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FAQ

You’ve got questions. We’ve got wine.

The Club

Is there a membership fee when joining the club?

The club is free to join with no membership fee or ongoing dues. Simply, we ask members to commit to receiving a minimum of two shipments before opting out. If a member chooses to cancel prior to purchasing two shipments, we charge a $50 early termination fee.

If I join, how long am I committed to being a member?

We ask members to commit to receiving a minimum of two shipments before opting out. If a member chooses to cancel prior to purchasing two shipments, we charge a $50 early termination fee.

Do club members get discounts on re-orders?

Yes. Re-orders of wines featured in our club shipments come in 3-packs, 6-packs and 12-packs. The 6-packs and 12-packs are discounted significantly, and are the lowest prices offered anywhere. Once the wines sell out, they are no longer available due to the limited case production.

What are the differences between the clubs?

The primary ‘master’ club is the Boutique Wine Club. Members receive 24 bottles annually, in four shipments of 6 bottles per shipment. This includes our best wine selections from from both Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. We also offer clubs featuring only the wines from Santa Barbara or Paso Robles, specifically. These clubs each ship only 12 bottles per year in two shipments of 6 bottles each.

How do you price the wines?

We sell the wines to club members at the same price the wineries offer to their visitors. Typically, this is below the retail price. The price the wineries set is usually for direct-to-consumer sale either through their website or for their walk-in visitors. If their wines were sold in stores or restaurants, the price would be considerably higher. Thus, we offer the wines to club members at the lowest price available anywhere, and far below its potential retail price. Essentially, we offer winery-direct pricing.

What is the price of each shipment?

The price will vary a bit depending on which wines are selected. We try to cap each shipment at $180 or $30 average per bottle, which is a great price-point for ultra-premium, limited production wine. We will occasionally come in closer to $150 for the shipment, and may go a few dollars above the price, as well. The average of the four annual shipments will be under $180, and less than $30 per bottle on average.

Flat Rate Shipping is $25 for western states, $35 for midwest and eastern states. See our shipping map here.

If I find a wine I love, can I purchase more through the club?

One of the great club benefits is that we purchase and hold a good quantity of each wine we feature. This allows club members to re-order the specific wines they prefer, plus save a few dollars on the reorder.

How often do you ship?

We plan four shipments per year – two shipments each featuring wines from Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. We will also occasionally offer a special shipment of seasonal wines, specifically before the Holidays or Summertime. These bonus shipments will not be part of the regular schedule, but by member “Opt-In” and only by request. Members will be informed in advance of each regular shipment date, and the bonus shipments they can “Opt-In” to receive.

Do the wineries offer any benefits to Boutique Wine Club members?

Yes. Our affiliate wineries all offer special benefits to our members including free tastings for current members who visit their wineries, plus invitation to all their club events, winemaker dinners and special wine sales. Our affiliate wineries appreciate the business we bring them, and treat our club members like their own club members.

If I live outside of California, is state sales tax charged on the shipments?

Yes. All wine shipped includes an 8 percent California internet sales tax.

I want to visit and meet my favorite winemakers, will you take me?

Yes. Perhaps the best benefit of all is our unique ability to take our members on private wine tours to our affiliate wineries. This extends our special access privileges to our members and connects them directly with the winemakers. We began as a wine tour company servicing Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. After 10 years of guiding private tours, our customers and followers formed the foundation of our wine club. Our tours are very special, and include food pairings with each winery visit and guides who are either trained Sommeliers or winemakers, themselves.

How long do I have to order more of my favorite wine?

We negotiate a hold on wine for 60 days following the club shipment. As all the wines are limited production, the reality exists that they will sell out. We follow each shipment with specific information on the wines available for re-order and give our club members every opportunity to acquire the wines they enjoy most before they sell out.

Who is this Bob guy?

Bob Sweeney is the founder and CEO of Boutique Wine Club and one of the most well-known and respected wine tour guides in Central California. His primary expertise is in instructing how wine pairs with specific foods, and how to taste and appreciate truly exceptional wine. His many years guiding private tours to the numerous boutique wineries in the regions has provided him great knowledge of the area and access to the best, small-production local wines. Bob is not only the owner, but he is also our guide through the world of exceptional Central Coast wine.

