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Wine Clubs – A Convenient Way to Know Wine

Wine Clubs – A Convenient Way to Know Wine

Wine clubs have been sprouting up in recent years as a result of an increased interest in wine and greater wine consumption.  In fact, according to figures from the Wine Institute, sales of wine in the United States went up four percent in 2004.  Exports of wine by other countries to the U.S. remain steady since foreign wineries have found the United States to be a lucrative place to do business.   For wine lovers and would-be wine drinkers, joining a wine club would bring numerous benefits.

How To Join A Wine Club?

Many wine clubs count expert vintners or sommeliers among their members.  But you don’t need to be a wine aficionado to be able to join a wine club.  A great many clubs welcome both newbies and experts.  They offer much information not only about various wines out in the market, but also about many wine-related topics; for instance, which type of wine should be served with a certain entrée; or news about the latest goings-on in the wine industry.

About The Wine Club Membership Programs

Inside A Wine Club in California

Wine clubs offer varying membership programs.  For the fee you pay, you will receive wine selections from vineyards whose offerings meet the club’s standards.  Clubs can send you their handpicked selections, or give you the opportunity to make your own selections.  Most clubs usually send two bottles of wine to each member per month; they can be two bottles of red or two of white, or one of each.  Along with the wine, you will also receive pertinent information about them, such as the winery where they came from, any awards, publicity or accolades that have been accorded to the vintner, and a description of the conditions under which the grapes used in the wine were grown.

Perks of Joining Wine Clubs

Wine club membership offers several other perks.  For instance, premium members are offered the ability to buy wines at discounted prices.  If they have a Wine of the Month program, you can be sure that you’ll realize significant savings from being a member than if you just bought the featured wine at regular prices.  Joining a wine club would be a good investment if you are a regular wine drinker — which many people are becoming because of much publicized news about how regular wine consumption has numerous health benefits.  Also, most of the wine clubs today offer gift membership program, which you can give to people who would enjoy wine either by itself or with a meal.

Different Types of Wine Club Membership Programs

Many wine stores or retailers have their own wine clubs, which you can join for a fee.  Some clubs offer open-ended programs, meaning you can cancel your membership anytime.  You should base your wine club choice on several factors.  Are the services they offer worth the rate they are charging?  What are their expert credentials — do they have wine experts who can give sound wine recommendations?  Do they have additional activities for members, such as wine tastings or perhaps visits to vineyards?  You should evaluate these factors and more before you select a club to join.  There are hundreds of wine club web sites online, and they provide detailed information on what you get for your money. People enjoy the benefit of receiving their wine at their doorstep — no more need to zip around to a wine seller’s physical location for a bottle of vino.  However, you should remember that most U.S. states have strict laws regarding the shipping of wine from state to state.  Perhaps you might consider choosing a club that has a branch in your particular state because in such cases the law is not as strict.  This is another factor that you should look at when you are evaluating which club to join. You can choose to join a wine club that has international coverage — one that features wine produced in the world’s most popular winery regions, and whose membership runs in the thousands — or you could opt for a smaller, more specialized wine club, which focuses on only one or two specific wine-producing regions.  Then there are clubs that concentrate on providing only a certain type of wine, such as red, white, or champagne. As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing a wine club to join.  But then, as you can also probably see, there are numerous benefits you can experience if you choose the right wine club.

Introduction to Wine Grape Growing

Introduction to Wine Grape Growing

While wine can certainly be made from a variety of different vegetable matters, most wines are produced from grapes. Ironically, grapes commonly grow in areas where it is difficult if not impossible to grow other crops. Bordeaux, France is known for producing some of the best grapes, and wines, in the world; however, at first glance the unfertile, stony ground in that region would seem an unlikely growing region. In order to completely understand the process of making excellent wine, it is important to understand how grapes are grown and harvested. This is especially important if you wish to grow your own grapes for the purpose of winemaking.

Types of Wine Grapes

There are actually more than five thousand different varieties of wine grapes. There are only two broad families; however. They are Vitis Vinifera and Vitis Labrusca. Vitis Vinifera is a European type of grape and include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling. Vitis Labrusca includes American grapes such as Concord, Catawba, Delaware and Niagara.

About Viticulture

The process of growing grapes is known as viticulture. Factors such as soil, color, chemicals, geology, topography and climate are all important to that process. In most cases, grapes begin to bud during the spring and then grow and develop fruit during the summer. During the growth period, it is extremely important to minimize the growth of the leaves, so as to allow more sunlight to reach the grape cluster. Attentive growers must also take care to be on the watch for indications of disease, pests and of course, drought.By early fall the grapes are reading for harvesting. The exact time at which grapes need to be harvested can depend somewhat on the local climate as well as your own personal judgment. The phase during which grapes begin to change color is known as vèraison. This is an especially important phase for red or black grapes. Regardless of what color they will eventually become, all grapes begin as dark green and hard. It is only during the ripening phase in the sun that they begin to take on their true color. It is during this time that white varieties of grapes will begin to achieve their golden hue and red varieties of grapes will begin to take on their deep purple hue. The natural sugar content as well as the ripeness of grapes determine the appropriate time for harvesting. When grapes are typically ready to harvest, the leaves on the grapevines of white varieties will begin to turn yellow while the leaves of red varieties will take on a red hue.

How The Prices of Wines Are Determined?

You may have wondered what accounts for the different price of wines when you purchase them in a wine store. The most expensive wines are produced from the first pressing of the grapes. This is frequently referred to as free run wine. Second and third pressings of the grape juice results in wine that referred to as press wine. Press wine is less expensive than free run wine because it is typically not of the same quality. Most press wine lacks the smoothness of free run wine. This is the great advantage of being able to grow your own grapes and then press them for your personal wine. You can have the advantage of enjoying first press wine and the smoothness that is associated with it.