Hit or Miss? The Wall Street Journal Wine Club

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The Wall Street Journal Wine Club 

Two years into my membership I am  trying to decide whether to remain a member or invest my money on wines that I choose.   Wine clubs can be a great idea  for those with a lack of access to large varieties of vino and even those who would like to expand their horizons.  A site that reviews wine clubs including WSJ is the Wine Club Reviews and Ratings.

How the wine club works; after receiving a ridiculously inexpensive introductory case of wine, every quarter or so you receive a case [12 bottles] of reds, white or mixed depending on your preference.  The cost averages about $170.00 [U.S.] or about $15.00 per bottle for wines that are usually $12.00-$30.00 each. Other similar clubs include; Virgin and  Laithwaites.

I must admit that my first year I received wines that were very good to excellent but recently the choices have been very middle of the road to even disappointing.  Of course many factors could be at play here; bad choices by WSJ Wine Club, poor vintages, damaged product or just me and my taste buds. I must point out that WSJ will issue credit should you not be satisfied with any of their individual selections. But do you really want to be complaining on a regular basis? Maybe I have outgrown this club and its surprise element  preferring to discover wines on my own.  Could an official  Whine and Cheers for Wine Club be far off?  I say official because many of my friends are already receiving gifts, care packages and recommendations from my findings 🙂  It pays to have friends with wine benefits….

When I originally thought to write about my recent club experience it was to share all the selections I had been disappointed by: yes I had started a list.  But with the passing of time and the realization that we have enough negativity in our lives I have instead decided to share a couple of the recent delicious surprises I have imbibed thanks to the Wall Street Journal Wine Club: Domaine de Lognac Costieres de Nimes 2010 and the Schroeder Estate 2010 Pinot Noir from Patagonia Argentina. Both artfully done somehow with intense and yet delicate flavors representative of their individual varietal/blend.  I believe I may have one more bottle of the Domaine de Lognac in my cellar to enjoy again soon but the other Schroeder has somehow disappeared.  For those with access to these wines drink them now, I do not believe you will be disappointed.  ¡SALUD!

Schroeder Estate 2010 Pinot Noir

  • Country Argentina
  • Grape Pinot Noir
  • Type Still Red Wine
  • Appellation:Patagonia
  • Bottle size:75CL
  • Alcohol:14.5%
  • Units:10.875
  • Drink by:31/12/2015

The vineyards of Familia Schroeder sit in the valley of San Patricio del Chañar to the northwest of Neuquen province, at latitude 39° south.

The traits of the Patagonic terroir -stony soils, quality meltwater, a wide temperature range, frequent winds and low humidity- provide the ideal setting for an appropriate development of the vinestocks.

Endless blue skies guard 110 hectares of varieties such as Malbec, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet  Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

An absolutely delightful Pinot. Nice complex flavor,
The nose is earthy with a hint of tobacco (?), this wine is woody, yet fruity on the tongue and palette with notes of plum and blackberry, a smooth, almost sweet finish.

Domaine de Lognac Costieres de Nimes

Domaine de Lognac Costieres de Nimes 2010

Nicolas Bacqué (of the acclaimed Domaine de Lognac) made the most of the Rhône’s stellar 2010 vintage — and judges at the prestigious Concours des Vins du Gard 2011 agreed — they gave his opulent Costières de Nîems a silver medal.

Usually it’s plush, red-fruited Grenache that’s the star in the south. But here, it’s dark and spicy Syrah taking center stage — it makes up 70% of the blend. Nicolas then added the Grenache (20%), followed by a dash (10%) of juicy Carignan.

Look for a fragrant nose, with notes of red fruit and wild berries such as blackberry and a signature, spicy herb (garrigue) character. More of the same on the palate, followed by a long, smooth finish.

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23 responses »

  1. Positive reviews are the way to go, its good you feel that way. I believe people want information that is positive not negative, there are so many wines to write about that only the positive ones make my blog. Keep up the good work and yes palates change and become more discerning over time.

  2. I was in the WSJ wine club for probably 2 years as well. In the end of the day I realized that I’m paying $170 for 3, may be 4 okay bottles, which makes it super-expensive and not worthwhile. I dropped my membership after that.

