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The Uncorked Ventures Wine Club Kicks Ass!
One of Our Favorite Wine Clubs Since 2010
Uncorked Ventures has been one of my favorite wine clubs for many years now. I first heard of them back in 2010 and loved their passion and focus on finding the best California wines that no one else had ever heard of. They were doing exactly what I was doing, traveling all over California to see how many wineries they could hit and then buying as much of the wine they fell in love with as they could. And when you do that, what ends up happening is that you find yourself with a LOT of wine! LOL. So the next logical step is to share that great wine with your friends and family and sooner or later, those friends are asking you to send them some more of that great wine you shared with them and BAM a wine of the month club is born!
The Uncorked Ventures Wine Club Tells Corporate America “Go Shit In Your Hat!”
As I mentioned above, the Uncorked Ventures wine club got it’s official start back in 2010 when two brothers-in-law, who were unhappy with their day jobs, made the decision to follow their passion. They were sick and tired of the corporate rat race and knew there had to be something better out there than just sitting in a shitty cubicle all day long. And that turned out to be the best decision they ever made! The wine club has flourished ever since and under the guidance of Mark Aselstine, the co-founder of the club, continues to bring outstanding wines to their wine club member’s doors every month.
And when Mark Aselstine isn’t visiting wineries across the West Coast on your behalf in search of the next best great bottle of wine to send your way, he’s writing on the company’s blog, participating in national taste tests and working hard to make the world’s best wine club. Hell, Mark is so devoted to his craft that he’ll even take your phone call if you have any questions about the wines you’ve received this month! The guy is a wine club BEAST! Sure, you could join one of those wine clubs where you’re just a number, and no one cares about you, but personally, I say FUCK THAT! I’d rather have someone like Mark finding those wines I love and sending them to me every month. It’s almost like I’ve got my own personal wine sommelier driving all over the West Coast to find the perfect bottle of wine to send to me. LOL! All of a sudden, I feel very wealthy 🙂
Only The Best Wines From California, Washington, and Oregon
The company’s headquarters are in the Bay Area of California, and their wines are distributed exclusively from California, Washington, and Oregon. Marks personally tastes each and every bottle of wine and visits the vintners to find out EXACTLY what they did to create such a fantastic bottle of wine. I’m telling you, it’s like having your own professional sommelier out there finding you the best wine you never knew existed!
What They Are All About
The West Coast-focused wine club Uncorked Ventures are not ashamed of being wine snobs. They take great pride in being knowledgeable about wine; they curate little known hidden gems from small vineyards and offer higher quality wines. They also want to help their club members learn more about wine than everyone. They strongly believe in wine enjoyment and education and market their company as a luxury, high-end wine club. Uncorked Ventures currently offer three different club membership levels that range from $53 to $108 for each shipment (this includes shipping) that feature two wines. They only offer highly rated wines that originate from the West Coast of the U.S. and wines that their members will highly rate as well.
Along with wine enjoyment and education, relationships are also taken seriously by Uncorked Ventures. Through their relationships with quality, small boutiques vineyards it allows them to offer wines that most drinkers do not have access to.
Although the club is not ashamed of being labeled as a wine snob, they do it in such a what that is not pretentious. The club is for people who are serious about enjoying wine and like impressing friends with their great bottles of wine.
Wine Quality and Selection
Uncorked Ventures wine club members get the chances to try some of the West Coast’s most highly-ranked wines. Mark Aselstine visits various vineyards in Washington, Oregon, and California in search of the finest vintages on the West Coast.
Uncorked Ventures has three wine club and each of them offers its members first-class wines.
Explorations Wine Club
This wine club is for people who like exploring fine wines and finding something new. Explorations Wine Club members get 2 bottles of wine quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly. Each shipment contains one bottle of white wine and one bottle of red wine. As an Explorations Wine Club member, you get to taste great wines like Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Santa Barbara and Chardonnay coming from Sonoma, California vineyards.
Special Selections Wine Club
This club offers 2 or 3 bottles of outstanding West Coast red wines that get delivered right to your house every third month, every other month, or every month. You will receive some of the best-known vintages such as Sonoma Coast Pinot or Napa Valley Cabernet, for example. You might also get a gem such as Paso Robles Carignan which is not available in shops or perhaps a small production lot boutique red wine.
Reserve Selections Wine Club
This is a great wine club if you want to taste the very best West Coast wines. Outstanding white and red wines from Washington, California, and Oregon can be delivered straight to your doorstep quarterly, every other month, or month. Reserve Selections Wine Club sends you a box that includes 3 or 4 bottles of the finest premium red wines. The wines include some that come very small productions such as the 2014 Kinero Cellars Grenaches (where just 47 cases were produced).
So What Makes The Uncorked Ventures Wine Club Different
This family-owned business truly cares about its members. The owner Mark Aseltine is involved in nearly every step of the entire process that delivers outstanding West Coast wines to the homes of its members. He tastes all of the wines, makes the selections, writes blogs and newsletters, and even packs bottles wines and answers emails from customers. What sets Uncorked Ventures apart is it being honestly devoted to wines and are truly dedicated to their wine club members. All of the boxes that you get are handled with care and curated and have a 100% satisfaction guarantee that comes with them.
Also, Mark writes very comprehensive newsletters that accompany each shipment that goes out to customers. The newsletters offer information on the wines in the box and why they were selected. Both Mark’s blogs and newsletters are very informative and help you learn more about the wines.
This is a great way to show somebody how much you care about them. Treat them to a nice bottle of high-quality wine. Or maybe two. Or send them a regular monthly delivery that contains a few limited edition wines.
