Club W Wine Subscription Review & Coupon – April 2015
Club W is a monthly wine subscription that re-imagines the traditional wine club. Utilizing a “palate profile quiz” that you take when you join, Club W recommends bottles to suit your personal taste in wine. Each month, you make the decision whether to go along with their suggestions or choose your own bottles from their regularly changing assortment. If you don’t login to make your monthly bottle selection, your recommended wines will be sent by default. You can skip a month at any time.
The wines are sourced directly from vineyards and winemakers, which helps Club W avoid middlemen and secure better wine for less money. Direct to consumer shipping also means they are able to offer smaller, more unique wines than you’ll find in the grocery store.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Club W
The Cost: 3 bottles per month start at $39 + $6 flat rate shipping. (Shipping is free on orders of 6 or more bottles.)
COUPON: 50% off your first 3 bottles, no coupon required, just use this link.
The Products: 3, 6, or more bottles of small-lot wines sourced directly from vineyards and wine makers.
Ships to: All US states EXCEPT: AK, AL, AR, DE, HI, KY, MS, OK, PA, RI, DS, and UT
Club W includes a tasting card for each of the wines in your shipment. Each card includes a description of the wine, tasting notes, and information about the flavor profile.
These 3 bottles were recommended for me by Club W based on my “palate profile.” My tastes are fairly varied: I like everything from deep & earthy reds to light & lively whites. I usually prefer bold wines to those with more subtle flavors, which I indicated in my quiz, but I’m willing to try just about anything.
At first, I was skeptical about Club W’s choices for me this month. I mean, White Zinfandel? I can remember my mother drinking sweet, syrupy White Zinfandel back in the 90’s, and I definitely don’t like wines that sweet. Luckily, this White Zinfandel was very different. It was crisp and lean with just a hint of sweetness, definitely a great wine for “day drinking” (as Club W suggests) or for sipping on while sitting outside in the sun.
I also really enjoyed the Alchymist Noir. Again, this wine had a hint of sweetness that I thought would have helped it pair well with spicy BBQ. It’s a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah and a bold, plush, jammy wine. I sampled this month’s wines with some friends over dinner, and the White Zinfandel and Alchymist Noir were definitely the crowd pleasers.
The Un Paso Mas blend was… interesting. For me, it tasted very smoky, almost like liquid campfire. According to the info card, Spanish winemakers have a signature winemaking style that includes aging wines for long periods of time in oak barrels. This would definitely explain the smoky cedar flavor, but I don’t think I’ve every tried a wine before where these flavors were so pronounced. I enjoyed trying it, but I didn’t really want to drink an entire glass.
These 3 bottles are the wines I selected for myself.
The Potager Vermentino was my favorite wine in this bunch. It was a very subtle, crisp, and dry wine with a bright acidity. The recipe pairing for this wine was Spring Herb Crusted Lamb Chops.
The recipe suggested pairing the lamb with a mixture of herbes de Provence, dried lemon verbena, and culinary lavender. I’ve never heard of cooking lamb with lavender, so I wanted to give it a try. As per the recipe, I rubbed my lamb with the spice blend before cooking and then sprinkled some additional lavender on top when it was finished. I was worried that lamb (red meat) would overpower the white wine, but that wasn’t the case. On the contrary, I thought it was a surprisingly successful pairing. The wine stood up nicely to the dish, and the lavender brought out the lovely, subtle, herbal notes in the wine. (My apologies for not including a photo of the completed dish. Unfortunately, I forgot to take one!)
For each wine featured on their site, Club W produces a short tasting video. I really enjoy this feature and always find the videos interesting and informative. In the video for the Verdadera Syrah, I discovered that this wine comes from an area in Chile with a cool climate that’s known for producing white wines. The climate impacts the red grapes and helps produce a wine that’s lighter and more medium bodied than Syrah from warmer climates. Honestly, this wasn’t my favorite wine. It was spicier and less fruity than a typical Syrah, and it just didn’t quite work for me. While it wasn’t a bad wine, it didn’t have me reaching for another glass.
The L’Atelier was another “meh” wine for me this month. It’s a French table wine from Saint Saturnin. For those unfamiliar with the concept of table wines- European table wines are intended for everyday use, while higher quality wines from specific regions are reserved for more special occasions. Still, table wines can be delicious, and I love the idea that not every bottle you open for dinner has to be breathtakingly special or expensive. Unfortunately, this bottle fell flat for me. I’ve had much better French table wine for the same price point.
Verdict: My shipment from Club W this month wasn’t a home run, but I still discovered some new wines I liked a lot. The bottles Club W selected for me were definitely the winners of the month, so my faith in their “Palate Profile Quiz” is certainly growing. Even though my box this month was hit and miss, I still enjoyed my experience. I have a lot of fun watching the videos and learning about the wines in my box, and I think the price point is reasonable. The recipes included are also a nice bonus, and, for me, they add value to the box. If you love discovering new wine, I would definitely recommend trying Club W.
Have you tried Club W? What did you think of your wine shipment?