WSJwine vs Case Club
Not sure which curated wine subscription you want to join? This page compares WSJwine and Case Club 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.
What are the key differences between WSJwine and Case Club?
What are the key similarities between WSJwine and Case Club?
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, 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||AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY|
This rating reflects all of the wine club elements below and is weighted for curated wine clubs.
|3.3 stars||4.9 stars|
|Choose: Red, white, or mixed||Choose: Red, white, or mixed|
|A mix of USA & International||Mostly California with an occasional wine from Oregon or Washington|
|What to know|
|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.
|The California Wine Club’s excellent reputation is based on its Premier Series wine club, which offers two bottles of discounted California wine from a small family winery each month. It’s not uncommon for them to have bottles left in inventory after their shipments go out (a perk of membership is reordering your favorites at a discount). After a short period, these wines then get shipped out as part of their Case Club at even lower prices.
I personally asked them to create this club after seeing so many people signing up for 12-bottle case clubs and feeling those wine drinkers were missing out on what The California Wine Club had to offer. They did it, and they did it with a bang! I didn’t expect the prices they offer but I’m so glad they do.
I wanted to see a case with 12 different bottles in it. It was explained to me how hard it is to source small-production California wine at prices low enough to meet the pricing for this club. Three of each was the best way to make these prices happen. I can live with that.
|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.
|3 stars||5 stars|
|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.
|Each shipment contains three each of four different wines.
The curation point of view, as I assess it, is this: send good quality artisanal/boutique California wine at heavily-discounted prices.
So much effort goes into finding worthwhile wines from small family wineries in California, with only 12 2-bottle shipments per year, they can be picky about what they ship to their very loyal customers. Also, they prioritize little-known wineries.
|Number of Bottles|
|Quarterly||Monthly, Every other month, or Quarterly|
Deal 14 bottles for $89.99
|No deals at this time|
|WSJwine (12 bottles)||Case Club (12 bottles)|
|Total Price per Shipment|
|Price per Bottle Including Shipping|
|Price per Shipment|
|Price per Bottle Before Shipping|
|WSJwine Wine Review||Case Club 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.
|2.5 stars||4 stars|
|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.||These are always wines of excellent quality. They’re not 95-point wines from renowned winemakers, but they represent the best of California’s family wineries.|
|Price of Wine|
|2.5 stars||5 stars|
|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.||If you visit their website from a link on this page, you’ll find a quote from me: "At the price-point, the quality is incomparable." When these wines go out to the Premier Series customers, they pay a little over $20 per bottle (already below winery retail price), but when you get them in this club, you pay just $14 a bottle.|
This rating reflects the quality of the club’s satisfaction guarantee, not my guarantee of your satisfaction.
|4 stars||5 stars|
|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."
|Industry-leading satisfaction guarantee, they call it the "Love It" Guarantee.
"If you don’t enjoy a bottle you receive from us, we will immediately send a replacement or refund your money. You don’t even have to send the bottle back – really."
|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.
|2 stars||5 stars|
|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.||The California Wine Club uses the hash tag #mostlovedwineclub in their social media efforts. Members really do love them because, among other reasons, they offer personalized service to every customer who calls or emails.|
This rating reflects how much information you get about the wine you receive.
|3 stars||1 stars|
|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.||While The California Wine Club goes to great pains to produce a beautiful, full-color magazine highlighting each month’s wineries and wines, this extra benefit isn’t available for Case Club members. It’s no frills to keep it super cheap. That said, their website has plenty of info available about each wine they ship, so you can go online and learn more on your own.|
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.
|3 stars||2.5 stars|
|Choose a delivery date?|
|Skip a shipment any time?|
|Yes, skip shipments whenever you want||No|
|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?
|1 stars||1 stars|
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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