We’ve Tasted All That Wine!
Many of the other “best wine subscriptions” lists are just round-ups of what’s out there and ranked by what the author thinks is cool. Rarely have they tasted any of the wine, and when they have it’s usually not through a critical lens.
We actually try at least one shipment of wine from every wine club we review (after 2013). Often we receive ongoing shipments so we can continuously evaluate quality and value. Our reviews show the wines we received and tasted, as photographed in our wine cellar (or in other settings).
Here’s how we evaluate the wine we receive:
Wine Quality & Price. Wine is not a one-size-fits-all industry. What may be good enough for that guy might be swill to you. For our affordable wine subscription boxes, we consider the quality of the wines we receive in comparison with wines delivered by other services in the same price range — not in comparison to premium options.
Value. At any price, nobody wants to feel like they’re getting fleeced. Wine is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. When it comes to wine boxes, most of the time you get what you pay for. In addition to the wine, costs for these services include: personalization technology, customer service, delivery, and sourcing.
Perks.We determine how easy it is to be a member by looking at personalization options, ability to make changes to your membership, how to manage your deliveries, and the cancellation process.
What about all of the other wine clubs?
This page contains our current list of the best affordable wine clubs (according to our research). Our reviews are sometimes snapshots of a monthly wine service, and sometimes we track the quality of a company closely for years. We also change our minds about wine memberships when their quality or value go up or down.
If you’re wondering about a specific wine club that isn’t on the list above, it is because the wine costs more than $15 a bottle, we didn’t rate the club 4 stars or more, or we haven’t reviewed it yet.
Wine Subscription Boxes That Are Popular, but Not Affordable
Looking for organic and biodynamic wines? Hint: they’re almost never sold for less than $15 in the United States.
Despite the reduced cost of chemicals applied in the vineyards, these wines usually cost more because the vineyards produce fewer grapes per acre (a major portion of the final cost of wine, especially wine under $25). Also, wines without sulfur added (usually labeled Natural) have a more limited shelf life, which means wineries need to charge more per bottle in case they don’t sell all of it before it "goes bad."
European wine is mostly "natural" but by the time it gets imported, the middlemen and the tariffs have increased the price it sells for way beyond "affordable." All of that is to say, expect to pay more than "affordable" prices for organic, biodynamic, and natural wines.
If you want an organic, biodynamic, or natural wine subscription, we highly recommend Plonk — it’s fantastic. If you subscribe to their case club, it’s only $23.75 a bottle and shipping is included. You might also want to check out the less-expensive and still under-the-radar Organic Wine Exchange for Vegan, Sulfite-free, Organic, and Biodynamic subscriptions.
Martha Stewart Wine. We like the Martha Stewart Wine subscription. When compared with the clubs on this list though, it doesn’t offer consistent enough quality.
Vine Oh! At a regular price of $84 for 4 bottles, it does not qualify for our definition of affordable (under $15). Also, we’re skeptical of the wine quality when all of their reviewers focus on the swag in the box and treat the wine like it’s just another piece of swag.
Bright Cellars. A personalized wine membership that does not meet our standard of good quality wine or value. They also charge $20 a bottle — making it more expensive than our definition of affordable.
Original Wine of the Month Club. The first wine club, sure, but it does not provide "the best" value or wine. Their memberships that qualify as affordable delivered wine we thought was not good enough to be "the best" of anything.
Great Clubs of America. One of many monthly subscriptions offered by this company, their wine of the month club seems less about the wine and more about the gifting. We know there are wine of the month clubs that focus on the wine and the gift experience, too. It is a good choice for an affordable wine club gift, though ($134.85 for a three-month gift of three bottles).
Cellars Wine Club. Their 12-bottle case subscription *is* CHEAP at $99 (regular price, not an introductory offer). We used to like Cellars. We have had trouble in our business relations with this company. This makes us skeptical of how well they look after their customers.
Blue Apron. We haven’t reviewed Blue Apron yet because we haven’t received a shipment. We think their 500 mL bottle concept is neat.
Wine Boxes Under $15 that We Have Not Reviewed: Splash Wines. If you work for one of these brands and want to see it reviewed, please contact us.