WINC Wine Club Review

A wine club from WINC

WINE CLUB OVERVIEW & DETAILS

All-Around Wine Club Rating: 4.8625

This wine club is...

#1 Best Affordable Wine Clubs List
#2 Best 12-Bottle Wine Clubs List
#2 Best Wine Clubs List
#3 Best White Wine Clubs List
#3 Best California Wine Clubs & Gifts List
#3 Best Value Wine Clubs List
#4 Best Wine Club Gifts List

Summary

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.

What We Like

We love how they go above and beyond to reward loyal customers with substantial savings and invitations to a premium level program. No other wine club offers this level of loyalty rewards, or this much fun! Also, as time has passed under wine director Ryan Zotovich, the selection of premium wines has both grown in selection and quality.

Improvements

Winc works so hard to make their service great that it's hard for us to think of something they should do to make it even better.

Coupons & Promo Codes

Exclusive Deal For You Join today and save $25 on your first Winc box. Free shipping on orders of 4 or more bottles. Click for This Deal.

Wine Choices

Mixed Red & White, Red, or White   Mixed Red & White, Red, or White   Mixed Red & White, Red, or White  

Price & Shipping Info

A WINC Wine Club membership costs $59.95 , but you can pick more expensive wine if you want. Free shipping plus sales tax where applicable. The price per bottle, with shipping, ranges from $13.00 to $45.00 depending on how you configure your membership.

Shipments are sent monthly. Pre-pay for a fixed number of months, as a gift or for yourself.

Wine club ships to

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

JOIN THE WINE CLUB

Visit this wine club

Winc Review

by WineClubReviews.net

In this review: What is Winc? · Why Choose Winc? · Wine Review · Membership Benefits · Gift Review

One of many, many Winc Wine Subscription Shipments We Received

We drank: Cocomero Scratch-and-Sniff Rosé, Honey Beast Rhône White Blend, Au-Delá Tocai Friulano, Vingt Dieux Beaujolais, Diviner Cabernet Sauvignon, and Baseline Pinot Noir.

Winc is a personalized wine subscription. Whether you choose your own wine or let Winc curate wines based on your preferences, the Winc subscription is best-suited to the casual wine drinker interested in discovering new wines at an affordable price. In short, they make buying wine easy.

Wines start at $13, and roughly 65% of their selection costs less than $20 a bottle. They also offer premium wines up to $45. Get free shipping when you add four bottles to your box.

To get started with your membership, you take a Palate Profile quiz. After you complete this quiz, they recommend a personalized box of four wines for you to start your membership.

While there are many wine clubs which now start a membership with this type of quiz, Winc pioneered it (back when they were Club W). In our opinion, Winc does a better job of matching quiz answers to wine selections than the other clubs who offer quizzes to get you started. If you happen to not like the automated selections, you can swap them out for something else.

The Fine Print:

  • Each month on the 13th you’ll be charged for credits that can be used for bottles of wine of your choice. The monthly charge is $59.95. Taxes may apply.
  • You can skip a charge any month.
  • You can save credits - unused credits rollover - and use them for more premium wine or a case of your personalized favorites.
  • Free shipping is included on orders of $50 or more (4 bottles). A flat $9 shipping fee will be added to orders of less than $50.
  • Your membership will continue until you cancel. You can cancel at any time by live chat or calling 855-282-5829.

Why Choose Winc for Your Wine

Winc emerged on the wine club scene with a mission — sell good, affordable wine and offer personalized wine club shipments.

They started by buying what is called bulk wine — wine that has already been produced and is ready to be labeled by someone other than the winery (this is also called white labelling or private labelling). They weren’t delivering the quality they wanted, so like any good start-up they pivoted and began to produce their own wine. They are now the nation’s largest winery and in 2018 they produced around 300,000 cases of wine.

