Last updated: June 27, 2017
Not everyone who loves wine can afford premium prices, so if you want wine for a dime, this list of best affordable wine clubs is a great place to start. Whether you're looking for a wine of the month club or something delivered less often, our wine club reviews examine quality-to-price ratio (QPR in the wine biz), price per bottle, shipping costs—and of course, the wine selection.
The definition of affordable is subjective—as is the definition of good wine for that matter—but these selections are geared toward value-shoppers. We focus this list on wines delivered for less than $15 and you'll notice there are rarely 2-bottle wine clubs on it—to get the most value from a wine club order bigger shipments and have them delivered less often if you don't drink that much every month.
“Affordable” not the main factor in your wine club decision? Try our Top 5 Best Overall Wine Clubs.
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 wine club 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 club we know of — as noted above, we've set the standard of affordability at $15 per bottle or less, delivered. This is based on U.S. consumer spending habits buying offline in addition to online.
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 club on this list, except maybe #2.
Wine 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.
Typically the best deals in wine are when it is purchased by the case (12 bottles to a box). Since many people don't drink more than a bottle a week, 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 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 also costs $170 per shipment, including shipping.
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!
WSJwine, affiliated with the Wall Street Journal but not actually a part of their company, continues to be hugely popular in the wine club market and at $170 per case (12 bottles, price includes shipping), it certainly qualifies as affordable by our standards.
We've been drinking and reviewing wines from the WSJwine club since 2009. WSJwine is a leader in this market, taking a model that worked for their parent company, Laithwaites, in the U.K. and bringing it to the U.S. to maximize their scale. And scale they have...
Unlike some of the other wine clubs we work with, we don't have a lot of contact with WSJwine and it's always through at least one layer of intermediaries, sometimes more, so we can't vouch for their methods or how they get the prices so low. Our assumption is that the European wines they offer (mostly Italian and French) are purchased very cheaply in mass quantities and drive the low prices. Plus, when you're as big as they are, you can run on much narrower profit margins and pass those savings along to customers.
Despite the popularity of this wine club, driven in large part by their fantastic introductory offers — 15-bottle cases of wine for $69.99 + $19.99 shipping — we consistently find the wines to be of average quality. Some are better than average, some are worse than average, and most are just average. You know the old saying, "you get what you pay for."
That said, the prices are good and for folks who drink more than a bottle a week, they often have really great deals on cases you can buy between club shipments.
Please note! When you sign up for the introductory offer, you are enrolling in the wine club. And a word of caution: Shipping and cancellation issues are common. If you're detail-oriented and keep track of shipments you'll be receiving, you'll be fine. If not, this may not be the best wine club for you.
This is the original Wine of the Month Club® (with the registered trademark) and it's still run by the same family that invented the concept way back in 1972 (it's been around longer than I have!). I mention this because the wine industry has changed just a wee bit since then, and now everyone and their brother has started a subscription box service, but the original Wine of the Month Club® is still kicking — with members that have been a part of it since the 70s!
You know what happens when you run a growing wine business for 45 years? You get really really good at it. You have figured out what kind of wine people want, you have figured out how to get wine at the best prices, you have perfected the boxes you send your shipments out in, you have improved your wine education until it's as good as it's going to be. And then you just keep being really good at all of it.
When it comes to affordability, the Wine of the Month Club®'s Cellar Series is the pinnacle of their offerings. This is a 6-bottle version of their two-bottle Classic Series, and as you know by now, the best deals are on volume purchases. You don't get a break on the per bottle cost by upgrading to six, because honestly it's not getting any lower than $11.98 a bottle, but you do get a break on shipping — a 35-55% break depending on where you're shipping to.
Insider tip: Save 10% when you prepay for a Cellar Series "gift" with our exclusive coupon code BESTWINE at checkout.
TastingRoom.com by Lot18 does things their own way, but their pricing model definitely puts them squarely in the affordable camp if you're buying six or 12 bottles per shipment.
The primary thing that sets TastingRoom.com apart from other wine clubs is proprietary tasting kits. You've likely seen these advertised on Groupon, possibly on TV, and in various places around the web. The tasting kit is six mini bottles which are used to obtain your wine profile, which they can then use to pick wines they think you'll like. In reality, the tasting kit is more pomp than circumstance but after a few shipments, if you rate your wines, they really do get better at picking wines for your palate.
Super important!! If you sign up for the kit, you are automatically enrolled in their wine club and a 12-bottle shipment will be charged to your card and shipped within 24 hours of filling out the online tasting profile! Don't say we didn't tell you so!
What TR lacks in a smooth experience from the beginning they make up for in exceptional convenience. You can control every aspect of your account online, whether you're upgrading or downgrading the size or frequency of your shipments, changing the red/white balance in your shipments, pausing shipments until a specific date or asking for your next shipment "now."
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Wine clubs are the white wine lover's best friend. Excellent & affordable sums it up. There's so much more than Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, so join one!
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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.