WSJ Wine Club is part of the world-famous Wall Street Journal brand, and they have been an industry leader in the wine delivery space since introducing much of the country to the concept of a remote wine club subscription service back in 2008.
Due to the fact that this popular wine club is so prevalent among wine enthusiasts today, many people have been looking for an in-depth WSJ wine review that highlights the pros and cons of the service.
Considerations To Make When Choosing a Wine Subscription
Wine subscriptions are great for wine enthusiasts who are serious about trying new bottles and learning more about the world of wine. There are a number of different considerations that need to be made when choosing between services, including a budget, wine style, and reliability.
Not all wine subscription services are good fits for every type of customer, and the key to finding the best fit for you is choosing a service within your budget that features the styles of wine that you typically enjoy.
It is also important to consider the amount of wine that your household goes through on a monthly basis, as this is one of the biggest factors when determining if one of these subscription-based wine clubs is right for you.
Wine lovers who own a wine cooler or even have access to a cellar or storage area are great candidates for these types of services, as they are a great way to fill up a wine fridge with new and exciting wines at great value.
Mail-based wine delivery subscriptions are not great fits for more casual wine enthusiasts who are short on storage space. Many casual drinkers have found that wine clubs provide more wine than they need, and many end up eventually canceling their subscriptions.
The WSJ Wine Club is one of the most reliable and well-respected services of its kind in the industry, and they are a pillar of reliability when it comes to wine delivery. There is a good reason that they have stayed on top since pioneering the wine subscription model.
When it comes to budget, the WSJ Wine Club offers one of the best values on the market for wine enthusiasts who go through enough wine to make it worth the quarterly price. That being said, it does feature a fairly high overall price tag when compared to other services.
WSJ Wine Club Basics
The Wall Street Journal is a well-respected and established publication that is read all around the world, and they decided to put the power of their large brand behind a groundbreaking wine club back in 2008.
It has grown to become one of the top wine clubs in the entire world due to the fact that it consistently delivers incredible value on solid wine selections from around the world. While the WSJ Wine Club is one of the top options on the market, it is not a fit for everybody.
The main focus of the WSJ Wine Club is to deliver subscribers value-driven cases of wine from around the world. They ship out a full case of 12 bottles every three months, and the pricing works out to around $15 per bottle including shipping costs.
While the low bottle cost is very enticing for some wine lovers, there are others who prefer to drink more high-end bottles from recognizable wine producers with famous labels. The majority of the wines included in the WSJ Wine Club are from smaller producers and are relatively unknown.
For potential customers who are on the fence about whether to join the WSJ Wine Club, the fact that they offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee is a helpful reassurance. There are also no long-term obligations, as members are able to cancel the service at any time without penalty.
WSJ Wine Club Pros:
- Service provided by an industry leader with an established track record
- Great value for wine lovers at around $15 per bottle
- Ability to skip a shipment or cancel at any time
- One of the only wine clubs to offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee
- Each shipment included helpful information including tasting notes
WSJ Wine Club Cons:
- Price tag of nearly $200 per shipment is much higher than other wine subscriptions
- No option to choose specific bottles of wine included in each shipment
- Value-driven wines are not favorable for all wine enthusiasts
Features and Benefits of WSJ Wine Club
Wine enthusiasts of a certain age will recall the famous Wall Street Journal ads highlighting the fantastic introductory deal to join the WSJ Wine Club. This iconic introductory offer is what drew many casual wine enthusiasts to the wine club in the first place many years ago.
While the way that this iconic introductory offer is presented and advertised has changed quite a few times over the years, the offer itself remains the same. First-time customers receive a full case of wine, plus two “bonus wines” and two wine glasses for under $90 including shipping.
The famous introductory package itself carries a price tag of only $69.99, while the shipping cost of the package is $19.99. This is a fairly reasonable shipping price, considering that the weight of a full case of wine can be over 30 pounds not including the two bonus bottles.
The Wall Street Journal has altered the way they advertise this low-priced introductory special, and many wine lovers may remember the very popular ads highlighting this deal as “six dollars per bottle” as the bottle cost actually comes out to closer to five dollars each before shipping.
