You probably received many offers from different wine clubs with big introductory offer. But which one is worth it ? We tried some of them by ourselves. No kickbacks, just an honest review. Enjoy !

First of all, when you do some research on those wine clubs, pretty much every website or blogging sites are talking about them with some links to join those clubs. Is there any commission for their “reviews” ? Mostly yes. Not here anyway. We don’t put links to those wine clubs. You can find them easily.

To whom those clubs are aimed to ? Pretty much anyone unless you are quite a wine buff. You might be disappointed by the variety of the available wines. Especially if yto are looking for some European ones. As we noticed, most of those wine clubs are offering California wines. Don’t get me wrong I am all up for drinking American wines, but if your taste buds are looking for some light-bodied and more subtle red wines, you might pass.

First some advices…

1- when you try to choose among those clubs, don’t forget  to evaluate your goal and how much you are knowledgeable about wine.

2- It might be a good idea to shop around and try a few different clubs. Introductory offers can save you lots of cash on your first order, and some of the joining gifts are quite appealing.

3- If you want more freedom to choose your wine, you also might prefer if you live near a good wine shop to take advantage of some knowledgeable staff who could help you pick out bottles, according to your taste and your budget.

Special offers from wine clubs

Special offers from wine clubs

Because those are wine clubs, they ship you some boxes with new sleectiuon every time. You always have some time to decide if you want them or not. They usually update yoou before sending the wines to your home. You can pick the frequency and the delivery date.

So, we picked 3 wine clubs that are available to most consumers in the US. If you don’t like the offers after the introductory one you can cancel your membership at any time for all of those clubs. We added a fourth option with Wine Insiders for those like me who prefer more choices and flexibility.

FirstLeaf

This wine club says that it sample thousands of wines from all over the world a year and only 2% make it into the club. Those wines are, according to the company, 100% satisfaction guarantee. So if you don’t like a bottle, they will credit you for it. The do say that they have 300+ wines in their catalogue.

If you are too shy about your wine knowledge, the website guides you according to some of your answers to their selection. Pretty easy to get your wine drinker’s profile with WinePrint, your personal taste profile for both red & white wines. Knowing your preferences helps you confidently choose wines on your own, as they say. I also appreciated the flexibility to swap out pre-selected bottles in my order.

First Leaf's first order

First Leaf’s first order

Here are my picks from the first order that cost me $48,96 tax included for 6 wines. (instead of $140 because it’s an introductory offer)

– Primanu 2021 Sauvignon Blanc – Sémillon South Australia

– Sestien Wind Cellars 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape, South Africa

– Tulares Valley 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Lodi, California

– Is It Arte? NV Vinho Tinto Portugal

– Shanks’ Mare 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Valley, Australia

– 25 Degrees 2020 Red Blend Maule Valley DO, Chile

I liked the variety of wine producing countries in this first box.  The Australian one and the Chilean one were the most interesting. And I really liked the explanatory sheets for each wine with some tasting notes with info on the vineyards.

Wall Street Journal

Each year, their expert team tastes over 40,000 wines and selects less than 2% to share with WSJ Wine customers. They say that they also make it easy for you to tell us which wine styles you like (and dislike) so they can tailor cases and offers to your personal tastes. The club boasts more than a thousand winemakers, 556 wine regions and 125 grapes varieties.

The WSJ Wine Club delivery

The WSJ Wine Club delivery

First order cost me $97,48 (tax included) for 12 wines with a second bottle of a Tuscan red wine and 2 wine glasses. This offer was really California-oriented.
– Whale Coast Chardonnay 2022, South Africa
– Portinho do Côvo Branco 2022, Portugal
– Drawbridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2022, California
– Capital Z Zinfandel 2022, California
– Sunny Farm Chardonnay 2021, California
– Seekat Bay Chenin Blanc 2022, South Africa
– The Clink Petite Sirah Petit Verdot 2022, California
– Purple Owl Pinot Noir 2022, California
– Hayrick Sauvignon Blanc 2022, California
– The Vale McLaren Vale Shiraz 2021, Australia
– Left of Ordinary Tannat 2022, California
– Due Nipoti 2022, Italy
– Long Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022, South Africa
I liked the Purple Owl Pinot Noir, Left of the Ordinary Tannat, Vale McLaren Shirax and Portinho do Côvo.  You can have all the info through the WSJ website with the Beyond the Label.

