Retail wine clubs often come under fire from the professional wine writers of the world—critics and bloggers alike—because most professionals feel they can get a better outcome by selecting a great local wine store and creating a relationship with one or more staff members, who will then get to know the wine pro’s preferences and make excellent recommendations.

We feel, that for the average consumer, creating a relationship with a knowledgeable staff member at a local wine store is uncomfortable, difficult, or not even possible if there isn’t a good store nearby. Instead, we took a closer look at how average consumers purchase wine today (97% of the wine that is purchased in the U.S. is not purchased by professionals), and how wine clubs might be a better way to buy.

After an extensive research process, we assembled a list of characteristics of wine clubs that we think really defines what it means to be a wine club—the additional value that makes wine clubs a meaningful alternative to buying wines “the old fashioned way.”

Below you'll find our Top 3 wine clubs by each feature we think is important. If you've already selected which state you're shipping the wine club to, your results reflect wine clubs that can ship to your location.

FYI: I find great wine deals so you don’t have to. To keep me on the hunt, I earn a commission when you buy wine based on my recommendations.

Wine Subscription Features: Satisfaction Guarantee · Convenience · Personalization · Wine Quality · Wine Price · Customer Service · Curation · Uniqueness · Tasting Notes & Supplemental Materials · Giftworthiness

Satisfaction Guarantee

NOTE: We rate wine guarantees offered by wine clubs. We do not provide our own guarantee.

When was the last time you bought a bottle of wine you didn't like, and could return it for a replacement from the store where you purchased it? Probably the 12th of Never.

A big perk of joining a wine club is the satisfaction guarantee. Each wine club who offers a guarantee approaches it a little differently. We've investigated each satisfaction guarantee to assess how good the guarantee really is and ranked each club accordingly.

California Case Club

by The California Wine Club

California Case Club

Among all of the case clubs (12 bottles, typically shipped quarterly), this California wine club offering selections from boutique wineries is one of the two best deals. The other club delivers 90+ point wine from around the world.

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California Case Club

Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

Naked Wines isn’t really a wine club the way you think of one, but it’s a personalized wine buying service that you pay into on a monthly subscription so… we treat it like one. It also happens to be the most interesting wine club we’ve come across in a while.

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Nakedwines.com

Connoisseurs Club

by Wine Access

Connoisseurs Club

Ultra-premium and hard-to-find, this wine club focuses on small-production wines of distinct character and impeccable pedigree worthy of the name Connoisseur. These wines are great for special-occasions and discovery of the world’s best wine regions.

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Connoisseurs Club

Convenience

We operate under the assumption that all wine clubs are more convenient than driving miles to the store to pick out wine and lug it around. But there are definitely features some wine clubs offer that make their clubs more convenient than others.

A top score in convenience means timely email notifications of shipping and billing, and online account management for vacation holds or cancellation. We also consider how easy the wine club makes it for you to track your shipment on delivery day or redirect shipments if you won't be home.

Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

Naked Wines isn’t really a wine club the way you think of one, but it’s a personalized wine buying service that you pay into on a monthly subscription so… we treat it like one. It also happens to be the most interesting wine club we’ve come across in a while.

Next Club

Nakedwines.com

Picked by Wine.com

Picked by Wine.com

A personalized wine club where your wines are individually chosen for you by a sommelier who gets to know your preferences. Your selections are chosen from the largest inventory of online wine available in the United States at Wine.com.

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Picked by Wine.com

Martha Stewart Wine

by Martha Stewart Wine Company

Martha Stewart Wine

A six or 12-bottle wine subscription geared toward occasional drinkers who don't want to spend a lot on their wine. An International selection with a good variety of wines and wine regions.

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Martha Stewart Wine

Personalization

Some wine clubs don't even offer the most basic of personalization, but some let you choose almost everything, including which wines are shipped. Personalization is not for everyone and this feature may not be important to you.

Common personalization options include choosing a red-only or a white-only version, different delivery frequencies, or different shipment sizes. Modern subscriptions have a varying degree of personalized wine selection or even let you pick all of your own wine.

The highest-scoring wine clubs in personalization are those that try to get to know your personal wine preferences or let you pick your own wine.

Picked by Wine.com

Picked by Wine.com

A personalized wine club where your wines are individually chosen for you by a sommelier who gets to know your preferences. Your selections are chosen from the largest inventory of online wine available in the United States at Wine.com.

Next Club

Picked by Wine.com

Winc Personalized Club

by WINC

Winc Personalized Club

Winc set out to change the wine industry by finding new ways to get better value to wine drinkers who spend less than $15 a bottle — and they’re succeeding. By delivering a broad range of wine which appeals to every palate, Winc is a standout wine of the month club.

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Winc Personalized Club

Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

Naked Wines isn’t really a wine club the way you think of one, but it’s a personalized wine buying service that you pay into on a monthly subscription so… we treat it like one. It also happens to be the most interesting wine club we’ve come across in a while.

