If you’re not familiar with Eater, it is a widely-read online publication focused on food and beverages. They have city-based editorial staff which gets to know the restaurants, wine shops, and bars in each city they work in, then rates and reviews them and discusses that city's trends.
To further support these distinct communities, Eater developed a wine club to offer their readership a selection of wines beyond what you’ll find at the grocery store or most wine shops. Each month a new wine professional from a different city in the US chooses the wines which will be included in the shipment based on what they’re currently excited to drink.
Nakedwines.com is a personalized wine buying service (not really a wine club, but sort of a wine subscription). Here’s a high-level view of how it works:
- If you join, you’ve become an “Angel” and each month you deposit $40 from your credit card into your account.
- When you’re ready, you visit the website and select at least 6 wines to be delivered. You can choose recommended wines (based on how you’ve rated previous shipments from Nakedwines.com) or choose whatever looks good to you.
- Decide you’re done having wings? You can withdraw any unspent funds you’ve deposited at any time.
- Oh, and you can get a full refund or replacement bottles for any wine you order and you don’t like with their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
WineAccess is an online wine store where the inventory is curated by a team of sommeliers and wine industry professionals. You can get a sense of how they think of wine by how they organize the site. Categories listed include:
- Rare Allocations: “Attainable only at the winery or top restaurants” like Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, Dragonette Cellars Radian Vineyard Pinot Noir (one of our household’s personal favorite wines), and Arnot-Roberts Vare Vineyard Ribolla Gialla.
- The Icons: “Legendary bottles from producers who define the art of wine” like Penfolds Grange, Silver Oak, Shafer, Kosta Browne, Château de Beaucastel, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Ornellaia, and Château Mouton Rothschild.
- Michelin Star Favorites: “The bottles somms can’t resist” like Favia, Billecart-Salmon, and Longoria, Massican, Dalla Valle Vineyards, and Bollinger.
- Top Values: “Special occasion-worthy bottles at everyday prices” and interesting selection of wine all under $30.
- Limited Time Offers: “Preorders available for 72 hours, or until they sell out.” It’s essentially a flash sale where certain wines are brought in for a quick promotion.
- Also: Last Chance (less than a case remaining) and Member Favorites
Winc is a personalized wine subscription. Whether you choose your own wine or let Winc curate wines based on your preferences, the Winc subscription is best-suited to the casual wine drinker interested in discovering new wines at an affordable price. In short, they make buying wine easy.
Wines start at $13, and roughly 65% of their selection costs less than $20 a bottle. They also offer premium wines up to $45. Get free shipping when you add four bottles to your box.
To get started with your membership, you take a Palate Profile quiz. After you complete this quiz, they recommend a personalized box of four wines for you to start your membership.
While there are many wine clubs which now start a membership with this type of quiz, Winc pioneered it (back when they were Club W). In our opinion, Winc does a better job of matching quiz answers to wine selections than the other clubs who offer quizzes to get you started. If you happen to not like the automated selections, you can swap them out for something else.
SomMailier is a purveyor of French wine, delivered by mail (naturally). The clever name is your first hint that this brand takes their wine very seriously, but remains lighthearted.
Five generations of Yungs have produced wine in Bordeaux, France, and Laurent Yung brings his deep-seated love of wine to Americans via SomMailier. He imports wine from all over France to the US courtesy of his family’s impressive connections, and the efforts of his brother Patrick via LaPlace CDP, a négociant in France.
SomMailier Wine Club Options
There are two choices for SomMailier subscriptions, which are shipped quarterly. Shipping is extra and varies depending on which state you’re sending it to. Sales tax is extra where applicable.
How the Firstleaf personalized wine club works:
- They start to personalize your wine subscription when you first sign up and take their quiz
- They further personalize your wine selections based on how you rate the wines you receive from them
- They compare your preferences with all of the information they have about the wines they work with
- They check their available inventory, and make recommendations about wine you should try
Wine Insiders is the showcase brand for DRINKS, a company who leverages their buying power and industry knowledge to secure great deals on affordable wine from around the world. Wine Insiders passes all of DRINKS’ prowess on to their customers in two ways:
- Wine by the case. They offer a huge selection of wine at fair prices and frequently offer discounts and other savings on top of that. They are great at picking a seasonal case of wine so you always have just the right wine on hand for that season’s food and lifestyle.
- Wine subscription. As it should be, their loyal members get their very best prices on their impressive wine selection. To sweeten the deal, they have a great introductory offer.