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When we first heard about Sommailier, the French wine club that delivers bottles of wine from France, we were intrigued.
As a wine lover and French, I relish wines coming directly from the winemakers from boutique vineyards across France.
This is the promise Sommailier makes – bringing to the US hard-to-find French wines directly from the artisan winemakers.
Are you, like us, a wine lover? Or do you simply want to learn more about France wines but don’t know where to start?
Join us as we explore SomMailier’s French Wine Club.
In this review, we will go over the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth it or not.
What is SomMailier? Hint It’s Something to do with Sommelier or Sommailer…
As French wine lovers, we could not have been more excited to discover sommelier.
Sommailier is a French wine club that brings exclusive wines direct from France to the US. The wines are from artisan French wine makers that are not found at US retailers or liquor stores.
Started in 2017, Laurent Yung, who comes from five generations of winemakers, missed French wines from small producers while living in San Diego.
Together with his brother Patrick, a wine distributor in France, they work to bring the best French boutique wines to the US.
In that respect, Sommailier is a French wine subscription club where you receive select artisanal French wines delivered to your home.
More than just the wine you get to know the story behind each bottle. Every wine shipment comes with information about the wines, the winemakers, pairing suggestions and more.
While it is a mouthful to pronounce, we smile at the play on words of the SomMailier name.
It is part sommelier, with the helpful information that is provided about the wines and food pairings.
And, it is part sommailer, which we think refers to shipping wine online from France.
French Wine Club Review – How Does SomMailier Work?
Francophiles and French wine lovers have a couple of options available for getting to know fine French wines.
There are two main ways to join this French wine club.
C’est La Vie subscription
C’EST LA VIE
With the C’est La Vie subscription, you get to choose three bottles of wine to be delivered to your home every quarter. You can choose all French red wines, French white wines or a mix of both.
The pricing is $99.00 for these unique wines from France. One thing to keep in mind is that you can cancel your subscription to Sommailer at any time, if you just want to try one box.
The Rendez-Vous subscription is double the size of C’est La Vie. With Rendez-Vous, you choose six bottles of wine to be delivered to your home.
Similarly, you can choose all red wines, all white wines or a mix of both French red and white wines.
Pricing for the Rendez-Vous subscription is $192 per quarter or every three months.
You can also cancel your sommailer subscription at any time.
French Wine Gift – Best French Wines
Another option you also consider is purchasing a gift of French wines for friends of family.
Sommelier makes it easy to give the gift of French wines. You can purchase just one shipment as a gift.
You choose to gift either 3 bottles of French wine with C’est La Vie, or 6 bottles with Rendez-Vous.
There is no contract required and no commitment.
What makes this such a unique gift is that you can be rest assured that the wine lover you are buying the gift for will never have tried the wines.
Sommelier wines come from exclusive vineyards all over France and these French wines cannot be found at any US wine shops.
The French wines come with detailed notes or sommelier-type descriptions with the story of the wines and food pairing recommendations.
Surprise your loved oenophiles with the gift of the best French wines from Sommailier.
Watch Our SomMailier Unboxing Video
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SomMailier C’est La Vie – Review
For our Sommailier review, we ordered the C’est La Vie box consisting of three French wines. We chose two red wines and one white French wine.
It started out well. We were quite impressed with how quickly our wine was delivered. It only took seven days from placing the order to receiving the French wines.
The wines came packaged in a sturdy cardboard box that was thick enough to protect the wines. Inside was additional infill material to provide necessary extra cushioning.
Be sure to watch the French Wine Club unboxing video for more details about the experience.
Information Cards With The French Wines
We were excited to find the detailed sommelier-like notes in the box.
And, pleasantly surprised to discover an enclosed thoughtful and practical gift of a no-spill pourer.
Each of the selected wines had detailed notes about the winery including the family story, size and the wine aging process.
On the back side of the information cards was a handy visual representation of where the winery is located in France.
And importantly, food pairing suggestions were offered for each of the wines. For instance, rich poultry dishes to pair with our Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise wine. And, seafood to go with the white Sauvignon wine.
French Red Wines
The two French red wines we received were from two different regions of France.
From Graves in the Bordeaux region, we had Chateau de Portets 2015. The grape varieties in this splendid wine were 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot.
On the nose the aromas were floral and the flavor fruity and balanced. We really enjoyed this wine.
The second French red wine was from Bourgogne, Côte Chalonnaise 2017. We loved this wine and it reminded us of the year we spent living in Burgundy.
Made from a single variety of Pinot Noir grapes, we found this wine delightful.This is a fruit forward wine with fresh flavors and smooth edges.
For dinner one night, we paired it with beef and enjoyed a wonderful meal and complementary flavors.
French White Wine
While we much prefer red wines, we were very impressed by the Chateau La Place – Côtes de Duras 2018 white wine we received.
This was our first time having wine from this region. We found the wine fruity, refreshing and with complex flavors.
This wine, 100% Sauvignon grape comes from a three-generation family of winemakers. The region, Côtes de Duras, is situated near the Dordogne River, east of Bordeaux.
A solid French white wine and one we would not mind having again.
In addition to the helpful information listed on the cards, there was also more detail on the back of each bottle.
