A club member asked me recently how we pick the wines that go into our clubs. Before I answered her, I checked some of our numbers.
Since 1999, the year we started Cellars Wine Club, I have kept track of every wine featured. I added those up and the total came to over 2800 wines! Quite an impressive number until I estimated how many wines I have tried that didn’t make it into the club: over 15,000.
So how do we choose? In short we taste, taste, and taste lots of wines! In general there are three avenues to have the wines presented to us. The first is wine tasting events that we are invited to on a weekly or monthly basis. The second is wine shipments that are sent to us from across the country or even across the world. The third is the most common because almost
every day we meet with either a winery representative, an importer, or a distributor representative (a sales agent who represents the wineries). They bring the wines directly to us that they would most like us to consider for our clubs. Sometimes they bring one wine, sometimes a dozen. Most of the time we open the wines right there and taste through the lineup. This is beneficial because we can give them feedback on what we like or don’t like about the wine and this helps them with future submissions. There are many factors that help determine inclusion;
- Taste – The big one. The wine has to be good and be a good representation for the wine club it is chosen for.
- History – We try to feature as many new wines and wineries as possible, thus a new winery gets put ahead in the line over a previously used one whenever possible.
- Price – We need the wine at a great price so we can offer it to you at a great price.
- Regional Availability – We stay away from wines that can be purchased at every grocery store around the country.
- Compelling Story – We love a good story about a family winery or a new wine region for our write-ups and tasting notes.
It is only after combining all of these factors that a final wine line-up is established for every club, every month. The best part about choosing the wines for the club is largely the same reason people join our wine club: we get to try new wines all the time. But for our club members, they get to try the best ones.
We hope you continue to enjoy them with us!