Land of the free, home of the wine club


Along with apple pie, hot dogs, hamburgers and baseball, we need to add one more thing to the list of things qualifying as quintessentially American: the monthly wine club. 

For many years, I simply supposed that these schemes were universal, but since my references to them in conversations with European friends have been met with some puzzlement, I have come to realise that, while not unique to my country, the wine club represents a particularly American conjunction of wine and capitalism. 

American wine clubs are as simple as they are myriad. As a consumer, you typically pay a monthly fee...