Train knows nothing pairs better with music than a great glass of wine — so they’re helping make it easier for their fans to enjoy both.Since first forming in 1994, San Francisco pop-rockers Train have always been good about staying close to their fans, or Trainiacs, as they’re affectionately known. Over the course of the group’s 17-year career — during which the catchy “Hey, Soul Sister” was the biggest-selling song on iTunes for 2010 — Train’s methods of keeping in touch with fans have evolved. Gone are the days of snail-mail bulletins and hammering up flyers in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Today, they have a unique way of connecting with fans while simultaneously touting their fondness for a particular beverage. It’s called the Train Wine Club.
According to lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford, the main man behind the club, the idea came as a fitting way to reach the people who came of age with the band. “The wine club was an idea we had where all of our core fans who’d been following the band for years, most of whom are between the ages of 30 and 45, could meet and share opinions and recommendations about something many of us have in common — a love for wine,” he says.
The band’s recommendations for a particular tasty varietal flow directly to fans through the club’s website, TrainWineClub.com. For a fee, subscribers receive two bottles, hand-picked by Stafford, delivered to their doorstep every month. “We receive two bottles of local wine in our dressing room every night,” Stafford says. “Some are really great, and some … not so much. We share the good ones.” Subscribers also have access to a free Live from the Vine download, which includes eight never-before-released live recordings.
Additionally, the site posts fan favorites, a monthly contest for concert tickets, comments from Stafford as well as vocalist Pat Monahan and drummer Scott Underwood, plus Wine Bar Wednesdays, which highlight wine bars the band has discovered. Later this summer, Train will debut its very own varietal called Drops of Jupiter, after the band’s 2001 hit album and song. Details will be available on the club’s website.