Next Club

Nakedwines.com

Wine Quality

We believe there is a reasonable paradigm for what defines exceptional, good, average, and below average in terms of wine quality. We determine quality this way: the wine tastes like the grapes it is made of, the wine is balanced between acidity, alcohol, and tannins. The wine is not sweet if it's not supposed to be. The wine is not overly oaked. The wine has an appropriate amount of body for the grapes used.

We get shipments from nearly every club we review, and we taste every bottle. We then assess what quality of wine each club ships most often and rank them accordingly. This score changes as wine clubs try to improve their margins by decreasing the quality of wine or by hiring better wine buyers.

Aged Cabernet Series

by The California Wine Club

Aged Cabernet Series

This wine subscription focuses on high-end, small-production Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that was perfectly cellared while it earned the status of Aged. All of these Cabs, from small family wineries in Napa, are ready to drink when they arrive. It is perfect to give as a gift or to join yourself. Past shipments have included both three-bottle horizontals and three-bottle verticals — a truly unique wine experience (more on this in the review).

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Aged Cabernet Series

Diamond Series

by Gold Medal Wine Club

Diamond Series

This quarterly wine club features true luxury wines rated 93+ and finds California wines so exclusive that the club is limited to 500 members. You get collector-level access without the hassle of doing your own research. A lot of wines (and wine clubs) call themselves "super premium" but most of them fail to live up to the hype, this one does.

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Diamond Series

Italian Wine Club

by Roscioli

Italian Wine Club

An Italian wine club (based in Italy!) offering four different levels of Italian (and French) wine ranging from delightful everyday wine to legends meant for long-term cellaring. This is not an ordinary wine club.

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Italian Wine Club

Wine Price

You can pay $20 for an average bottle of wine, or you can pay $20 for a fantastic bottle of wine, but you won't know until you taste it which one you've got. That's why they invented QPR (quality-to-price ratio) to talk about wine pricing.

Our take on QPR is in our Wine Price rankings. This rating calls out which wine clubs are priced best — suggested retail price gets a rating of 3, while discounts off retail will get higher ratings, and markups above retail (not at all uncommon) get lower ratings.

Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

Naked Wines isn’t really a wine club the way you think of one, but it’s a personalized wine buying service that you pay into on a monthly subscription so… we treat it like one. It also happens to be the most interesting wine club we’ve come across in a while.

Next Club

Nakedwines.com

California Case Club

by The California Wine Club

California Case Club

Among all of the case clubs (12 bottles, typically shipped quarterly), this California wine club offering selections from boutique wineries is one of the two best deals. The other club delivers 90+ point wine from around the world.

Next Club

California Case Club

90+ Wine Club

by Wired For Wine ®

90+ Wine Club

Among all of the case clubs (12 bottles, typically shipped quarterly), this 90+ International wine club is among the best two deals. The other focuses only on California wine, but this one takes you on a journey around the world. Enjoy eclectic wines at the best prices you'll find.

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90+ Wine Club

Customer Service

With wine clubs, the role of customer service is to help you deal with unusual circumstances: vacations, changes, returns, and cancellations.

Some clubs are infamously dreadful at some or all of these elements of customer service and are punished accordingly in our ratings system.

This is the most frequently changed ranking element for a company, as every complaint or compliment we get goes into the score.

Pinot Noir Wine Club

by Gold Medal Wine Club

Pinot Noir Wine Club

Pinot Noir is one of the most beloved red wine grapes and this Pinot of the month club is the best one for discovering Pinot Noir from California, Oregon, and Washington. Discover boutique wineries producing world-class Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and other regions around California. Stunning Pinot from Joseph Jewell, Dragonette Cellars, and Kessler-Haak to name a few.

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Pinot Noir Wine Club

California Gold Club

by Gold Medal Wine Club

California Gold Club

California is home to some of the world's best wine regions and wineries, many of which are boutique wineries. A boutique winery is typically a small-family operation with limited distribution beyond their tasting room. This wine of the month club is a great way to get introduced to what California wine has to offer at reasonable prices and it makes an excellent gift.

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California Gold Club

International Premier Club

by International Wine of the Month Club

International Premier Club

This is the entry-level wine club from the International Wine of the Month Club, but unlike some other wine clubs in this price range you'll always receive Estate-bottled wines. Also for a wine club in this price range you get excellent tasting notes and winery information for every wine that's shipped.

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International Premier Club

Curation

This detail is more important for premium wine clubs and those meant for collecting. We want to know who is picking the wine, what their wine selection philosophy is, and whether or not we think company is just buying what's available and fits their business model, or is actually buying based on what discriminating customers are expecting.

Pinot Noir Wine Club

by Gold Medal Wine Club

Pinot Noir Wine Club

Pinot Noir is one of the most beloved red wine grapes and this Pinot of the month club is the best one for discovering Pinot Noir from California, Oregon, and Washington. Discover boutique wineries producing world-class Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and other regions around California. Stunning Pinot from Joseph Jewell, Dragonette Cellars, and Kessler-Haak to name a few.

