Last updated: November 1, 2018
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After almost 10 years of wine club reviews, we know why the best affordable wine clubs are better wine subscriptions than other inexpensive wine clubs.
Affordable wine of the month clubs on this list:
We Drink the Wine. We've received many shipments from every one of these wine clubs (except where noted) and keep close tabs on the quality of the wine.
Cheap Wine or Good Value? Some cheap wine clubs ship cheap wine. If your idea of affordable includes good value, try our Best Value Wine Clubs list instead.
Giving a gift? We note here whether a wine club makes a good gift, but you can also try our Best Wine Club Gifts list which takes into account how the gift is presented.
Winc appears on many of our Best Wine Clubs lists for a good reason — it's a great wine club. They're so great because they think of their subscription customers as their favorite customers, bestowing up on these loyal wine drinkers their best prices, their best savings offers, and the coolest specials.
Winc is #1 on the Best Affordable list because it's also the most affordable wine of the month club we know of — as noted above, we've set the standard of affordability at $17 per bottle or less, delivered.
In addition to very affordable pricing — wines start at $13 per bottle and roughly 60% of their inventory is available at this price — Winc offers our readers a rare $25 discount on your first shipment, free shipping on every order of four or more bottles, and industry-leading levels of personalization.
Some other things we really like about Winc include additional savings opportunities like getting $10 in credits for rating 10 wines, saving 10% on orders of 12 bottles or more, and pre-buying credits at a discount of up to 20% off. We also love their focus on environmental sustainability and of course, a 100% satisfaction guarantee — "Never pay for a bottle you don't like."
The Caveat: While we think the red wines priced $18 and up are a good value, we typically find the $13 reds to be lacking. This is true of every wine of the month club on this list, except #3.
Winc makes a great gift! We've heard from some people that they'd rather not give a gift where the recipient has to pick their own wines. They don't have to at Winc, but they can if they want to. We love this. Gift memberships are given as gift cards in amounts starting at $60.
We think Firstleaf is a great choice for an affordable wine of the month club. At $15 a bottle (includes shipping), we find the wine to be better quality than most of the other wine subscription boxes in this price range.
Firstleaf is a personalized wine club. This means the wines you receive are selected for you based on what they know about your preferences. Like other personalized clubs, you start your membership with a palate quiz, and then you rate your wines so they can learn about what you like. This is different than a curated club which sends all of their customers the same wines.
From what we can tell, the Firstleaf wine-selection technology is more sophisticated than other popular clubs like WSJwine or TastingRoom.com. They leverage a great deal of data science, and even chemical profiling of their wines, to get better matches to your preferences. Firstleaf also uses a much broader inventory of wines, further increasing their chances of picking the right wines for your preferences.
Like most wine clubs featuring inexpensive wine, the white wine is superior to the red wine. Unlike most cheaper wine clubs, Firstleaf also lets you opt in to rosé and sparkling wine — which we love. You can choose California wine, International wine, or a mix (first select during the palate quiz, but you can change this any time). You can also specify how many of each type of wine you'd like (for example, instead of 3 whites and reds, you can do 2 whites and 4 reds).
After you sign up, you can change your shipment frequency to every two months or every three months, and you can change this at any time, making it easy to plan around company or travel plans.
We love the "try before you buy" option. $20 gets you a 3-bottle wine shipment to check out their quality and see if the subscription suits you. While your introductory shipment contains 3 bottles, future shipments are 6 bottles and you are automatically enrolled in the wine club when you order the introductory wine pack.
Martha Stewart is in the wine business now. As the world's best-known consummate host, it doesn't come as a big shock that she'd want to put her stamp on how to drink and serve wine, too — her slogan is "Pour the right wine. Enjoy the right wine." The Martha Stewart Wine Company is essentially a partnership between a large wine club provider and her brand, and together they're bringing great Martha-approved wine deals to the market, in the form of regular wine sales and a wine club membership.
This wine club went straight to our Best Affordable Wine Clubs page because, well, it is affordable and it offers similar quality to some of the other wine clubs on this list. How does Martha manage to ship good wine at these prices? Well, it starts with Martha herself tasting every single wine that's sold under her brand name (really, she does). There are three great ways to buy Martha Stewart Wine:
The Half Case Club is six bottles of wine delivered every six weeks (perfect for people who drink roughly one bottle a week or just want to supplement their current wine-buying habits). Regular shipments cost $87.99 each, including shipping, and they have a terrific introductory offer of 45% off — just $49.99 for the first shipment of six bottles.
The Case Wine Club is 12 bottles of wine delivered every eight weeks (perfect for people who drink a little more than one bottle a week or just want to supplement their current wine-buying habits). Regular shipments cost $159.98 each, including shipping, and they have a terrific introductory offer of 45% off — just $89.88 for the first shipment of 12 bottles.
Martha's Favorites is low-risk way to buy wine from Martha Stewart Wine Company without joining the wine club. Of all of the wines she tastes, she especially likes some of them, and these go in the Martha's Favorites section of the website. We see a lot of rosé and white wine in this section, as well as a nice selection of French and Italian red wine.