4 reasons Winc is a must-try wine club for most wine lovers:

  • They offer a wide variety of wine styles across a broad spectrum of prices
  • They make almost all of their own wine so they have excellent quality control
  • You can customize every single box or let them pick your wine for you
  • A 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

For the environmentally-minded, there’s another reason: Winc continually makes decisions about their products based on how to reduce their carbon footprint and ecological imprint. Here are a few ways they get that done:

  • A significant aspect of their sustainability program is their commitment to sustainable farming. Where they produce their own wine, they control how their grapes are farmed, using sustainable practices wherever possible. Where they work with others, they choose growers and producers who share the same values for land stewardship.
  • They stopped adding capsules to their bottles. Capsules are the little plastic or metal cover for the cap, originally designed to prevent rodent damage to corks in earthen cellars and on ships. Winc estimates the savings from these 3.5 million unnecessary bottle decorations each year to be around 75 football fields’ worth of non-recyclable plastic not going into landfills.
  • “Winc uses flexitanks for liquid transportation. While a standard shipping container holds approximately 12,000 bottles, a standard flexitank holds the equivalent of about 32,000. The fact that a bulk tank can transport more than double the amount of wine has a positive impact on the environmental emissions associated with transportation.”
  • Winc made their shipping boxes as compact as possible. They are made with 70% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. Their pulp trays which protect the individual bottles during shipping are compostable.
  • Helping others do the same. 1% of the sale price from the Pacificana brand of wines goes to 1% for the Planet — a non-profit organization who uses the proceeds to help fund diverse environmental organizations so they can be a more powerful source in solving the world’s problems.
One of many, many Winc Wine Subscription Shipments We Received

We drank: Porter & Plot Dolcetto, Porter & Plot Grenache Blanc, Idée Fixe Red Blend, Cape Route Chenin Blanc, Forma de Vida Verdelho, and Funk Zone Red Blend.

Our Winc Wine Ratings


Quality of Wine
Price of Wine
Wine Curation

Winc Wine Review

There’s a lot we want to tell you about Winc’s wine. Ultimately you might only want to know if we think it’s good and worth the price. The short answer is yes, but if you’d like to know more, keep reading. Otherwise, skip ahead to be impressed with Winc’s Membership Benefits.

About the Wine

Winc produces all kinds of wine for all kinds of wine drinkers. You’ll note we said “produces” because Winc is a winery that makes its own wine, and they’re not a purveyor of bulk wine as they are often (erroneously) believed to be. Bulk wine gets a bad rap because most of it shows wine flaws and tastes the same — hallmarks of poor-quality fruit and intense winemaking to try to cover the poor ingredients.

Winc sources high-quality fruit and uses minimal winemaking intervention to produce its clean wines. Here is an overview of the wines they offer.

  • Wine Color & Style: Red, White, Rosé, and Sparkling (and hard cider or “apple wine”).
  • Grapes include those you know — Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, etc. — and those you might not — Touriga Nacional, Albariño, Blaufränkisch, Gamay, Zwiegalt, and more.
  • Winc wines range in sweetness: Dry, Semi-Sweet, and Sweet (including sweet red wine).
  • Winc wines range in body: Light, Medium, and Full.
  • Vegan wines are available (roughly half their selection).
  • Eco-friendly wines (also roughly half their selection).
  • Wines come mostly from California, but are also produced in France, Italy, Argentina, Spain, and Portugal.
  • As a general rule we find their whites and rosés to be very good. We especially enjoy that they offer white wines of varying sweetness, for pairing with dishes correctly. Pro tip: spicy and salty foods taste great with a slightly sweet white wine.

When it comes to their red wines, we think it’s important to consider comparable red wines that you can buy in the same price range. For example, we’d pick Winc’s reds hands down over those from the WSJwine, Bright Cellars, and Tasting Room wine clubs. We’d rather drink Winc reds than Apothic or Meiomi. And we’d rather not over pay for Cabernet Sauvignon, so we like Winc’s value here.

Winc isn’t really known for their premium (over $20) wines, which is too bad, because if you’re looking for great value, that’s where you’ll find it. Acquiring high-quality fruit from some of California’s top vineyards allows Winc to make wines that are more expressive of terroir — the hard-to-define combination of sun, soil, and climate that makes each wine distinct.

Their premium wine gives members the opportunity to experiment with new grapes, get creative with food pairings for nights you cook at home, or to bring a nice bottle on a night out if you live somewhere you can bring your own wine to restaurants.