Two gift options are offered by Uncorked Ventures, but soon they will be having more gift ideas. Currently, you can buy a gift membership for someone to an Uncorked Ventures wine club or send a gift basket.
There are two different kinds of gift baskets that can be chosen from, which are a chocolate gift basket or gourmet gift basket. Both of these baskets include local products since Mark Aselstine gives small companies and local companies priority.
Gourmet Gift Basket
There are one or two wine bottles included in the gourmet gift baskets based on what you choose. You also can specify which wines you want to send or the kinds you want to avoid. There are West Coast gourmet products included in addition to the wine. The baskets contain San Francisco artisan chocolate, mustard, a jar of jam, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Chocolate Gift Basket
This gift basket is the ideal combination of first-rate chocolate and wine. You can select the wines and also decide whether there should be one or two bottles of wine. As suggested by the basket’s name, it also includes locally produced chocolate as well. A selected of tasty chocolates are selected by Mark Aselstine which includes Endorfin Foods absinthe dark milk chocolate bar, truffles, sea salted caramels and TCHO chocolate sampler.
Uncorked Ventures offers free shipping, but the bill for your order does include state taxes. Before taxes, one member shipment of the Exploration Wine Club with two bottles of wine costs $55, whether it is one white and one red wine, two whites, or two reds. With the Special Selections Wine Club, two red costs $115, which is a bit more expensive. Ultimately, the Reserve Selections Wine Club that provides you with high-quality wines at $225 per shipment.
The cost for the gift baskets ranges from $150 up to $200, which will depend on whether you want 1 or 2 wine bottles included in your basket.
Customer support is offered by Uncorked Ventures via snail mail, ticketing system, phone, and email. If you need a quick answer, filling a ticket out is your best option, since you receive a response in 8 hours or less. Or you can directly call the service on the phone and no one answer, they will return your call within one day. Based on our experience, the worst option is email since it might be several days before you receive a response, and at that point, you might as well send snail mail based on that.
Pros And Cons Uncorked Ventures
To ensure that all of your expectations and standards are met by Uncorked Ventures it is very important to understand what the major advantages and disadvantages are. With a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages, you easily can determine if the best company for you is Uncorked Ventures.
- Free shipping
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Various gift options
- 3 wine clubs for various tastes
- Amazing selection of the very best West Coast wines
- Just ships to around 40 U.S. states
- The website is not very user-friendly
What You Receive
Members receive in every shipment:
- Two potentially or highly rated wine bottles curated by two wine hunting experts from Washington, Oregon, or California states.
- Uncorked Venture’s newsletter provides detailed information on its winemakers, vineyards, and wines in the current shipment being sent to customers.
- Flat rate shipping.
Members also receive:
- Explorations Level club members receive a 10% discount from the online club.
- A monthly newsletter
- Access to limited amounts and special selections of wine
- 15% discount on reorders
What Works And What Could Be Improved
The following are reasons why the wine club is loved by so many wine club aficionados:
- Education – There are clubs offered by Uncorked Ventures for each level of a wine drinker. Depth notes are included in the shipments to help club members learn about the wine while they ar trying it -line drinking along with the winemaker.
- Options – Members are able to select how often they receive their shipments (quarterly, every other month, or monthly). Members also are able to choose how long their monthly membership lasts from a single shipment up to a year
- Flat Rate Shipping – Each shipment has an extra $13 added on for shipping so our chat shows the membership price plus shipping. Use your state’s tax rate to calculate your sales tax.
What Can Be Improved
- Outdated/Missing Information – Although there is a section on the website that includes the company’s “Returns and Cancellations” policies, their cancellation policy doesn’t appear there or anywhere else. Due to it being a higher-priced club, this is especially concerning. What is your best bet? since no discount is given for ordering more than just one month so you might as well choose the monthly option! There are also some places that it states that members receive 2-3 bottles, however, two are shown in all of the photos. Three bottles would greatly soften the price. It also seems that one of the men who is listed as operating the club is not working there any longer but there is not any information about who is choosing the wine now.
- The Price – There isn’t anything wrong with having a higher end club but we don’t know if we agree with their “cheap” version. Although they describe their Exploration level as being “cheap,” these bottles average at $25 at least per bottle, and that is a fairly high price for new wine drinkers.
- An All White Wine Option – There isn’t one.
- Transparency – Although there isn’t anything wrong with it, there is some misleading language on the website. For example, it says that “wine hunting experts” select the wine, which most people would assume that means those individuals are wine experts – particularly when you consider the price. However, neither of the founders of the club has been formally trained in wine. That doesn’t mean they aren’t skilled, but the language and price would make people assume that they are wine professionals they are dealing with. It is also concerning since they send both “would be highly rated” and highly rated wines. Without any wine training, we aren’t sure how they determine which wines will be highly rated and with their prices you would expect top quality wines.
Wine snobbery is not something that Uncorked Ventures is ashamed of and focuses on West Coast wines, offering high priced, “would be highly rated” or highly rated to its members. Shipments can come quarterly, every other month, or monthly and may be ordered for a set period of time. Although the website contains plenty of information, there are also lots that are missing: such as how three shipments work or what the makeup is, if there are any prices changes for them, and what their cancellation policy is. Their site might be out of date since it doesn’t have current information on who is choosing the wines and running the club. However, that kind of information might not be necessary for most people. Highly sought after, small batch, little known west coast wines are the focus.
Uncorked Ventures Wine Club Review
The Uncorked Ventures Wine Club has been a favorite of ours since 2010 thanks to the amazing California, Oregon and Washington state wines they send to their members.