Why should I join a wine club?
Whether you are just starting your dive into the world of wine, or you have been experiencing this world for some time, you will eventually yourself asking this question – “should I join a wine club”? There are several aspects to consider, and of course, just like people have preferences in wine, there will be preferences in wine clubs and the many kinds available.
If you have never been in a wine club, you might be wondering just how does a wine club work? All wine clubs start with the same foundation; you agree to purchase a certain amount of wine at regular intervals (2 bottles 3 times a year for example) in exchange for discounts. But discounts are only the beginning; from there wine club benefits vary and finding the best wine club for you really depends on which benefits pique your interest the most.
So which wine club is the best value? Well, that answer will be unique for each person because it’s based on what sparks your interest and what offerings you will take advantage of. For me, I’m drawn to clubs that offer experiences and opportunities from exclusive wines created in small batches by boutique wineries to parties, cooking classes, and even travel! Below are three of my favorite local wine clubs offering Washington wines, and the advantages that each provides.
I first tasted Red Mountain wines at Frichette several years ago. I fell in love with that bold fruit flavor, and I joined their club – it was the first wine club I ever joined, and I’m still a member! There are two perks that I love about this wine club. First, Frichette makes spectacular wine, and some varieties are only available in small amounts and are offered to wine club members first. You can’t buy these in stores and the only way to acquire them is to be a member....or have a good friend who’s a member that is willing to share! I love being able to share these with my family and friends. The second perk is early access to Frichette events. I LOVE events - I even created a business around them! Frichette hosts some of the best events in the area and these sell out quickly, like the Josephine Howell Live music concert in the vineyard, their Christmas events, and the unique wine club dinners focused on soul food and southern hospitality. Wine club members get first access to tickets – and believe me – I snatch them up as soon as they are available! [Frichettewinery.com]
When it comes to club parties, Muret-Gaston leads the pack with their paella party. Kyle Johnson started making paella for his family years ago and enjoyed it so much that he expanded out to making it for friends. From there he and his wife and co-owner Amy decided that this would be a great way to thank their club members - by hosting a yearly paella party. It has since become a central event that we all look forward to.
Amy and Kyle create an environment of community and family around their table, which makes the wines and the food all taste even better! [Muret-Gaston.com]
Red Mountain Trails
[Photo credit Realm Archives]
I not only love this wine club – but I now also manage it! What drew me to Red Mountain Trails is their unique approach to creating an environment where wine is something to enjoy with friends. Their motto is “pinkies down” and I love that! This is a working ranch, there is no indoor “tasting room”. They anchor on three main themes (1) bringing people back to nature, (2) sharing great wine in an approachable way, and (3) creating a community of friends. In addition to discounts on their small batch boutique wines, their wine club provides members with two more perks: (1) Discounts on horseback trail rides through the vineyards which are great experiences for the whole family, and (2) first access to adventure travel. Yes, you read that right – ADVENTURE TRAVEL! Think paddle boarding, skiing, white water rafting. Read more about the “why” and what they offer here.
There are several easy ways to visit these wineries and many of their neighbors. Whether you join a club or not, spending a day here in Washington wine country is a great way to relax and recharge. Try a Wine Tasting Bike Tour offered by Red Mountain Trails and get an in-depth tour of the vineyards. If you'd prefer to skip the exercise and focus on the wine, book a Self-Guided Wine Tasting Tour with us - simply fill out our questionnaire and we will create the perfect itinerary and make all the reservations for you. And for those out of town guests, take a look at our weekend package that includes more chances to explore the area like a brunch and yacht tour of the Columbia River or a 2-hour private curated tasting and tour. With 300 days of sunshine and hundreds of wineries this is a great place for a weekend vacation.