Naked Wines is a popular online-based wine delivery service that has been in business for over 14 years. It is one of the most popular wine delivery subscriptions in the United States today, and many curious wine enthusiasts have been searching high and low for an in-depth Naked Wines review.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about Naked Wines and will give you all the tools you need to decide if it is a good fit for your lifestyle and budget.
Considerations Before Signing Up for a Wine Subscription
Wine subscription services have seen a huge rise in popularity over the past decade, and they are a great fit for casual to serious wine enthusiasts who enjoy trying new bottles of wine multiple times per year.
For casual wine drinkers, wine subscription services are a great way to try new bottles of wine on a set schedule, and most services provide informative literature along with each shipment to help drinkers of all experience levels expand their wine knowledge.
Wine subscriptions also make great options for more serious wine enthusiasts with home wine cellars or coolers, as they are a great way to fill collections with interesting bottles at great value. They also provide many interesting bottles that can be brought to your next wine club.
Some of the most important considerations that you should make before signing up for a wine subscription service are the costs involved, the types of wine that are featured, and the reputation and reliability of the company.
If the overall cost of a wine subscription service is one of the first things that cross your mind when comparing options, you are not alone. Budget is one of the most important considerations to make when choosing a subscription service, as well as overall value.
If you are less concerned with the overall cost of a wine subscription and are looking to get the best possible “bang for your buck,” it is better to shop with value in mind rather than cost. Certain wine subscriptions cost more but offer a higher average discount per wine bottle.
Another important thing to think about when choosing between different services is the actual wines that are included with each. If you only enjoy certain styles of wine from specific regions, it is very important to make sure that the service you select features your favorites.
If you are more of an adventurous wine drinker who enjoys constant surprises, it is best to choose a wine subscription with a focus on exploration. Certain services only feature small producers from more obscure regions, which normally also present a great value.
It is also very important to stick with a fairly large service that has established itself in the industry with a solid reputation, and thousands of five-star reviews. This is the best way to make sure that you will not have any unfortunate surprises and remain a happy customer!
Naked Wines Overview
Naked Wines is a unique online wine subscription service that works as a bridge to provide funding to small winemakers and deliver high-quality wines to customers at a significant discount when compared to retail prices.
It is a popular service that has refined and evolved its business model slightly over the last 14 years. It is unique from other wine subscription services on the market due to its unique business model that also allows customers maximum flexibility in wine choice.
The unique business model and fulfillment process provided by Naked Wines is best if you are the type of person who enjoys trying new things and supporting smaller winemakers. The majority of selections will be relatively unknown, while still providing very high quality.
This is not the best wine subscription service for those with more selective palates, as it is generally not possible to find established labels available at local retailers on Naken Wines’ rotating list of selections.
Naked Wines Pros:
- Supports small winemakers with a unique type of crowdfunding
- Gives customers a chance to try unique artisanal wines
- One of the only wine subscriptions that allow customers to choose each bottle
- Many wine producers are located in famous and prestigious growing regions
- One of the most well-established subscription companies in the wine industry
Naked Wines Cons:
- Most of the wine selections are from small and relatively unknown producers
- Not for selective wine enthusiasts who prefer specific labels
- Limited selection of specialty wines like dessert and fortified wines
Naked Wines Features and Benefits
There are a number of different unique features and benefits that separate Naked Wines from the rest of the pack when it comes to the online-based wine subscription industry.
It offers a unique take on the subscription service that varies from others in a number of different ways.
Unique Business Model
One of the biggest differences between Naked Wines and other similar online-based wine subscription services is the unique business model that they use. While other services use a more straightforward model, Naked Wines involves many more steps including crowdfunding.
Instead of purchasing large amounts of wine from established producers at a wholesale price and marking it up for sale to customers, Naked Wines fields pitches from a number of different up-and-coming winemakers that are all small in scale.
