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Introducing the Vinography Wine Club

This blogging business stinks. You can't make any money at it. Advertising revenues are plummeting, readership is down, and those readers that are left only want to read heartwarming stories of human compassion or stories about 9.5 rated wines under $8. So what's a blogger to do?

I'll start a wine club!

But of course, I have my journalistic integrity to worry about. So to insulate this desperate move to generate capital, I want to assure you that I'm merely exploiting the Vinography brand and nothing more. To be honest, it's not even me that will be exploiting it. I've licensed the Vinography name to someone else to exploit. I'll just be getting all the money.

Here's how it works. These people (who shall remain nameless, just to keep up the thinly veiled illusion that this wine club is actually run by yours truly) agreed to pay me a boatload of money up front, and then a cut of all ongoing revenues for the right to print Vinography all over some cheap cardboard boxes, a few glossy postcards, and to put my wine reviews all over a web site advertising the wine club.

I'll be advertising the hell out of the wine club at every opportunity here on Vinography, too, yet all the while assuring you (with astonishing truthiness) that my editorial integrity is intact because I'm not actually choosing the wines that you get every month!

Yes, that's right. This other company gets to figure out what third-rate wines they can buy in large enough quantities and at a great enough discount so that they make fantastic margins by shipping you an assortment of 6 bottles a month at a rate of $90 (or $180 for any of you who still have actual money to throw away).

My cut will be direct deposited into my Swiss Cayman Island bank account, providing an extra level of protection for my objectivity.

And what do you get apart from nice shiny bottles that some winery was incredibly relieved to offload to someone at a discount? I'm glad you asked.

You get the feel-good, ego-boosting, cultural cachet of knowing that you don't just belong to any wine club, you belong to the Vinography wine club. My wine knowledge doesn't actually translate into picking great wines for you, it translates into the warm, fuzzy, self-congratulatory feeling you get every time you pop open another bottle, as well as the chance to look down your nose at the leftist intellectual snobs who get their wine from, of all places, the New York Times, those rabid ultra-conservative warmongers who buy their wines from the Wall Street Journal, or the hippie pervert foodies in San Francisco who buy their wines from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Me. With a little bit lot of you your money. we're changing the wine world the direction of my 401k.

Comments (27)

Remy wrote:
08.14.09 at 9:31 PM

Best success with your 401k. I mean, the wine club.

Stick with Switzerland, for the bank account. At least, when you go visit your money, you can find some great vineyards nearby. Not so in the Cayman.

Alder wrote:
08.14.09 at 9:36 PM

Thanks ! I forgot to say that I'm setting up affiliate relationships with as many bloggers as I can in the effort to spread the ethical grey area out thin enough to where you can see right through it.

Jason Lefler wrote:
08.14.09 at 9:38 PM

It's about time someone called out these bullsh*t wine clubs. Thanks Alder.

Jack Everitt wrote:
08.14.09 at 10:21 PM

Ha...Ron took on this same subject in a very different way today:


Me, I support Alder, our New Wine Club Overlord!

Alder wrote:
08.14.09 at 10:29 PM

Well whaddya know. And his post was timestamped earlier than mine. Damn. I'll have to use some lawyers to intimidate him, and then probably pay him off once I get my first big check. So much for inspiration and originality.

Alfonso wrote:
08.15.09 at 5:38 AM

How about the Logo-ballcaps? Dont you need some swag to go with it?

Wink Lorch wrote:
08.15.09 at 7:03 AM

Good one, Alder and best of luck. For the historical record, the grand-daddy of 'respectable' newspaper wine clubs as far as I know, is the British Sunday Times Wine club:
Check on the Home Page and you will see a very suave-looking gentleman with his nose in a glass, who just happens to be a reasonably well-known British wine writer, Hugh Johnson. I think you will be in quite good company with your project (better check with him whether Switzerland or the Cayman Islands is best, by the way).
Oh, yes, and the company behind the Sunday Times Wine Club, Laithwaites (formerly Bordeaux Direct) has gone international and is also managing the Wall Street Journal club, I believe among others.