Recommendations such as how to serve, how long the wine can store, and pairing ideas were also helpful.
There’s nothing like sipping excellent French wines while learning about wine, region and terroir.
Overall Impressions Of Sommailier
Up to this point, we had never tried a wine subscription service before. Prior, we had tried a global snacks subscription program and an online cooking class where we received prepared ingredients.
This was our first time getting wines delivered at home and we thought the overall experience was great.
Sommailier French Wine Club – “Pros“
First, we were impressed with the ordering process. Starting with the selecting process all the way to the wine box at home.
As soon as we made the purchase, we received a welcome and confirmation email. Shortly after we got a notice from UPS informing us of our delivery schedule.
The package came within a week. The box was well secured and the protective mold inside guaranteed the safety of the wine bottles. Everything was seamless.
Although we didn’t need to reach out to customer service, the touch points before and after our purchase made us feel taken care of.
Secondly, we were pleasantly surprised by the wine selection.
Being from France and a wine lover, I have had my fair share of French wines. And I’ve lived in two of the most desirable wine regions, the Rhone Valley and Burgundy.
The wines, we thought, were remarkable. We enjoyed an unusual French red wine from Burgundy and French white from the Bordeaux region.
Most importantly, the wines were refined with unique flavors and aromas. We appreciated the pairing recommendations and the opportunity to learn more about the winery and people behind the wines.
This was a great way to learn about French wines and the French wine making regions.
Having access to a unique selection of handcrafted wines and getting to know the owners felt like being part of a close-knit community.
Sommailier French Wine Club – “Cons“
It was hard to find anything negative about the experience with Sommailier. From the wines, to the overall process and customer service, everything was seamless.
One thing to note is that shipping is not included unless you purchase 12 bottles or more. Keep that in mind as you make your selection.
As a result, you may need to plan for an additional $20 dollars or so for shipment.
Even though the main focus is on the wines, it would be nice to also get a French recipe. A recipe for one of the food pairings suggested.
This simple add-on could provide wine lovers who also cook with additional insight into the French culture and cuisine.
Verdict – Is Sommailier French Wine Club Worth It?
If you’re a French wine lover or interested in learning more about French wines and wine regions, then Sommailier is worth it.
We thought Sommailier did a great job of creating a unique experience. And, It made us feel special being part of this French wine club.
The wines were truly exclusive and certainly different from the French wines you typically find.
While we cannot ignore the pricing, the prices are not outside the range of other wines of this superior quality.
The flexibility to re-order wines from their cellar is a nice perk with additional discount as part of the membership.
With options for monthly shipments or one-time gifts, there are plenty of opportunities to appeal to the tastes of wine lovers.
For this level of experience and quality of wines, we believe Sommailier is definitely worth a try.
French Wine Club – Sommailer Frequently Asked Questions
Can I cancel my French Wine Club Subscription?
Any of the subscriptions to Sommailer can be canceled at any time. It is risk-free, and there are no commitments.
You can try one of the subscription packages or gift French wine to a friend, and then cancel your subscription easily online.
To cancel, you simply log into your account and cancel your shipments. However, don’t be surprised if you keep your subscription going, because the wines are that good.
French Wine Delivery – Does Someone Have To Be Home To Receive The Order?
For the shipment of alcohol, it’s a good idea to have an adult over 21 years home to sign for the package.
Prior to the delivery of your French wines, you will receive an email notification from UPS with the scheduled date and time of the delivery.
This gives you the opportunity to make sure there is an adult available to accept the French wines.
What If I Don’t Like The Wine?
When you purchase wines of this quality, you don’t really expect anything to go wrong. However, if that is not the case, Sommelier will take care of you.
While we did not experience any bad wines, on their website, Sommelier promises to replace or refund any wines that might turn during shipment.
Simply call or email Sommailer and the issue will be resolved immediately in a hassle-free manner.
Can I Order Only The Individual Wines I Particularly Liked?
On the Sommailier website, visit the “Wine Cellar” tab and shop for your favorite French wine.
Browse the selection of French red, white and rosé wines and simply re-order the bottles you would like.
You can order 3, 6 or 12 bottles and enjoy your favorite French wines at home. If you order 12 French wines or more, your shipping fees will be waived.
Keep in mind, wines from the cellar are only available while supplies last.
Can I Visit the Vineyards in France?
There is nothing like drinking French wines in France. And, if you are traveling to France, you can visit the founding vineyards that belong to the family of the founders of Sommailer.
Personalized visits can be organized for you. All you have to do is reach out to Sommailer on their website to coordinate the details.
It would be best to contact Sommailer as much in advance as possible to help accommodate your request.
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Claire, ex-engineer, is a digital nomad and content creator at Authentic Food Quest. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, they travel the world in search of the best local food experiences. Their mission is to help you enjoy the best local specialties on your travels or via recipes in your home kitchen. Favorite country for food: Vietnam. Favorite local dish: Hainanese Chicken Rice. Favorite way to keep fit: Cycling. Claire is responsible for the website and the fun food & travel videos on Youtube. She is also co-author of Authentic Food Quest Argentina and Authentic Food Quest Peru, available on Amazon.