The Best Wine Club Subscriptions for Discovering New Wines

The inspiration for countless songs, the fuel for love-filled nights, and the social lubricant for get-togethers and special occasions for millennia, wine has almost always been at the heart of social interaction and civil society. If you’re a bit of a wine novice though, it can be hard to know which wine to try, which bottle to buy for which occasion, and how to know if what you’re buying is good or not. The world of oenophiles can seem as murky as a rich Shiraz. However, it’s easier than ever to make sense. of wine: join a wine club. Joining a wine club is a great way to get hand-selected wines sent to you every month, helping you learn which wines you like, which recipes and foods they go great with, and how the whole symphony of aromas and flavors got from the grape to your bottle. But different wine clubs have different strengths. Knowing what each one has to offer can help you choose the best subscription service for your needs.With going out to the store to buy wine less appealing than ever in the age of social distancing, and plenty of holiday meals and celebrations to plan for in the coming months, maybe now is the time to finally try a wine club subscription.
The Best Wine Club Subscriptions for Discovering New Wines

The inspiration for countless songs, the fuel for love-filled nights, and the social lubricant for get-togethers and special occasions for millennia, wine has almost always been at the heart of social interaction and civil society. If you’re a bit of a wine novice though, it can be hard to know which wine to try, which bottle to buy for which occasion, and how to know if what you’re buying is good or not. The world of oenophiles can seem as murky as a rich Shiraz. However, it’s easier than ever to make sense. of wine: join a wine club. Joining a wine club is a great way to get hand-selected wines sent to you every month, helping you learn which wines you like, which recipes and foods they go great with, and how the whole symphony of aromas and flavors got from the grape to your bottle. But different wine clubs have different strengths. Knowing what each one has to offer can help you choose the best subscription service for your needs.With going out to the store to buy wine less appealing than ever in the age of social distancing, and plenty of holiday meals and celebrations to plan for in the coming months, maybe now is the time to finally try a wine club subscription.

1

Firstleaf

Award-winning wines tailored to your palate

Firstleaf review

“Buying Great Wine Should Be Easier” is the call to arms of Firstleaf, a wine club that provides personalized wine …
  • Best forDiscovering new favorites
  • PricingFrom $6.65 per bottle
  • Ships to43 US states

If you’ve never equated mat with wine before, you haven’t experienced Firstleaf’s unique wine-tasting algorithm. Developed by an in-house computational therapist, this unique system uses your feedback as fuel for an ever-evolving flavor profile that predicts the perfect matches for your palate.   

But forget the math for now. Firstleaf offers a heady selection of award-winning wines from across the globe. Every month, you’ll receive delivery of 6 bottles chosen specifically for you and your palate. The selection includes top reds and whites from Italy, California, Spain, and more, including 100-point wines and gold medal winners.  

Firstleaf’s subscription is easy to understand. After an introductory quiz, you’ll receive your first custom order. As you taste and rate the wines your palate profile will evolve and each month you’ll receive a new batch of delicious wines tailored to your tastes.

Positive
  • Customized to your tastes
  • Award-winning wines
  • Featured on Paste and Thrillist
Negatives
  • Shipping costs extra
  • Shipping restrictions may apply
2

Winc

Small-batch and vegan wines

Winc Review

“Wine is one of life’s simple pleasures,” according to the folks at Winc, a wine club that helps you discover your …
  • Best forDiversifying your wine cellar
  • PricingFrom $13 a bottle
  • Ships to40 US states

Winc’s approach is as whimsical as its wines. This winemaker and curator-driven wine club offers a refreshing take on the typical wine subscription service, rotating its own labels and partner wineries in an assortment that’s sure to please, surprise, and broaden your taste buds.  

When you begin a membership with Winc, you’ll create a palate profile based upon your responses to a taste quiz and your reaction to subsequent wines. The result is a sort of personalized sommelier. As you progress with future deliveries, you’ll receive deliveries from Winc’s own selection of house-made wines as well as bottles from sustainable labels around the globe.  

The Winc selection includes vegan and specialty wines as well as classics. Wines come with descriptions that include ingredients, origin stories, and serving and pairing suggestions. Memberships net you 3 bottles of wine a month with the option to add more to your monthly delivery.

