Picked by Wine.com is a relatively new wine club; I am in the process of performing a full review, but in the meantime here’s what you need to know if you’re considering joining this wine club.
I have more than a decade of experience evaluating wine clubs, and this assessment includes all parts of the experience prior to receiving the wine itself.
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Picked is a different kind of personalized wine subscription — one that relies on wine professionals to choose wines for each customer, rather than using an algorithm to figure it out. The wines are selected from Wine.com’s inventory and you are billed the Wine.com price for each bottle in your shipment. Shipping is included but sales tax is extra where applicable. Pause, cancel, or update your subscription at any time.
This subscription is highly-flexible, allowing you to choose the frequency of shipments — monthly, every other month, or quarterly — set the precise mix of red and white wine, and set a preferred price per bottle by wine color.
Your shipment prices are variable based on your preferences and what the somm picks for you. Price options range from an average of $20 per bottle to an average of $40 per bottle. The cheapest subscription will be an average of $120 (ranging from $110-130 pre shipment).
Like other personalized wine subscriptions, it all starts with a quiz. The results of your quiz then are handed off to one of Wine.com’s personal sommeliers who will pick wines to suit your preferences. I submitted a fairly specific list of what I like to test their mettle. From my perspective, Picked is a dream club for Picky wine drinkers, so I really ought to test them!
I really like the quiz used by Picked because it meets you where you are rather than trying to shoehorn you into their idea of how to pick wines. It also assumes you know something about what you like, instead of asking you how you take your coffee, what kind of fruit you like, or what you drink when you’re out of wine (which is what the other personalized wine subscriptions ask you about). Here are some questions from the Picked quiz:
You’ll also get to choose specific grapes that you like, love, or could live without. After choosing all of your red and white wine grape preferences they provide a summary & give you the opportunity to be even more specific regarding wines they didn’t explicitly ask you about. An example of this is pictured below (these were my preferences when I signed up).
Later, after you received your wines, you can update your preferences on your Picked Settings page. Your somm will also see your ratings and the notes you write about any wines you choose to rate (both your Picks as well as other wines). They will then take all of that information into account when selecting your next round of Picks.
Compared with other personalized wine subscriptions, Wine.com is offering something unique here. All of the other well-known personalized subscriptions require you to trust an algorithm to pick your wine from a pre-selected inventory of inexpensive wine. Wine.com’s approach lets you set the budget and utilizes their industry-leading inventory of fine wine — 50,000 different wines from over 8,000 wineries — to fulfill your desires.
Some perks that come Picked by Wine.com:
Seven days prior to selecting your future shipment, Wine.com will check in via email to make sure you're ready for the shipment. If you need to skip a box or pause your subscription, this is the perfect opportunity to do it.
I see three drawbacks to the Wine.com subscription service:
The biggest reason to join a wine club in general is that you’re not required to do your own research to find great wine to drink at a great price. For people with the time, inclination, and knowledge, maybe that research is a fun undertaking. For most of us, having a trusted source of regular wine deliveries is a useful life hack.
Wine subscriptions are super popular among wine lovers, especially in areas where a diverse wine selection isn’t readily available. They’re also much loved among busy people who don’t want to learn a lot about wine and just prefer to enjoy it.
Like some other personalized subscriptions that preceded this one, this Wine.com subscription is PERFECT for picky wine drinkers. You want a Malbec club? You’ve got it. You only like Sauvignon Blanc? No problem. Want to explore Napa Cab for a while? They’ve got you covered. Want to be earth-friendly? You can ask them to pick only organic or sustainable wines for you.
It’s also a great wine club for novices. As you discover what you like, you can leave feedback for your personal sommelier to refine your selections, branch out into new areas, and feel more confident in your wine purchases in general.
Wine.com ships wine to: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, WyomingJoin Picked by Wine.com