Do you wine club?? I know we do and if you are anything like us, you may have fallen into this trap. Here’s what we’ve gotten just for the month of September in our clubs… I’m not even sure this is all of that one month…
You see we belong to a few winery clubs – at last count I believe its 7. Yes, you read that right – 7!
And here’s the issue I have. I love our membership in all of them, but every time I go visit a winery, either a new one with really good wines and plenty of selection, or an old friend with wines we have long since favorited, we just can’t seem to pass up the option to benefit from “the club”. But now its gotten much harder because the budget tells me in months like September where 5 of the 7 clubs are shipping at once, that we are tapped out for joining any more. I’m sure you know this feeling. I want the wine, I am happy to pay for it, but I just can’t afford to join every single one that I love because it blows the whole months budget when they all converge like this.
We finally had to resort to “rotating” wine clubs, which to us means that we join for a couple of shipments and stock up on what we like using our member discounts, and then quit to join the next club on the list and repeat the cycle. I know you understand ’cause you all are doing this too – right? Right!?! And now this is getting even more difficult to pull off because some clubs we joined are limited to the number of members they can have. Whether its a smaller winery with production vs demand issues or even a larger one with similar dilemmas, now some clubs are just can’t quite quit – we benefit more from staying in. Plus some clubs have such great member benefits that we enjoy that we just don’t want to leave. Hmmmm…what’s a wineaux to do?
Soooo here we are – seven clubs later and trying to figure out how to join a new one, without adding more strain to the pocketbook in a heavy club month. And I know you want to know so here’s the list of the clubs we are currently in, in alphabetical order so you don’t think I’m playing favorites. 🙂
4.0 Cellars; Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard; Eden Hill Winery & Vineyard; Landon Winery; Lost Draw Cellars; Messina Hof Winery; William Chris Vineyards
Lately we’ve been talking about how to squeeze in Kuhlman Cellars and Spicewood Vineyards. We really enjoy the wines, and our friends there, but aren’t quite sure how to manage another one. If you figure out a good answer, PLEASE share! In the meantime we are obviously going to enjoy the “fruits” of the wine industry labor for the next month. Five of the 7 wineries shipped in September and the other two are ready to pick up now.
And pick up events I suppose are part of the allure to us for the wineries in our area. The last one I attended was the inaugural wine club event for Eden Hill Winery & Vineyard. We have really enjoyed getting to know Clark, Linda, and Chris Hornbaker over the last year, especially working with them so much this summer, and were happy to have an opportunity to join their new wine club. Because of their current production, they decided to start small with a limited number of members. Thankfully we acted fast! The first event was NOT disappointing. We began with a vertical Tempranillo tasting in the estate vineyard coupled with a talk about the wines and the Tempranillo harvest comparisons as they played out in the wines from 2012, 2013, and 2014. Then we had an opportunity for four more tastings inside of the current month’s club offerings all pairs with the exquisite food that Linda created. O.M.G. was it wonderful! The evening topped off with a Kir Royále made with their sparkling Roussanne called Temptation. I imagine each of the remaining three wine club events over the year will be equally as amazing and we’ve already crossed this one off the “rotating” list since we won’t want to leave any time soon.
I hope your September was a “fruitful” as ours. Not because I wish the financial strain we’ve chosen on you, but because there are so many wonderful wines in our club selections. I think the best answer for us would be if everyone would team up and offer joint winery clubs, sort of like 4.0 Cellars, so that we could get even more great wineries in our selection. If you aren’t familiar with the 4.0 Cellars concept, they are located on Hwy 290 in the Johnson City to Fredricksburg corridor and are a partnership tasting room experience with 3 stellar wineries: Lost Oak Winery, McPherson Cellers, and Brennan Vineyards. This means we get 3 memberships for the price of 1! Each wine club month we benefit from a selection of wines included from each of the three individual wineries and also at least one wine made as a 4.0 Cellars wine. We also get some reciprocal benefits at the winery location local to our area, Lost Oak, making this club membership one of the best benefits for us. Perhaps if we could just get those great wine makers in the HYE, TX area to do a combined club we might be able to squeeze in one more, especially if I knew I could get Kuhlman, Lewis, Compass Rose, Calais, and Hye Meadow all in one shipment (and Spicewood too if its not too much to ask lol). – Hint Hint fellows! But then of course I would be trying to find room for the next one…. A girl can dream! So many great Texas wines, so little $$.
Until next post – Cheers~