Naked Wine

Naked Wines funds some wineries and winemakers directly through investments from their “Angels”, customers who put $40 into their accounts each month to be used by these winemakers to create wines exclusively for that wine club. The company says it ut can offer some discounts thanks to the elimination of middlemen and expensive marketing.

The Naked Wines offer

The Naked Wines offer

That first order cost me $130.79 tax included for 12 wines.

– Chris Baker Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021, USA
– W. Donaldson Sonoma Blanc de Blancs 2020, USA
– Mr Glover Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2022, New Zealand
– Mauricio Lorca Reserve Uco Valley Malbec 2021, Argentina
– Rabbit & Spaghetti Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021, Australia
– Jacqueline Bahue Sonoma County Cabernet Franc 2021, USA
– Patrice Grasset Loire Valley Chenin Blanc 2022, France
– Quevedo Family Altitude White 2021, Portugal
– Matt Parish Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, USA
– Mick Schroeter Russian River Chardonnay 2022, USA
– Stefano di Blasi IGT Toscana Gold 2021, Italy
– Scott Kelley Oregon Pinot Gris 2022, USA
Kudos for the diversity on this one. I particularily enjoyed the Jacqueline Bahue Cab Franc (my favorite grape), the Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine, Rabbit and Spaghetti Shiraz, the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, the Loire Valley Chenin Blanc and Mr Glover Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine Insiders

Their ad says that “online we quickly discovered that if we wanted to get a good price, we’d need to join a wine club with a bunch of hidden fees and give up the power to choose our own wines.” That’s their sales pitch to offer a differentiated offer to customers. They also offer the possibility of a club with 12 wines with a comprehensive look at the varietals, producers, and regions that are featured in the wine club shipment.
They bring comparable wines at good cost by partnering with esteemed wineries in prestigious regions, cutting out the markups, and delivering wines directly to you.
But you can also then choose any type or number of wines according to your liking. That’s what I did. This option is more for some consumers who might a good knowledge about wine, regions, or grapes.
Wine Insiders

Wine Insiders

That first order cost me only $91,04$ for 11 wines. I managed to use a digital coupon found on the web to get that big discount.
– 2020 Léo by Léo Médoc Bordeaux, France
– Las Falleras Organic Cava Brut D.O.P., Spain
– 2020 Sous L’Ocean Muscadet, France
– 2021 La Croix de Bila-Haut Rouge Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France
– 2022 Bambera Tempranillo Selección, Spain
– 2020 Granite Ridge Cinsault/Syrah, South Africa
– 2020 Château Tour Neuve Côtes de Bourg Bordeaux, France
– 2022 Cantina Di Solopaca Aglianico I.G.P., Italy
– 2021 Pavillon La Tourelle Puisseguin Saint-Émilion, France
– 2022 Rotondo Frappato Sicily I.G.T., Italy
– 2022 Cuvée Dissenay Syrah-Grenache, France
I was impressed by the more Europe-oriented choices that were offered by Wine Insiders and also the price for that forst order. Hence my picks… I definitley enjoyed most of the selection because I picked every one of them, without knowing them that much but according to the regions, grapes and appellations. Best picks : the Médoc, the Muscadet, the Granite Ridge, Château Tour Neuve, the Rotondo Frappato and Organic Cava Brut.

In conclusion

If you have a thing for California wines, you might go with the WSJ Club. If you are looking for some lesser known wineries, try Naked Wines. You can enjoy FirstLeaf for their interesting less expensive picks. But if you like diversity and plain control on your picks, go with Wine Insiders. Cheers !