Joining a wine club is an excellent way for new wine enthusiasts to explore the world of wine in a guided setting while having different bottles hand-picked by experienced wine experts.
They often offer incredible value, and the opportunity to try wines that many people never knew existed. There are a variety of different factors that should be considered before choosing a wine club, and there are a wide variety of options to suit the needs of all wine lovers.
In this article, we will break down what you can expect when joining a wine club as well as explore the best wine clubs to join.
Choosing the Best Wine Club for You
Choosing the right wine club can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying high-quality bottles of wine, along with discounts and even gifts in some cases.
There are many different styles of wine clubs, ranging from groups hosted by local shops to large scale online subscriptions where wines are delivered by mail.
It is important to decide which offers and features are most important to you as a customer before weighing different wine club options, as there are a wide variety of different options that are best suited to different audiences.
Monthly Wine Budget
When it comes to choosing a new wine club, the cost is one of the most important factors for many wine enthusiasts. Certain customers are looking to find the best deals possible on new bottles of wine, while others are less concerned about price and more focused on quality.
Fortunately, there are many different wine clubs and monthly wine shipment services on the market today, and there is enough variance in price and business models to serve all different types of wine lovers.
Comparing the prices of different wine clubs and subscriptions can be difficult, as the comparisons are not always “apples to apples.” Different wine clubs use different pricing models and subscription length terms, which can be confusing and make it tough to compare them.
The best way to break down the costs of different wine clubs to compare them with one another is to find the monthly cost of each subscription. It is also helpful to check how many bottles of wine are included with each, and break down the average cost per bottle as well.
Many wine lovers use wine club subscriptions to fill their home cellars or personal wine coolers, thus negating the need to shop for wines locally. In these cases, it is important to think about how much your household spends on wine in an average month, and compare these numbers.
While the prices of some wine clubs may seem high at first glance, it is important to weigh the savings that can be found by planning properly when it comes to wine at dinner. Bringing a bottle of wine from a wine club to restaurants is a great way for wine lovers to save money.
The cost of wine when dining out comes with a significant upcharge that is often 200 to 300 percent off the retail price. Having a fully stocked wine cooler at home makes it easy to plan ahead when it comes to eating out, and the corking fee at many restaurants is $10 and under.
Some of the most high-end wine subscription clubs can cost hundreds of dollars per month, and nearly all of them provide good value on monthly or quarterly curated wines. With more expensive memberships, it is important to look at the price per bottle as well as the wine quality.
More affordable wine clubs can cost as low as $35-$50 per month and are great for casual wine enthusiasts who are looking to broaden their horizons. These lower-priced options usually include one or two monthly bottles, which is perfect for casual wine drinkers.
Wine Club Purpose
There are many different styles of wine clubs that are all designed with different purposes in mind. It is important to determine what you are looking for in a wine club before weighing all the different options, as doing so will make the decision-making process much more simple.
There are certain local wine clubs that are hosted by wine shops and retailers that feature monthly “meet-ups” where members pick up their monthly wine allotments while being treated to information about that month’s choices along with wine tastings and snacks.
These locally based wine clubs are great for wine enthusiasts who enjoy social gatherings and talking wine with other like-minded individuals. If considering this style of wine club, it is important to consider where the monthly meet-ups take place, and how far they are from home!
There are other wine clubs that are hosted by local wineries, where members are treated to discounted bottles that are made in-house. These options are best for wine lovers who know that they enjoy a certain brand, and are looking for savings on their monthly supply.
These winery-hosted wine clubs also offer members exclusive tasting at “private reserve” bottles and experimental blends that are not offered to the public. This is a great way to explore the entirety of a given wine producer while enjoying monthly meetups with other wine lovers.
Certain online subscriptions are purely dedicated to finding their customers the best possible deals on bottles of wine, and are less focused on the wine’s region or style. Other subscriptions are designed with exploration in mind, and aim to showcase bottles from unique worldly regions.
There are a handful of different wine subscription clubs that allow members to customize their monthly delivery by choosing from a rotating list of seasonally available wines. These are best for wine enthusiasts who are more “choosy” and only enjoy certain styles of wine.
There are also wine subscriptions primarily focused on offering members a wide array of different wines to sample at a low monthly price. These services often use “mini bottles,” which give members a few sips of wine as a sampler rather than full-sized bottles.
Wine Style or Region
Different wine clubs specialize in different styles of wine, and it is important to select a wine club that predominantly features the types of wines that you enjoy. For fans of a certain producer, it is always worth checking their website to see if they offer any type of delivery subscription service.
