While many people are aware of some of the most popular online bases subscription-style wine clubs, memberships are often overlooked when it comes to gifting.
Giving a friend or loved one a three-month wine subscription is a fantastic idea, and it is truly the “gift that keeps on giving,” as they receive a new package each of the three months.
Choosing the right wine subscription to give as a gift comes down to a few simple factors like price, wine style, and subscription theme. There are currently five particular subscription services that make for the best gifts.
Choosing the Best 3-Month Wine Subscription Gift
There are a number of different considerations that must be made to ensure that you choose the best 3 month wine subscription gift for the recipient.
These include logistical concerts like budget, packaging and delivery – as well as making sure that the subscription itself and the wines continued are a good fit for the person who will be receiving it each month.
Subscription Cost and Value
There are a number of different price tiers when it comes to different companies on the market today that specialize in providing online-based wine subscription services. The costs of different subscription services can vary greatly depending on which approach the company takes.
Choosing the best wine subscription for your gifting needs comes down to more than simply choosing an option with the highest or lowest cost. Some high-end wine subscriptions may not be well suited to all recipients, and they may prefer one of the more affordable options.
Certain wine subscription services are designed with budget and value being the primary concerts, and they will often include moderately priced bottles of wine from artisanal and “lesser known” producers. These subscriptions are a great way to explore niche wines from all over.
Other online-based wine clubs strive to strike a balance between value and luxury, and will often balance out the costs associated with a higher end bottle by also including a more economical selection. Other services rotate between high-end and everyday selections quarterly.
There are also high-end wine subscription services that are catered toward sommeliers and wine professionals, which source from some of the most prestigious and well-known wine regions in the world. These often include expensive bottles from well known producers.
It is important to consider the difference between price and value when it comes to searching for the best wine subscription box to give as a gift. The term “value” refers to the discount received on each bottle – or “bang for your buck,” while price simply refers to the overall cost.
Another consideration to make is the purpose of the gift, as this can play a significant role in choosing the right budget to stick with then choosing a service. Certain gifts are meant to be a temporary luxury that will end after the three month period, in which case budget is not an issue.
In other cases, a three month wine club subscription gift may be given as a unique and fun introduction to the world of wine, with the intention that the recipient may renew the service and continue to keep receiving quarterly wine shipments.
In these cases it is important to consider the budget of the recipient, as a high end luxury wine box with a high quarterly price tag may not be the best option for all budgets. Choosing a wine subscription that is well within the recipient’s budget gives them the best chance to continue.
Subscriptions that are gifted to serious wine connoisseurs should be chosen with an emphasis on value rather than price. In these cases, the recipient has often tried many of the bottles included within shipments, and getting a good value is more important than wine exploration.
Type and Style of Wine
Another very important consideration that needs to be made when choosing the best wine subscription box is the actual wine itself. Many people get caught up in the packaging and marketing pitches involved with these companies when the actual wine is most important.
There are many different specialty wine subscription boxes on the market today that focus on a variety of different niches, including sparkling selections, Rosé, and natural wines. Choosing an option specifically suited to your recipient is a thoughtful touch that ensures their enjoyment.
Certain people only enjoy specific types and styles of wine, and this is a major factor that needs to be considered when choosing a subscription box. A high end wine club that focuses on dry red wine from France will not be suitable for someone who only enjoys white wine, for example.
There are also wine enthusiasts who only drink organic and biodynamic wines, which is another important consideration that must be made. There are also companies that exclusively focus on Vegan wines that are made without the use of any animal-derived fining agents.
It is also important to consider where in the world the majority of included wines come from. Many serious wine enthusiasts are very opinionated when it comes to old world vs new world wines, and certain people only like certain wine styles from specific countries.
For more adventurous recipients, there are subscriptions that pride themselves on delivering a wide variety of different types of wine. These are best suited for people who are either new to the world of wine or would just like to try as many different new styles and bottles as possible.
The amount of wine included is also an important consideration that needs to be made when choosing a subscription to be given as a gift. Curtain companies include only one bottle of wine per quarterly shipment, while others can send up to a full case of 12 bottles each month.
Recipients who are known to be serious wine enthusiasts with home cellars or large wine coolers may enjoy subscriptions with large amounts of wine, as they have the space and resources to store bottles that will be opened immediately.
In other cases, it is best to choose a subscription that only features one or two bottles per month, as sending too much wine can become a burden for those without space to store it. Smaller subscriptions are great for bottles of wine that are intended for immediate enjoyment.
Included Extras and Perks
While factors like perks and small included extras may not be the first thing that many people think of when considering a wine subscription box, they are both important factors that can make major differences when it comes to choosing the best wine subscription gift.
These small extras can include trinkets like charms and ornaments that are included with quarterly shipments, most notably around the holiday season. Other subscriptions feature wine themed gifts with each shipment including high end corkscrews and branded table coasters.
There are also certain wine clubs like the one provided by California winemaker Tobin James that have become arguably just as popular for the gifts they provide as the actual wines that are featured within each shipment.
These high-end gifts can include everything from luxury blankets to crystal stemware and slippers. There are even certain companies that have gone as far as to include branded Bluetooth speakers with a shipment, though these high-tech gift inclusions are less common.
Along with these extra gifts, there are also a variety of perks that each wine club provides with each membership. These include common offerings like the option to add extra bottles to each shipment without incurring extra shipping costs, along with more exclusive deals.
Certain wine subscriptions come with perks that can lead to huge savings for those that take advantage of them. These can include everything from limited bottle releases that are only available to members, to discounted wine tastings and free tickets to local wine festivals.
There are also perks that come along with being a member of a certain wine club for an extended period of time, as many companies will reward long time customers for their loyalty. These include “grandfathered in” prices that do not change year over year for loyal members.
