Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

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DanielP
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Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#1 Post by DanielP » June 27th, 2020, 7:16 pm

https://thewineclub.com/

Has anyone ordered or heard of this outfit? Seem to be relatively new but also old?
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YLee
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#2 Post by YLee » June 27th, 2020, 7:23 pm

Very good shop. Highly rec. One of the easiest shop to buy from. They know customer service.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#3 Post by Glen Gold » June 27th, 2020, 7:51 pm

Nothing but good experiences.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#4 Post by AAgrawal » June 27th, 2020, 7:59 pm

They had an ownership change recently. I believe employees bought out the previous owners. Selection and pricing is good. Their location had moved and they no longer have a physical shop, just a pickup location. I’ve bought some from them in the past and since the ownership change.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#5 Post by DanielP » June 27th, 2020, 8:36 pm

Thanks all, sounds good to me.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#6 Post by Degarmo.j » June 28th, 2020, 7:32 am

I’ve been buying from them for years, never a problem. Have also bought bdx futures with them two years and went very smoothly both times. They get a lot of great wine at very reasonable prices.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#7 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 28th, 2020, 8:45 am

A few transactions, all seamless.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#8 Post by Leonard A Mauney » June 28th, 2020, 9:08 am

rock solid

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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#9 Post by Rob Herried » June 28th, 2020, 4:35 pm

Wine Club has been around for at least 30 years. The original store was in Santa Ana. It was started by Ron and Marjorie Loutherback. Two more stores were added in Santa Clara and SF. Ron tried to keep his markup at no more than 10% so his shops were located in more industrial type settings in order to keep his overhead down. He sold the stores during the Great Recession. I haven’t followed them since. Unfortunately Ron passed away a couple of years ago.

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Leonard Maran
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#10 Post by Leonard Maran » June 28th, 2020, 8:15 pm

I used to buy from The Wine Club but my transactions were not all seamless. I live in San Francisco, so I can't imagine why
anyone would buy from them when K&L is in every way superior. Their software ensures that when you buy a wine it's yours,
as inventory is in real time. Also selection is unparalleled. Lastly, I didn't realize that they had closed the brick and mortar store,
so who really knows about the operation at present?

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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#11 Post by JonathanG » June 28th, 2020, 9:16 pm

lately I'm finding K&L's prices to be 10+% above other local retailers. But they do have a great selection of older wines.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#12 Post by c fu » June 28th, 2020, 10:23 pm

JonathanG wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:16 pm
lately I'm finding K&L's prices to be 10+% above other local retailers. But they do have a great selection of older wines.
same. no bargains at K&L.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#13 Post by c fu » June 28th, 2020, 10:31 pm

Justin (the current owner) is my friend so caveat there.

When it comes to hard to find rhone/burgundy/champagne , he's one of the few guys to go to for whenever I'm looking for something hard to find.. pretty certain one of them have it.

But most important thing is an honest opinion from someone selling you wine. I was recommended a wine today by someone and when I searched on wine-searcher, Justin was one of the few shops that had it. I was about to buy the bottles when I decided to text Justin about the wine. He gave me an honest answer, decent wine but it wasn't a wine that I needed.
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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#14 Post by dchu » June 29th, 2020, 1:25 am

JonathanG wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 9:16 pm
lately I'm finding K&L's prices to be 10+% above other local retailers. But they do have a great selection of older wines.
In many cases much, much more for the more allocated stuff! For example, they were selling 2014 Rougeard Les Clos for $200, a good 30+% more than what many other reputable Bay Area retailers were offering them for! Hard to blame them for pricing them so high though since they still sold them all in no time...
Leonard Maran wrote:
June 28th, 2020, 8:15 pm
I used to buy from The Wine Club but my transactions were not all seamless. I live in San Francisco, so I can't imagine why
anyone would buy from them when K&L is in every way superior. Their software ensures that when you buy a wine it's yours,
as inventory is in real time. Also selection is unparalleled. Lastly, I didn't realize that they had closed the brick and mortar store,
so who really knows about the operation at present?
I certainly don't agree with the blanket statement that "K&L is in every way superior". Their web experience is no doubt top-notch, but more often than not these days, I have as much luck finding the stuff that interests me there than I do at a Costco or Total Wine. The majority of my annual purchases now come from boutique retailers that specialize in the stuff that I seek out, and most don't seem to have a brick-and-mortar storefront, which is a major plus for me if they can keep my costs low while still maintain a sustainable margin for themselves.

(Disclosure: the new operating partners of The Wine Club and I are friends, but this is more a general post rather than a specific one about them or their business anyways…)
Dennis

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Re: Retailer Check: The Wine Club (SF)

#15 Post by Peter Hirsch » June 29th, 2020, 4:34 am

Back in the days before the internet ('80s, '90s), their monthly newsletter with wine offerings was a must read / must order. And I would always stop off at the SF store when on a trip to the Left Coast as so many things never made it to the newsletter. Those were more fun days for wine collecting, as some work could give you information asymmetry.

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