Positive
  • Wide selection of small-press wines
  • Sustainable and vegan wines
  • Includes ingredient info and pairing suggestions
Negatives
  • Doesn’t ship nationwide
  • Focuses on lesser-known wines
3

Wine Insiders

Award-winning wines at wholesale prices

Wine Insiders Review

“We make it easy to get great wine” is the promise made by Wine Insiders, and a quick look at their website makes …
  • Best forDiscounted award-winners
  • PricingFrom $5.93 per bottle
  • Ships to40 states

Wine Insiders is an apt name for a company that partners with some of the top wine-sellers globally in order to provide prized wines at wholesale prices. 

A scroll through Wine Insiders’ online shop reveals plenty of award-winning reds and whites from around the world. You can purchase by the bottle or join the wine club, which gets you 12 bottles every 3 months. You can choose an all-red, all-white, or mixed case, all of which include nice little bonuses like 3 free bottles of 2014 Les Chartrons Bordeaux Superieur on your first order, and a corkscrew wine case on your second order.

Positive
  • Shop a la carte or purchase membership
  • Top-rated wines from around the world
  • Free gifts with deliveries
Negatives
  • Delivery limited to certain US states
  • Not customized to members’ tastes
4

Bright Cellars

Expand your cellar with new labels

Bright Cellars Review

You might think of beer when you think of Milwaukee, but the Wisconsin-based Bright Cellars Wine Club is driven to …
  • Best forExpanding your palate
  • Pricing$20 per bottle
  • Ships toNationwide

Wine lovers looking for a balance of familiarity and discovery might want to consider Bright Cellars’ wine club. Its experts scour winemaking meccas like Italy, Portugal, South America, and California for small, artisanal wines and then hand-select bottles for its members based on their tastes.  

The subscription plans are straightforward and the process is simple: when you first sign up, you’ll be given a 7-question quiz about your favorite chocolates, fruit preferences, and other palate preferences that will create your taste profile. You’ll then be shown a sample list of wines selected for you, which you can edit to your palate’s desire.   

From there, you’ll receive 4 bottles each month of boutique and hidden-gem wines. Bright Cellars is low-commitment and allows you to suspend orders at any time.

Positive
  • Global selection of small-press wines
  • Every bottle hand-picked for you
  • Cancel at anytime
Negatives
  • Limited membership options
  • No a la carte purchases
5

Tasting Room

Globe-hopping selection of wine

Tasting Room Review

Sign up to Tasting Room and get a sample of 6 wines, which you then rate on the website. Based on your ratings and …
  • Best forWines tailored to your taste buds
  • PricingFrom $13 per bottle
  • Ships to41 states

Many wine clubs begin with an online questionnaire. Tasting Room provides a liquid questionnaire.  

When you start a membership, you’ll be shipped 6 mini bottles of wine to sample and rate. Your feedback will help Tasting Room customize their picks for you, which will continue to evolve as you rate subsequent wines.  

As for the wine itself, Tasting Room pulls wine from around the globe that it bottles in its own California-based bottling facility. Expect a wide selection of reds and whites with eye-catching labels and detailed information on origin, growing techniques, and pairing suggestions. Tasting Room also lets you preview and tweak your deliveries before they’re shipped. A typical membership includes 12 bottles every other month, though members can alter the amount of wine they’d like to receive.

Positive
  • Picks customized based on taste test
  • Top-rated wines from California and overseas
  • Cancel anytime
Negatives
  • Shipping costs apply
  • Not ideal for collectors
6

The California Wine Club

A focus on artisanal, family-owned wineries

The California Wine Club Review

Since its founding in 1990, The California Wine Club has worked with small wineries to bring premium, artisan wines …
  • Best forDiving into Napa wines
  • PricingFrom $20.25 per bottle
  • Ships toNationwide

For almost 30 years, The California Wine Club has been introducing the drinking public to artisanal, handcrafted wines from small producers in its home state and beyond. More than just a wine club, it acts as a wine concierge of sorts by supplementing its monthly shipments of wines with detailed tasting notes, winery guides, and other ephemera that both broaden your wine cellar and your wine knowledge.

The main focus, however, remains the wine. Featured wineries span California, Oregon, and Tuscany, and they’re united by their boutique, artisanal focus. With carefully selected reds and whites from across the globe delivered straight to your door, and supplemental materials designed to inform and educate you, California Wine Club manages to retain a homey feel while traversing borders and refining your palate. 

California Wine Club sends you 2 bottles of premium wine a month, though it offers numerous membership options that focus on aged wines, award-winning labels, and specific winemaking regions.