This is one of the best deals on a case of wine you will find anywhere on the market, and it is certainly one of the most reasonably priced mixed bottle variety wine cases in the entire world. It features a number of different wine styles from all over the world.
Customers are able to choose between a case of mixed red wines, white wines, or a combination of both for this introductory discount offer. All three cases offer great amounts of variety and feature affordable worldly selections of all different styles.
The red wine case is the most commonly selected option for first-time WSJ Wine Club customers, and it contains a variety of different grape varietals from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and the United States just to name a few.
The white wines included in this introductory offer are generally food-friendly, containing solid levels of acidity without overbearing flavors on the palette that distract from food flavors.
The red wine selections are most commonly medium bodied and tend to range from off-dry to sweet.
Joining the WSJ Wine Club is perhaps the most affordable way to try a wide variety of different wine styles from some of the most interesting wine-producing countries in the entire world. This is an important feature, as not all wine clubs feature such diverse choices.
The majority of wine clubs tend to focus on a specific region or wine style when establishing their “theme” or “hook.” Especially with wine club subscriptions that fall on the more affordable side of the spectrum, many plans tend to stick with many new-world wines from California.
The WSJ Wine Club allows you to try some of the most famous wine grape varietals in the world from some of the most prestigious regions that they are associated with. They find solid producers that are not very well known to find great value in well-known grapes and regions.
For example, the introductory wine box offer provided by WSJ Wine Club currently includes the 2016 vintage of Château Le Pré du Moine Cuvée Peyrou, which hails from the world-famous region of Bordeaux, France.
While certain bottles of Bordeaux can cost thousands of dollars at auction or in upscale restaurants, Château Le Pré du Moine Cuvée Peyrou is affordable and of high quality, giving members a taste of Bordeaux for a fraction of the cost of other labels.
When it comes to white wine, the 2018 vintage of Sunday Bay Sauvignon Blanc showcases the best parts of the world-famous Marlborough growing region of New Zealand, which is located on the north end of the country’s South Island.
The soil composition of the Marlborough region contains a unique enzyme that is not present in the soil of any other major wine-growing region in the entire world. This enzyme leads to a finished wine that is highly aromatic with citrus notes that are completely unique to the region.
The WSJ Wine Club allows you to explore fascinating wine regions like Bordeaux, France, and Marlborough, New Zealand without ever leaving the comfort of your own home, and they continue to include worldly selections from a variety of interesting regions.
One of the main reasons that many wine lovers have stayed so loyal to the WSJ Wine Club over the years is the supreme value that the service offers. While the introductory offer is well known as one of the best values in wine, the full-price service is also a great deal.
The Wall Street Journal Wine Club charges a flat rate for all cases of wine, as both the introductory offer box and regular quarterly shipments cost $19.99 to deliver. The introductory box only costs $69.99, and the full-price subscription goes up to $169.99 after that.
Even after the price increase of $100, the full-priced quarterly WSJ Wine Club still offers incredible value on bottles of wine that many enthusiasts would otherwise be unaware of. At $189.99 including shipping, a 12-bottle case comes out to under $16 per bottle.
This sub $16 per bottle price average is a phenomenal value, especially considering that some of the included wines can retail at $30 or more for a single bottle. By many estimates, the average WSJ Wine Club shipment would cost $350 or more to assemble separately from retail.
While it used to be the case that this value per bottle could not be beaten in a subscription service, the major influx of new online-based wine subscription companies of the past decade has changed the landscape of the industry dramatically.
Today, there are a handful of different competitors to the Wall Street Journal Wine Club that are offering bottle prices slightly lower than WSJ. These newer services have been met with mixed reviews, as the quality levels tend to fluctuate with newer companies.
It is also important to note that while the WSJ Wine Club represents one of the best values of all wine subscriptions, it is by no means the lowest-priced service. The value associated with WSJ comes with the bulk buying aspect of purchasing one case at a time.
There are several lower-priced online-based wine subscription services that supply customers with only one or two bottles per shipment. These lower volume wine subscriptions are significantly cheaper than the WSJ Wine Club and can cost as low as $40 per shipment.