Why should I join this club instead of another club?

The world is full of great wine, and thousands of wine clubs. For wine enthusiasts, having direct access to great wine, connecting with winemakers and developing an affinity for a specific wine region is really the best of all wine experiences. Santa Barbara and Paso Robles are rapidly becoming the most acclaimed boutique regions in the new wine world. Gaining insight and access to the great wines coming from this area is a huge benefit to wine lovers. There are lots of clubs to choose from, and most specialize in moderate-quality, low-priced wine. We specialize in great, locally-sourced, and limited-production wine and provide it at the lowest price available.

The Wine

How do you select the wine?

We select wine by tasting it and knowing its story. Our only interest is in finding great wine made by hand at small-production wineries in Central California. We live here, know the wineries personally, know their production practices and the winemakers’ specialties. Typically, our search begins with over 100 wines to sample, we then narrow our choices to about 20 outstanding wines, then pick the finalists based on a mix of varietals, styles and price-point. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!

Where does the wine come from?

The affiliate wineries we source are all very small, hands-on, old-school winemakers. They use old-world techniques and avoid unnatural additives, flavorings and mass-production practices. They make real, honest wine. The region we cultivate in Central California is building a world-wide following for its numerous boutique wineries. And when we don’t use the term “Boutique” loosely, as do so many others. Typically, these wineries produce less than 5000 cases annually, and many produce half that amount.

Why only Santa Barbara and Paso Robles?

There are few places in the world like coastal Central California. It has unique proximity of the ocean to arid mountains, – where desert heat and cool offshore marine influences interweave to create a plethora of micro-climates, soil types and long, languishing growing seasons. Combining that with the cost of California real estate, scarcity of water and the great history of the area, forms the foundation for the boutique wine capital of the world. Just a short drive up the state and you have the opposite effect, and the vast wine growing regions of the San Jacquin Valley, home to every mass-produced, store-brand wine in America. We chose to focus on Santa Barbara and Paso Robles because they are highly unique, very limited and immensely powerful wine growing regions, and specifically for small-production wineries. In 10 to 20 years, the world will know our little secret, but until then, we intend to spread the word one bottle at a time.

How limited is this wine?

Unlike others, we don’t use the term “Boutique” loosely. Typically, our affiliate wineries produce less than 5000 cases annually, and many produce half that amount. This means that if they produce four or five different wines, each one may only have 500 to 1000 cases available. That’s not much, and not enough to sell in stores, restaurants or through a distributor. But, it’s the best wine in the world, because it’s made with passion, insight, knowledge and careful hand-crafting. Once it’s released, it sells out quickly. That’s one of the reasons we purchase additional amounts that enable our club members to re-order their favorites before they sell out.

Shipping & Returns

If I receive a wine I don’t like, or is damaged, can I return it?

Yes. Our wines are 100 percent guaranteed. If a wine is damaged during shipment, or has a bad cork, we will send a free replacement bottle. If a club member receives a bottle he does not like – for any reason –we will replace it with a free bottle of another wine of our choosing. Simple and straight-forward and all designed for our club members to receive and experience great wine.

Will I be notified of a pending shipment?

Yes. We publicize our ship dates well in advance to allow customers to sign-up in time to receive the shipment. We ship mostly in the Spring and Fall to avoid hot temperatures. We also use insulated shipping boxes with cold-packs when orders are placed during the hotter times of the year.

Do you ship to all 50 states?

Almost. We ship where its standard practice but can’t ship to Utah (no one can). Other states like Michigan require special routing, but we make every effort to follow the rules and service our club members.

 

How often do you ship?

We plan four shipments per calendar year as part of the regular club cycle. Additionally, we plan special “Opt-In” shipments featuring wines appropriate for the Holidays and Summertime. Only club members that “Opt-In” to these special seasonal shipments receive them.

Still need help? Send us a note or give us a call!

For any other questions, please write us at concierge@drinkboutiquewine.com or call us at (805) 693-4600.

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