Firstleaf Wine Club Review
A wine subscription from Firstleaf

WINE CLUB OVERVIEW & DETAILS

All-Around Wine Club Rating: 4.375

This wine club is...

#4 Best Affordable Wine Clubs List

Summary

An affordably-priced personalized wine club that learns what you like as you receive, drink, and rate six bottle shipments. International, domestic, and award-winning wine from a thoroughly modern wine subscription box service.

What We Like

Compared with other wine subscriptions in this price category, we think Firstleaf has nailed ease-of-use, presentation, and offers reasonably-interesting wines. We also really like that they identify the body, acidity, sweetness, fruitiness, and tannin level for each wine they sell. You can review the wine before it is shipped and swap out wines that have characteristics you don?t like.

Improvements

We think their marketing materials make them seem better than they really are, but with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and inexpensive introductory shipment, you can decide for yourself.

Coupons & Promo Codes

Sign up today and try three wines selected based on your preferences for just $15 + $4.95 shipping. Future club shipments are six bottles for $79.95 + $9.95 shipping.

Wine Choices

Red-only and White-only options   Red-only and White-only options   Red-only and White-only options  

Billing Choices

Ongoing

Shipment Choices

Monthly Bimonthly Quarterly

Wine club ships to

AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA ID IL IN KS LA ME MD MA MI MN MO MT ND NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC OH OK OR PA SC SD TN TX VT VA WA WV WI WY

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Firstleaf Wine Club Review

by WineClubReviews.net Firstleaf wine shipment in the cellar

We received this shipment of the Firstleaf Wine Club in August, 2018.

Firstleaf is a personalized wine of the month club. They define personalized as having wines selected especially for you. They make these selections using the input you provide from a quiz when you first sign up and how you rate the wines you receive. They mix all of this data together with what other people who have similar tastes to yours prefer, check their available inventory, and make recommendations.

Some additional personalizations include:

  • Select your wine color: Red, white, or mixed (you can also opt in to rosé and sparkling)
  • Select your wine region: USA, imported, or mixed
  • Select your delivery frequency: Monthly, every other month, or quarterly
  • Swap out bottles you’re not interested in until you love your shipment

Firstleaf Wine Review

Firstleaf accurately determined that most people don’t want to pay more than $15 for a bottle of wine. Since they are interested in selling a lot of wine, they set this as their price cap and set out to find wines that would be of good quality at this price.

To do that they’re relying primarily on “New World” wines (those made in North America, South America, Australia, and New Zealand) as most wines coming from these regions don’t bear the larger price tag associated with premium wine regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Barolo. When wines come in from the “Old World”, you’ll see wine regions listed more generically as France or Italy.

Firstleaf wine packaging in box
Firstleaf wine shipment in box

Are Firstleaf wines really all award-winning?

Firstleaf claims their wine is all award-winning. They include the awards on the website pages which describe each wine. We checked around, both for the wines they advertise with and the wines we received. We confirmed at least one award for each wine we received in our introductory shipment.

The difference between critic wine ratings and wine competition medals

When it comes to marketing wine, the industry is excellent at coming up with clever ways to help us judge what’s in the bottle before we buy it. The three ways this is done most often are: getting wines reviewed by critics, submitting wines to competitions, and writing highly descriptive language.

Most of us are busy and just want someone else to tell us what’s good, so we rely on these bits of data, sometimes to our own detriment. These are all subjective measures at best and should be used with caution when selecting wine. Here’s why:

  • Individual wine critics: Your preferences might not be the same as the critic and therefore their ratings aren’t helpful.
  • Wine competitions: The wines are only compared to other entrants, not all of the wines produced in a given category. Since entering wines in competitions is expensive, many wineries (especially smaller family wineries) skip these competitions altogether, so you’re not getting a complete picture.
  • Descriptive language: Their efficacy is limited by your ability to relate to what has been described, how discerning your own palate is, and whether or not the description is about the wine or about the aspirational lifestyle they’re conjuring up for you.

That’s not to say the wines shipped by Firstleaf don’t deserve their awards, just that you should proceed with caution and not assume these are amazing wines because they earned medals.

