Gold Medal Wine Club Review 2022

If you only drink the crème de la crème, this is the best wine club for you. We’ve searched widely and Gold Medal stands out with its range of award-winning wines.

Gold Medal Wine Club Review
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4.7
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Best
Rose Wine Club
Money (best value)
$39/mo
Lucie Robson
Written by:Lucie Robson
Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET Level 3)

If you’re looking for a membership plan that offers wines that have distinguished themselves in competitions and ratings, Gold Medal won’t disappoint you. It offers four affordable top-tier clubs, with California and other US wines at its core plus two wallet-friendly plans that feature international wines.

Gold Medal Wine Club Overview

As its name suggests, the Gold Medal Wine Club only has award winners or top-rated wines in its portfolio meaning you’re getting the cream of the crop in every shipment.Gold Medal Wine Club banner

What is Gold Medal Wine Club?

The Gold Medal Wine Club was started in 1992 with the objective of providing serious wine lovers with the best-rated wines from around the world with a special focus on California. To this end, it has devised a portfolio of six clubs that are themed around different categories of exceptional wines. It also has a penchant for boutique family wineries producing labels you’ll likely not find elsewhere and never sells wines produced in bulk. 

How Does Gold Medal Wine Club work?

wine pouring 2

The bottom line with The Gold Medal Wine Club is every single bottle it delivers has distinguished itself at international competitions or critics’ tastings. It groups its wines into six clubs so you don’t have to do any guesswork about what you can expect in your shipment. The Gold Wine Club features the best boutique wines from California, The Platinum Club has wines with 90pts plus from the Golden State and the West Coast, and the International Club is all about premium wines from around the world. Inspired by the namesake movement in Bordeaux, the Garagiste Club focuses on small innovative wineries in the US, the Pinot Noir Club features fine wines made from this classic grape, and the Diamond Club offers luxury wines rated with between 93 and 99 points. You select the number of shipments, start date, plus a mix of wines and shipping frequency (where applicable).

How Much Does Gold Medal Wine Club Cost?

Our Rating 4/5

Gold Medal Wine Club is dealing with some pretty top-tier wines so it's natural that some plans will have a high price tag. It's understandable but, as with similar clubs, makes some plans inaccessible to some wallets so the score is 4 for price. 

The cost of membership depends on which plan you go for and the frequency of delivery (for the clubs where you have a choice). The Gold Club starts at $40.95 a shipment and the Diamond Club clocks in at $188 per case. Shipping is added but there’s no info about how much this is. 

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About the Wine

Our Rating 5/5

I've given Gold Medal Wine Club a 5 for its above average standard of wine in each plan. Just keep in mind that, while some wines are from international regions, the majority hail from boutique California wineries.  

The Gold Medal Wine Club labels (except for one or two its sommeliers like and want to take a chance on) have all earned multiple medals from major wine competitions plus top ratings from prestigious wine publications like Wine Spectator and Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate. The lion’s share comes from California producers although some clubs feature international wines. Typical picks include the likes of the following:

Fritz Underground Winery is a Sonoma County artisanal producer that supplies the club with California favorite Zinfandel along with Burgundy classics Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

La Folette is another California winery that stocks the club with Chardonnay from the iconic Russian River Valley AVA.

Going overseas, Gran Famiglia Bianchi is a winery from Mendoza in Argentina. Some of its top wines enjoyed by Gold Medal Club members include its Malbec and rich red blends.

Crastino is a South African producer located in the Paarl Valley that supplies the club with organic Cape red and white blends plus a Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre blend.

For those who enjoy Old World styles, Château Moncets situated in Bordeaux’s right bank offers a fruity, velvety, Merlot-led red for the club.

Gold Medal Wine Club Benefits

wine glasses and bottles 2

Our Rating 5/5

Gold Medal Wine Club gets a top score of 5 because it's always running discounts and offers that are pretty irresistible plus you get members rewards the more you spend.B23 Its premium clubs have access to rare, limted-edition wines and there are loads of gift ideas and deep-dive online resources about its wines and producers.  

