We’ve Tasted All That Wine!
Many of the other “best wine clubs” 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 wares, and when they have it’s usually not through a critical lens.
We actually try at least one shipment 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).
We are also members at several wineries outside of the “retail” wine of the month club sphere. We maintain these memberships and frequently go wine tasting so that we know what else is out there, not just what’s available through the services we’ve reviewed.
Here’s how we evaluate the wine we receive:
Wine Quality. We consider the balance of body, acidity, tannins, and fruit present in every bottle we receive. We consider whether or not the vino tastes like the grapes used to make it. We make judgements about quality as compared to other wines we’ve tried in the same price range.
Wine Price. There are so many variables that affect the price of a bottle, and each country, region, and winery handles pricing in their own way. When we think about pricing for memberships, we consider retail value and what you’re paying to have the bottle delivered. We also think about the quality of what you’re getting for that price as compared to what you’d get from other wine of the month clubs.
Value. Nobody wants to feel like they’re getting fleeced. Wine is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and a wine of the month club should make you feel like its your birthday every time a box arrives. Most of the time you get what you pay for. Sometimes you pay for extra service, sometimes you pay for access to small producers, sometimes you pay for convenience. We always let you know when a service is delivering great value.
We want to see a rock-solid Satisfaction Guarantee because you’re trusting a company to pick your wine for you and you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. To that end, we research each company’s customer service record (online reputation) and curation methodology (how they pick their wines).
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.
We look at perks! Whether you get skimpy or elaborate tasting notes, whether they offer VIP and concierge services for visits to wine country, and whether they have great discount programs for members.
What about all of the other wine clubs?
This page contains our current list of the best wine clubs (according to our research). Our reviews are sometimes snapshots, and sometimes we track the quality of a company closely for years. We also change our minds about monthly wine clubs when their quality or value go up or down.
If you’re wondering about a specific brand that isn’t on this list, there’s a reason it’s not here: some don’t make this list for one reason or another even though we think they’re great; there are many "popular" wine clubs which we don’t think are good enough to be on this list (or sometimes even to provide a full review for); and some we just haven’t reviewed (we do not review every wine of the month club).
Wine Clubs We Like a Lot But Don’t Make the Top 10
Wine Awesomeness. This is an inexpensive wine of the month club with an interesting assortment you typically don’t see in other delivery services. We have a favorable opinion of their selection and their Backlabel magazine, but we have trouble maintaining contact with this business. This makes us skeptical of how well they look after their customers.
Original Wine of the Month Club. The first wine of the month club, sure, but it does not provide "the best" value or wine. We like their niche options like the Rosé, Napa, Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, and Sweet, but they are too niche for the Best Overall list.
VineBox. A wine tasting club that sometimes makes this list, but isn’t currently in the top 10. Usually this is because while they provide a unique experience, they don’t provide great value. We love it for gifts where the experience is more important than the cost per bottle.
Wine Down Box. We like Wine Down Box, but we find it to be overpriced for what it is. Like VineBox, we love it for gifts where the experience is more important than the cost per bottle.
Vinley Market. We really like Vinley Market, but our readers don’t seem to be as enthusiastic about them as we are, so we only sometimes have them on this top 10 list.
Wine Access. We really like Wine Access, but we have not yet completed our review.
Who We Have Not Reviewed: The Sip (Society), Bergamot Wine Co., Vintner’s Collective, SommSelect, Woman-Owned Wineries, Orange Glou, The Palate Club, Fat Cork, ClubBubbly, Dry Farm Wines, Underground Cellar, Through the Grapevine Natural Wine Club, Primal Wine Club, The Panel, Winestyr, Gary Vee Club (Wine Library), Cellar Angels. If you work for one of these companies and want to see it reviewed, please contact us.