When you're looking at wine clubs priced under $15 per bottle, it's a good idea to consider TastingRoom by Lot 18. Most people are introduced to this wine club via their $6.95 wine tasting kit experience, but we think that's not the reason to try this wine club and it's definitely not the reason you'll stay with this wine club.
At $15 a bottle the wine should be good, but you shouldn't expect it to be great. Sometimes you'll find an absolute winner for your taste buds, and likewise you might find a stinker (which they'll replace at no cost to you), but in general, their wines are good for the price.
What makes TastingRoom.com stand out though is that they are a full-fledged online subscription service offering every convenience you might expect from such a service. Using data they collect, both from you when you rate your wines and from their other customers, they make recommendations for the wines in your monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly box. But here's where it gets good: you can preview and change every single wine in the box if you want to.
TastingRoom.com is also really good at notifications and online interactions. You'll be notified a few weeks before your shipment is ready to go out and you can easily change the shipment date, change the wines in the box, or even change the size/frequency of your deliveries. And... you can cancel online (which hardly anyone lets you do).
All that said, TastingRoom.com doesn't have a stellar reputation among consumers and we strongly recommend reading our full review before you sign up. Of course, since you've read this far, you know you'll be signing up for automatic wine club shipments when you order the tasting kit and since you're reading our website, you'll also know that the first shipment of wine you receive has no relationship to how you rated the bottles shipped in the tasting kit.
Typically the best deals in wine are when it is purchased by the case (12 bottles in a box). Since many people don't drink 12 bottles per month, case clubs are typically sold on a quarterly basis. Some of us, ahem, not mentioning any names, definitely drink more than a bottle a week and this Case Club Series from The California Wine Club is happy to oblige you with monthly or bi-monthly shipments if you're like us.
If you've been researching wine of the month clubs on your own, you've probably seen a lot of these case clubs around (sometimes on Groupon or other discount/closeout sites), and you may have noticed they're typically $170 per shipment once shipping is factored in. That roughs out to $14.17 per bottle delivered. This Case Club is just $173 per shipment, including shipping ($14.42 per bottle delivered).
Unlike other 12-bottle wine clubs (some of which are on this list), this Case Club will never send you what the industry not-so-affectionately terms "bulk wine." We go into detail elsewhere on this, but bulk wine is produced on a very large scale and substitutes finesse, character, and care for price. At WineClubReviews.net we're not super judgy about this as many people can't tell the difference or don't care about how the wine was produced as long as they can afford it and they like it. If you DO care about this, then THIS is the affordable wine club you're looking for.
Each shipment contains 8-11 boutique California wines (retailing in the $18-30 range) and 1-4 wines from the Pacific Northwest or even other places around the world.
There are no introductory offers for the Case Club Series from The California Wine Club. Priced 48% below what this wine club normally charges for these same wines, we think you can understand why. Plus, you get better value in every box than you'll find in the shipments from the other clubs.
Why compromise? At The California Wine Club you get a 100% Love It Guarantee and a personal wine concierge to go with your membership!
Overview: A surprisingly high-quality affordable wine club offering a comprehensive range of wine regions, grape varieties, and wine styles. 90+ Cellars is a modern-day négociant, sourcing wine at all different stages of production to produce wine at very low prices.
What We Love: We've been fans of the Ninety Plus brand since we started working in the wine business. We especially love the affordable pricing, which allows wine shoppers on a budget to explore premium wine regions and the grapes they're known for.
Could Be Better: We'd really like to see a white wine (and rosé and sparkling) only option, as Ninety Plus Cellars makes a variety of interesting whites, rosés, and sparkling wines.
Overview: Among all of the case clubs (12 bottles, typically shipped quarterly), this 90+ International wine club is among the best two deals. The other focuses only on California wine, but this one takes you on a journey around the world. Enjoy eclectic wines at the best prices you'll find.
What We Love: It's so easy to get into a wine rut and stick with what you know. Wired For Wine ® helps you break out of that rut in a low-cost, satisfaction guaranteed way so you can find new wines to love. Also, when compared with similarly-priced case clubs, this one stands out for wine quality in a big way.
Could Be Better: Normally we'd ask for a deal for this club, but it's already priced as low as it can go, so it's nearly perfect as is! We'd love to see a little bit of customization available and also monthly clubs for people who drink more than a bottle a week.
Overview: The Cellar Series is the 6-bottle upgrade for each of the Wine of the Month Club's standard 2-bottle series: Classic, Vintners, and Limited. If their selection works for you, you can now get six bottles per shipment, which lowers your per-bottle shipping cost.
What We Love: Paul Kalemkiarian, second generation proprietor at Wine of the Month Club ™ goes out of his way to source interesting wines, and in this price point that can be a challenge, particularly in finding California wines. So he leans on an International selection to bring you better value in this price range.
Could Be Better: For more info on the Cellar Series, we suggest reading our full reviews for The Classic Series, The Vintners Series, and The Limited Series.
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Looking for a cut above the regular wine selection in your next monthly club? Try one of these Premium wine clubs. The wines typically cost a little more, but you’ll find you have access to a more unique selection, and wines that are much harder to find at your local store or in another wine club.