These small-scale winemakers are often in need of funding to complete their seasonal harvest, and they approach Naked Wines with information on their vineyards which include things like soil composition, blend of grapes, and why investing in their harvest is a good idea.
Naked Wines then compares the various pitches from different winemakers to try and determine two things. The first is which producers are most likely to turn out high-quality bottles of wine, and the second is how marketable the resulting wine will be.
Once Naked Wines determines that a given winemaker’s harvest is likely to be successful both in terms of quality and marketability, they use their pool of resources from customers’ membership fees to back these producers and buy exclusive rights to that season’s wines.
By supporting small and up-and-coming winemakers, Naked Wines is able to buy the entire yield for the season at a steep discount compared to retail. This arrangement also makes sense for the winemaker, as they guarantee the sale of 100 percent of that season’s wine.
This crowdfunding element is completely unique within the wine subscription industry, and it is a fantastic way to connect customers more directly with the wine cultivation and production process. Many supporters really enjoy this element of the business model.
Buying out all of the wine from a given producer before a single grape is even pressed allows Naked Wines to get high-quality bottles of wine at a steep discount, while also controlling which types of wines are available to them very intentionally.
For example, if Naked Wines notices that the majority of their customers are huge fans of Cabernet Sauvignon from a certain region of California, they can choose to invest more heavily in that particular region next season to best appease their client base.
Supports Independent Winemakers
One of the benefits of subscribing to Naked Wines is the peace of mind and pride that comes along with knowing you are supporting independent winemakers.
These small-scale operations are oftentimes family-run, and the support that comes from Naked Wines is crucial to them.
Many independent wine producers from a variety of different countries have benefited from the unique crowdfunding-based business model that Naked Wines employs. Many people also enjoy the fact that the funding process is merit-based for producers.
When Naked Wines is considering whether or not to partner with any given wine producer, they take a close look at everything from the location of the winery to the quality of soil present and grapes used.
By carefully looking at as many details as possible about a producer before providing funding, Naked Wines dramatically increases its chances of procuring high-quality wine that is from a desirable region using marketable wine grapes.
Small independent wine producers who partner with Naked Wines agree to sell their wines at a discount in exchange for the upfront funding. The major upside for the winemaker, outside of the initial funding, is the fact that their entire wine yield for the season has already been spoken for.
While this may not seem like a major detail to some, it is one of the biggest benefits of all for the wine producer. Having an entire season’s crop worth of wine pre-sold eliminates the need to spend money on marketing and having to worry about how much of the wine will sell.
Many people choose to support small businesses in their day-to-day lives, but they are unaware that there is an option to do the same with a wine subscription service.
Naked Wines allows customers to support small winemakers while enjoying the infrastructure of a large company.
Wine Choice and Flexibility
Another unique feature that many people enjoy is the ability to choose the specific bottles of wine that will be included with each shipment. This is a feature that is rarely available by wine subscription boxes, as they usually feature blind monthly selections.
Some people refer to Naked Wines as a “personalized wine buying service” rather than a true subscription service due to the fact that their wine shipment structure varies greatly from other options on the market.
Traditional online-based wine subscriptions usually follow a very similar playbook in terms of monthly or quarterly fulfillments. Traditionally, users sign up for a given service and pay a recurring fee for the company to ship them bottles of wine at a given interval.
While these traditional subscription companies often feature different themed wine subscriptions, like white or red wines, customers often have very little say when it comes to which bottles of wine are actually included in each shipment.
With Naked Wines, customers pay a designated monthly amount to spend on the website, with a minimum of $40 per month. This money can be used to purchase a variety of different wines from Naked Wines’ inventory, which includes huge amounts of variety.
By being able to select specific wines that will be included in each shipment, you are able to select wine styles that you know you enjoy, or go out on a limb and try something completely new. You are also able to re-order a specific bottle that you enjoy.
The price per bottle of wine can vary, but the majority of bottles hover around the $20 range, with more high-end selections costing around $40.