Reliability and Guarantees
The WSJ Wine Club has been around since 2008, and in that time they have established themselves as an industry leader in the remote wine subscription club industry due to their fantastic track record of reliability and customer service.
The biggest drawback with the majority of new wine subscription companies or startups is that members are often disappointed as they deal with consistency issues while the company “works out the kinks” of their business model.
Sourcing large quantities of high-quality wine from all over the world is no simple feat, and it involves a huge amount of logistical concerts including dealing with the importation and exportation laws of a variety of different countries.
Changes in the supply chain and variance in weather make the wine business one of the toughest to predict. While many new companies struggle when navigating this complicated landscape, WSJ is an established player in this space.
The WSJ Wine Club has a huge pool of small and independent wine producers that they have cultivated relationships with over the years. This allows them to continually offer different high-quality bottles of wine in their boxes from all over the world.
The 100 percent money-back guarantee that the WSJ Wine Club offers is one of the best in the entire industry, and they have a long-established reputation for making good on their promises. Customers are able to get their money back on a box of wine easily if something goes wrong.
While the majority of other money-back guarantee programs in the wine subscription industry only cover wines that are damaged or contain wine flaws, WSJ covers money-back guarantees for customers who simply don’t like the selection of wines.
The WSJ Wine Club is also very reliable when it comes to scheduling and delivery. Members are consistently notified of new shipments between two and three weeks in advance, and any given shipment can be paused or canceled for any reason.
The WSJ Wine club also offers a rewards program that allows customers to earn points towards complimentary gifts as time goes on. Many customers have reported being unaware of the program until checking to find that they have accumulated many free gifts.
Membership to the Wall Street Journal Wine Club also includes “VIP Access” to a number of different deals and offers weeks before the rest of the public. These often include new-themed wine boxes and certain bottles that are offered at steep discounts.
The rewards points that accumulate over time can be exchanged for a variety of different gifts, and members have reported using their rewards programs to receive free unique bottles of wine, including Magnum bottles that contain double the amount of a regular bottle.
Rewards points can also be exchanged for credits on future wine boxes, which makes the entire program an even better value. Many WSJ Wine Club members save their rewards points up until they have enough for an entirely free case of wine!
Alternatives to WSJ Wine Club
While the WSJ Wine Club was one of the original online-based wine subscriptions that introduced many people to the concept of a remote wine club, it is not the only subscription on the market today. There are many different companies with slightly different takes on wine clubs.
Naked Wines is a unique wine subscription service that uses its one-of-a-kind business model to support small farmers and independent winemakers while offering their members great value on artisanal bottles of quality wine.
Naked Wines takes a different approach when compared to the majority of wine subscription services, and it can be looked at as more of a “wine buying club.” Members pay a minimum every month that they can use toward any bottles of wine of their choosing for each shipment.
Vinebox is another online wine club-style service that delivers small quantities of wines in small sample-sized tasting tubes. Using this smaller tube-like packaging allows Vinebox to supply customers with many different tastes of wines from around the globe in each box.
There are many different Vinebox themes to choose from, including “European Vacation” and “Dinner Party.” The wines in each sampler box are hand selected to give customers the full wine-tasting experience that was once only reserved for in-person tasting events.
Firstleaf is another popular online based subscription wine club that brings different strengths to the table when compared to the WSJ Wine Club. Firstleaf uses a proprietary wine quiz to better understand a customer’s palate and taste preferences before matching them with wine.
After each wine shipment, customers fill out a review form online to give feedback on whether they enjoyed the wine or not. This helps Firstleaf to further refine selections and pair their customers with the best bottles of wine for their tasting preferences.
WSJ Wine Review – Final Thoughts
The WSJ Wine Club is an extremely popular subscription-based wine service that sends its customers one full 12-bottle case of wine every three months.
Their popular introductory offer can not be beaten in terms of value, and it still offers fantastic value at full price. It is one of the best options for wine enthusiasts on a budget, and it allows members to try many different bottles of wine from all over the world while getting a great deal.
Click here to check out the WSJ Wine Club website and take a look at that great introductory offer!