Wine clubs prompt some whines

By Joel KeehnConsumer Reports

If you’re sending a gift of wines to yourself or a friend every month or so, how would you feel about sipping a selection that lacks freshness or tastes a bit like waxy crayons? Those are among the descriptions our experts supplied after blind tastings of 12 bottles shipped from each of three wine clubs.

Wines sent by  Wine of the Month Club Cellar Series ranged from fair to very good; those sent by the  Wall Street Journal’s WSJwine Discovery Club, from poor to high good; and those sent by The New York Times Sampler Club, from fair to mid-good. The clubs offer refunds if you’re dissatisfied, and you can cancel after one shipment.

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Bottom line. You can do better and will probably pay less by using our past Ratings or visiting a good wine store and asking for suggestions from around the world. Note that wine can’t legally be shipped to every state, so not everyone can order from the clubs. They ship to 26 to 32 states.

This article appeared in the December issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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