Join These Wine Clubs Across the West
Wine clubs are making it easier than ever to try different types of wine, from grower Champagne to small Oregon producers.
The doorbell rings. A package arrives. It’s heavy. It’s wine.
Bottle shops and brands are making it easier than ever to try different types of vino from the comfort of your home. Particularly if you’re interested in styles by Western winemakers, there’s never been a better time to join a club.
Only sip sparkling? There’s a club for you. Seattle couple Bryan and Abigail Maletis started Fatcork to bring grower Champagnes to the everyday drinker. Each box is themed, and you can choose how many bottles you want. Sometimes, the growers will produce cuvees specifically for Fatcork, event coordinator John Schwenk says.
Bonus: Fatcork’s Seattle office boasts an underground wine cave, “similar to Champagne caves in France,” according to Schwenk. “It’s temperature-controlled for ensuring the quality of the Champagne, which is also why we ship quarterly during the milder months of the year: March, May, September, and November.”
If you’re looking to sample quality wines made right here in the West, look to neighborhood bottle shops or tasting rooms for highly curated selections. Cellar 503 owner Carrie Wynkoop initially started her club to feature Oregon’s boutique producers in monthly or quarterly memberships—and she estimates she has since highlighted close to 200 producers in nearly seven years. “I write detailed stories of the people behind the wines as well as tasting notes for each wine and include them with every bottle,” she adds.
In addition to a Portland tasting room, Wynkoop recently opened a mobile tasting room in a renovated travel trailer. The vehicle allows her to travel around the state and “bring these small producer wines to communities,” she says.
Read on for some of our favorite wine clubs that help you discover regions in the West and beyond:
45th Parallel Wines
The couple behind Portland shop 45th Parallel Wines understands that some people love white wine, while others love red. This wine club offers an option for each preference, not to mention a third for the crazy people who drink both. Expect “fun and interesting wines from around the world,” according to Matt Hensel and Shannon Duff. This is a special treat for Portland residents—the couple takes sign-ups inside the shop where you’ll also pick up bottles.
ACME Fine Wines
Karen Williams opened this gallery-style bottle shop in Napa Valley, which features a stunningly displayed library of wines. Her Under the Radar Wine Club gets you two bottles each month, “always red, always domestic, and most often a debut vintage.”
There’s nothing like curling up with a good book and a large pour of red wine. Enter this club from Drink Books, a natural wine and book shop slated to open this fall in Seattle. Join to receive a bottle of natural wine and something to read every month. This is an insider tip for Seattle residents; the club will start with local pick-up, with shipping options added in coming months.
Interested in tasting more Oregon wines? Founder Carrie Wynkoop makes it easy with this club. She selects each bottle—you can get two or four—with an eye for featuring all 21 of the state’s wine regions. Each month, you’ll get tasting notes and profiles of the winemakers.
Seattle couple Bryan and Abby Maletis are behind this quarterly club focused solely on Champagne. Bubbles are shipped directly from France, and the two highest levels of the subscription come with a tête de cuvée, or “the very best Champagne that the grower makes.”
“The future is female winemakers.” That’s the mantra of this Los Angeles bottle shop celebrating natural wines made by women. If that’s your jam, choose between two different clubs, “Hair of the Dog” or “Party Animal” with up to five bottles—red, white or a combo, depending on your taste—curated by owner Coly Den Hann every month.