There are also many programs provided by wine subscription companies that reward customers for referring other people to join the wine club. These programs include discounts for both the person making the referral and the new member, and can sometimes even include free wine!
Subscription Service Theme
There are a number of different themes that wine subscription companies choose to focus on when providing new quarterly wine selections, and it is important to choose a theme that aligns with the tastes and preferences of the person receiving the gift.
For example, there are certain companies that assemble wine subscription boxes with the intention of quality wine education. These will often include literature and guides along with bottles each month that give detailed descriptions of the wine including tasting notes.
These educational wine boxes are best for introducing people to the world of wine, as it gives them an opportunity to taste and learn about wine in the comfort of their own homes without the intimidation that can sometimes be associated with ordering wine at a bar or restaurant.
There are other subscriptions that have embraced the theme of “drinking around the world,” and pride themselves on offering a bottle from a different part of the globe each month. These make for great options for the adventurous types who love traveling and embracing new cultures.
Other companies focus on highlighting small producers from obscure and lesser-known regions. There are a number of high-profile sommeliers who are actually employed specifically to travel the world and find new and interesting bottles of virtually unknown wine for their members.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are subscriptions that strive to offer some of the most famous and easily recognizable bottles of wine each month, which are better fits for those with less adventurous palates.
There are also subscription boxes that are meant to celebrate a certain occasion, such as a wedding, anniversary, or graduation-themed wine subscription. These make great gifts, but are not suitable for all recipients and are more catered toward these specific events.
Another popular category of wine subscription gift boxes is catered toward couples, and are often gifted for Valentine’s day and anniversaries. These boxes often come with thoughtful decorations like rose petals and sometimes include snacks like dark chocolate.
Reliability and Delivery
When it comes to subscription wine delivery services, there is no shortage of new companies popping up every year and flooding the market. It is always best to stick with an established company who have proven itself to be reliable over the years.
Many customers are wary of trusting online companies with their credit card information these days and with good reason. Internet scams are present in many different industries, and the wine world is no exception.
One of the best ways to check on the reputation of any given company before exchanging payment information with them is to look up the company’s name on the website of the Better Business Bureau, and see what their current rating is.
It is always best to deal with companies that hold an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, as this reflects the fact that they have a proven track record of trustworthy business practices and top-notch customer service and reliability.
Delivery is another important consideration that needs to be weighed, as different companies use different carriers to complete their orders. Some subscription services are only available via the United States Postal Service, while others use private carriers like FedEx, UPS, and DHL.
While this may not seem like a very important detail to some customers, there are others who live in buildings or homes where certain carriers have a better success rate of delivering to the correct area than others.
For example, if you know that the recipient of the wine subscription gift box lives in a building where FedEx has the best reputation for navigating their lobby and delivering packages to the designated area, it is helpful to choose a subscription that is filled via FedEx.
Top 5 Wine Subscriptions
- Professional wine experts explore France to select included bottles
- Family-run company with multiple family members residing in France
- Offers flexibility by allowing customers to decide between 3, 6, and 12 bottles
- Also able to choose between white or red wines or ask for a mix of both
- Shipments include detailed intonation on the bottle of wine and winemaker
- Reading the informational details while drinking makes for a semi-guided tasting
- Only French wine is included, which is not great for fans of sweeter wines
- No included perks or small gifts
- No ability to specify exact bottles, the only choice of wine color
- Focuses on small producers that are not internationally famous
- Showcases many different biodynamic and organic wines
- Features wines from many smaller wine countries like Croatia and Greece
- Fully customizable shipments from bottle selection to number of bottles included
- Includes detailed notes with each shipment that include recipe pairings
- Ability to also purchase mystery wine boxes and party packs
- Some wines and regions are too adventurous for all palates
- Certain wine enthusiasts prefer established labels from well-known regions
- Minimum of six bottles per order is too high for some gift recipients
- Wine quiz is administered before ordering to ensure the best possible fits
- After rating your first three wines, the system has a 98% pairing success rate
- Featured by some of the top publications on the market including GQ and Vogue
- The company samples over 10,000 wines each year to find the best options
- Rating system takes users’ feedback to refine new wine suggestions
- Offers up to a 60 percent discount per bottle with member pricing
- Six bottle minimum is too high for casual wine enthusiasts
- Most wine selections are chosen with value in mind
- Not all customers enjoy the wine quiz and rating system
4. Winc Wine Club
- Simple five-question wine quiz quickly helps narrow down wine selections
- 4 bottle minimum is lower than other wine subscription services
- Features wines makers that use minimal intervention techniques
- Sustainable farming is also given a platform in all selections
- Ability to cancel at any point or skip any month of service
- Offer easy-to-use gift cards to be presented as gifts
- No high-end bottles of wine from well-known producers
- Some people find the simple wine quiz not to be very accurate
- Four bottle minimum is too high for very casual wine drinkers
- Artisanal wines that are selected by highly qualified professionals
- Four different membership options to appease a variety of recipients
- Ability to choose between four and six bottles shipments
- The company also offers a fun blind tasting themed box
- Each box comes equipped with plenty of information and pairing suggestions
- Monthly club instead of quarterly, which some may not enjoy
- Lowest priced subscription is relatively pricey at $100 per month
- The majority wine wines are dry and serious which is not for everyone
While there are a number of different reputable companies on the market today that offer high-quality wine subscription boxes, Firstleaf is the best option for the widest variety of recipients.
Their personalized wine quiz helps to pair each customer with high-quality bottles of wine that are suitable for their palates, and their proprietary rating system continues to fine-tune selections.
When it comes to choosing the best three-month wine subscription gift, Firstleaf is one of the first options that should be considered as it offers a great balance of quality wine and unique taste-matching software.