Winc Wine Brands

Winc is a winery producing its wine under a number of different brands. Every wine has the Winc logo on the back, but the labels vary quite a bit. Winc’s goal is to build consumer trust around these brands, so each has its own personality and qualities. Here are some highlights:

Summer Water & Keep It Chill

Summer Water & Keep it Chill: a still rosé, a bubbly rosé, and a chillable red Gamay.

Field Theory Wine Bottles

Winc Field Theory wines: Albariño and Mourvèdre.

Pacificana. This is their flagship eco-friendly brand. Winc has teamed up with 1% for the Planet so that 1% of all Pacificana sales go toward protecting and conserving the environment. Pacificana includes Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Cabernet.

Summer Water & Keep It Chill. Summer Water is probably Winc’s best-known brand, launched with what is now an extremely popular rosé. Summer Water has expanded to include a bubbly version of the original and a newer Keep It Chill chillable red wine. Keep It Chill is a Gamay from Southern France, produced to keep up with trends in natural wine bars and European bistros.

Field Theory. This line of wine showcases how Winc not only isn’t a bulk wine seller, but that they’re crafting thoughtful wines from top-quality grapes grown in well-respected vineyards. Several of these wines come from the Enz Vineyard in Lime Kiln Valley (a small appellation in Santa Barbara County) and the grapes used by respected winemaker Kenneth Volk, who sadly passed away a few years ago. Grapes like Blaufränkisch, Touriga Nacional, and Cabernet Pfeffer hail from this dry-farmed vineyard.

Porter & Plot. This is a premium Winc brand designed to showcase California’s top vineyards, with their Cabernet Sauvignon coming from Cox Vineyard in Mendocino County.

Cherries & Rainbows. A newer bottling, this was designed for the conscientious drinker. It’s natural, organic, and biodynamic, with zero added sulfur. While the label is whimsical, the wine is the product of serious grape-growing and winemaking.

One of many, many Winc Wine Subscription Shipments We Received

We drank white wine: Loves Me Not Malvasia Bianca, The Independent Pinot Blanc, Forma de Vida Verdejo, Funk Zone White Blend, Capuchon Grenache Blanc, Diviner Sauvignon Blanc, Cape Route Chenin Blanc, Brethren of the Road Riesling.

Winc Wine Prices

The wine industry is plagued with legally-required middlemen, each of which increase the cost of wine that you as the consumer ultimately will pay. Wineries get to bypass those middlemen and sell directly to consumers. Some wineries charge full retail even when they sell directly to consumers, but Winc does not — its members get its best prices.

Winc wines start at $13 a bottle. When you want to spend more on a bottle, Winc has you covered. At the time we updated this review there were 70 wines available on Winc. Their focus is on great wine under $20 (around 65% of what’s available), but their portfolio of wines over $20 is increasing each year.

Price per Bottle Red Wine White Wine Rosé Sparkling Other
$13-15 18 10 2 1 0
$16-19 7 4 3 2 3
$20-30 8 6 2 2 0
$31+ 6 1 0 0 0

There are two ways we evaluate the price of a wine delivered in a wine subscription box.

The first is to assess whether the wines are being sold to members at a discount. In the case of Winc, who also sells their wine via Whole Foods, fine wine stores, and at restaurants and hotels, this is an easy comparison. Members definitely save over these retail prices.

The second pricing consideration is whether or not you can find similar wines at the same or better prices. The answer here is mostly no, you can’t. Anecdotally, we live in Southern California and frequently go wine tasting in the Santa Barbara County and Paso Robles regions where many Winc wines originate. When comparing Winc’s premium wines with similarly-priced wines from wineries in these areas, Winc is delivering equal or better value.

You get such great value out of Winc’s wines at every price point because they engineered a way to decrease middleman markups. They send good quality wine at affordable prices — especially their higher end Chardonnays, Cabernets, Pinot Noir, and an array of other interesting varieties.

Finke's Sparkling Wines

Winc's Sparkling Wine Brand is Finke's: a Sparkling Chardonnay, a Sparkling Chenin Blanc, and a Blanc de Blancs blend of the two.

Finke's Sparkling Chenin Blanc

Finke's Sparkling Chenin Blanc.

A quick note about Winc’s wine cred.