    Along the same lines, there are New York Times and Zagat wine clubs, and I think in the end of the day they are all feed of Laithwaites wine selections (I think laithwaites is more of a “franchise” here), and I’m essentially not fond of any wine clubs as you don’t have any control over the selection.

  3. I joined the Wall Street Journal Wine Club a few years ago and have since canceled my subscription. I did enjoy the selection (reds only), but after a while, I realized that I much preferred to pick and choose wines that I really loved. I think it’s a great starter wine club, but the excitement for the arrival of each case does subside.

  4. Interesting post…thanks for sharing this. Having a wine club myself, my hope is that people would choose wines they want delivered…

    There are so many small artisan wines out there to be discovered…

  5. Thank for the post. I have been going back and forth on whether to join a wine club, but at last I don’t thinks its for me. I like the adventure of choosing myself. Either through recommendation or by chance. Salud!!!!

  6. My experience with WSJWine has been horrific.

    In June of 2013 I placed an order for 12 bottles of a 2003 wine for delivery in September, and paid a $40 “holding fee” to assure that I would receive the order. In late November, I noticed I had not received the order, and talked to a WSJWine customer Services representative. She said she would check, and the next day sent me a message that said, in part:

    “This is just a quick note to inform you that the presale Chateau Ramage La Batisse case will be ready to ship in early December. Your case will contain twelve bottles. Once the case has been prepared we will contact you for the balance of $199.88 plus $19.99 shipping and applicable tax.”

    During late December and early January, I called several times to ask where the wine I had ordered was, and I was assured that it would be delivered soon.

    In January, I received 6 bottles of a 2011 wine I had not ordered. When I called, I was told they had no idea why I had gotten it, but would send me a mailing label to return it.

    Checking my credit card charges, I discovered that they had charged me almost $140 for the wine I had not ordered, and $480.93, more than twice the amount authorized, for the wine I had not been sent. And I have not gotten a return label for the wine I did not order.

    Many more calls followed. Each time I called, I had to start the discussion from scratch. No references to my previous calls and concerns were kept in my customer file.

    They now say they have no 12 case bottles of my wine, only 6 bottle cases. When I suggest that they could just send 2 6 bottle cases, they said that they would not do that. I told them to cancel the order.

    I still have not gotten the fedex label, and both charges are still on my credit card.

    So the message is, if things go wrong, even if it is totally their fault, you will not get either sympathy or compensation from WSJWine.

    Buyer beware.

    And I have called Amex, told them my story and asked them to reverse the charges.

    Frank Huband

  7. Pingback: Top 10 Wines – 2014 | Whine And Cheers For Wine

  8. I tried the WSJ wine club for a little while but would not recommend it. My biggest problem is that after the first shipment you’re paying full retail, plus shipping, plus taxes. The selections are mediocre at best and are on par with what can be bought at the local Giant or Harris Teeter grocery stores. I didn’t see the point of the club since I have a Total WIne nearby that has a huge selection at better prices.

  9. This company is absolutely terrible and incompetent. Do not order from them!!! I ordered a case of wine over a month ago online. They(allegedly) shipped it to me in late July. The shipment never arrived. I asked them to re-send it in early August and said they did. Lost once again! I just asked them to ship the stupid thing a third time, and they are supposedly going to try. However, they informed me that it will take nearly two more weeks for it to arrive, which is one week later than I needed it (I’m hosting a party next weekend and was planning to serve the wine). I’m not sure if this is some type of scam or what, but do yourself a favor and get wine at a store. This place has horrible customer service, and is a complete waste of time! Stay away!

  10. I’ve been a member of the WSJ Wine Club for several years now and LOVE their quarterly shipments. Here’s where I post my pictures of them: http://www.wineclubs.net/reviews/wall-street-journal-wine-club/ Over the years I’ve heard people complain about the club, but that’s usually because they don’t realize that the introductory offer pricing isn’t the usual quarterly pricing. And while $5 a bottle is a great intro offer, it’s not realistic to think a wine club can stay in business if they price all their wines at this price.

  11. Horrible experience. Would never order again. The first time I ordered they charged me 3 times and never shipped wine. Then, this past month, I ordered a case for an important client. They promised Xmas delivery, delivered finally today…to me (the billing address) not the delivery address. Completely incompetent and incapable of fixing the problem.

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