The Best Wine Clubs for Every Type of Traveler
As wine clubs and wine subscription services continue to grow, there now seems to be one to suit every individual's preferences and palate. While there are the grand, generalist clubs like Bright Cellars, Winc, and Nakedwines.com, there are a plethora of niche clubs that are tailored to very specific audiences. Since many of these companies are inspired by different wine regions, we've discovered there's a type of wine membership not just for everyone, but also for every type of traveler. We narrowed down our favorite clubs based on your style of travel, from the West Coast intrepid, to the off-the-beaten-path traveler, and even the Francophile.
For the luxury Francophile: fatcork
Most travelers who've experienced France know that Champagne flows like water there. Since 2009, fatcork's amplified this mindset stateside by shipping the best of French Champagne to your doorstep, reiterating the French attitude that you don't need to wait for a special occasion to drink Champagne. fatcork says, "create an occasion by popping a bottle." The Champagne club and bottle shop, based out of Seattle, Washington, partners with small-batch, family-run Champagne vignerons who use sustainable farming practices on lands passed down through generations. The bottles are aged in their proprietary caves in France then directly imported by fatcork when they're ready to pop—sometimes this includes cuvées exclusively produced for fatcork and its members. The quarterly Champagne Club is offered in three tiers: Classic (three bottles of Champagne), Fancy (three bottles and one tête de cuvée) and Extra Fancy (three bottles and three tête de cuvée).
For the off-the-beaten-path experience seeker: Orange Glou
If in your travels you're constantly seeking out an experience that isn't already oversaturated on social media, and is unique in its own right, Orange Glou is the wine club for you. The New York-based subscription service dedicated solely to skin contact wines, otherwise known as orange wine, is the first of its kind, so you can ensure inimitability. The regular memberships are offered as 3, 6 and 12-bottle monthly subscriptions, with the wines hand-selected by founder and sommelier Doreen Winkler. Expect a range of sparkling and still orange wines — all either natural, organic or biodynamic — produced by independent winemakers in regions like Slovakia, Slovenia, Greece, California, and Texas. For the orange-wine curious, there are also one-time purchase boxes as well as three-month subscriptions available.
For the Cali trendsetter: ACME Fine Wines
If you've ever visited Napa Valley or Sonoma, you may realize that the best wines you taste are only available for purchase in the tasting room or via mailing list (and sometimes you can't even taste the best wines because they're so exclusive you can only get them at member-only vineyards). If you seek those experiences on a trip to California wine country, look no further than ACME Fine Wines. Established in 2003, ACME's granted members access to the very first vintage of brand new releases from top and cult winemakers in the valley; essentially, wines that are typically only sold direct to consumer from the winemaker or winery. The three tiers of monthly wine clubs are Kahuna, rare and collectible wines; Under The Radar, undiscovered and newly launched; and for those ready to venture out of Northern California, there's Pulse, which offers selections from international wine regions.
For the bold West Coast traveler: Cellar 503
Oregon may be renowned for their Pinot Noirs, but ask Cellar 503's founder Carrie Wynkoop and she'll tell you, there's so much more coming out of the state. This wine club is dedicated to showcasing all the wine regions in Oregon (there are currently 21 AVAs), thus a hit for adventurous west coast travelers. Be pleasantly surprised with Spanish varieties like Tempranillo and Rioja coming out of the Rogue Valley or the Columbia Valley's celebrated whites, like Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. Members can sign up for a monthly shipment of two bottles or a quarterly shipment of four bottles, all curated to a unique theme by Wynkoop. Past selections have included "Unusual Vessels," focusing on vineyards that use varying aging methods, from amphorae to concrete dolia, and "BBQ wines," a summer shipment to accompany your favorite grilled grub.
For the fine dining and wining enthusiast: Cote + Convive Wine Club
If you've ever planned a trip around visiting a certain restaurant or dining experience, Cote + Convive is tailored to you. This monthly service delivers three bottles of wine handpicked by Victoria James, sommelier and partner at the James Beard nominated Cote restaurant and Mia Van de Water, Master Sommelier who spent three years at the three Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park. Needless to say, these women are attuned to the latest trends from popular and unusual regions alike, and experts in discerning the finest of wines, likened to that highly sought-after fine dining experience that usually involves a tasting-pairing menu.
For the free-spirit glamper: Primal Wine
If your ideal trip involves a woodsy getaway with a touch of modern comfort, Primal Wine delivers this in their wine choice. The LA-based company is on a mission to share quality, ethically-made natural wine that's produced from organic or biodynamic grapes, then unfined, unfiltered, fermented spontaneously, and bottled with the least amount of added sulfites. Primal offers three categories of wine clubs, Mixed, Red, or White subscriptions, with the most popular being the Mixed Wine Club, a combination of red, white, rosé, and orange, either still or pét-nat style wines. All three clubs are customizable to your individual preferences, including frequency and quantity of deliveries. Should you find your new favorite wine in one of your monthly deliveries, all the wines are also available for purchase à la carte as single bottles.
For the first time traveler: Firstleaf
Whether it's your first time traveling, or you just prefer the comfort of someone doing all the planning for you, a travel agent's guidance is undeniably valuable, just like Firstleaf, who pride themselves in helping consumers explore wine in a whole new way. This personalized way, tailors customer's wine choices to their individual preferences. Members start off by taking a quiz to create their unique tasting profile and an introductory box of six wines is sent to your door. Make sure you rate the wines, to further personalize your preferences for future orders, which you can arrange for every 1, 2, or 3 months frequency. Whether you like white wines from Italy, red wines from Chile, or are looking to explore beyond your traditional palate, members gain access to a wine concierge, to ensure their preferences are constantly up-to-date and reflected in every order.
For the private jet setter: TWC Cellar Access
If you've flown on a private jet to liken the experience of traveling like a celeb, TWC Cellar Access fits that bill when it comes to wine; Thatcher Baker Briggs' wine club has you sipping like an elite. Briggs' made a name for himself by working in Michelin-starred restaurants including Saison and COI, however, it was starting his wine consulting business in 2019 when his reputation truly preceded him as he became the go-to source for NBA athletes, venture capitalists, and Silicon Valley tech founders to find some of the rarest bottles of wine in the world. After this success, Briggs established TWC Cellar Access as a wine club to deliver this level of expertise to anyone through a monthly club of three to four limited-produced wines.