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Online wine clubs are the future of the industry. If the previous year has taught us anything, it is that global-level events have the power to disrupt traditional markets, turning previously profitable sales channels on their head in the blink of an eye. 

Historically, wine clubs have struggled to find even footing, but their current growth may be enough to convince even the most die-hard tasting room adherents to join. Where once upon a time new memberships were on the decline, that trend now seems to have reversed itself. According to Forbes, new wine club memberships, specifically online additions, have increased by more than 54% in the previous year. In fact, wine club sales have far outstripped visits to the local tasting room, accounting for 70% of worldwide wine retail.  

Shopping  Online
Shopping Online

Wine clubs, which are part of the direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales channel, currently drive the industry. The category includes both e-commerce businesses and phone sales. It should be noted that while there are hundreds of wine clubs in Australia, and thousands more spanning numerous countries across the globe, gross membership remains low. Part of the wine industry’s D2C boom comes from a 27% increase in purchases by existing members. 

The bottom line? Those who’ve joined a wine club have reaped the benefits, conveniently enjoying all the amenities that a subscription-based model affords. If you’re looking to join one of Australia’s wine clubs yourself, there’s never been a better time. But how do you know where to start? Today, The Good Wine Club aims to discuss the different types of wine clubs Australia, specifically their pros and cons, in order to help you find the best entry point to the world of D2C wine sales.  

Types of Wine Clubs Australia

Becoming a wine connoisseur is no easy task. Developing a thorough knowledge base can be costly and overwhelming, especially at the start. The Australian continent is home to thousands of different wine manufacturers, including many notable Shiraz producers. With such a wide selection of quality wines available, it can be impossible to know where to begin. Enter the wine club Australia.   

Wine Party at Home
Wine Party at Home

Wine clubs in Australia are not one size fits all, however. There are subtle differences between different wine delivery methods. Each type will get you a different calibre of wine, along with a different associated cost. The key is choosing which avenue (and wine selection) works best for you. Among the most notable and prominent types of wine clubs you’ll find in Australia are:

  • Major chains
  • Algorithm-based clubs 
  • Cellar door clubs
  • Boutiques and independent shops 

Each comes with their own unique twist on the D2C sales model, along with its own drawbacks as well. Let’s take a closer look at each avenue of delivery. 

Major Chains

Yes, you name it, major supermarket chains and big box retailers retain a large presence in the online wine club subscription industry as well. You’ll notice that some of the larger players have strategic brands catered to specifically compete in the online wine club market space. They offer consumers a large variety of commonly known brands, above and beyond wines. Major alcohol chains have somewhat of an advantage over smaller competitors: they possess larger buying power, which could mean they could squeeze a lot more out of some local wine brands.

Major Supermarket Chains selling Wine
Major Supermarket Chains selling Wine

They have access to major stock control levels and infrastructure to compete. Some of these stores have a huge array of wine products, including reds, whites and blushes from wineries that specialise in mass production, and regional wineries as well. You can expect to find some of the commonly known brands or major chain favorites. Some wine products have been created and designed intentionally for the major chain, mass market supply.

It is important to note that big-box retailers control a staggering 40.5% of the country’s market share when it comes to packaged wine deliveries. They play a major threat to smaller operators as they dominate in this space.

Algorithm-based Clubs

The algorithmic wine club model embraces the entire width and breadth of the wine industry. The modern consumer has proven themselves to have shown a willingness to try new and interesting hybrids from among the world’s 1,300 grape variants. There is a drive, especially among younger, emerging connoisseurs, to try hybrid flavours. 

Drinking wine at home
Drinking wine at home

Australia’s wine industry is a vast ocean that includes wine’s from every grape variant available. With so many possible choices of wine, algorithm-based clubs have been designed to help consumers explore wine through an online quiz.

Algorithm-based wine clubs in Australia utilise online questionnaires and apps to help match customers to specific flavours of wine. While there is an element of uncertainty involved with letting AI and machine learning decide your wine for you, with this model you’ll at least get a more focused offering. Just make sure to update your preferences as they change; taste buds trump an algorithm any day. 

Cellar door clubs

Cellar door clubs are the perfect way to support your favorite winery. And in some cases, your supporting small to medium sized Australian businesses. Rather than casting a wide dragnet, this subscription model focuses on your favourite regional winery rather than a selection of handpicked wines from a variety of suppliers, in some cases.

Winemakers producing wine
Winemakers producing wine

Think of the cellar door club as a fan club. Oftentimes, the cellar door avenue will net you discounts on your favourite wine products, access to specialised vintages not available through general retail, and other discounts and fringe benefits along the way. 

Cellar door clubs give you a way to easily indulge in your favourite vineyard’s products without having to worry about selection yourself.

Boutiques and independent retailers

Boutique wine shops offer consumers a great way to support smaller, local vineyards while simultaneously gaining access to a wider range of products. Boutiques, specialty shops, and independent retailers specialise in offering a curated wine selection. 

Woman buying wine
Woman buying wine

The quality of the wines found at an independent retailer can vary compared to the big box retailer. Their stocking methods are based on local tastes and quality. With a boutique Australia wine club subscription, there is little drawback other than the continued operation of the venue itself.  

Are Wine Clubs in Australia Worth it?

And now to the big question: are Australia wine clubs worth the cost of admission? The Good Wine Club wouldn’t take the time, nor expend the passion, to detail something we didn’t believe in.  

Membership in a wine club offers the subscriber numerous benefits. First and foremost is convenience. Wines are delivered direct to your doorstep, contactless and hassle-free. As long as your subscription is current, you don’t have to worry about anything. No driving to the store, no spending time agonising over wine selection. It’s all taken care of for you with the click of a button.  

Tasting Wine
Tasting Wine

Secondly, you have access to superior products, often at a discount. Membership in a wine club means you get premium wine selection from local and regional wineries. Best of all, buying in bulk usually affords you a decent break on the price per bottle. As an added bonus, most wine clubs in Australia will periodically give additional coupons, rewards, and discounts to loyal members. So yes, joining a wine club is unequivocally worth it. 

What Makes Australia’s Wine Clubs So Unique?

Australia’s wine culture is rich. While we are known for our variety of Shiraz, there is a virtual world of vineyards and vintners in all corners of the continent producing world-class vintages that can compete on the world’s stage. Nearly every quality wine club, including The Good Wine Club, has an online presence making ordering and delivery easy. 

Wine Shop
The Good Wine Club

Wine clubs Australia put the customer first; most offer a satisfaction guarantee that applies to both product and delivery. It’s this best-in-class service that puts Australia wine clubs ahead of their competition. 

The best reason to join a wine club in Australia? Supporting local businesses and enjoying a curated selection of high-quality products. The Good Wine Club can help bring you the quality and selection you’re looking for. Please contact us today to inquire about our subscription model.