Next Club

Pinot Noir Wine Club

California Gold Club

by Gold Medal Wine Club

California Gold Club

California is home to some of the world's best wine regions and wineries, many of which are boutique wineries. A boutique winery is typically a small-family operation with limited distribution beyond their tasting room. This wine of the month club is a great way to get introduced to what California wine has to offer at reasonable prices and it makes an excellent gift.

Next Club

California Gold Club

Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

Naked Wines isn’t really a wine club the way you think of one, but it’s a personalized wine buying service that you pay into on a monthly subscription so… we treat it like one. It also happens to be the most interesting wine club we’ve come across in a while.

Next Club

Nakedwines.com

Uniqueness

Ideally you'd like to choose a wine club that brings something special to the table, whether that's through wine education, types of wines offered, or personalization.

We reward the wine clubs that are trying to deliver something more than a "standard two-bottle wine of the month club."

Nakedwines.com

Nakedwines.com

Naked Wines isn’t really a wine club the way you think of one, but it’s a personalized wine buying service that you pay into on a monthly subscription so… we treat it like one. It also happens to be the most interesting wine club we’ve come across in a while.

Next Club

Nakedwines.com

Picked by Wine.com

Picked by Wine.com

A personalized wine club where your wines are individually chosen for you by a sommelier who gets to know your preferences. Your selections are chosen from the largest inventory of online wine available in the United States at Wine.com.

Next Club

Picked by Wine.com

Aged Cabernet Series

by The California Wine Club

Aged Cabernet Series

This wine subscription focuses on high-end, small-production Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that was perfectly cellared while it earned the status of Aged. All of these Cabs, from small family wineries in Napa, are ready to drink when they arrive. It is perfect to give as a gift or to join yourself. Past shipments have included both three-bottle horizontals and three-bottle verticals — a truly unique wine experience (more on this in the review).

Next Club

Aged Cabernet Series

Tasting Notes & Supplemental Materials

With some clubs you get a boring 8.5" x 11" piece of paper printed off the office inkjet that includes information you could easily find at the wineries website if you looked. Others put together elaborate, high-quality booklets each month which talk about the wine, the winemaker, the region, offer recipes for pairing, and even trivia.

We prefer tasting notes that tell us useful things about how the wine tastes (so we know what to pair with it), how to cellar it, how it was made, who made it, and geeky details about the vineyard, harvest, and vinification.

Italian Wine Club

by Roscioli

Italian Wine Club

An Italian wine club (based in Italy!) offering four different levels of Italian (and French) wine ranging from delightful everyday wine to legends meant for long-term cellaring. This is not an ordinary wine club.

Next Club

Italian Wine Club

Discovery Wine Club

by Wine Access

Discovery Wine Club

Sommeliers choose the best wines available that are typically hard to find. Surprisingly affordable, these selections are then further curated into a wine club. Exclusive video tasting notes round out the quarterly deliveries.

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Discovery Wine Club

California Premier Club

by The California Wine Club

California Premier Club

This wine subscription focuses on good-quality, well-priced wines from small family wineries in California. It is perfect to give as a gift or to join yourself.

Next Club

California Premier Club

Giftworthiness

When evaluating giftworthiness, we look at the gift packaging the wine arrives in (if any), the options for announcing your gift, and whether or not pre-paid memberships are offered.

This characteristic is not included in the All-Around wine club rating at Wine Club Reviews. We only use it for our Gift Giving profile.

California Premier Club

by The California Wine Club

California Premier Club

This wine subscription focuses on good-quality, well-priced wines from small family wineries in California. It is perfect to give as a gift or to join yourself.

Next Club

California Premier Club

High-End California Club

by The California Wine Club

High-End California Club

This wine subscription focuses on high-end, small-production wines from small family wineries in California. It is perfect to give as a gift or to join yourself.

Next Club

High-End California Club

Aged Cabernet Series

by The California Wine Club

Aged Cabernet Series

This wine subscription focuses on high-end, small-production Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that was perfectly cellared while it earned the status of Aged. All of these Cabs, from small family wineries in Napa, are ready to drink when they arrive. It is perfect to give as a gift or to join yourself. Past shipments have included both three-bottle horizontals and three-bottle verticals — a truly unique wine experience (more on this in the review).

Next Club

Aged Cabernet Series

Want to see wine clubs suited to you?

Get Your Wine Club Questions Answered

How to Give a Wine Club Gift

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Step 1: Select a state
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Step 4: Consider your gift budget
Bonus: Wine club gift FAQ

Should I Join a Wine Club?

Should I Join a Wine Club

In this article:
Why join a wine club?
What kind of wine clubs are there?
Wine clubs vs wine stores
Related: Are wine clubs worth it?

How to Pick a Wine Subscription for Yourself

How to Join a Wine Club

Select a state
Four types of wine lovers
Personalized vs curated
The wine in subscriptions
How much wine to buy
Wine subscription FAQ

Jessyca Frederick

Review by: Jessyca Frederick

After 12+ years trying 1000s of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs, Jessyca knows what it means to be a wine club worth joining. Her reviews can help you find a great wine club for you (or to give as a gift) at any budget and for any wine preference.