Toronto’s best virtual wine clubs
Three online wine clubs, for armchair (and smartphone) enthusiasts
THE CB WINE PROGRAM
The gang behind Charlie’s Burgers (the pop-up dining series hosted a few times per year in a top-secret location with a high-profile chef) highlights a different producer each month and customizes a box set of three to five bottles, none of which are available at any Ontario retail store. Past deliveries have included wines from a monastery vineyard on Île Saint-Honorat, or from the celebrated Big Table Farm winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Each delivery comes with notes about the wines, plus cellaring tips, suggested food pairings and the names of two Toronto restaurants that will waive the corkage fee. $112 per month. Cbwineprogram.com.
This is the ideal subscription club for people who are beginning to experiment with wine—there’s no minimum commitment, and members can skip a shipment or cancel anytime. The intro package comes with two bottles, and detailed notes about the producer, the region, the history and each facet of the wine (what it smells like, what it tastes like and what food will complement it). There’s also an online store where members can buy favourite bottles (at a discount). From $66 per month. 1-855-501-9463, winecollective.ca.
It’s like the TripAdvisor of wine. Snap a photo of a label and the app instantly displays info about the wine, including ratings and descriptions from other users. The best part is the “follow” feature, which allows users to peek at, like and comment on the bottles other users are drinking. There are dozens of pros, including winemakers, Masters of Wine, sommeliers and critics, plus literary celebs like Jay McInerney constantly uploading content. Delectable.com.