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.
There isn't anything Martha Stewart does that isn't beautiful, and the branding and experience of this wine subscription program are no exception to that rule.
While we really enjoyed the white wines we received, the reds left much to be desired.
Martha Stewart Wine Company Martha Stewart isn't just a person — her name is now a brand synonymous with everyday elegance, beautiful presentation, and attention to detail. To a large extent, that is what you can expect from her wine club, too.
When the Martha Stewart Wine Club first launched, lifestyle magazines went bananas with superlative commentary about a wine club they'd never tried. Our review has much greater context and isn't based on a press release, so we hope you'll read it and consider our honest opinions — we want you to join a wine club you'll love.
One of the claims made was that Martha tastes every wine herself. We were deeply skeptical that this could be true, but it turns out it is! Not only does she taste a selection of new wines provided to her, she eliminates wines she doesn't like from the club, providing tasting notes back to the wine club provider. Occasionally she loves a wine, and these can be purchased separately from the club in the Martha's Favorites section of the website.
From the moment you first visit the Martha Stewart website, everything is dripping in casual elegance and gorgeous wine photography. The website is a helpful guide in coaching you toward a wine subscription and we found the usability of the website to be very good. The eye-candy and ease-of-use continue through to your first shipment of wine.
Martha Stewart Wine Company offers two wine club plans for you to join for yourself, two wine club plans for you to give as a gift, wine packs (six-bottle and 12-bottle cases) and individual bottles of wine, some of which are designated as "Martha's Favorites." Pictured below are the 6-bottle wine club and the 12-bottle wine club.
Half-Case Wine Club
Case Wine Club
At WineClubReviews.net we take an objective approach to our star ratings system. Our written reviews are very much subjective, based on our 10+ 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 Martha Stewart Wine Club stacks up on these traits.
Note: This rating is our objective analysis of Martha Stewart Wine Company’s satisfaction guarantee—not our assessment of whether or not you’re guaranteed to be satisfied with their wines.
Martha Stewart Wine Company offers what we consider a 5-star satisfaction guarantee — they'll replace wine you don't like with something you will.
From their website: "We stand behind our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If the rare occasion occurs where you don’t like a wine that you received, please contact us immediately. Restrictions apply. Please ask a Customer Support representative for more details."
We found the quality of the wine we received from Martha Stewart Wine Club to be average. Like many of its similarly-priced wine subscription competitors, we found the white wines ranged from good to very good and offered excellent value while the red wines tended to be meh and of meh quality. To us, this comes to about average overall, but if you're a red wine drinker, this may not be the best wine club for you.
The wines we tried:
When it comes to the price of the wine in the Martha Stewart Wine Club, it's difficult to assess it fairly. Nearly all of the wines we received are imported or produced by their partners, and are 100% allocated to the company that manages this wine subscription. This means they're available at other wine clubs, but not at any retailers who could establish a fair retail price to compare.
Since these wines are often distributed by other "brands" on Groupon. You might recognize Heartwood & Oak, Barclay's Wine, and Wine Insiders among them. When comparing prices, on a few of the wines, here's a sample of what we found:
This suggests the company is happy retailing this wine on sale for $10 a bottle, which seems to us like a fair price for these wines. In your Martha Stewart wine subscription shipments, you'd essentially be paying $14.67 per bottle if you join the half-case club and $13.33 if you join the case club. So, in conclusion, you're not getting a Groupon-level price, but you're getting a fair price.
The most accurate thing we can say about the price of the wine is that it's comparable to similar wines of similar quality widely available via value-oriented wine clubs, but within the wine club you're getting a members-only price structure. (In other words, you get what you pay for, you're not getting anything you couldn't get somewhere else, but you're getting better prices for being a member.)
In some respects, there's nothing especially unique about the Martha Stewart Wine Club, but one of the things that does set it apart from similar wine clubs is the experience — particularly the materials included in the box and the utility of the content within them. We cover this in greater detail under "Education," but since it's the biggest differentiator as compared to other clubs, we thought we'd mention it here, too.
Another differentiator is the unique shipping schedule — every 6 or 8 weeks depending on which club you join or, if you're giving it as a gift, every 13 or 17 weeks. We're not completley sure why these are the schedules selected by Martha Stewart's wine club, but they are unique!
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?
The Martha Stewart Wine Club offers a solid introductory offer with the wines priced at greater than 40% off. Martha Stewart is all about first impressions, so to set the tone with new club members, these introductory bottles are hand-picked and are likely a better overall experience than the regular shipments you'll receive later on.
The price of the wine in the subscription is definitely favorable to the price you'd pay if you bought these wines without a membership, but there isn't a reorder discount.
From time to time you will receive special offers just for members.
Martha Stewart Wine Company takes a different approach to their wine education program. They don't say much about each wine or its story, they highlight only basic taste profiles (which for most people are more than enough). Instead they focus on general wine knowledge and education. This is super helpful for most people. The initial shipment included a simple, easy-to-digest guide to wine pairing which addresses pairing wine with cheese, as well as meal-pairing suggestions for reds, whites, and sparkling wine — for both sweet and savory foods.
A statement by the company who manages the Martha Stewart Wine Club: "The company leverages big data wherever possible to provide the best possible customer experience: data scientists over wine makers; analytics over sommeliers; investments in machine learning, data management platforms, and recommendation engines over sales trips to far-off vineyards." This is fascinating to us and is important to note when considering the quality of the wine you're receiving — they are proudly more concerned with how marketable a wine is than they are with how good it is. That's not to say they don't care if it's good, but they've clearly set out to use data as a proxy for taste buds.
That said... Martha tastes and approves every wine that goes out from the wine club. That's a level of curation that a very powerful brand has attached her name to!
Because Martha Stewart Wine Company is new, we don't have any customer complaints recorded. We also couldn't find any online. If issues arise, we'll update this review.
As personalization goes, Martha Stewart Wine Club is barely personalized. You can choose red wine, white wine, or a mix of both. You can choose how many bottles you'll receive in each shipment (six or twelve). And that's about it. For a more specific selection of wine if you're picky, we would consider just ordering some of the terrific seasonal and regional wine packs offered at Martha Stewart Wine, without worrying about membership.
Martha Stewart Wine Company has all of the standard expected conveninences of a subscription box service.
We think the Martha Stewart Wine Club Year of Wine Gift would make a delightful gift choice — especially if they're already fans of Martha Stewart! Unlike their regular subscription plans, the gift subscriptions are delivered only as six-bottle shipments, either every 17 weeks or every 13 weeks. The gifts don't include the special introductory offer, but can be customized to be red wine only, white wine only, or a mix of both.
You're asked to select an occasion, but this is mostly just for show — the same wine club gifts are offered no matter which occasion you choose — that's good since Christmas isn't one of the options!