Wouldn’t it be nice to look at the wine menu in a restaurant (come June, fingers crossed) and actually know a thing or two about what’s written there? Or, come Friday evening when you’d love a glass of red, have a bottle of something smooth and delicious already in the cupboard that came from an independent winemaker (and isn’t supermarket’s own brand)?
Wine clubs are the drinks trend giving normal, plonk-chugging people like you and me the opportunity to learn about vino and try blends from independent, organic and sustainable winemakers, hearing the stories behind what makes their product and the place they produce it special.
Throughout lockdown, the interest in wine clubs has taken off and it isn’t slowing down any time soon. Many have exclusive offers for those who sign up as well as virtual tastings.
Keep reading for our edit of brilliant wine clubs to join now – you’ll be wowing sommeliers in no time.
So, what’s special about Our Glass? Well, it’s a genuine brand founded on friendship. You see, Ben and Martin are pals who go way back and they’re both big-time wine enthusiasts. They’ve spent years trying bottles from all over the world and compiling a knock-out selection of 1,500 wines that they truly endorse.
But, while these guys are serious about wine, they don’t want you to have to be. Their plan is to make trying new and different wines as easy as possible by pulling together a box of three or six bottles based on what types you like.
Wines are delivered monthly and membership is flexible, so if you’d like to pause you can at any time. Your bottles will arrive in sturdy, cardboard packaging with a fun, brightly-coloured wine guide.
This guide is perfect for newbies, explaining tips which are simple (but sound impressive when you tell your friends later) like how wine is alive to its surroundings so you shouldn’t keep it in an area with lots of changing smells, light and temperatures. Or, that if you’re serving a bottle within the next few hours you should stand it on its end, as this will stop the sediment going straight into your glass.
You can also access lots of interesting information about the bottles you’ve been given online, so that you can learn the stories and culture behind what you’re drinking.
Mummy Wine Club
Who? Mummy Wine Club is founded by Victoria Daskal, who between working as managing editor at The World of Fine Wine magazine, studying for the prestigious Master of Wine exam, teaching monthly wine courses and judging at international wine competitions, she also tastes 1,500 different wines per year. So, you could say she’s an expert. But while her passions and drive have always remained, becoming a mother to two children changed her vision of a wine school to an event that would be inclusive of mums and their babies. Pre-Covid, Victoria spent two years teaching 45-minute classes where mums could socialise and learn about wine, in a safe, relaxed environment with children.
What? Four wines from small, family-owned makers working in an authentic, organic, sustainable way. Choose mostly white, mostly red or a bit of everything.
When? Every month or every other month, delivered for free in the second week.
How much? £95 per month.
Any extras? Free virtual wine tastings hosted monthly on Zoom and 10% off the bottle shop prices online. Plus, producer profiles, educational information on winemaking and viticulture, and food pairing suggestions sent to you via email the same week.
Brixton Wine Club
Who? Brixton Wine Club started with a bunch of friends getting together to drink some wine. They describe the vibe as “no spittoons, no pinky fingers in the air” and just having fun with it, swirling, sniffing and glugging as they go.
What? This informal and un-snobbish ethos is why they decided to pick award-winning wines but, instead of bottled as usual, stored in cans. Brixton Wine Club promise that a Master of Wine couldn’t tell the difference in a blind taste test and that the cans are lined so that there’s no metallic taste. Each box includes six cans of wine and you can choose between Simply Red, All White, All Day Rose, 100% Fizz or The Juice Box, which has a mix of everything.
When? You can buy monthly or one-off boxes. You can cancel at any time and your wines will be shipped within three business days.
How much? £30 a month.
Any extras? All boxes come with tasting notes which make for the perfect team building video call. If you want, you can also add on a private tasting session with Brixton Wine Club founder, Louisa.
Who? Naked Wines was founded back in 2008 by Rowan, who had an idea to connect winemakers and wine lovers, cutting out the supermarkets, to ensure that everyone gets a fair price. Naked Wines works with independent winemakers and works on a crowd-funding basis, which allows you to put into the business and get some great plonk out of it.
What? Every month £25 of your money goes into a ‘wine piggybank’ and you can choose the bottles that you want using that money. The up side for you is that the website only stocks really delicious wine at a fair price. You can choose to stop putting into your piggybank whenever you want and increase the amount.
When? Once a month from the date you sign up.
How much? £25 minimum for whatever wine you choose.
Any extras? If you take part in the crowdfunding element of Naked Wines you’ll get exclusive access to certain wines and deals like £30 free on your first order (valid at time of writing 12 March 2021).
Images: Getty Images / courtesy of brands
Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.