Value-focused wine club memberships tend to stick with new-world wines that are most often produced in the United States. One can expect to find internationally recognizable wine grapes in these subscriptions, including California Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
Fans of high-end European wines from France and Italy should look for more “high-end” wine clubs that feature reputable labels from well-known regions. While it is not possible to see upcoming wine selections, many clubs will list previous months’ selections.
There are also highly specialized wine clubs that offer a different selection of one specific wine style each month. One of the most popular categories of these specialized wine clubs are Rosé focused wine subscriptions, which send members a different bottle of pink wine each month.
Another popular category of specialized wine club subscriptions features only sparkling wines. Certain sparkling wine clubs focus only on the iconic French region of Champagne, while others offer more variance with different bubbly styles from across the globe.
Discounts, Perks, and Extras
While discounts and perks may not be the first things many wine enthusiasts think about when comparing different wine clubs, they are extremely important considerations that can make a world of difference in the long run.
For example, certain wine clubs that are hosted by local retailers will offer an in-store discount on all purchases for wine club members. These savings can add up over time, especially when purchasing in large quantities for parties or large gatherings.
Discounts for wine club members are also often offered by local wineries who host their own clubs, as well as thoughtful perks like free snacks or appetizers when on premises. Many wineries with tasting rooms also offer free and informative monthly tastings to members.
Tobin James is a Californian wine producer that hosts one of the longest-running and most popular wine club subscriptions in the state. This subscription is particularly well known for including high quality extras with their wine shipments, including luxury goods.
Extras that are included with wine subscriptions can vary from small snacks to larger items like high-quality blankets and stemware. Some of the extras included in subscriptions are of significant value, and many of the items are great candidates for “regifting.”
Some other thoughtful extras that are often included are craft selections of smoked meats, cheeses, crackers, and olives which are hand selected to pair with the monthly wine selection. These thoughtful extras can add to the enjoyment of the monthly bottle selection significantly.
Introductory Offers and Incentives
Some of the least talked about factors when selecting a wine club that can make huge differences when it comes to savings and overall cost are introductory offers and incentives. These are usually either offered as one-time deals or a discount on the monthly price.
Wine clubs that are in the business of expansion need to establish themselves by gathering a large crowd of members to subscribe. When wine clubs are trying to attract new members, they will often offer introductory deals to new members that can lead to significant savings.
In today’s competitive market, there are more wine club subscription companies than ever fighting for the same pool of customers. It is always best practice to take a few weeks before committing to any wine club to survey the landscape and check out the current offers.
Another program that many large-scale wine clubs have employed is a referral program, where current members are awarded a discount or credit for inviting a friend to sign up. Oftentimes, these programs also extend a credit to the new customer as well.
One of the most popular referral programs on the market is the “Give $50, Get $50 Referral Program” offered by Martha Stewart Wine. These types of programs are great for both parties, as everyone enjoys a bit of savings along with their monthly wines.
Another popular incentive program that is employed by many different wine clubs is the “first month free” program, or something similar. It is often possible to receive multiple months of a given wine club for free, as many services are eager to get you “in the door.”
Some of the best signup incentive programs for customers to take advantage of are deals or discounts that are apple to the monthly rate. It is often possible to “lock in” this introductory rate for the entirety of the wine subscription, leading to massive savings over time.
Top 10 Best Wine Clubs to Join Today
If you’re already familiar with wine subscriptions and want to go as hard as possible, Vinebox will meet you halfway. Their wine boxes come in packs of six for drinkers who dedicate a bottle to practically every occasion.
That said, they still make sure to add features that’ll be appealing to passionate fans and newcomers. They offer tasting tubes to let you sample a wine before committing (and you can get several packs before making a decision).
If you’re just looking to keep your wine rack stocked, Vinebox will have you sipping and sighing with joy every month.
- Unique system that delivers small tubes of wine instead of bottles
- Allows members to try smaller quantities of a wider selection of wines
- Many different membership options for a variety of different palates
- Ability to choose wine style, including red or white and dry or sweet
- Hand-curated selections from all over the world
- Unique seasonal tasting boxes, including a wine advent calendar
- Small bottles are not large enough for sharing with friends
- No ability to hand-select wines each month
- No referral program or incentives besides free shipping
- Small wine tubes can take a bit of getting used to
2. Winc Inc.
If you’re not sure how much you want to commit to a wine subscription, consider Winc. They take the stress out of the equation and make it easy to skip a month or cancel with a quick email.
