California Wine Club | Overview
We are excited to share our California Wine Club review.
We love wine. We are happy drinking French wine, Spanish wine, and even Georgian wine but our passion is California wine. We wanted to see if this wine club would deliver on their name. California is a big diverse wine region. There are many great producers spread across the state. Frankly, there are also some not-so-great wine producers. We want a wine club that finds quality wines at a great price. In the case of the California Wine Club, we want to see great California wines at reasonable prices. What we didn't want to see was no name bulk wine with pretty labels.
California Wine Club Review | Pricing
We like that the California Wine Club offers several price points. Many of the wine clubs we've reviewed have a one size fits all pricing model. That can be a turn-off even when the club has good pricing and wine. With this club, you get to choose a price level and a wine style that fits your needs. [note: We are quoting the prices current at the time we wrote this article. There may also be local sales tax added to your order. Check with the California Wine Club in advance]
The Premier Series - 41.95 + Shipping
The most popular club from the California wine club is called the Premier Series. This is a great option if you enjoy small production wines from boutique California wineries. We would recommend this to anyone interested in learning about the wide range of small producers in California. It's reasonably priced and the wine quality is very good. You get two bottles a month and can select whether you want a mix (red and white) or two of the same whites or reds.
The shipment comes with the Uncorked guide. This gives you great insights into the winery plus tasting notes and pairing suggestions for the wines. Wine is always more fun when you know the story behind it!
Specialty Club Options From The California Wine Club -
There are four more options you can choose from. These are geared towards people with a true passion for wine. They cover some interesting corners of the wine world. Going from the least to the most expensive, the options are:
The International Series - $71 + Shipping. These are handpicked wines from producers in both the Old and New world. This a great option in combination with the Premier Series. You will experience an amazing range of varietals and styles.
The Pacific Northwest Series - $77 + Shipping. Wines from Oregon and Washington have their own signature character. If you love Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley or Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills AVA, this is the club for you.
Now we are getting serious about our wine -
The Signature Series - $134 + Shipping. You can select 2, 3, or 4 bottles for delivery each month. The shipments are mostly red wine and the pedigree of the wine is top shelf. These are wines that received exceptionally high scores and rave reviews.
The Aged Cabernet Club - $231(average) + Shipping. There is no fixed price for this club. This is the California Wine Club for when you have truly arrived. These are the Napa Cabs you've heard about. The cult wines that express the very best of California's vineyards.
California Wine Club Review | Service
The California Wine Club has what they call their "love it guarantee". Tell them if you are unhappy with any bottle you receive and they will either ship you a new bottle or refund your money. It doesn't get much better than that!
We tested out their customer services via their online chat and via email. We were happy with the responsiveness in both cases. They were quick to get back to us with answers.
We like the club's website. It is easy to navigate and there are some nice features like the Uncorked blog.
We think you will enjoy the ability to go back and re-order wines you loved from your club shipments.
The shipping is only 1 cent when you order six or more bottles.
For a list of things to consider before joining a wine club, check out our guide to selecting the right club.
California Wine Club Review | The Wine
We received our shipment of Premier Series wines. The shipment arrived promptly and the package was in good shape. The shipment included one bottle of red and one white from the same California producer, Shannon Ridge in Lake County. We checked the pricing and it seems fair. The bottles were in the $20 range when we did our check, so that is consistent with what the club is charging.
California Wine Club Review | Who is this club right for?
The California Wine Club can appeal to a number of different wine lovers because they offer a number of different clubs. We think the premier series is great for you if you want to be introduced to a number of boutique wineries in California. The club is a great way to discover wines you probably won't find at the store. The international and Pacific Northwest clubs are perfect if you are interested in expanding your palate and learning about new regions.
The Signature and Aged Cabernet clubs are for very serious wine lovers. These clubs cater to wine consumers who are used to paying for premium wines and probably will not appeal to everyone.
There are enough options and price points to make California Wine Club appealing to a wide range of wine lovers. We like their clubs so much, we feature them near the top of our list of the best wine clubs.
California Wine Club Review | Do they ship to my state?