08.15.09 at 8:42 AM

Hey Alder,

I could have written about a lot more stupid wine clubs, the NRA Wine Club, the Omaha Steaks Wine Club, the NOW feminist Wine Club...the list of Wine Clubs for Dummies is pretty long.

Boy, stealing from the HoseMaster of Wine is pretty low...No, I know we both read about the upcoming NY Times Wine Club and had to react. No surprise you're getting more support for Wine Club Czar than me. Lots more buttkissers on Vinography. Almost as many as Tom Wark.

But, wow, I got a link on Vinography!! Can't believe anyone here reads little ol' me...

08.15.09 at 8:57 AM

hey, what about the small, no-name bloggers who actually do start wine clubs?

Remy wrote:
08.15.09 at 8:59 AM

Jeremy, maybe we could collectively start the no-name wine club?

Bertrand wrote:
08.15.09 at 3:02 PM

Great post, Alder. I want to know which wine you were drinking when you had this lyrical inspiration, it was for sure a wine full of life, I'm jealous...

Greg Green wrote:
08.15.09 at 10:57 PM

Um, are you suicidal? I take it the upfront payment is already deposited? Puzzlement. And Orange Wine to you too.

Greg wrote:
08.16.09 at 1:28 AM

Hey Alder, I have some crap wine to sell, if I give you a kickback can you sell it through your wine club? Just ignore the brett, call it barnyard.

Tim MacDowall wrote:
08.16.09 at 4:55 AM

Whatever happened to drinking wine just for the experience? It really matters not what the cost or if it has a cork or a cap (I prefer the cap).

Thanks for the post.


David Scott wrote:
08.16.09 at 3:43 PM

Nice Gary Vaynerchuk reference there at the end...

Best of luck with the new endeavor, Alder. Looking forward to giving it a shot when it's up and running.

Alder wrote:
08.16.09 at 4:06 PM

Dearest readers. It has come to my attention that some of you believe that I actually am starting a wine club. I appreciate all the checks you have sent me, but I will be tearing them up, as this piece was 100% pure satire.

mw wrote:
08.16.09 at 5:36 PM

you're funny Alder...
all the same, we're in...
shouldn't we feel honored for the opportunity?... :)

Brenden wrote:
08.16.09 at 6:39 PM

Ha, Alder this would be funny if you ever had to buy wine. I knew it was a joke as it would take away your pimping of Vinfolio!

Dylan wrote:
08.17.09 at 6:37 AM

Wait a moment. I know the piece was satirical, but my sarcasm radar is faulting on your last comment, Alder. Did people actually send you checks?

Alder wrote:
08.17.09 at 8:42 AM

:-) No checks were sent.

totally snookered wrote:
08.17.09 at 12:18 PM

I believe everything I read here as gospel and I was worried about you Alder. If you non-existent sponsers read your blog...
And, no, I didn't send a check either, but I did sign up to be a life time member for $10,000.

Miss Mo wrote:
08.19.09 at 1:29 AM

my lord, Andy, i'm your fan since today. i'm even ready to join the club, if they can ship the wines to the Wild Russia. can they?...
and about the odd wine clubs.. have you seen any of the russian ones?... i bet you did not.

Chris Lopez wrote:
08.21.09 at 2:52 PM

Any of those 9.5 rated $8 wines in the first shipment?

I second David, noticing the little poke at GV there at the end...

I'm always skeptical of those wine clubs...

Weston wrote:
08.23.09 at 11:45 AM

hah love it, yeah you shouldn't be working for free its just not good

NOW I would love to support your new business Venture but I don't think you will ship to Canada.... Especially Since there is not a lot of good Cali wine up here mostly Cali Cabs or Zins or cheapo stuff

Stevie wrote:
08.23.09 at 1:53 PM

I can't yet decide if you're joking or not, Alder!?! Perhaps I need to drink more wine, too?

Alder wrote:
08.23.09 at 7:30 PM

Stevie, yes, for the record, this is just satire. No wine club forthcoming from Vinography. Sorry to disappoint.

MLWallace wrote:
09.20.09 at 10:19 PM

It's hard to lump all third party fulfilled wine clubs into one business model, especially for the socially conscious epicureans.

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