Plonk Wine Club Review
Wait! We know - sounds kind of crazy, right? A wine club called "Plonk"... that can't be good. Or can it? For those who don't know, plonk is slang used in Britain and Australia to mean "cheap wine". And, thanks to some serious misconceptions, people equate plonk not simply with cheap, but bad wine. Could a wine club by this name be of any interest to those looking to join a wine club? Yes, indeed! Keep reading this plonk wine club review for more info!
From simple choices and a lack of wine snobbery, to an impressive array of wines and understanding of terroir, Plonk should definitely be on your radar as a wine club to try.
This installment of our reviews of wine clubs will assess Plonk with basics and more in depth information to help you decide whether or not this is the club for you or for someone you know. We'll look at options, payment, and more to give you the details on this club with the interesting name.
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Did You Say Cabernet?
Pinot, Don't You Know?
Sauv Blank & other Plonk...
Plonk Wine Club is sure to explode pretty soon. It is the perfect club for those who want wine that tastes good but also to learn a thing or two in the process. This is because they mix education with a healthy dose of fun and there is nothing pretentious about the club. At all. Plonk selects and ships "artisanal, small batch, sustainably grown boutique wines from around the globe." And when Plonk says, "around the globe" we're not just talking about the usual suspects (California, France, Chile) but also some of the most unexposed wine regions of the world. Do you like Pinot Noir? Plonk will never make you feel guilty about sticking to this fan fav and in fact has two types of clubs: curated ones where you don't know what you're getting and varietal specific, so you always know what's in the box (although not from where).
Plonk Wine Club doesn't have a taste or preference survey to start. Club members pick either the Curated club or a grape variety and get a monthly shipment. There is nothing to manage online, the cost is always the same and includes shipping, and members can cancel at any time -- there is no commitment.
A membership to the Curated Plonk Wine Club gives members a choice between two, four, or 12 bottles selected by the club and delivered monthly. The four bottle selection comes at a lower per bottle rate and the 12 bottle selection has the lowest per bottle rate. Members can choose a varietal specific membership: two cabernet, two pinot noir, or a sauvignon blanc plus a similar white (light, crisp, unoaked). Members can pay monthly or pay ahead for a specific amount of time with shipments ending at the end of the designated duration: three or six months, or one year. There is no discount for paying ahead - the monthly rate stays the same.
What Does Membership Get Me?
- Monthly shipment of two, four, or twelve bottles of wine selected by the club.
- Choice of curated or specific varietal wines - red and white are available. Exposure to similar varietals to increase wine knowledge.
- Inserts like recipes that pair well, pairing suggestions, and tasting notes.
- One free issue of IMBIBE magazine.
- Reordering discounts.
- One free bottle after renewing a membership.
- Option to pay ahead for a specific duration of membership.
- Exposure to organic wines, even biodynamic wines, and natural wines - and because they are artisanal and small batch these are wines that are usually only available in wine country.
- A Plonk corkscrew.
- Single, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month options.
Take Note: Consider going with the curated or Sauvignon Blanc selections for maximum exposure. Not ready to take the risk? You'll still learn a lot about terroir with the Pinot and Cabernet memberships.
Show Me The Money!
Plonk Wine Club is fairly transparent about prices and charges the same amount monthly. Despite listing the prices to preorder 3, 6, and 12 months in advance there is no discount for doing so.
- Shipping is included and does not raise the rate for getting four or twelve bottles delivered.
- There are no membership fees.
- There are no cancellation fees. Just cancel before you are charged for the next month.
- Your "My Account" page includes all info on preferences, billing date (cancel before this date to be charged)
- The curated club is a minimum of about $25/bottle (this includes a third of the unknown shipping rate) but if you go for more bottles you can get a case for about $20/bottles - a great price for wines that are hard to find.
What We Love: The varietal options, although a little more expensive, offer an excellent education in terroir!
Detailed Review of Plonk
- A consistent price and included shipping are perks.
- A great sample of interesting, small wines.
- Learning about terroir helps drinkers select wines more confidently.
- A good amount of simple choices - pretty much no muss, no fuss.
- No fees!
- No pretention!
We didn't like
- The shipping rate is not listed so it's impossible to calculate how much the per bottle average is.
- The 12 bottle option sends three bottles of four different wines - which is great if you end up liking those wines.
- No list of where they can/cannot ship wine.
- It's slightly misleading to put the price for monthly, 3 month, 6 month, and annual memberships since the per month price is the same no matter what.
Summary: Plonk is a fun club for those who want to learn more about wine or want to try wines to which they have not been exposed. Whether they are interested in Pinot Noir from every corner of the world or a surprise shipment each month. For inexperienced drinkers who like white, the Sauvignon Blanc option is awesome and slowly leads the members to interesting varietals and climates. It's rare to find clubs that explore region, terroir, and varietal so we're grateful Plonk does! Prices are reasonable and the discount for getting four bottles is nice. Twelve bottles a month is a little more than we can drink, but we're working on it!
Things We Like
Two Perfect Options - Plonk provides one of the best options for club choices we've seen in a wine club. The curated membership exposes you to everything and anything - great for those looking to try all kinds of wines and with a palette that has been exposed to all kinds of wines. The varietal option presents one bottle in a varietal of the member's choice with a second bottle of a similar varietal - this is the best way to start developing a better palette and learning more about wine.
Green - As more and more people focus on "green" options this club is a perfect way to get green wines. There are natural and even biodynamic wines offered through the club, something to which many drinkers have not been exposed.
Free Shipping - Free shipping! Sure, there is an added amount to the per bottle rate but still, the overall cost is down and members always know how much they'll be charged.
Things We Don't Like
Where Oh Where Can I Get This Wine? - While American laws about shipping alcohol change on a more than regular basis and different carriers have different laws applied, we'd still like to see a list of where the club is available. Even if Plonk posted a note that they might not be able to keep up. Updating this list once a month would be better than what they have now: nothing.
Repeat Bottles - We at wine turtle are just not a fan of repeat bottles in a club. What could be worse than three bottles of a wine you end up hating? Sure, you can give it away but wouldn't you rather have three different bottles so that you have a better chance of liking the wines? Us, too!
Pricing Info - This is less of a problem, but the way pricing is listed it appears that there is a discount for ordering more wine. There is no. They could make that a little more clear.
Plonk has rolled a lot of good things into one club that we happily recommend if it's available where you live. From the options to the exposure, the free shipping, the prices... you really can't go wrong with Plonk. The curated club (we stress it's a better use of your money to avoid the 12-bottle option which only gives you four different wines) allows for reds and whites, randomly selected and including things you've never drunk before. The varietal gives you one you know and one you've never had - allowing you to grow your knowledge and understanding of wine. What could be better?