Although not clearly stated on their website, the California Wine Club seems to ship across the U.S, excluding the territories. They say that they cooperate with licensed freight forwarders across the country. The delivery takes from two days up to three weeks, depending on the delivery address.
Comparing California Wine Club To Alternatives
Having established that California Wine Club is the crème de la crème of wine clubs, how does it compete against other clubs of similar range? Find out how well it compares to Gold Medal Wine Club and Plonk.
California Wine Club vs. Gold Medal Wine Club
Similar to California Wine Club, Gold Medal offers several membership levels to wine enthusiasts. In fact, there are six in all:
- Gold, starting at $40.95 for two bottles.
- Platinum, starting at $99 for three bottles.
- Diamond, starting at $188 for three bottles. (Click here to learn more)
- International, starting at $79 for three bottles.
- Garagiste, starting at $69 for two bottles.
- Pinot Noir, starting at 79 for two bottles.
Both clubs let you choose whether you want all whites, reds, or a mixture of both in your monthly box. However, brownie points go to the California Wine Club for offering sparkling wine and champagne at times.
Gold Medal Wine Club is a good choice for those who like pinot noir since there’s a plan that delivers only this wine every other month. The International and Diamond plans are delivered quarterly, so don’t be surprised to wait a few months for your next wine delivery.
Both Gold Medal and California Wine Club are big on wine quality. They only offer the highest-rated wines, with California Wine Club focusing mainly on small wineries. And what is great about Gold Medal is that you can request special wine from other wineries.
If you’re not satisfied with your wine, both clubs have a satisfaction guarantee. They will either reimburse you or send you a replacement bottle.
Both Gold Medal Wine Club and California Wine Club are great for those who have just started to explore wine tasting. They offer a variety of membership levels to satisfy every budget and taste. However, Gold Medal Wine Club might be more suitable for wine aficionados and collectors due to the more distinct wines. But California Wine Club doesn’t fall behind with its unique wine offers either. Yes, we’re talking about the Aged Cabernet Series that is a must-have for any experienced wine collector out there.
We must say that it’s really too close to call between these two. Whichever one you choose you probably won’t regret the choice.
You can see our Gold Medal Wine Club review for more information on that club.
Plonk Wine Club
Here’s one of the industry’s top-rated wine clubs that focuses on organic and biodynamic wines produced in small batches. This means that the wines don’t contain pesticides or any commercial additives. You’ll find wines from less common grapes and origins. If you’re accustomed to drinking organic wines, you can find some pretty good deals at Plonk.
Another point goes to Plonk for the flexible number of bottles included in the membership – you can have four, six, or even 12 bottles delivered each month. And the prices include shipping too.
Even then, California Wine Club has six memberships where you can choose between two, three, four, or more bottles. Also, we find California Wine Club to be more suitable for those drinking on a budget – you can get a membership for as little as $41 a month with the Premier Series. Over at Plonk, the minimum is $110 to start.
Both of these clubs are suitable for new wine drinkers and those who like to try new things. They are both rather lacking in the personalization department in comparison to some other wine clubs that go to great lengths to supply bottles of wine that best match your taste buds. That’s why you might be better off with another club if you’re a picky wine drinker not particularly fond of variety. However, if you want an expert wine picker to introduce you to some new regions or varietals, Plonk and California Wine Club are great options.
Plonk also offers a satisfaction guarantee such that you’re free to return the wine or get a replacement for any bottle deemed less than satisfactory.
What is special about Plonk is that they let you pre-pay for three, six, or 12 months. This is a good option for those who’ve been blown away by some of Plonk's best wines. As you might suspect, you can’t cancel a pre-paid membership. However, Plonk also gives you the option to pay each month as you go, just like California Wine Club. You can cancel anytime in that case.
Overall, both Plonk and California Wine Club offer some of the highest-rated wines available. Those who stick to organic should go with Plonk, whereas wine aficionados might want to give California Wine Club a shot. Whichever way you go, you won’t be left disappointed.
Read more at our Plonk Wine Club review.
California Wine Club Review | How do I order?
You can order through this link. We will also keep the red buttons updated with the latest deals from the California Wine Club.
We hope you found our California Wine Club review helpful. Have you tried the California Wine Club? Tell us about your experiences below.