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Review: My Experience Trying Out the International Wine of the Month Club

Box of wines I received from The International Wine of the Month Club.

I’m a member of two wine clubs.

The first is a club where one of my favorite wineries sends me wine directly, and the other is club where I buy wines sold through a daily email.

It’s been a while since I’ve tried a new wine club, so as a wine blogger I was excited when, Kris Calef, the owner of The International Wine of the Month Club (IWMC) for over 25 years, reached out and offered me the opportunity to experience his wine club.

Wines from The International Wine of the Month Club.

Photo Credit: Wine Casual, Opening my box of wines from The International Wine of the Month Club.

The Club

The international Wine of the Month Club is one part of a larger subscription offering through MonthlyClubs.com that allows you to receive monthly shipments of gourmet cheeses, chocolates, fresh-cut flowers, microbrewed beers and wine.

You can even design your own club and receive any combination of their offerings.

IWMC offers four wine clubs for you to choose from based on your wine preferences.

Each month you receive two bottles of wine in whatever combination of red or white wine you prefer.

The Four Wine Clubs

  • The Premier Series Club – The most popular club that delivers two estate-bottled, limited-production boutique wines from two different wineries. ($39.95/month)
  • The Bold Reds Wine Club – Two full-bodied reds from two different wineries. ($51.95/month)
  • Masters Series Club – Two estate-bottled, limited-production boutique wines from two different wineries – one from the Premier Series Wine Club, and one from the Collectors Series Wine Club. ($54.95/month)
  • Collectors Series Club – Two extremely-limited, estate-bottled wines from two different wineries that have already aged, but can be cellared further or enjoyed right away. ($72.95/month)

I took a look at the featured monthly selection of wines detailed on the IWMC website and selected the Collectors Series Club.

I choose to receive one white wine and one red wine.

About a week later a box filled with two wines arrived at my door with detailed information sheets describing each wine.

The Wines

Chateau de la Crée, Les Tourelles de la Crée Montagny Premier Cru 2016, Burgundy, France, Wine Casual

Photo Credit: Wine Casual, Chateau de la Crée, Les Tourelles de la Crée Montagny Premier Cru 2016, Burgundy, France

I sampled the following two wines below (see links for a review of each wine).

As a wine blogger I sample a lot of wines over the course of a year, and I can’t begin to express who how well-crafted, well-made and delicious the two wines I received were.

When IWMC says limited production and boutique, they aren’t kidding.

These wines were elegant, with complexity and with layered flavor intensity.

Union Sacré, Squire Pinot Noir 2016, Kick on Ranch Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, California, Wine Casual

Photo Credit: Wine Casual, Union Sacré, Squire Pinot Noir 2016, Kick on Ranch Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, California

In addition, after doing some research online I discovered for the price to value, these wines were a steal.

The White Burgundy retails for $38 and the Pinot Noir retails for $55 for a combined price of $93.

Since the Collectors Club only costs $73, a wine club member walks away with $20 in value relative to the standard market for these wines.

And that doesn’t even factor in the cost of IWMC ‘s time spent sussing through and selecting these two wines for the club.

IWMC assembles a panel of 40 tasters to choose what makes it into their club.

The Verdict

For a wine club to be successful in my mind, it has to do three things.

  1. Offer me value above and beyond I could get on my own through regular retail channels.
  2. Pleasantly surprise me with thoughtfully-selected choices.
  3. Educate and take me further down my own wine journey.

IWMC wins on all three barometers.

Recently, I was researching meal kit subscription services like Blue Apron and Plated.

If you’ve ever researched meal kit delivery you know there are a lot of choices in the market.

And so too with the wine subscription market.

Based on my experience, I would describe IWMC as the wine club for the person who is looking for value, regular surprise and something new to learn about in the world of wine on a monthly basis.

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