Wine Insiders vs WSJwine
Not sure which curated wine subscription you want to join? This page compares Wine Insiders and WSJwine side-by-side using my detailed ratings system. The ratings are based on my experiences with each club — including tasting the wine over multiple shipments.
Which is better, Wine Insiders or WSJwine?
I much prefer Wine Insiders to WSJwine. Aside from charging less for the same amount of wine, the wines themselves are better, and on average show more character and quality than WSJwine. Both clubs offer a great introductory price, but Wine Insiders offers extras like choosing an alternate delivery location via FedEx instead of having to do it yourself at FedEx.com or in their app. See why.
What are the key differences between Wine Insiders and WSJwine?
The biggest differences between Wine Insiders and WSJwine are: Cost per shipment, Satisfaction guarantee, Quality of wine, Price of wine, Convenience features, Giftworthiness
What are the key similarities between Wine Insiders and WSJwine?
Wine Insiders and WSJwine are quite similar in these areas: Number of bottles per shipment, Educational materials, Delivery frequency
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.
|Do they ship to you?|
|AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY||AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY|
This rating reflects all of the wine club elements below and is weighted for curated wine clubs.
|4.4 stars||3.3 stars|
|Choose: Red, white, or mixed||Choose: Red, white, or mixed|
|A mix of USA & International||A mix of USA & International|
|What to know|
|Wine Insiders is an approachable and affordable 12-bottle case club. The wines are generally of good quality for the price, which makes it an easy choice for laid-back wine drinking.
They’re really big on deals. They have a great introductory offer price of just $5.93 a bottle, and they offer their subscribers additional incredible deals all year round.
It would be great if they’d offer a premium wine club that leverages their impressive buying power and insider knowledge.
|WSJwine is one of the first modern wine subscriptions, particularly with deeply discounted introductory offers. They are among the largest wine clubs in the US and this gets them unprecedented buying power.
The "try before you buy" model is the best part about WSJwine. While I don’t encourage getting the introductory offer with the intention of cancelling immediately, it is an option if you order and the wine doesn’t meet your expectations.
There are many things WSJwine could do to improve their offering, but given their massive infrastructure, the best thing they could do is lower their price so it’s more in line with the quality you actually receive.
|Best wine clubs|
The editorial lists where I include this wine club and its ranking on that list.
|This wine club is not on any lists|
This rating reflects the caliber of curation — both the people who select the wine and the selection philosophy. This rating is subjective and based on my opinion.
|4 stars||3 stars|
|Each shipment contains 12 different wines.
The curation point of view, as I assess it, is this: send decent quality wines made from an interesting assortment of grapes from around the world at super-affordable prices.
The selection of wine from Wine Insiders is broad. They are expert at finding mid-size producers, across Europe especially, who craft good quality (if not exciting) wine. When compared with other wine clubs in this price range, the wines are very palate-friendly and represent a wide swath of regions and grape varieties.
|Each shipment contains 12 different wines.
The curation point of view, as I assess it, is this: send okay wine made from familiar grapes at super-affordable prices.
WSJwine is a private label wine club featuring wines procured by the sourcing team at Laithwaites — a very large British wine company with tremendous buying power. They offer a decent range of wine grapes and wine regions, though they mostly offer well-known grapes from lesser-known wine regions.
|Number of Bottles|
|Quarterly + two additional seasonal shipments||Quarterly|
|No deals at this time||
Deal 14 bottles for $89.99
|Wine Insiders (12 bottles)||WSJwine (12 bottles)|
|Total Price per Shipment|
|Price per Bottle Including Shipping|
|Price per Shipment|
|Price per Bottle Before Shipping|
|Wine Insiders Wine Review||WSJwine Wine Review|
|Quality of Wine|
This rating reflects how the wine is sourced and produced, as well as how it compares to similar wine clubs.
|3.5 stars||2.5 stars|
|Given the inexpensive nature of this wine club, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the wine we received. It is worth noting we did not get a "regular" wine club shipment, our selection was handpicked by the team at Wine Insiders knowing it was going to be reviewed. That said, it was good.||Given the scale of the Laithwaites operation, the wines featured here are all mass-produced wines from mediocre grapes. A number of wine growing, harvesting, and winemaking techniques enable production at this scale, but unfortunately these techniques tend to diminish the character of the resulting product.|
|Price of Wine|
|4 stars||2.5 stars|
|I’m very impressed with the price of this wine. It is better than the wine available from similarly-priced WSJwine and personalized wine clubs.||The wines at WSJwine are cheap. Brands hate when reviewers want to use that word because it connotes poor quality. I think it is an apt description for the wines sold through this wine club. When compared with other wine clubs offering case subscriptions for $15 a bottle or less, the wine isn’t good enough. If they charged $8-10 a bottle, inclusive of shipping of costs, I think that would be a more appropriate price.|
This rating reflects the quality of the club’s satisfaction guarantee, not my guarantee of your satisfaction.
|2.5 stars||4 stars|
|If you don’t like a wine you receive, you can contact customer service to arrange a solution.
"We stand behind our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If the rare occasion occurs where you don’t like the wines you received, please contact us immediately. Restrictions apply. Please ask a Wine Insiders Customer Service Representative for more details."
|If you don’t like a wine you receive, you can contact customer service to get a refund.
"It’s simple. We want you to enjoy every bottle you buy from us. If you are not completely satisfied with any wine, for any reason, just let us know and you’ll receive a refund."
|Customer Service Record|
This rating is a mix of my own experiences with their customer service team and general ratings from across the web over time.
|5 stars||2 stars|
|Wine Insiders has an impressive online customer service record and I have not had any issues with my orders.||WSJwine has an abysmal customer service record. Between people purchasing the introductory case and not understanding they’d joined a wine club and a poor track record around cancellations actually cancelling the shipments, they have a terrible reputation.|
This rating reflects how much information you get about the wine you receive.
|3 stars||3 stars|
|Wine education is an area Wine Insiders is lacking. All of their tasting notes are online (not a problem) but they’re limited. That said, if you just want to drink wine and not get a dissertation on how and where it was made, there is adequate info to keep you interested. Pairing suggestions could be better.||WSJwine’s entire brand is focused on seeming impressive, even when they’re not. This includes their educational materials. Each wine you receive comes with a nicely-designed informational card highlighting basic information about the wine and the region it hails from, along with basic pairing/serving/storage information.|
A subscription should be easier than shopping at the store. That means you have control over when and where deliveries occur and that it is easy to make changes to your account online.
|5 stars||3 stars|
|Choose a delivery date?|
|Skip a shipment any time?|
|Yes, skip shipments whenever you want||Yes, skip shipments whenever you want|
|Fully manage account online|
|Choose alternate delivery location|
|Get SMS delivery updates from the club|
|Get email delivery updates from the club|
|Email reminders before card is charged|
Good for Gifts?
|2.5 stars||1 stars|
|Yes, an email is sent at time of purchase||n/a|
Review by: Jessyca Frederick |
After 14+ years trying 1000s of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs, I know what it means to be a wine club worth joining. My reviews can help you find a great wine club for you and the best wine club gifts for any budget and for any wine preference.
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