Maybe you have already drank your way through the pinot noir section of your local wine store, are susceptible to option overload or are looking to be introduced to a wide range of varietals to expand your palate. That’s where wine clubs come in, each supplying a monthly set of new-to-you bottles sourced by experts for your drinking pleasure. There’s no easier way to ensure you’ll have a consistently restocked supply of wine on hand, delivered to your door.
But with so many wine clubs out there, how do you find the one (or two or three) that best caters to your specific interests and imbibing goals? We’ve rounded up several with different focuses. You’re sure to find one that satisfies your needs.
Customized to Your Tastes
If you want more control than usual over the wine you receive—if you know exactly what you like or want to receive shipments customized to your personal flavor preferences—these clubs are for you. They can also be great for those looking to expand their wine horizons, as they take the risk out of trying new bottles since they’re expressly selected for your palate.?
If you want the most customizable way to get wine, Cellars Wine Club is for you. Want just one new bottle a month? Looking only for sparkling wine? Love California wine? Only want the most highly rated bottles? You can pick from a dozen different options, starting at $29 a month, and there’s no obligation to keep going or a membership fee tying you down.?
With Winc, what starts with a quiz to determine your palate in general (how much do you like citrus or mushrooms? Do you take your coffee black or with cream?) winds up with you receiving a variety of wine each month, selected to satisfy your particular flavor preferences. With bottles starting around $13 on average, Winc helps you discover wine from all over the world, including many the company has sourced and bottled itself. That’s what’s cool about Winc: What began as a wine club has blossomed into a unique winery that uses feedback from its members to constantly seek out its next bottles. There’s no fee to join; you just pay for the bottles you receive, with a minimum order of three bottles per month.?
Another club that starts with a quiz (more categorized around types of chocolate, tea or juice, even asking how you best like to enjoy wine, such as with a fine meal or with close friends), Bright Cellars then suggests wines it thinks you’ll like. If a cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay pops up and you don’t like cabs or chards, click a button, and it’ll recommend different bottles. The options may not always mesh with your usual preferences, but if you’re feeling trusting, you may find you actually like varietals you thought you didn’t. Bottles cost around $20 each, and you can choose to skip any month.
While your initial Firstleaf Wine Club box is chosen for you ($40 for the first shipment), you then get to rate the wines you receive, helping the club’s algorithm get to know your tastes better to aid in future selections. Shipments do get more expensive after the first one (usually around $90 a month, including shipping), but you (ideally) end up getting wine that matches your palate better. Firstleaf mostly sources from award-winning wineries and winemakers from around the world, so you can rest assured you’re getting some good juice in each box.?
These clubs are best for those with niche interests, such as natural wines, smaller producers, a specific wine region or a particular style of wine.?
Carrie Wynkoop founded Cellar 503 when she realized most other wine clubs overlooked smaller Oregon wineries, which she loves. Cellar 503 (its name references Portland’s area code) focuses on boutique wineries from around the state producing less than 10,000 cases per year. Will you get glorious Willamette Valley pinot noirs? Absolutely. You’ll also get wines from more under-the-radar Oregon growing regions like Elkton and Rogue Valley and discover many smaller winemakers planting grapes like zweigelt, tannat and arneis, usually known for growing elsewhere in the world. Pricing starts at $45 a month, and you can elect to receive two or four bottles in each shipment.?
Winestyr curates smaller-production wines you often won’t find in stores and usually highlights a different winery in each newsletter, giving these winemakers some due spotlight. You can buy direct from the website or join the club at prices starting at $79 per shipment, for which you can specify all red, all white or a mixed box. You can also choose whether you want to receive three or six bottles in each shipment and at which frequency; you’re not required to get a box each month, which allows for flexibility.?
For sparkling wine and rosé lovers, Vinley Market is the place to turn. This women-owned wine club works with sommeliers to source unique and interesting wines, generally organic and biodynamic, from regions around the world. You’ll likely get turned on to new wines you’ve never heard of, from different regions you may never have thought to explore. Each monthly box (choose between the Bubbles & Rosé Box or the Adventurer’s Box), at prices starting at $59, comes with two or three bottles, each with a card offering detailed information.
Not for novices, these clubs feature pricey and sometimes allocated selections handpicked by a master somm. SommSelect, founded by master sommelier Ian Cauble, features high-caliber wine from around the world. You can simply order the daily featured wine, which arrives complete with deep tasting notes and information, or opt in to any of three different monthly wine clubs: Drink Like a Somm (four wines per month for $99 plus shipping), The Somm Six (six higher-caliber wines intended for cellaring for $199 plus shipping) and Six Blind Wines (six wines wrapped in black tissue paper intended for blind tasting for $199 plus shipping).?
If you love Old World wines and truly enjoy hard-to-access bottles that are otherwise tough to get your hands on, VinConnect is your new favorite source. The company works with about 45 wineries throughout Europe, in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Rioja and Mosel Valley, plus one in Australia and another in Lebanon, to bring wines direct to consumers. These wines are released by allocation a few times a year, so when you get that email, jump on that order.?