The Grapevine

Wine Clubs for Fun and Profit

July 22nd, 2015

If you’re thinking of starting a wine of the month type club, you’re probably headed in the right direction. [level-members]

Wine clubs can be a great way to increase revenue with exactly the right kinds of customers.

Remember, the folks who can help you build a sustainable business that can weather the slow periods of the year and even economic downturns are those folks who are passionate – or at least enthusiastic – about wine. Or they are interesting in becoming more knowledge and passionate.

These are the folks who will, for the most part, be happy to join a monthly wine club, particularly if you tailor it to their interests.

Yes, you can have a one-size-fits-all club, where you stock up on something you can get a great deal on by buying in bulk, but that’s not going to be very popular for very long. Different people have different tastes. A better bet is to either tailor to individual tastes – which, admittedly, is a tall order as your list grows beyond customers you know well – or by creating a range of options from which people can choose.

Themes can be built around helping your customers explore the world of wine by region or by varietal, or by style, or any of a number of other ways. The important thing is to engage with your customers about the wines they are drinking. Find out what they like, stock more of it, and keep them coming back month after month.

Here’s an article with a handful of the larger “national” wine clubs from which you might crib ideas. (Just be sure you’re selling better wines than many of these do …)