That said, their low prices and broad selection make it unlikely you will. Winc is a boon for drinkers who want to ease into wine subscriptions without feeling obligated to stick around. Vegan wine drinkers will be especially impressed with their offerings.
Make sure to keep a close eye out for their surprise discounts to save even more money.
- Many different plans are moderately priced at as low as $30 per month
- Online quiz allows the service to select the best wines for each individual
- Members rate each monthly selection and choices change accordingly
- No long-term commitment and ability to take a break any given month
- Specific vegan wine subscriptions are offered
- Ability to choose wine styles and varietals
- No ability to customize the monthly delivery
- Value-driven wines are not always of the highest quality
- Many selections are from lesser-known wine regions
- No referral system or included gifts or extras
Firstleaf knows how frustrating it can be for people to fall in love with the hobby. The creators state their subscription service to take out wine’s guesswork – we’re happy to report they achieve this goal with flying colors.
Starting off with a fun quiz to gauge your wine preferences, you’re able to quickly create a tailored subscription service that’ll surely be a hit. If not? They allow you to cancel anytime and will give you 100% credit for any wine bottles you don’t like.
With an impressive selection of wine that includes vegan-friendly, keto-friendly, and low-alcohol options, you’ll definitely find a few winners.
All in all, Firstleaf makes becoming a wine lover as easy – and fulfilling – as possible.
- Ability to preview and customize wine selections before they are shipped
- Unique quiz system works to pair members with the best wines possible
- Each bottle of wine is rated to increase monthly suggestion accuracy
- Easy-to-use interface that is sleek and well designed
- Each wine is broken down by characteristics like body, sweetness, and acidity
- Great overall balance of value and wine choice
- Six-bottle shipments are too much for some wine enthusiasts
- No gifts or extras are included with the monthly shipment
- No referral program or large incentives for new member signup
Praised by popular publications such as GQ and VOGUE, SommSelect is no stranger to hype. We’re here to add our own praise to what is an invigorating and carefully selected wine subscription service.
These monthly subscriptions come without shipping fees, but that’s just one detail on a very hearty pile. What makes SommSelect special is how educational its offerings are, with daily featured wines detailing origin, quality, and winemaking details.
When crafting your personalized case, each wine bottle is selected by a team of experts to ensure you’re not putting together a mismatched box.
Their auto shipping feature comes with a members-only tracking portal and free shipping for maximum convenience.
- Artisanal wines that are hand selected by qualified wine professionals
- Very educational service that works to broaden the horizons of members
- Four different membership options for different types of wine lovers
- High-quality wines from both respected producers and small labels
- Selections tend to be from some of the most solid wine regions on earth
- Large selection of well-renowned French and Italian wine selections
- More expensive than many other services on the market
- No ability to customize monthly options or change selections
- No wine quiz, reviews, or personalization for palate preferences
Do you focus on organic wines? Here’s a wine subscription service for you! Primal Wine Club only offers wines created from biodynamic or organic grapes.
Not content to end there, they also offer vegan, low-sulfite, and natural wine. The latter is a sometimes misleading term, so let’s clarify – natural wine is any wine made without the aid of temperature control devices or industrial yeast.
Alongside a carefully curated portfolio, Primal Wine Club comes with many conveniences expected from a subscription service.
You can cancel at any time and all wine subscriptions come with free shipping. This is one of the best wine clubs for drinkers who want to ensure they’re honoring organic winemaking traditions.
- One of the largest online selections of natural wines
- Nearly all wines are also biodynamic
- Different membership options for white, red, and mixed wine boxes
- Free shipping for members from the company’s bottle shop
- Ability to cancel at any time with no long-term contracts
- Selection of many artisanal wines that can not be found anywhere else
- No option to customize or change the monthly selections
- Some of the monthly offerings can be a bit obscure
- One of the pricier options considering the value of included wines
The famous Wine.com threw its wine subscription hat into the ring years ago. What makes them stand out? Unsurprisingly, quite a few things!
While wine subscription services are known for having personalized quizzes, Wine.com takes things a step further with a personal sommelier.
After completing a wine quiz, the site pairs you with a wine professional to oversee each of your wine orders. They’ll even check out your ratings and reviews to ensure each box is better than the last.