Positive
  • Focus on boutique, handcrafted wines
  • ncludes guides and supplemental information
  • Personal wine consultants
Negatives
  • Only 2 bottles per month
  • Not as large of a selection as other clubs
7

Vinesse

Wine from off the beaten path

Vinesse Review

For the past 2 decades, Vinesse has helped members find interesting, delicious boutique wines at prices they’d be …
  • Best forSmall-batch and unique wines
  • PricingFrom $6.99 per bottle
  • Ships toNationwide

Vinesse Wines introduces you to wines that you won’t find at your local liquor store. With its focus on boutique and hidden-gem labels, Vinesse is certainly more suited to discriminating wine drinkers than beginners, though its signature “American Cellars” subscription has an everyman’s appeal.  

Founded in 1993, Vinesse has some history and pedigree to its name. Its tasting panel includes experts who hand select wines each month to send to members. The selection includes a border-hopping variety of reds and whites from California, France, Spain, and Australia. Every delivery includes 6 bottles of wine, though members are free to tweak the frequency and quantity of wine they receive.

Positive
  • Spotlights smaller boutique wines
  • Selection by an in-house tasting panel
  • Customized to your tastes
Negatives
  • Smaller selection than other wine clubs
  • Limited membership options
8

Plonk Wine Club

Organic wines from exotic regions

Plonk Review

This acclaimed wine club offers you “hidden-gem organic wines made from the world’s most fascinating grapes” …
  • Best forDiscovering organic and biodynamic wines
  • PricingFrom $23.75 per bottle
  • Ships toNationwide

Plonk’s focus on organic and biodynamic wines is a perfect match for sustainability-minded wine lovers. While its featured wines are free of pesticides and commercial additives, they’re better defined by what they contain than what they don’t. And that’s the story. 

Plonk’s goal is to spotlight wine that tells a genuine story. The story could be of the region from which a wine came, the small-batch winery that made it, or the wine’s unique vineyard sources and winemaking techniques. Members will be taken on a veritable tour of hidden-gem wineries throughout the world while being introduced to, say, a dry-farmed Vinho Verde from Portugal’s famed Minho region, or a smoky Blaufrankisch from Burgenland, Austria. 

Plonk’s membership plans come with many options. You can choose between 4 or 12 bottles a month and sign up for monthly, quarterly, half-year, or annual plans.

Positive
  • Organic, biodynamic wines
  • Worldwide network of small-batch wineries
  • Free shipping and flexible plans
Negatives
  • Limited choice over what wines you receive
  • Can only choose 4 or 12 bottles a month
9

Wine of the Month Club

Top picks from the original wine club

Wine of the Month Club Review

“Never pay for a wine you don’t like” has been a way of life for the Wine of the Month Club ever since the company …
  • Best forFilling your cellar and knowledge-bank
  • PricingFrom $12.49 per bottle
  • Ships to38 US states

Wine of the Month Club pioneered the wine-club concept back in 1972 and remains a perennial favorite to this day.  

More than just a wine-shipping service, Wine of the Month Club has become a trusted source for connoisseurs and neophytes alike. Every shipment includes 2, 6, or 12 bottles of expertly chosen wines from producers around the globe, along with a newsletter that features guides, pairing suggestions, and expert tips. 

The wine selection runs the gamut of grape types, regions, occasions, and flavor profiles. Members can opt for the classic package of one red and one white, or choose a specialty package such as the Napa Series or Bordeaux Club.

Positive
  • Nearly 50 years in business
  • Known for superb selections
  • Informative newsletter with every shipment
Negatives
  • No customization
  • Does not ship to all of US
10

Laitwait's Wine

5-star-rated wines delivered to your doorstep

Laithwaite’s Wine Review

For 50 years, Laithwaite has supplied premium wines to customers at great prices, with selections that are …
  • Best forHighly curated top-rated wines
  • PricingFrom $5.80 per bottle
  • Ships to42 US states

Laithwaite’s Wine began in 1969 in the United Kingdom. Today, it boasts more than 700,000 members across the world that wait eagerly for shipments of hand-selected merlots, chardonnays, cabernets, and pinots.  

Though Laithwaite’s is a wine retailer, it offers 2 intriguing wine club packages: the 4 Seasons package and the upgraded Reserve Club, both of which net you 12 distinct bottles of wine every 3 months. Those who wish to add to a wine club package, or purchase wine a la carte, have hundreds of 5-star rated wines from across the globe from which to choose.

Positive
  • In business for 50 years
  • Huge selection of 5-star-rated wines
  • Purchase wines a la carte
Negatives
  • Doesn’t ship to all of US
  • Limited membership options
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