As well as the advantage of receiving hand-picked winning wines, there are numerous benefits to being a Gold Medal Wine Club member including access to in-depth educational information on all the wines and wineries, member deals, and a host of premium gift ideas for fellow wine lovers.

Benefit 1 

Each club webpage features deep-dive details about wines that were included in shipments covering winemaking methods and the kinds of diets it’s compatible with among other key points. You also get bios on each boutique winery and they’re super interesting! Going this extra mile makes your wine drinking experience richer

Benefit 2

One glance at the Gold Medal Wine Club web page and you get the impression it’s bursting with deals! It’s always featuring discounts on seasonal shipments from its store plus members can routinely take advantage of a Membership Rewards program or up to 40% off store prices.

Benefit 3

The club offers a “Plus Program” for Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Club members where, for a small additional fee, you get extra bottles of wine that are worth trying but are in such short supply the club can’t offer them to all members in regular shipments.

Benefit 4

The club website features a wide and comprehensive pool of resources that enhance the membership experience. Well written and informative, you have all the details you need about wineries, wine regions, wine varietals, ratings, food pairing recipes, an extensive glossary of wine terms, plus a blog on a range of topics. The content is very well rounded because it’s geared toward wine aficionados but doesn’t steer clear of the handy basics either. 

Benefit 5

As well as giving membership plans to your loved ones, the Gold Medal Wine Club also offers a range of wine gift boxes, gift sets, and combo boxes. It also can arrange corporate gift packs. There’s an attractive range of gift cards you can personalize to accompany your gifts. 

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Gold Medal Wine Club banner

Gold Medal Wine Club Membership Programs

You can pick and choose from six membership plans each of which features a top-tier standard of wines. The mainstay is California although other US wine regions feature as well and as do international producers in some of the clubs.

Gold Medal Wine Club Membership Length

When you join the club, there’s no minimum contract length and you are free to cancel your subscription whenever you want. You can opt to have wines shipped until you cancel or control how many deliveries you get in advance when you sign up.

Can I Give Gold Medal Wine Club Membership as a Gift?

wine gift

Our Rating 5/5

You can give wine membership plans as gifts plus pick from a wide range of wine packages, accessories, and food stuffs. You also get a choice of email or primatable cards for personalization so the score is 5.

There are numerous gift options if you’re looking for something special for a fellow wine lover. There are a number of club plan memberships available in addition to wine gift boxes, food and wine combo boxes, and corporate gifts. You can also add a free card from the club’s selection and email it or print it out. 

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Gold Medal Wine Club Packaging

Our Rating 5/5

Gold Medal Wine Club goes the extra mile with stunning artist-commissioned boxes for gift wine. Each case includes the club newsletter which details wine history, insights about wineries, and tips on how to enjoy you wine to the full.

Your regular shipments include a newsletter that details the winery history, food pairing tips, and tasting notes. Gift shipments are packed in an artist-commissioned gift box with wines in individual attractive organza bags. Gift packs also include the newsletter.

Price and Shipping

Our Rating 4/5

I couldn't find details on shipping costs on the Gold Medal Wine club website which is a negative but it does go out of its way to ship your wines to your vacation or business trip address. This earns it a 4 for shipping. 

The cost of shipping is added to deliveries although there are sometimes offers for free shipping. We couldn’t find any details about shipping fees on the club website. If you’re on vacation or on a business trip, the club can ship your wines to your temporary address.

How much do the wine clubs cost?

The Gold Club features two bottles, ships monthly, and costs $49.95.

The Platinum Club features two bottles, ships monthly, and costs $99.

The International Club features three bottles, ships quarterly, and costs $79.

The Garagiste Club features two bottles, ships monthly, and costs $69.

The Pinot Noir Club features two bottles, ships monthly, and costs $79.

The Diamond Club features two bottles, ships quarterly, and costs $188.

