Vini Curiosity logo and wine case

Are you Vini Curious – what’s in a Wine Club??

With several of Bat and Bottle’s Vini Curiosity selections now under my belt #discoveringitalianwines - I wondered what's in a wine club? What are the true benefits of signing up, if you are curious to know more, taste more, enjoy more wine? 

Are Wine Clubs just to sell more wine?

Of course, we would all like to sell more wine and encouraging customers to join a Wine Club is part of that. So is there actually a good reason to sign up for a regular delivery, rather than just buying what you want, when you want?

The classic wine trade internal debate on how best to sell more wine vacillates between “do we need to educate consumers more?” or “do we need to demystify wine?” (hate that phrase, personally). Mainly there is a consensus that we are ‘rubbish’ at marketing wine compared to other drinks industries such as beer or spirits. Of course, not everyone wants to discover anything about a wine, beyond the colour, that it tastes ok and the price (probably not in that order). They are quite happy drinking what they do already, thank you, without the need for anyone to point them in the right direction to be either educated or demystified!

So, consider, when you are in the supermarket, it is a lot about choosing between brands for things like biscuits or say baked beans. We know that it is often the ‘brand’ that reassures consumers that a particular product is worth paying for. Many TV reality shows about people’s shopping habits etc, bear witness to the strong influence brands have. However, the problem with wine is that if you want to venture and experiment beyond the main ‘brands’, the choice is vast.

I gave this a bit of thought and for me, it is not so much our job to tell you as a wine consumer, what you ‘should’ be drinking, but to show you and spark your interest in what else you ‘could’ be drinking. Wine Clubs and themed mixed cases are a good way to do this.  We can help broaden your enjoyment and experience of wines with a ready-made selection and by supplying information and context.

Are you curious?

As you have already made it as far as the Bat & Bottle website, I think I can take it that you are a little curious to find more wines to enjoy and are willing to experiment.  However, curious or not, we are not keen on making expensive mistakes and it would be nice to have some form of reassurance to help make those choices on which wines to try and how much to spend. Quite a regular question I get is, how much should I spend to get a good bottle? No straight answer to that one, which begs the question, what makes it value for money for you? It is all relative and subjective.

For someone who places a value on having an enjoyable experience with food and drink, it may be that you have an interest in local producers, farmers markets, decent local or top restaurants. You might value the effort that went in to producing something, knowing the source, proof of authenticity? Having a chance to buy or experience good produce or services you value, is all part of the enjoyment. There is a connection between you and the people – not just the product.

There is always, always a ‘story’ behind a wine and making a connection with who made it, why and where, can add to the enjoyment. It adds ‘context’ (all about context for me) as to why it tastes how it does. 

I started musing about being ‘vini curious’ after mis-hearing Ben's intro to one of short Wine Club case previews on YouTube and the term stuck in my brain. The nature of the wines in the Vini Curiousity subscription epitomises the essence of what Bat and Bottle is all about, "unearthing some exceptional wines".  These are often wines in very limited production and harder to find, consequently in a slightly higher average £25-£30 price per bottle bracket. 

By definition a selection definitely for the 'vini curious'.

What’s in a Wine Club?

Everyone can access a short YouTube preview  of which wines are coming, well before deliveries go out.  These are available to anyone who might like to sign up as well as existing Wine Club members.   Delivery of your quarterly case is direct to your door, containing some lovely, eclectic Italian wines.  These have an accompanying set of marvellously detailed notes on each wine and producer to guide you as you delve in the bottles in your own time. 

Alternatively, you can go for the full-on Bat and Bottle immersive experience as all subscriptions include an online, live tasting with Ben to accompany each case.  You have the option to either taste along with a Home Tasting Kit (60ml samples of the same wines), with full bottles or without the wines.  The live online session is a good hour’s worth, jam packed with lots of information and photos and most importantly Ben's anecdotes from knowing the producers in person.

So is this a more beneficial way of #discoveringitalianwines?   These are the Wine Club components which all combine to add context and hence hopefully enjoyment for the 'vini curious':

Wine & Producer notes

I still have very little idea about what I am looking at on an Italian wine label - is it a grape, a vineyard, a regional appellation (DOC)? Let alone know how to spell it. Helps to have all this written down in front of you. Also very useful to refer to later to learn more, seek out similar wine or the same producer again. (Also comes as a pdf.)


These are a very useful prop for me – it helps you better fix in your head as to where the wine comes from. This can work on a basic level to give you a sense of location in terms of north, south, east or west and what that might mean not just in terms of climate – warmer / cooler region. It might also add some cultural, historical or economic context for a completely new region to you or spark a memory of some previous connection or holiday.  A closer zoom in can show where a winery is located in relation to other recognisable landmarks, major cities and a glimpse of the terrain, proximity to a river, some higher slopes or mountains starts to help build the picture.


Lots of lovey photos added to the mix start to make a little more sense as to why the vineyard and the area looks how it does. What it might mean for the people having to work a vineyard by hand or with tractors. What does an old vineyard vs a newly planted vineyard look like? A sense of who the producer is, their family or team – a snap-shot of the real people creating your wine.

The Stories

Helpfully, (not), once you have nailed where a wine comes from, possibly the grapes typically used, it may matter more who made it and why. Hands down you can guarantee that any winemaker will have some very definite views on how he makes his wine. There is no way you can get your head round all of it or need to, but hearing about the real person behind it can give more of a connection to the thought and effort that went into delivering the liquid currently in your glass. There is never a shortage of stories – wine producers are frequently surprising, always creative and more often opinionated agriculturalists!

Ben the Expert

Finally, whether you read all the carefully complied notes, check out the images online or tune in for the live tastings - these require someone to bring them all to life for you.  Ben and Emma have tirelessly sought out the wines to create each Wine Club case.  The live tasting with Ben, provides the passionate explanations behind the wine choices, animated with plenty of arm waving, some interesting sometimes musical metaphors for the aromas and tasting notes. Anyone can ask questions and volunteer what they think about the wines, compare suggestions on food matches (wine tasting makes you hungry). This makes for a convivial experience all round and if you miss it, a link to the recording is supplied.

Ben the Expert

If you are ‘vini curious’ to know more about their Wine Club or hear more about other mixed cases they put together, contact Ben or Emma.

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