect wine, you should avoid purchasing in bulk until you know for sure what types of wine you wish to collect. When you visit a wine trader, you should let him know that you are a collector. This way, he can inform you whether or not the wines you are collecting are available in his inventory. If you hope to collect wines from other areas, he may be able to give you contact information for finding the wines you are interested in.
Keep in mind that wine collecting isn’t all about fun – it’s also a great way to eventually start your own business. You can attend wine shows and tasting events to learn more about the different brands, and also find wines that will bring in higher profits. Once you have collected some rare bottles of wine – you can start selling and watch your profits soar.
Wine For The Rest Of Us
Many of us love wine, but lack the purse that allows for expensive, “fine” wines. For that matter, I have found that if I want to enjoy wine regularly (which I do), I can’t even afford $15 a bottle as that mounts up quickly in the old monthly budget. But fear not, budget oenophiles, good wines, even fine wines are available on a shoe string. Many people have already discovered the charms of Yellowtail and Two-buck Chuck (Charles Taylor) wines, to the point of these good wines being virtually ubiquitous on dinner tables everywhere. But did you know, or realize, that there are many, many quality varietals available through a host of other vineyards. Indeed, there are dozens of wines at half the price of Yellowtail, that produce a more sophisticated flavor, and are a more congenial match with most meals.
Silver Sands is a South African vineyard of singular note. I haven’t tried all of their varietals, but with a meal of broiled chuck roast in a garlic sauce, and sides of asparagus and gingered sweet potatoes, I found that the Silver Sands Shiraz was an able, even excellent companion to the meal, easily competing with wines valued at two or three times it’s $5 per bottle cost. It’s smoke and oak wood tones contrasting delightfully with the natural blackberry fruitiness of the Syrah grape, from which Shiraz is made. There is an initial bite to this Shiraz, not unpleasant, but attention-getting, which matures on the palate into waves of dark smoke, not unlike a fine single-malt, then into deeper, more subtle, woody and earthy tones, all overlaid with the fruitiness of Shiraz. This is a surprisingly nuanced wine, with a pleasant and promising nose and a rich, full body.
Most importantly, this wine was a delightful complement to the meal, dancing the tongue away from the powerful, salty garlic marinade of the beef and preparing it for the ginger and autumn spices of the sweet potatoes. Or as a perfect counterpoint to the buttery smoothness of the steamed asparagus and a reminder of the richness of red meat to come. This might be a little strong as a companion for some pastas, but I can see it sitting proudly alongside a well-prepared steak, or a deliciously rare burger with blue-cheese crumbles over the top and slices of smoked bacon. You do need some starch with this one for balance: perhaps unsalted pub fries with malt vinegar, or maybe a monstrous baked potato smothered in butter, sour cream, bacon bits, broccoli florets and Vermont cheddar, or like I had, gingered sweet potatoes. But I think you’ll find that this wine is zippy enough to stand on its own quite nicely beside a host of entrees.
This wine was actually quite a surprise. I am very familiar with South African reds, and have found them to be somewhat stratified, i.e. the cheap ones are cheap for a reason. But not so with Silver Sands. This is an absolutely delightful Shiraz, mature and flavorful, but not bombastic or heavy. I will definitely keep my eye out for this South African delight in the future, and at $5 a bottle, I know that it won’t break the bank if I bring it home.