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Grapes Wine Club – Full Review

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  • Company: Grapes Wine
  • Available on:
  • Price Range: $270 – $720

What Are They About?

Grapes Wine is a mail order wine club run by a small, speciality wine shop with two locations, one in Connecticut and one in New York’s capital region.  Grapes wine also has an extensive online shop with delivery available in the U.S. where permitted by law.  The shops and club are focused on high quality wines “hand picked” by a panel of tasting experts.  They value relationships with customers, knowledge of wine, and good wine.  Very good wine.  Many bottles available through their online store price in the thousands and they also list some incredibly hard to find wines.  Like some other clubs, Grapes Wine isn’t afraid of the label Wine Snob and in fact prides itself on a deep knowledge of varietals, regions, vintages and terroir.

Membership Overview (4 Plans)

Premium 6

$270For Every Delivery
  • Delivery: Every 6 Weeks
  • 6 Bottles (all reds, all whites or mix)
  • $270 + $11.95 shipping - $46.99/bottle

Premium 12

$480For Every Delivery
  • Delivery: Every 6 Weeks
  • 12 Bottles (all reds, all whites or mix)
  • $480 + $19.95 shipping - $41.66/bottle

Super Premium 6

$420For Every Delivery
  • Delivery: Every 6 Weeks
  • 6 Bottles (all reds, all whites or mix)
  • $420 (FREE Shipping) - $70.00/bottle

Super Premium 6

$720For Every Delivery
  • Delivery: Every 6 Weeks
  • 12 Bottles (all reds, all whites or mix)
  • $720 (FREE Shipping) - $60.00/bottle

What You Get

Every six weeks members receive:

6 or 12 bottles of wines curated by a panel of experts and covering a span of choices:

  • Selected Red and Whites: all types of reds and whites from all over the world.
  • Selected Big Reds: descripted as full, rich, and opulent.  Napa Valley Cabernet, Bordeaux Brunellos, Super Tuscans and more.
  • Selected Elegant Reds: described as complex with red berry fruits, soft and supple.  “World’s finest Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Barolo Barbaresco”.
  • Selected Red Burgundy: described as complex, layering and long and picked from the “finest zones in the Cote de Nuit and Cote de Beaune”.  Promised are “smaller Domaines and great Cru’s.”
  • Selected Red Bordeaux: expect big, bold, and full bodied.  Wines are curated from both the left and right banks of Bordeaux.  Also lists “key vintage releases for the cellar and ready to drink.”
  • Selected Rose: Promises a selection of rose from beyond Provence.
  • Selected Fresh Crisp Clean Whites: oak free whites from Northern Italy, Loire Valley, Northern Spain, New Zealand and more including Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Pinot Grigio, Friulano.
  • Selected Rich Whites: For those who prefer the rounder, richer flavor of oaked whites this option has the “finest” California Chardonnay, Great White Burgundy and beyond.
  • White Burgundy: Touted as the finest whites in the world, promises Meursault, Puligny, Chassagne Montrachet and beyond.
  • Free shipping for Super Premium Club Members
  • Flat rate shipping for Premium Club Members

Why it Works & What Could be Better

Why it Works
  • Choices Are Nearly All Wine Based – We go back and forth about choice in wine clubs.  Some clubs are overwhelming, having members pick every little thing and not being any more convenient than making a trip to the wine shop.  Others, however, take some of the guesswork out.  We love that Grapes Wine has a standard frequency and that members only have to choose six or 12 bottles and the makeup of those.  Because changes are allowed between the types of wines sent it’s feasible to move from oaked whites to Rose to big reds each shipment.
  • Flat and Free Shipping – WIth $11.95 shipping on premium 6 bottle club memberships and $19.95 on premium 12 memberships you really can’t go wrong.  Super premium memberships have free shipping..
  • Local Delivery -Members in Connecticut can get orders delivered to their homes, offices, or other locations from the store.  (See next section)
  • One Year – You don’t have to remember to cancel after a year, your membership includes eight shipments spaced six weeks apart.

What Could Be Better
  • The Website – The front page includes an option of a champagne club membership but does not ever show up in the drop down menus.  Other information is also tricky to find but can’t be ferreted out in different areas of the website.  This is a small business that took on a club, so we understand.
  • Customer Service – We’ll be frank: it’s pretty bad.  From constant sales communication to rudeness in the store they get an F.  Sure, they offer good wines, but doing so with a smile would make us happier.
  • Pricing – While we understand that good wine comes at a premium, all club levels here are incredibly high with the lowest coming in at more than $40 a bottle.  And considering that there is no difference between the listed offerings for Premium and Super Premium, we’re not sure what the extra cost is for.
  • Questionable Knowledge of Wine – One of the draws of this club is language that promises “hand picked” wines, and a panel of experts however the site does not include any names except the owner’s and he does not appear to have any formal training in wine.  For such a bold claim, and price, we’d expect to see some credentials.  Drivers have left wine outside in extreme temperatures, without knocking on the door.  This is troubling for multiple reasons – first, wine is highly sensitive to temperature and therefore should be put into the house immediately.  Drivers do not appear to approach the door but instead leave the deliveries.  Federal law requires someone 21 or older to receive packages of alcohol, which Grapes Wine clearly ignores.  Considering the expense, wine left outside seems like an amateur mistake (and easy to disappear).
  • Shady Practices – there are multiple reports of Grape Wines switching the prices, sending the incorrect vintages (but charging for the higher priced one ordered) and more.  While some of this could be sketchy behavior on the part of Grapes Wine it is important to read all policies and get promises in writing, not just verbally.  The shop’s policy is that if there is a difference in price between the shop and the website the price posted in the shop prevails.

FAQ

Can I Order This As A Gift?

You can order a one year membership as a gift but don’t make it a surprise!  If you are going to use this as a gift be sure to get the information to the person receiving the membership so that they can arrange to have someone home to get the wine.

When Does My Subscription End?

The site does not contain information about a cancellation policy but the club spans one year or eight shipments spaced six weeks apart.

Can I Join Grapes Wine Club Where I Live?

Drink Up Stay Sober
Alabama Alabama
Arizona Arkansas
California Delaware
Colorado Illinois
Connecticut Indiana
Florida Kentucky
Georgia Maine
Hawaii Maryland
Idaho Massachusetts
Iowa Mississippi
Kansas Montana
Louisiana Oklahoma
Michigan Pennsylvania
Minnesota South Dakota
Missouri Tennessee
Nebraska Texas
Nevada Utah
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oregon
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
D.C

All In All

Grapes Wine, while a small business and small businesses are something we love, raises many questions around how equipped they are to run a high end wine club.  We’re wine lovers and have been known to splurge however Grapes Wine has not done enough to build trust.  With no credentials or names for those picking the wines, examples of wines that have been shipped in previous months so that we can assess whether or not the prices align, bad customer service, and an amateur hour performance when it comes to delivery, we believe there are better, safer clubs to join.

Nancy Koziol

Nancy Koziol is a wine writer specializing in wine news, culture, politics, and emerging regions. She has traveled throughout various wine regions and constantly strives to deepen her understanding and appreciation of the holistic experience of wine, from seed to glass. Nancy writes for a variety of wine publications spanning everything from how to make amazing Sangria to understanding the ecological impact of winemaking. She lives in Vermont where she is developing an appreciation for hybrid grapes - something she never thought would happen - and obsessing over orange wines.

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