The Wine Club

This is ridiculous, even by my standards.

I like wine. I don’t consider myself particularly knowledgeable, nor do I have a sophisticated palate, but I can distinguish between decent wine and swill. Also, I am very cheap. I describe it more as thrifty, a holdover from Scottish heritage and being raised as a hardscrabble Yankee who, as a young adult, bought into the ethic of self-sufficiency, but my loved ones would shake their heads ruefully and summarize in the single syllable:


Thus, it came to pass in the time of pandemic, that in order to minimize exposure to the outside world of the landfill and supermarket, I started drinking boxed wine. This is not a varietal, this is a packaging option that delivers 3 liters (the equivalent of 4 bottles) of wine in a recyclable corrugated container that houses a plastic bladder with a pouring valve. “Stays fresh for up to 30 days,” it says on the box. I assure you that no single box of wine that I bought came close to the 30 day marker.

It used to be that the only boxed wine was cheap swill, but that has changed, although wine snobs might disagree. As a strategy, the boxed wine gambit worked well for me, but it was difficult for my more discriminating spouse who understands and glories in the subtleties of more nuanced beverages.

The essence of wine’s appeal was expressed beautifully in this scene from the movie Sideways:

What Silverback wouldn’t like to raise a glass with this Silverbelle? Paul Giamatti blows his big chance. No self-respecting Silverback would pass up such an opportunity.

This is what motivated me to start joining wine clubs. Their come-on deals are irresistible. Here’s from a company called Wine Awesomeness:

3 bottles of awesome wine for $9! This is our best deal ever and only available to Facebook and Instagram for a limited time. Use code: THEBOOK9

🎁$9 for your first box

🚚Shipping included

🤝No monthly commitment, skip or cancel anytime

Once you are a club member and they have your credit card, they count on inertia taking effect and the clubs ship you over-priced, expensive wines on a monthly or quarterly basis. This is where you have to be diligent and resign your membership before the automatic shipments kick in. I’m as lazy as the next Silverback, but in this situation my cheapness superceded my laziness, and I quit all the clubs immediately after the initial shipments arrived. As a result, my wine cellar is bulging, and I have a sense of having trumped the slick marketers at their own game.

The key phrase is cancel anytime which I did ten minutes after the initial shipment was delivered. What do you think, fellow SBs? Shrewd consumer or just a cheap bastard?

Enjoy 6 world-class wines for ONLY $29.99*

Normally over $17 a bottle — yours for under $5

Order today and you’ll enjoy…

  • 6 premium wines for only $29.99 … that’s under $5 a bottle and
    a savings of $70!
  • 2 bottles of Russian River Valley – Sonoma County Pinot Noir (a $50 Retail Value) AT NO ADDITIONAL COST.
  • Information-packed tasting notes and seasonal recipes to help you get the most from every bottle.
  • An exclusive Vinesse Wines 6-bottle collection reserved for you each month with no commitment to buy whatsoever.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed. We’re only satisfied when you are. If you don’t enjoy a wine you receive from us, for any reason, we’ll replace it. No problem.

The wines were delicious!

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