Cugini Wine Club

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An Interview with Chrissy Sauers

By Krista Martinelli

While I have tasted the wonderful varieties of Cugini Wine before, I didn’t know much about the Cugini Wine Club.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to talk with Chrissy Sauers, the very friendly and helpful president of the Club.  If you love great wine and going to wine tastings, the Cugini Wine Club is right up your alley. 

AW: First, tell us about Cugini’s vineyard and where it’s located.  How many years has it been operating?

The Cugini Winery lies in the middle of Calabria surrounded by beautiful vineyards and olive groves with plants that date back to the 1700’s. Long considered an area staple, the Cugini Winery, owned and operated by the Reyers  and Sposato families, has been bottling wine and olive oil for the surrounding villages for hundreds of years. 

Recently, the family successfully expanded their olive oil production for importing to the United States. Naturally, the international importing of their wine was the next logical step.

AW: How does the Cugini Wine Club work? 

The Cugini Wine Club is the premier wine club of Wellington – we’re not like a typical wine club, where wine gets shipped to your house and there’s very little interaction between club members. Our club’s focus isn’t only about an incredible wine selection or expanding your palate, joining our wine club provides you the opportunity to make new friends who share a love for wine. 

You can join with a monthly or bimonthly membership, signing up to buy a minimum of 6 bottles of wine and receiving a 25% discount on all the wines.  Delivery is optional; however, most of our members enjoy the social interaction and new friendships that come along with the complimentary monthly wine tastings/ pick-up events that we hold at our wine tasting rooms.

AW: Tell us about your tasting room in Wellington.  How does someone schedule a private wine tasting? 

We are located in the Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club. Our tasting room faces the golf course. We have three tastings rooms that host 2-6 guests each. Then we have our amazing Guild room; we can fit about 20 guests in this room. We host many of our events in this room such as our Italian Opera Dinner, Paint n Sip, Wick and Wine event. The Guild room is often referred to as our “speak easy” as it gives off those vibes and is tucked away. We even have a bookshelf that is actually a door. It really feels as though you are walking into something exclusive, and you are! We also have a large courtyard, adjacent to the golf course, in the evening it’s the perfect backdrop for all elegant events. We hosted an amazing black tie event there for over 40 people this past January. Wine tastings and events can be scheduled on our website. Cuginiwinery.com

AW: For a wine connoisseur, why does being a member make sense?

The benefits offered to our club members are plentiful, the main one being direct access to high quality, delicious wine from a family-operated winery in Italy. Our wines do not contain any added Nitrates or Sulfates. So our members enjoy wines that do not cause headaches, stuffy noses, flushed cheeks, etc. In brief, you’re getting real quality wine at a very reasonable price.

You also get two free wine tastings a year at our tasting rooms.  You can arrange for your friends, family or business colleagues to come and enjoy an exclusive event like this.  The wine tastings include Cugini wines, cheese, charcuterie boards and dessert.  For a small fee, you can also add on cordials at the end of the wine tasting.

A basic wine tasting for 6 would cost around $300 or more and our members receive two complimentary tastings for 6 guests, twice a year. Additionally, members can use our cellar to host parties, events, and to conduct meetings. 

AW: Do you have a favorite Cugini wine?  Tell us about the different wines.

I do! I love all of our wines, but my favorite would have to be the Vulcan, made from Magliocco grape (a red Italian wine grape variety that is grown mostly in the Calabria region of southern Italy). It’s spicy scented, smooth, and an easy red wine with a warm and balanced flavor. Pairs well with spiced lamb, pork and braised short ribs.

We have a variety of wines; red, white, and rose varietals. We also have sparkling and bubbly wines. We have recently expanded to offering RTD’s to our members and in our tastings. These are wine-based mixed drinks, such as espresso martinis, Moscow mules, Mai Tai’s, Skinny Margaritas, etc.

A lot of people comment that they like our chardonnays because they are not oaky.  In fact, they are made in stainless steel tanks, instead of wooden barrels, rendering a unique crisp flavor. 

AW: You put on a monthly event for members to pick up their wine, right?  What are those events like? 

The wine club community is a welcoming and inclusive group of like-minded individuals who enjoy discussing and discovering new wines together—we’re a community of friends and family. The club provides our members with opportunities to meet new people, socialize, and network . . . all while enjoying amazing wine and company! We do this through many events, such as our monthly happy hour and wine pickup event for members. This complimentary monthly event is for members and a guest to sample wine and retrieve their order for that month.

The event feels very exclusive, and guests are often impressed with the speak easy type of Wine Guild room.  Members and their guests have an opportunity to purchase additional wines and also our wonderful varieties of olive oil.

AW: What are some of the bonuses that come with being a Cugini Wine Club member?

Every member of the wine club is invited to attend exclusive events such as:

•             VIP tailgating at the National Polo Center

•             Exclusive Monthly Events, just for members! Such as Lobster Feasts!

  • The ability to stop by anytime and have a drink.  All of the members have our phone numbers.  Someone is always there on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Other times can always be arranged too.

AW: What are some of the things members have said about Cugini wines that have stood out to you?

Most members really enjoy the quality of our wines, the fact that our wines do not cause headaches (no added nitrates/sulfates) and our prices are reasonable. But mostly, our members love to socialize! We provide so many opportunities to make new friends. Members love using their complimentary tastings to bring their friends and family to our cellar!

It’s really the quality of the wine for the low price that people comment on.  And that exclusive feeling that you get from being a member…it’s a wonderful thing!

AW: What’s the best way for someone to be introduced to Cugini wines?  Scheduling a tasting? 

Yes! Come for a tasting or one of our amazing events!

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Visit www.CuginiWinery.com for more information or to join the Cugini Wine Club.