Firstleaf Wine Subscription Ratings

At WineClubReviews.net we take an objective approach to our star ratings system. Our written reviews are very much subjective, based on our 9+ years of wine club review experience and our own ideas about what good wine and good value mean. The star ratings are based on 11 attributes that we feel define what a wine club should be. Here is how Firstleaf Club stacks up on these traits.

Satisfaction Guarantee -


Note: This rating is our objective analysis of Firstleaf satisfaction guarantee—not our assessment of whether or not you’re guaranteed to be satisfied with their wines.

“Our Money Back Guarantee. Buying wine in a store can be a gamble, but with Firstleaf you don't have to worry about spending money on a bad bottle. We guarantee you'll absolutely love the wine you buy, or we'll give you your money back.”

Firstleaf satisfaction guarantee

Quality of Wine -

Despite the numerous awards, we found the wine quality to be slightly above average for its price point, and comparable with other wine clubs offering subscriptions for $15 bottles of wine (like Bright Cellars).

Price of Wine -

Given how many consumers don’t want to pay more than $15 for a bottle of wine, we think they set the price right. Firstleaf Club does a good job sourcing the kinds of wine you’d expect with a target price of $15 retail — typically they come from lesser known wine regions and are made in high volume from inexpensive grapes.

One thing we’ll note, they claim MSRP values above $15 for their wines. Since none of their wines are available outside the club, this number is misleading. We dinged them a half-point for this practice because they are not being truthful here.

How to get more value out of your wine subscription: Opt for Imported wine instead of USA when you set your preferences. If you want a really good California wine club under $15 a bottle, join this one instead.

Discount Opportunities -

We look at three areas when evaluating the discount opportunities offered by a wine club. Is there an introductory offer to sweeten the deal? Are there discounts available for buying more of wines you loved in your shipments? Are there special discounts only available to members?

Firstleaf has an introductory offer where you sample three wines for $15 + $4.95 shipping (and sales tax where applicable). This is a good introductory offer. They also offer $10 off when you rate your first three wines. Since your only options are thumbs up and thumbs down, you’ll have to decide on one or the other to get your $10.

Convenience -

Firstleaf offers all of the conveniences you expect from a modern subscription box service. You can change your preferences, shipment delivery dates, and even swap out wine bottles on demand on their website. They also keep a history of everything you ordered so you can go back and rate the wines easily. You can also place your account on hold or cancel altogether (though you’ll have to look in the knowledge base to find the link).

Customer Service Record -

We were unable to find any complaints about the customer service at Firstleaf. They’re either really good at removing negative feedback about them from the Internet or they’re running a tight ship trying to keep customers happy. We’ll update this rating if we receive complaints from customers.

Wine Education -

Firstleaf wine tasting notes

When it comes to wine education — information about the wine region, the winemaker, the grapes, and of course tasting notes about the wine — Firstleaf could be doing more to teach us about wine. Their beautiful wine cards contain simple tasting notes, food pairing suggestions, and some basic statistics.

One aspect of their tasting notes that we really like is the wine profile describing the wine’s body, acidity, sweetness, fruit, and tannin. This information is very helpful in helping you find more wine you like and we suspect it has a lot to do with the algorithm that picks your wine.

Personalization -

Since we’ve only received the initial 3-bottle shipment so far, we aren’t able to adequately rate their personalization. Therefore our rating here is based on the personalization they claim to offer.

Curation Process -

Given the black box around wine selection (Penrose Hill is the entity tasked with producing and sourcing wine for Firstleaf), it’s hard to carefully assess their curation. We know from their selections that they’re placing an emphasis on cost savings and finding wines most people will enjoy.

Uniqueness of the Wine Club -

Firstleaf is relatively unique in the wine club market. There aren’t many personalized wine clubs, but there are a few others who were around first. Also, their wine selection is similar to other wine clubs who offer red and white wine for $15, but there aren’t too many of those either.

Giftworthiness -

This wine club is not a suitable gift. There is no pre-paid subscription option, you can’t include a personalized gift message, and there isn’t any gift wrap in the first shipment.

Jessyca Frederick
Firstleaf

Things to know

Limited Time Special Offer
Sign up today and try three wines selected based on your preferences for just $15 + $4.95 shipping. Future club shipments are six bottles for $79.95 + $9.95 shipping.

  • Shipping is extra
  • Award-winning wines

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Firstleaf Wine Subscription