Wine of the Month Club | Oldest Mail Order Wine Club in America
Hey! Welcome to the Wine of the Month Club in the World. Wine of the Month Club is a federally registered trademark of the Wine of the Month Club established in 1972 in Palos Verdes Estates. What business would be open for 40 years, 40 years, if they didn’t serve good products? We sell the best wine to the best price for the best value. And how do we do that? Well, let me show you how the Wine of the Club functions and why we’ve been around since 1972.
And by the way my father, Paul Kalemkiarian, Sr invented the idea of wine in the mail, had not been done prior. That’s a truck that drove by. And it got so popular at my dad’s wine shop. When people came into the wine shop to buy wines to choose his collections that when they moved away from our home town, they would ask him to ship the wines to their new home. And that’s how the business got started. It became a cult opportunity in Palos Verdes Estates in the 1970’s to come to my dad’s tastings on Tuesday which we still continue today and select the wines for the Wine of the Month.
Let me show you around a little bit. In fact, one of the great things about our stores is we actually have a store. We actually have a brick and mortar store at the Wine of the Month Club. And here’s a little scene of it. And so wine members can come to our shop, if they’re interested and we’ll call their selections. It’s a modest store, but we’re a modest company. Because we watch how we spend our money in order to make sure we send the best wines that we can find. And so we taste hundreds and hundreds of wines each month to select these too. And here’s Rocio, she’ll greets you as you come. Say ‘Hi Rocio.’
That’s why we have people in our business. You can talk to people at the Wine of the Month Club, and that’s the beauty of it. We don’t have automated attendants. If you have a problem with the order, or if you want to place an order, you can do that. Here’s Nicole, she’s working here. We’re going to response, waving to people. Here comes Kelly. Hi! Thanks for coming. Tina’s here, doing the books. Say ‘Hi’ Tina. This is for all your Facebook fans. Oscar, our administrator.
Oscar: How’s it going?
Man: Super! Thanks for coming, Oscar. Here’s Brandon, star customer service. Say something good about our customer service.
Brandon: Customer service is awesome here.
Man: That’s right. Neil, how about you?
Neil: Customer service is great.
Man: Customer’s are great. He is awesome.
Here’s our tasting room now. Every single wine that comes to me comes to this location. Hundreds each month come through this location. Every Tuesday, for 15 minutes, as sales we can get online, book an appointment with me. Bring as many wines as they want. And from 9 o’clock in the morning ’til 2 o’clock in the afternoon, I am tasting wines. Tough job, somebody’s got to do it. But that’s how we find these special vintages. Also, we have hundreds of wines below you here that have been sent to me via importers, wineries in Europe, wineries in South America, distributors here, importers here, they send me wines to taste. And we taste them all. And how I always where I keep track of them is to log on here to our computer. So every wine I taste, I put down the vintage, the grape, the blend, the winery, how much they want for the wine, how much it sells for in the shelf. I give it two scores. 100 point scale score, and one internal scale score that no one else knows what it means except me. I also figure out how I can get more of it if I want to buy more. And I make some tasting notes.
The next day, on Wednesdays, every month, I sit down, I go through all the wines that we tasted and I select the values that I think will work for the club. Once we arrange a price for the vendor, we reaffirm the quality by getting another sample, and we order the wines. I work 2 or 3 months in advance so if the wine comes from Europe or from overseas, it has time to get here. We just got a container yesterday that was late. Before I let them unload that container, I tasted the wine right off the container to make sure it’s what I ordered from South America, and it still has the character that I wanted in the value. If it did not pass the test, we would send that container back to the importer, we would move a wine up from another selection, and we’d make sure that the wine quality is always first in Wine of the Month Club. We always talk about quality, and then we talk about price.
