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Postino-Brent-Karlicek-Wine-Club-WineCult.jpg Postino WineCafe
Brent Karlicek, Postino’s beverage director, will select the four bottles that go into each Wine Cult quarterly subscription offering.

Postino creates Wine Cult subscription program

Brand’s beverage director Brent Karlicek selects quarterly four-bottle boxes for club, which launches Nov. 15 with Arizona restaurants

Postino WineCafé, the 16-unit Italian casual-dining chain, will launch a new quarterly wine club Nov. 15 that features a variety of extras for subscribers.

Beginning with its nine Arizona restaurants, the Phoenix, Ariz.-based company owned by Upward Projects is calling the new program Wine Cult and offering special wines, additional freebies and member-only benefits.

Launching Nov. 15, Wine Cult members will get a box filled with four wines chosen by Brent Karlicek, Postino’s beverage director. Issued four times a year at $60 per box or $220 for an annual subscription, wine club will get exclusive offers like monthly gatherings and a sign-up gift of a branded Wine Cult tote.

“The experience of drinking wine is the essence of Postino,” said Lauren Bailey, CEO and co-founder of Upward Projects, in an interview.

Through the Vino Vortex part of the club, Postino can offer experiences to members. “You can scan a QR [quick-response] code and the website has all kinds of great playlists, awesome reading materials, games that you can play with while drinking wine and all kinds of fun things that you can do outside of just having a great bottle,” Bailey said.


Subscribers can enroll in the Wine Cult at starting on Nov. 15. The wine selections will be available for pickup at member-selected Arizona locations after Jan. 3 and then be offered quarterly. Other quarterly boxes will be available in April, July and October, the company said.

While the Wine Cult is being offered first in Arizona locations, the company plans to extend it to the three Colorado units and the four Texas restaurants.

Bailey said the idea for the Wine Cult came from the COVID-19 pandemic, when Postino created an “adult ice cream truck” for wine with a vintage Volkswagen bus.

“We were driving around a vintage Volkswagen bus, selling people wine,” Bailey recalled, and that Wine Wagon found high customer demand.

“We needed to really formalize this and make it something that people could be in touch with Postino outside of our four walls,” she said.

Postino-Upward-Projects-Lauren-Bailey.jpgBailey said the club leverages “the level of trust that our guests have with us to select wine.” The club will work with more than 250 wine producers around the world to select the wines, she added.

The club also will allow Postino to engage more frequently with members, Bailey said.

Subscribers who join the Postino Wine Cult before the end of the year will be designated as founding members, called “The Cru,” and qualify for additional perks such as a bonus wine bottle every year and an invitation to private pre-opening events.

In addition to Postino, founded in 2001, Upward Projects owns the Churn, Federal Pizza, Joyride Taco House and Windsor concepts. The group has 20 restaurants.

Private-equity firm Brentwood Associates made a “significant investment” in Upward Projects in November 2017.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

TAGS: Operations
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