Co-founder Brian Smith is a sommelier and winemaker himself. He was both of these things before he started Winc and it was his perception that there wasn’t enough easy-to-access value in the wine market that led him to create Winc.

They’ve since brought in Ryan Zotovich as Director of Winemaking. Ryan’s background includes working at premium Santa Barbara County wineries Palmina and Sea Smoke, in addition to being a part of the Zotovich Family which owns vineyards in the Santa Barbara area and produces their own wines, too.

What’s more important is Ryan’s winemaking philosophy: “His approach emphasizes respectful winemaking, meaning that he believes 90% of winemaking happens in the vineyard and that proper site selection, coupled with meticulous farming and correct picking decisions, allows for minimal intervention in the winery.” This describes what is often called “New California” wine and is the current standard for what all California wine should be according to critics and sommeliers alike.

One of many, many Winc Wine Subscription Shipments We Received

We drank rosé all day: Loves Me Not Rosé, Summer Water Rosé, Ruza Rosé in bottle, Ruza Rosé in cans, and Cocomero Rosé.

Our Winc Membership Benefits Ratings


Satisfaction Guarantee
Discounts
Customer Service
Wine Education
Convenience

Winc Membership Benefits

Winc shines in a lot of areas, but membership benefits are huge for them. They want members to love their Winc wine subscription and they do everything they can to make members happy.

Among all of their member benefits, Winc’s discount program deserves top billing — because who doesn’t like to save money on wine?

Winc typically offers a nice introductory offer of $20 off your first shipment. We’re big fans of Winc so they offer our readers a better deal — save 50% on your first shipment. You can accept the wines from your palate profile quiz, or you can pick your own wines. If you want to try Winc’s premium wines, this is the best available deal to get you started.

Once you’re a member, you’ll notice you always get members-only pricing. Since many of Winc’s wines are available for purchase at retail locations like stores and restaurants, this members-only price reflects a real discount. (As opposed to some of their competitors who make up retail prices since their wines are only available to their members.)

Having a party or want to make some of Winc’s wine your house wine? Anytime you buy 12 bottles of wine you save 10% on the order — this includes your monthly box.

Then of course there are the further discounts. If you are pretty committed to Winc, it makes sense to pre-purchase discounted credits, in addition to your monthly credits. You can save up to 20% this way. And you can stack these discounts with the 10% off you get on case purchases.

One of many, many Winc Wine Subscription Shipments We Received

We drank: Yé-Yé Monastrell, Nouvelle Ère Bordeaux Blend, Wilhelmina Riesling, Più Gioia Pinot Grigio, Restless Earth Grenache, and Full Sleeve Syrah.

Satisfaction Guarantee. A critical component of our ratings system is the Satisfaction Guarantee. When someone else is picking your wine, you should be able to return what you don’t like. Winc has a 5-star satisfaction guarantee. From their FAQ:

“What do I do if I don't like my wine? Winc takes pride in offering some of the best products available for our members. If you are not completely satisfied for any reason, please let us know immediately. We will gladly credit Winc Members the full value of your bottle towards another wine of your choosing in your next shipment.”

Customer Service. Winc has a hit-and-miss customer service record. While we haven't received direct complaints from customers, there are many websites detailing customer service foul-ups, particularly about cancellation. You have to call to cancel (or use LiveChat) during their regular business hours. You cannot cancel your account online.

Another complaint is that the wines aren't good quality. Everyone has different tastes and different expectations on what a wine should taste like based on its price. We drink a LOT of wine club wine and we think Winc’s $13 wines are better than most at this price range. We also like them better than much of what we can get at the grocery store for that price. You may not agree, but with 50% off your first box, you can decide for yourself.

Convenience. There are few wine delivery services that are truly convenient (let’s face it, shipping logistics can be a major hassle), but Winc is one of them. They offer near total online control of your account. Change the number of bottles in your box and your selection of wines easily or skip a month (useful for vacations).

Winc sends email notifications to remind you to pick the wines for your next box, and lets you know the date your wine will ship giving you time to cancel or skip if need be, or ship it immediately. You also get a delivery reminder the day before your box arrives. Sign up for FedEx Delivery Manager for even better control of when your wine is delivered. You can even choose a FedEx partner site to have your wine sent directly to for pick-up when it’s convenient.