I know I can’t please all the palates all the time. That’s a given. Everybody’s got a different taste. But I can guarantee I’m going to send you great values. And if they don’t please your palate, I’ll replace them. You never pay for a wine you don’t like at the Wine of the Month Club. It’s because I’m the guy. I’m the one making sure it’s right. You want to call me, you can talk to me. You want to email me, if you want me to talk to you via Facebook or Facetime, I can do it. That’s the way it works here. Wine of the Month Club is ran by people. If you want to talk to anyone of those customer service reps, you have one of your favorite, you can talk to them. And that same service rep can show you what’s happening in the warehouse or grab a box off the dock and change it for you. They can also come to me while I’m tasting and talk to me. So let me show you the warehouse.
So boxes and boxes come into the warehouse. We get them in pallets like this. It’s all the wines that we’ve selected from the Wine of the Month Club. We re-taste them as they come here, so that we know that the quality is there. This room is temperature controlled. Actually it’s a little cold here. But the wines don’t last here very long. In other words, we sell through our wines pretty quickly, usually in 45 days. So the temperature and the environment are perfect for the wines. Everything we do here is hand packed, by our people, by your order. We also use biodegradable packaging materials. We invented this product 15-20 years ago. This is molded newspaper, just water and newspaper. Tested by UPS and FedEx, everything goes out safe and sound, guaranteed to arrive in pristine condition. If it’s not in pristine condition, we send you another one. If you don’t like the ones in that package, we send you another one. Let’s say for instance, you don’t like Gewürztraminer, I don’t know that. But we picked a Gewürztraminer, but as soon as u get that package and says Gewürztraminer on the bottle. You can give that bottle to a friend, or you can drink it if you want to try it again. But in the meantime, give us a call or an email and we will send you something else that’s not Gewürztraminer. So even if this is the wine you don’t think you like, we’ll replace it. One of the things that’s happening right now a lot of frozen wines in that Midwest, and you can usually tell the wines are frozen ’cause the corks start to seep out the top. Typically it doesn’t bother wine, but if you feel like there’s a problem, we’ll send you another one.
These are the wines that have been returned for one reason or another. The UPS delivery failed, or the FedEx delivery failed because generally people aren’t at home and they couldn’t get a signature. We do not put these wines back in circulation. They’ve been shipped once, they have gone through temperature changes. We put them up for charities and things that used for their events. And they are not cycled back in the inventory, just in case they went through some environmental conditions.
We also hand make our own baskets. Now this is sort of disarray because it’s post Christmas, but every gift basket that the Wine of the Month Club makes during the holidays, is hand assembled right here to order. All the foods are kept fresh. And everything is sealed fresh. And all those baskets are guaranteed to arrive in pristine condition.
There’s a container that just got here from South America, wonderful merlot and some Cabernet. We had the hand unloaded because they didn’t put on pallets. Because of our ten year in this business, we’ve been doing so long, we have access to some really, really great wines. So once in a while, our customers are given an opportunity to buy these wines at substantially lower prices than they sell for in the local wine shops. Because our main business is, value oriented wines. But there’s those needs or those times that we want that special vintage, so that you can you know, impress your friends or just tell them, ‘Yeah, we know what’s going on.’ But these are nice wines that are eloquent wines, wines that only certain people get at certain amount of.
