Wine clubs bring so much joy! The release parties, the special wine access, the tasting perks; there is a lot to like. But once in a great while the decision must be made: it may be time to break up with your wine club.
Quite obviously, we belong to more than our fair share of wine clubs. Over the years we have joined and, in some cases, left dozens of wine clubs. During busy months we juggle as many as three club release parties. That’s a good problem to have! At times we have made the difficult decision to cancel a club membership. Why in the world would this ever happen?
The best reason of all for quiting a wine club is to make room for joining a different club. Enjoying everything in moderation means putting some sort of cap on the number of wine club memberships at any given time. We regularly rotate through our memberships to get to know more wineries in nearby geographies. Knowing that there is a great new wine club ahead of us makes putting an existing wine club in the rear-view mirror.
Another reason we have had to break up with a wine club is belonging to too many wine clubs. Yes, there is such a thing as too much wine! Every club membership comes with a promise to receive periodic allocations of wine. Too many wine clubs means too much wine rolling in every quarter. With limited space for storage and limited space on the credit card, sometimes cutbacks are required. Those lovely wine club release boxes full of delicious wine can actually get underfoot! Time for trimming the club membership list.
A third reason we have broken up with some wine clubs is scheduling conflicts. It may sound silly, but somehow certain clubs manage to plan their parties when we have previous commitments. A key attraction of most wine clubs is the amazing release parties, and the qualify of the parties weighs heavily in our decision to join. After a year of missing every party, we usually take this bad run of luck as an indication that we need to move on.
The last, but most critical, reason to break up with a wine club is the wine itself. Joining a wine club is fundamentally about the wine. Over time, however, winemakers change, vineyards change, and the point of view of the winery can change. If these changes aren’t for you, it only makes sense to break up and find another winery that better matches your palate.
Even with all the benefits of belonging to a wine club, sometimes it is necessary to have that awkward “it’s me, not you” conversation with the club manager. There are so many reasons to join a wine club and more than a few reasons to break up. Be clear but kind as you leave, and keep focused on how great your next wine club will be!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?