- One of the largest wine selections around at over 15,000 bottles
- You get a sommelier to oversee your order
- No shipping costs or hidden fees
- Cancel or change the subscription at any time
- Wide variety of gift baskets, cheese boards, and chocolate boxes
- Price point is a little high at $120 for the lowest-priced box
- You can order no less than six bottles
- May still be too much of a commitment for casual drinkers
Cellars Wine Club is a smaller, family-owned wine subscription service sometimes overshadowed by the major players. They’ve settled into this niche nicely with a balanced service that combines quality wine with great customer service.
Their wine subscription tiers are varied enough to fit most palates and budgets. You can order a single bottle per month or go for larger tiers based on types, such as sweet wine or champagne.
If you receive a bottle you didn’t care for, they’ll swap in another offering free of charge.
- Accessible price point starting at $29 a month
- Adjust your frequency to once per month, every other month, or every three months
- You can pay it all upfront or by shipment
- Replace any bottles you don’t like with a new bottle free of charge
- Get a discount on re-ordered wine
- Not much appeal for drinkers who need low-alcohol, vegan, or keto-friendly wine
- No referral program for new members
- Straightforward design without food, accessories, or gift basket options
Organic wine drinkers have another option to enjoy with Plonk Wine Club. Similar to Primal Wine Club, these wines are made using either biodynamic or organic grapes.
Another fascinating detail that’ll no doubt turn heads is their dedication to lesser-known origins. Ever had a bottle of wine from Croatia or Hungary?
Plonk Wine Club makes it easy to enjoy high-quality vintages outside of Old World staples. Choose from a variety of wine clubs based on wine type, then choose your bottle amount and frequency.
You can also cancel or pause your subscription without hassle.
- An impressive selection of organic, biodynamic, and low-sulfite wines
- Lesser-known origins and indigenous grapes are prioritized
- Larger bottle amounts are ideal for people who drink regularly
- Flexible payment plan either month-to-month or prepaid shipments
- Additional food and wine bundles for people who want to pair their order
- No single or double bottle amounts for lighter drinkers
- No accessories or gift baskets
- Lesser-known origins may be less appealing for drinkers looking for popular choices
If quality is a make-or-break feature, Gold Medal Wine Club will make sure you’re not wasting your money. They only sell small-batch wines that have won awards or have achieved 90+ points.
Each wine club subscription is straightforward and bundles up wines based on types, such as a variety of international selections or their most premium still reds.
If a full crate of wine is too much, you can order as few as two bottles per month. Their wine store also includes a low alcohol selection, accessories, and gift sets.
- A wide selection of tailored clubs for different wine or origin preferences
- High-quality control – only award-winning wines, or wines that receive 90+ points, are offered
- Solid variety of supplementary items like wine gift boxes and corporate gifts
- Customizable delivery options (monthly, every other month, or quarterly)
- Flexible pricing ranging from $47.90 to $219.90 per shipment
- Low alcohol options are great if you want to cut back a little
- Referral program that gives you and a friend a free bottle for each referral
- More expensive than other wine subscriptions
- Low alcohol selection is still much smaller than their standard selections
10. Naked Wines
Last but not least, we have the powerhouse Naked Wines for you to consider. This subscription service skates past more popular wineries in favor of independent businesses.
Not only do they prefer to source wine from smaller wineries, but Naked Wines is also keen on debunking common wine myths on quality. They prefer not to gauge bottles by price or awards but through their team of passionate wine experts.
Their standard subscription service sends you twelve wine bottles, while their Fine Wine club shakes things up by offering six exclusive bottles not easily found elsewhere.
They don’t require membership fees or commitment and will give you a 100% refund if you’re dissatisfied.
- A subscription service that offers a subversive and educational approach to wine
- Independent and smaller wineries are prioritized here
- Solid variety of whites, reds, blushing, sparkling, dessert, and organic wines
- Wine subscription ensures you can claim certain wines before they sell out
- No flexibility with wine quantity – you can only order six or twelve wine bottles
- Higher price point at $79.99
- No referral program
Best Wine Clubs & Subscriptions – Final Thoughts
There is a wide selection of different companies on the market today that offer high-quality wine club subscriptions. While each service has its own unique features and benefits, Firstleaf is the most interesting wine club on the market today that is suitable for the vast majority of customers.
Vinebox allows adventurous wine lovers to sample a wide array of different hand-picked selections from around the world at a fantastic value. The small tube-like bottles that this one-of-a-kind wine club uses allow them to offer members tastes of many different types of wine in an economical package that also saves on shipping and reduces environmental impact.