So here’s the difference, you’re looking at them. We have a person. It’s not a panel of experts. We don’t need a panel of experts. We are the experts. Because what’s the difference? We don’t sit on wines, and chew on them, and exploit their flavors. We understand that, we can do it. The difference is, we’ve tasted everything you see in the shelves. We’ve tasted all these wines that are here, all the wines you saw on the warehouse, we’ve tasted them all. When you go to the market with me, which is effectively what’s happening when you join the Wine of the Month Club. It’s like taking me to the market, and here’s the gentleman that’s tasted everything that’s on the shelf. So all the Cabernets that are from 5, to 12, or 15, $20, I’ve tasted them. And all the merlots, and all the Rieslings, and all the chardonnays, I’ve tasted them. I know how the winery works. I know how the flavors are supposed to be. I know what a wine from [inaudible 9:18] should taste like. I know what a Chilean Cabernet should taste like, particularly one that’s $12. And so I can look at the wine on the shelf and say, ‘This is the best example of that $12 cabernet.’ or ‘This is the best example of that [inaudible 9:33]. And because we’ve been doing this for 40 years, people seek us out. Why do they seek us out? Well, wineries would love to have their wines in the hands of the consumer that’s going to buy more. If the winery sells their wine to a restaurant, it goes on a list. Then that waiter has to show the list to the patron. And the patron has to decide out amongst the hundred wines on the list that they want that one, it doesn’t happen here. What happens at the Wine of the Month Club, we choose the wine. My customers already trust our judgment to send them a good quality wine. And so all of a sudden, there’s thousands and thousands of people drinking that wine of that winery. And so those wineries love to have us do their wines because all of the sudden, everybody’s drinking it, same with importers. We have been the purveyor of some of the first releases of the some of the most famous wines they ever hit the [inaudible 10:24]. The first to have boxed certain wines that are now iconic on the shelves. One of them would be Los Vascos Merlot from Chile, [inaudible 10:33]. We were the first to bring in the 1987 merlot, first in America. A couple of wines that are now big hits at Trader Joes, we were the first to bring it to America, happens all the time, that shipment that you saw today, first in America. So, they seek us out to represent their brands because not the wines will sit on the shelf or sit on a wine list, they get poured in the glass and people talk about it. And with today’s social networking, and Facebook, and videos, you only get chance to see this stuff right away. QR codes, all those things happen. All our wines have QR codes on them that take you to a video of us tasting them. We have 450 online videos of us tasting wines, including things about corks. We include videos about containers. Now they’re using plastic bottles in some cases. What is back in the box wines taste like? We taste them for you online. These are the resources that are available for the Wine of the Month Club that you get nowhere else. We are the premier wine vendor in the mail in America. And the reason is right here at this desk and all the people that support this desk. That’s the key. It’s our palate, I guarantee it. If you don’t like it, I’ll send you something else that I know I’m sending you a great example of what it was supposed to be. And that’s the way it works. Also, we have email specials that we can’t buy sometimes enough wine for the whole club. There isn’t enough of a very special vintage that they want us to buy, so I put it out on an email special once a week, some great, incredible values, 499, 599, 699 which is the 2002 Zinfandel. It tasted like one of the premier Italian wines from Chianti from the Tuscany District, gorgeous bottle of wine. It was 499. We sold out of it for 36 hours. So, the Wine of the Month Club is the original, it’s been over 40 years. We wouldn’t be here for 40 years. That file of drawer is full of people have gone out of business for one reason or the other, and we don’t because we have quality products at a quality price and never dissatisfied. And all you got to do is try us to find out. And by the way, if at some point in time you just feel it’s not working out for you, you can just cancel. There’s no feel to sign out, there’s no fees to cancel. You’re just paying for the wine. And did you know that when you go to the market, you don’t get newsletters. You don’t get a 12-page newsletter showing you what the wines are about and how to get more. And here’s our Christmas newsletter, right? 24 pages of information, Facebook notes, how to buy more, what the winemaker was thinking, how the soil was tilled, all the things you’d like to know, or not like to know about wines, they’re all here, how to pronounce the wines, recipes to go with them. All this is online. And this is free. Even if you pay the same amount for the wine in the store, you wouldn’t get this information. This is free. We do it for free. So try us out. I think you’re going to like us.
- Import Selection: Chateau Chariot, 1988. Corbieres
- Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1989. White Oak
- The Matter of the French Paradox
- Adventures in Eating: California Caesar Salad
- Import Selection: Chateau Larroque, 1989. Bordeaux
- Domestic Selection: Charbono, 1979. Inglenook-Napa Valley
- A Note From The Cellarmaster
- Adventures in Eating: Fresh Raspberry Pie
- Import Selection: Cabernet Sauvignon, 1988. Los Vascos
- Domestic Selection: Muscat Canelli, 1990. Santino Winery