Wine Clubs: Not Just For Pretentious A-Holes ;)

Besides vintage, horror, lingerie and a good deal, wine is right up there as another one of my passions. As oppose to beer, which was an acquired taste on my part, wine was love at first sip. [I even own a 1950’s grape hat. Yes. This is some serious shit we’re talking about here.]

Now I don’t have the most discerning palate, but I have learned to distinguish between the good and the bad. A good deal, and a bad one.

It was a couple of anniversaries ago that Tanner took me out for an afternoon of wine tasting to the local wineries in our area. The day was wonderful! Sun was shining! Birds were singing! We were buzzed ; ) It wasn’t until the weekend was over that we realized we had signed up to be a part of each wineries wine club! Oye. “What have we done?!” I thought to myself. (Below is a photo from that anniversary. We had just headed out to the wineries.)

Before we did any rash canceling we decided to try them out for a couple of rounds. Here was the breakdown…

Winery 1: David Hill Vineyards & Winery [Forest Grove, OR 97116]

The Deal:

  • Quarterly selections in February, May, August, and November. (We chose the 2 bottle pack, at a charge of around $45 each pick up.)
  • Complimentary tastings for up to 4 people each visit.
  • Exclusive member event invitations.
  • Discount admission to public events.
  • 25% wine bottle discount on first order as a sign-up bonus
  • Friend Referral $15 Credit. Current Members only

(Source: davidhillwinery.com)

Winery 2: Ardiri Winery & Vineyards [Cornelius, OR 97113]

The Deal:

  • Two bottles of wine each quarter (January, April, July & October), selected by Árdíri’s winemakers. (We again chose the 2 bottle pack, at a charge of around $50 each pick up.)
  • Free tastings for up to 4 people each visit
  • 20-35% off bottle purchases
  • Discounts on private events
  • Invites to member exclusive events
  • Preview tastings of some of our newest wines

(Source: ardiriwine.com)

Verdict:

The Price Breakdown- Over all it comes out to about $25/bottle every 3 months. Though you can find cheaper wine at the grocery store, the advantage of buying local, delicious, seasonal wine from the vineyard down the road is well worth the extra $5! Where the real killer deal is, is in the free tastings. Every 3 months we take a couple of friends out with us to make the rounds picking up our wine club orders and tasting the newly released wines of that month… all for FREE! David hill pours you around 7 samples and Ardiri, around 6. Though I don’t partake in the tastings every time, the ability to drive on out to the country side and sip on award winning wines for $5 a glass with the club discount, plus getting to bring a couple of friends to share that with is totally worth it! Each time we venture out there, I only spend around $10, as oppose to hitting up a bar downtown where I have to pay $7 for parking and then $7-11 for a glass of less quality wine.

“That’s nice, but what about the wine snobs?!”

I thought you would never ask! Now that I have toured around 10 wineries in my area, (and another 5 elsewhere), I have found that 80% or more are surprisingly “snob” free! David Hill & Ardiri both have AMAZING employees that don’t make you feel like an idiot if you can’t pronounce Gewürztraminer, or you have no idea what wine even is! They simply give you an awesome history lesson while letting YOU decide what you like. Diggin’ on the $10 bottle of sugar water and not the 98 point award winning Pinot Noir? That’s OK! I have found that the pretentious ones are most often found in other patrons, but hey, we aren’t there for them! I show up with some friends, they pass me a glass of that red, and my Saturday has been made.

Happy Sippin’!

-Pennywise

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