Skip A Month

We couldn’t find any details about a club policy on skipping a month. There is the opportunity to hold your shipments until a future date if convenient but it’s not clear if you can skip them altogether.

Customer Service and contact availability

wine laptop and mobile phone

Our Rating 5/5

Gold Medal Wine Club is very accessible for contact via several convenient methods so I've scored it 5 for service.

There are several ways of getting in touch with the Gold Medal Wine Club. These comprise phone, email, live chat (Weekdays 8 am to 5 pm PST), answering service 5 pm to 8 am PST seven days a week, mail, and web submission form.

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Cancellation terms

Our Rating 5/5

You can cancel your membership with Gold Medal Wine Club at any time without a penalty which earns it a top score of 5.

You are free to cancel your membership whenever you want because there’s no minimum contract for any of the clubs. Let the club know by email or phone. The customer service team will want to discuss other options with you that may make your membership work for you better (fewer or more deliveries, a different club, etc). However, if you really want to cancel you can do so without any penalty.

Disadvantages

The Gold Medal Wine Club has honed a fine product for wine lovers over its decades of operation so it’s hard to find any disadvantages in its shipping frequencies, gift options, customer service availability, or mix of wines. The only downside as far as we’re concerned is it is California-focused for most of its clubs. This is great if you’re a devotee of wines from this fascinating region but, if you’d like a taste of the best wines from around the world, the club only has the International Club plus the occasional wine in its Pinot Noir plan.

Differences from the competitors

The main difference between the Gold Medal Wine Club and its competitors is its focus on top-rated, award-winning wines. This leaves members in doubt about the quality of labels they receive with each plan. While clubs like First Leaf also feature award winners, Gold Medal really homes in on the most highly rated. Unlike Plonk, which is all about organic and biodynamic wines, the club doesn’t have a membership plan for this category. That being said, some of the club’s producers farm organically so you could get wines made in this way – it’s just not a dead cert for every shipment.

Our Opinion

The concept of the Gold Medal Wine Club is faultless, and it certainly fills a need for wine aficionados as its three decades of operation shows. As long as you know that the lion’s share of wines is sourced from California vineyards and, to a lesser extent, other US regions, you have a fantastic selection of clubs to join. It’s a good opportunity to taste some of the best and develop your palate or, if you’re experienced with wine already, to receive the finest without any quibbles. The vacation delivery is a big plus as well and really shows that the club does that little bit more to keep its members happy. We’re giving this club top points.

Pros and cons

Pro's

Wines with accolades.
Cancel any time.
Six stellar wine plans to choose from (and stellar really is the word!).
Great customer service.
Gift plans and other goodies for loved ones.
Shipping to your vacation or business trip address.
Wine club member awards you can use in the club’s wine store.

Con's

Shipping not included (although there are sometimes offers for free delivery).
Diamond Club (93 – 99pt wines) has limited membership so you need to be quick, or you might join a waiting list.
A tad California heavy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long is the delivery time?

It’s not clear how long delivery takes although, presumably, it varies from state to state.

How do you sign up?

Open an account with the club, providing billing and shipping details. Select the wine plan that interests you, select how many shipments you want or if you’re happy to continue until you cancel. Decide on the mix of wines and delivery frequency where applicable, add the plan to your cart, pay, and wait for your first shipment!

How can I send my wine back?

We couldn’t locate any details about returning cases of wine to the Gold Medal Wine Club on its website and there’s no dedicated section on shipping queries. There may be something in the fine print, otherwise, customer service can advise.

How much does it cost?

Depending on the plan you select, the cost ranges from $49.95 to $199. Some clubs permit you to add bottles with a discount so the cost will be higher in this case.

How do I cancel?

Contact customer service by phone or email and let them know about your decision. There’s no minimum contract stipulation so you can cancel whenever you want. There’s also no penalty for doing so.

Can you give it as a gift?

The Gold Medal Wine Club offers a wide range of gifts for friends or family who love their vino. You can give them a membership plan or a pick from gift boxes and wine accessories. The website has gift card templates for you to personalize and send by email or print out.