MNTL Team | May 16, 2019 | 0
Harry and David Reviews – Is it worth the price?Harry and David reviews, specifically, their Wine of the Month Club offerings.
Harry and David is the premier name in gourmet food boxes, so wine isn’t exactly their main focus. But they’re a massive company flying under the 1-800-Flowers umbrella with their own vineyards, labels, bottling, and production.
So, does that translate into a great wine of the month club? We’re going to find out.
In 1934 when two brothers, Harry and David (bet you didn’t see that coming), inherited a pear orchard from their father. Being the enterprising young men they were, they started growing cornice pears, rebranded as Royal Riviera peaches, to luxury European hotels.
Then the Great Depression and a bit of a European military skirmish wiped out that market. As a result, the brothers cut out the middleman and started selling peaches direct to consumer through the mail. The gourmet gift basket business was born.
Fast forward to today, and thanks to their dominance in the gourmet food business, the Harry and David brand has expanded to include their own wine label with grapes grown on their own vineyard in Oregon.
Perhaps Harry and David isn’t a household name when it comes to vinting but that doesn’t stop them from producing some quality wine. Couple that with their legacy business in gourmet food, and Harry and David can produce a wine club that is unique.
Harry and David’s wine club is pretty straightforward when it comes to the actual wine. Each month, you’ll receive one bottle of white and one bottle of red. Those two bottles will set you back $115 for three months.
While Harry and David is usually extremely transparent about what is going in their subscription boxes, such as their steakhouse box, basic wine box is a different story. Outside of knowing you’re getting one red and one white, the selection of those wines is left entirely up to the grower. Obviously, they should know what they’re doing when selecting, but that is a bit of a policy difference in the Harry and David brand.
That said, what really sets Harry and David apart is the pairings. They offer a base wine club, sure, but they also offer a wine club that pairs with cheeses, and one that pairs with fruit and cheeses.
That’s something nobody else is really doing, likely because they don’t share the same vaunted infrastructure and legacy in those pairable fields.
The transparency issue with the basic wine club doesn’t apply here. It seems like they’re essentially pairing a wine with the food, instead of food with the wine, because in the food pairing boxes, you do know what wine is coming.
This is probably just another nod to wine not being Harry and David’s primary focus. Food is the star in these clubs, whereas the wine is probably the co-star.
Since the pairings are what sets them apart, let us dive a bit deeper into what you’re getting.
|Image||Product Name||Best Feature||Price|
|Wine and Cheese Club / January||You’ll enjoy the buttery finish of Sartori® BellaVitano Gold® cheese. Paired with Chardonnay.||$10.00|
|Wine and Cheese Club / August||Laura Chenel’s Honey Goat Cheese pairs well with reisling.||$8.00|
|Wine, Fruit, and Cheese Club / June||Three honey mangos and San Joaquin Gold Cheese make this wine box pop.||$14.00|
With Harry and David, you’re going to sacrifice something on the wine side to get something on the gourmet food side. There’s just no two ways about it, Harry and David is a gourmet food company first, wine club second.
Harry and David may not be a well known winery, but they leverage their business assets to get a few things right that no other wine club is doing.
Here are 3 reasons why we love Harry and David:
1. Excellent Pairings
I’ve said here before that Harry and David really isn’t wine focused. That’s okay, because their gourmet food focus shines through in these clubs. They go above and beyond to pair their expertly grown fruit with their homegrown wine to create something special. They also partner with some of the best creameries in the world to deliver value that other wine clubs just aren’t offering.
This club is truly a wine of the month club. They have the volume to make that a reality. Some of the other clubs really stressed the quarterly or seasonal approach. Sometimes you just want more wine, and here, Harry and David delivers. Especially with the food pairings.
One of the worst things about a wine club is not knowing what you’re getting. Here, even in the basic club, you know you’re getting a red and a white. That’s not really enough, but there really isn’t any reason to sign up for the basic club. The magic is in the pairings and in the food pairing clubs, you know exactly what varietal you’re getting, along with exactly what pairings you’re getting. That’s top notch.
But yeah, they aren’t really a winery. I mean, they have a wine label, but their core business isn’t wine, and that manifests in a couple things we don’t like about their wine of the month clubs.
Here are 2 things we don’t love about Harry and David:
1. Limited Wine Choice
If you’re joining the Harry and David wine club for variety, you are going to flirt with disappointment. It isn’t that their wines aren’t high-quality, it’s just that they are all from their own label. This is probably the most traditional of the wine clubs we’ve reviewed here insofar as you’re dealing with a geographic specificity some of the others aren’t.
In order to get your wine and food pairings, you’re going to need to commit to at least three months. It would be nice to see a bit of a shorter trial period as some of the other clubs offer. This is less of an issue with the food pairing clubs. It is a bit much to ask for a three-month commitment blind as they do with the basic club.
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons with Harry and David.
- The food pairings are top notch.
- You know exactly what you’re getting in terms of food and wine when you choose anything but the basic wine club.
- Limited to Southern Oregon vineyards operated by Harry and David.
- Basic wine club lacks the transparency we’ve come to expect in Harry and David deliveries.
- Locked into a three-month commitment on any club.
- Wine doesn’t seem to be the star of these wine clubs.
We’ve listed down below the different kinds of wine subscription plans the club offer.
|Basic Wine Club – One Red and One White per month||$115|
|Wine & Cheese Club – One Red and One White plus cheese||$100|
|Wine, Cheese, and Fruit – One Red and One White plus artisan cheese and fruit||$175|
As with most alcohol delivery services, there are restrictions on delivery to certain areas. It’s best to check with customer service before you order, but Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennesse, and West Virginia are all out of luck.
There are also a few states where local zip codes are restricted. So, check with customer service if you’re in New York, Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire or Florida.
Is their wine club worth it? Here’s our honest Harry and David Reviews.
If it’s the basic wine club, probably not. If you’re looking at the wine and cheese, or wine, fruit and cheese, the answer is a resounding yes.
Harry and David may not be the most renowned wine label in the world, but we know Southern Oregon produces some top-notch grapes, and Harry and David can turn those grapes into some excellent wine.
So, there are some tradeoffs to be certain, but the overall experience with the food pairings makes this a positive recommendation.
More Great Wine Of The Month Club Reviews
- In the Plonk Wine Club review we look at a club that dials your preferences up to 11.
- Bright Cellars review s a personally curated wine club. They go above and beyond dialing in your preferences
- Check out our Wine AwesomenessReview for a wine club bringing amazing wine to the masses.
Harry and David have come a long way from their pear centric beginnings in Southern Oregon. Along the way they have established their brand as the goto for gourmet food gifts and, as a result, have created a pretty solid wine of the month club as well.
Want to get this box for yourself or as a gift for someone?