The Internet is good for quite a number of things – not least of which is its propensity to make information and opportunity available to the masses. Now, with holidays on the horizon and approaching fast, there’s another opportunity arising – and that, of course, is to join up with a wine club, or to get a membership in one for a loved one. What better way to start the festive season or to enjoy what would normally be an ordinary month of January, than by sampling some of the best wines that new and old worlds have to offer?
A wine club works like this. You get wines selected for you, by the expert buying team at the wine retailer of your choice. Generally you’ll then receive a case of wine every quarter, which is composed of bottles and vintages specifically selected by the buyers who source wines for the wine retailer as a whole. The better clubs offer a great deal of flexibility along with their normal bottles – so you can start off by taking their advice completely, and then use the bottles you have liked to inform your future decisions.
A comprehensive selection of tasting notes and information packs further add to the joy of the wine club, allowing novice wine lovers to learn and grow as the year goes on. There are some excellent examples of these clubs on the Internet – notably including the excellent offering from the legendary Colchester Wine Company, which has gone to great pains to tailor a wine lover’s membership that brings a great deal of choice along with very little in the way of commitment. That makes club membership the ideal way to start the New Year, and even to enjoy the festive holidays itself to the fullest. People who know they like wine, but aren’t sure how to go about exploring that like to its best extent, can only benefit from wine club models like the one espoused by The Wine company, which offers a friendly and informative service along with some excellent selections.
It’s this idea of learning without feeling embarrassed that makes the club experience so rewarding. Wine is a wonderful thing, but it is also a famously involved and complicated obsession. The more you find out about the stuff, the more you realise how little you know. In the past, it has been quite difficult to get past this feeling of “novice hood” – before the Internet, the only way to get the information you need to expand your wine tastes was to seek it from people who can (whether they mean to or not) give off the same air that an educated elite does – a kind of “if you don’t know, then you don’t know” feeling that can be very discouraging to the beginner.
Using a wine club to get to know what you really like and what you don’t can be a fun, rewarding and fascinating experience. Enjoyment is always better with knowledge – and knowledge is exactly what the club helps you explore.