Wine Education. Winc, as part of its efforts to be more eco-friendly, has eliminated most printed wine information. In your first shipment you get a copy of the Winc Journal, a Reader’s Digest-sized book of information about their current wines, recipe pairings, winemaker info, and more.

If you want to learn about a wine you have received, or one you’re considering, you can go on their website to get tasting notes. If it’s a wine you’ve already received, we recommend going to the My Orders section and navigating to the wine info that way. They give you a lot of useful information about each wine.

Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir Wine Tasting Notes

If detailed information about the vineyard, the winemaker, or the winery is critical to your wine club experience (mostly wine geeks like this), then this might not be the club for you.

Winc Gift Review

Because of the personalized nature of Winc, they don’t ship wine to customers without someone setting up an account first. This means when you give a Winc gift, you give a gift card (prepaid credits) for your recipient to use to set up their membership. You can pick how much you want to spend (the smallest amount is $60, but they offer other amounts from $100 to $600 in $50 increments).

Printed Gift Card Presentation

We think Winc makes a fantabulous gift idea. (Yes, we know we made up that word.) Most wine clubs are great last-minute gifts because you can print out a gift notice from your own computer and stick it in a card, but if you plan ahead by as little as a few days, you can order a snazzy professionally-printed gift note from Winc to announce the fun that is to come. Send it to yourself and you can present it in person on the big day.

Jessyca Frederick
WINC

Things to know

Shipping cost: Free shipping is included
Offers: 6
Best Deal: Save 45%
Exclusive Deal: Yes

More wine clubs from WINC

Hey there! You are welcome to add your own feedback.
This comment feed is moderated—meaning we'll review and manually approve any comment before it gets posted to the website.
Please log in or create an account

Comment from Adelle Archer at 2017-07-05 13:34:00
Warning: WINC is one of those recurring subscription models that makes it impossible for you to cancel, and then provides a terrible customer experience when you attempt to. Great idea, decent wine, but not worth the cancellation experience.

My roommate and I signed up for WINC through a promotion with HelloFresh, and tried it for a couple months. The wine was decent, but we decided we didn't need it since we had a large stock of wine to get through, so we attempted to cancel. We couldn't remember which email we used, so we logged into their portal using every email address both of us had. Every email allowed us to log in, but showed no order history, so we couldn't confirm which it was. We emailed the WINC team to request them to cancel, telling them our name, mailing address, and credit card used, and they said they couldn't process cancellations over email or chat, only over phone, and only during M-F business hours. So my roommate had to set a reminder to call them during his workday, and even after a 30 min call they couldn't locate the account. By this time, we had been hit with a another recurring charge of WINC wine, despite attempting to cancel it weeks prior. I called in to reattempt to locate the account via my CC info, and we finally found it. I asked to cancel the account and refund the last month, since we had already put a few hours into jumping through hoops to get this cancelled. I got escalated to a manager, and she gave me two options:
1. Ship the wine back at our expense and incur a $20 restock fee
2. ?Meet half way? and they would reimburse $29 of the $60 shipment of wine

I was incredibly frustrated at this point, having wasted over 4 hours of mine and my roommates time trying to work through their convoluted cancellation process, and to have the result be that WINC was going to negotiate with me and provide a suboptimal service experience.

Companies like Zappos are as successful as they are because they put customers first and work with them to a solution that generates a raving fan of a customer, rather than getting defensive, blaming, and negotiating against their customers. Companies like WINC will find that this ends up harming their growth and success, because stories like these will be communicated and shared, and customers like me will highly encourage others to never try their services. I will also be encouraging Hello Fresh to not partner with them in the future, because it reflects poorly on their brand to partner with companies that don't hold the same customer service standards they do.

WINC team if you read this, I hope you actually do something about it and re-evaluate your customer service philosophy and make your cancellation process easier. If you have a great product and great service and are generous with your customers, then retention and new customer acquisition will get a lot easier because they will love what you do and spread the word.

 

All-Around Wine Club Rating:

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 Firstleaf Wine Club stacks up on these traits.

Ratings by Wine Club Trait

Ratings by Wine Club Buyer

WINC Wine Club