This allows you to receive one or two bottles of independently produced wine per month on the most affordable membership plan.
Excellent Value on Quality Wine
While supporting small and independent winemakers is a major advantage of subscribing to Naked Wines, there is also another major benefit associated with their unique business model. Naked Wines members enjoy very significant discounts on quality bottles of wine.
The unique crowdfunding element associated with Naked Wines means that they receive large quantities of wine at a significant discount, and they pass those savings along to you, the customer! This makes Naked Wines a great way to save money if you are a wine lover.
Another way that Naked Wines works to save you money is by choosing small wine producers from tried and true wine regions that are growing the most prominent wine grapes of that region. In many cases, this allows them to get similar wines to those that cost triple the price.
For example, if Naked Wines receives a funding proposal from a Cabernet Sauvignon producer located in the Napa Valley in California, it is a fairly safe bet that they will end up with bottles of wine that are of high quality at the end of the season.
Due to the fact that these small winemakers have already pledged the entirety of that year’s crop to Naked Wines, each bottle is sold at a steep discount when compared with their neighboring vineyards and wineries.
This allows Naked Wines to procure plenty of high-quality bottles of wine at a very competitive price. Oftentimes, customers find that they enjoy the selections provided by Naked Wines more than many of the more famous and established labels from the same regions.
Social Element With Winemakers
Another underrated feature of Naked Wines that is often overlooked is the amount of communication and transparency between customers and winemakers that the company works hard to cultivate.
Due to the fact that Naked Wines partners with winemakers at the beginning of the growing season or earlier, winemakers are able to communicate details of each growing season in the vineyard, as it happens.
This is a very useful and educational tool that helps to educate and inform while making you feel like you are a part of the winemaking process from seed to bottle. Something about a glass of wine just tastes better when you know the intimate details of a harvest season.
Winemakers are also able to receive feedback from customers through this communication feature while sharing a variety of details about the wine production process. It also makes it more fun to support these small businesses when you know more about them.
By keeping in touch with producers throughout the growing season, you can really feel like you are “getting to know” the producer, and oftentimes you’ll find yourself anticipating a bottle of wine even more because it feels like you are good friends with the producer.
Alternatives to Naked Wines
While Naked Wines is one of the top and most established players in the online wine subscription industry, there are a number of other companies that are well known to provide good quality, value, and customer service to subscribers.
Winc Wine Club is one of the most popular subscription services on the market that provides customers with exceptional value on easy-drinking everyday wines. They offer many different bottles starting as low as just $13 each.
While Winc Wine Club provides great value to customers on a budget, it is not the best option for those who prefer high-end bottles of old-world wine. The majority of selections are from affordable sub-regions of California and other new world wine-producing countries.
Firstleaf is another major player in the online wine subscription service industry that has been awarded the designation of “America’s Number One Awarded Wine Club.” It features a unique personalized wine quiz that helps the service understand your unique tasting preferences.
What sets Firstleaf apart from many of the other similar services on the market today is the combination of their proprietary quizzing and reviews system.
By providing feedback after each shipment, Firstleaf works to better understand your preferences and refines its selections.
Vinebox is a unique service that takes a radically different approach to wine boxes compared to the rest of the competition. Instead of shipping out full bottles of wine, Vinebox supplies its customers with many different small tubes of wine that work as samplers.
There are a number of different box themes to choose from, and each contains many different tubes of wine that allow customers to taste from many different labels.
They also provide an option to order a full bottle from their site if there is a particular sample that you fall in love with.
With how prevalent the Naked Wines service is today, there are more people than ever wondering if this popular wine subscription service is right for them.
Naked Wines is one of the best options on the market for wine lovers who are not picky about which styles of wine they drink, and get a kick out of finding a great value!
It is also a well-established company with a long and proven track record of providing great customer service, which is a very important factor when choosing between wine subscriptions!