Firstleaf vs TastingRoom.com

Not sure which personalized wine subscription you want to join? This page compares Firstleaf and TastingRoom.com side-by-side using my detailed ratings system. The ratings are based on my experiences with each club — including tasting the wine over multiple shipments.

Which is better, Firstleaf or TastingRoom.com?

I prefer Firstleaf to TastingRoom.com. Both subscriptions sell private label wine, but I find the quality and variety at Firstleaf to be superior to that of TastingRoom.com. TastingRoom.com is slightly more customizable, as you can replace any bottle in your box, but they provide so little information about each wine that you can’t be sure what you’re drinking. See why.

What are the key differences between Firstleaf and TastingRoom.com?

The biggest differences between Firstleaf and TastingRoom.com are: Cost per shipment, Price of wine, Educational materials, Convenience features, Delivery frequency

What are the key similarities between Firstleaf and TastingRoom.com?

Firstleaf and TastingRoom.com are quite similar in these areas: Satisfaction guarantee, Number of bottles per shipment, Quality of wine, Giftworthiness

FYI: I find great wine deals so you don’t have to. To keep me on the hunt, I earn a commission when you buy wine based on my recommendations.

Firstleaf

Firstleaf Wine Subscription

TastingRoom.com

TastingRoom.com
Do they ship to you?
AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA IA ID IL IN KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MO MT ND NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC OH OK OR PA SC SD TN TX VT VA WA WV WI WY AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA ID IL IN IA KS LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OR PA RI SC SD TN VA WA WV WI WY
Overall rating
This rating reflects all of the wine club elements below and is weighted for personalized wine clubs.
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
4.4 stars 2.3 stars
Wine styles
Choose any: Red, white, or mixed with an option to add rosé & sparkling Choose any: Red, white, or mixed with an option to add rosé & sparkling
Wine regions
Choose either or both: USA, International Choose either or both: USA, International
What to know
Firstleaf is an algorithm-based personalized wine club where you have limited ability to intervene in the selection. By delivering a range of wine grapes, regions, and styles, Firstleaf is always a top contender for a personalized wine subscription.

One of Firstleaf’s strong suits is their huge breadth of inventory. There are hundreds of different wines available at any time, increasing the odds you’ll get something you like.

Firstleaf relies heavily on slick marketing which says their wines all being award-winning, but this isn’t a good measure of a wine club.
Firstleaf is an algorithm-based personalized wine club where you have limited ability to intervene in the selection. By delivering a range of wine grapes, regions, and styles, Firstleaf is always a top contender for a personalized wine subscription.

One of Firstleaf’s strong suits is their huge breadth of inventory. There are hundreds of different wines available at any time, increasing the odds you’ll get something you like.

Firstleaf relies heavily on slick marketing which says their wines all being award-winning, but this isn’t a good measure of a wine club.
Best wine clubs
The editorial lists where I include this wine club and its ranking on that list.
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
This wine club is not on any lists

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A Personalized Wine Subscription

Personalization Rating
This rating reflects the degree of personalization available, not how well I think they do at matching wines to my taste preferences. Why? Each service requires a number of shipments before they hone in on your tastes (usually at least 3 shipments) and the quality of the personalization is, well, personal. Some services might be really good at your tasting profile but terrible at mine (and vice versa). This is why I don’t rate the ability of wine clubs to personalize your selection, rather I share my own experiences and let you be the judge.
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
4 stars 4 stars
Starting with a quiz during signup, Firstleaf uses an algorithm to match your personal tastes. Their ability to match gets better over time, when you rate the wines you receive. If they recommend something you don’t want to try, you can swap out that bottle. You can make up to six swaps per shipment.

If you aren’t sure if you’re getting the most out of your Firstleaf subscription, you can ask for free help from a certified wine professional who can make changes to your settings behind the scenes to enhance your experience.

I was never super impressed with the matching of the wines I received, but I recently re-took the quiz and found their recommendations to be much more spot on than my original results. I believe this reflects what they’ve learned from their previous customers.
TastingRoom brags about being the first personalized wine subscription, and their initial approach — which was widely panned by customers — is still their approach. They send you a tasting kit with miniature bottles which you rate, so they can get a sense of what you like to drink.

Other than the algorithmic personalization tied to your "tasting profile," your ability to further personalize your shipments is limited.

I never found my recommended wines matched my palate well.

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At Signup

Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
Number of Bottles
6 6
Delivery Frequency
Monthly Monthly
Introductory Offer

For You Save $40 — Try Firstleaf and get 6 bottles of wine selected just for you for just $39.95. Shipping is included. Click for This Deal.

You must accept their Tasting Kit for $14.99 as part of your first shipment, but they give you a 33% discount on your first shipment (worth $22.50)

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Subscription Cost

Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
Firstleaf (6 bottles) TastingRoom.com (6 bottles)
Total Price per Shipment
$89.93 $94.99
Price per Bottle Including Shipping
$14.99 $15.83
Price per Shipment
$79.98 $75.00
Shipping Cost
$9.95 $19.99
Price per Bottle Before Shipping
$13.33 $12.50

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Wine Ratings

Firstleaf Wine Review TastingRoom.com Wine Review
Quality of Wine
This rating reflects how the wine is sourced and produced, as well as how it compares to similar wine clubs.
3.5 stars 3 stars
Firstleaf wines are "private label" of generally equal quality to similarly-priced wine clubs. They offer a broad range of styles and wine regions, and the quality from each area varies slightly. While they claim their wines are award-winning, I believe this is a misdirection as these competitions are not comprehensive. Over the years I’ve tried many wines from TastingRoom.com and I almost always find them to be of average quality. They tend to taste too similar to me (meaning they don’t taste like the grapes on their labels).
Price of Wine
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
3.5 stars 2.5 stars
Firstleaf wine club wines are private label or exclusive so prices can’t be verified. The wine seems appropriately priced, based on my experience with similarly-priced wine clubs. As the wines from TastingRoom.com are all private label, there is no way to verify if their prices are fair. From a quality perspective, I find their wines a bit overpriced for what you get.

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Additional Ratings

Satisfaction Guarantee
This rating reflects the quality of the club’s satisfaction guarantee, not my guarantee of your satisfaction.
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
5 stars 5 stars
If you don’t like a wine you receive, you can contact customer service to get a credit applied to your account.

"If for any reason you’re not satisfied with a bottle, we’ll credit you for it, where legal. Just reach out to us at service@firstleaf.club within 30 days of delivery. We’ll credit you in the form of store credit for any disliked bottles! Please note - this excludes shipping charges."
If you don’t like a wine you receive, you can contact customer service to get a credit applied to your account.

"Everyone’s palate can be different, and we want to be sure that the premium wines we send delight you. So, if a wine doesn’t meet your expectations, please let us know and we’ll give you full credit toward your next retail purchase in our Bottle Shop."
Customer Service Record
This rating is a mix of my own experiences with their customer service team and general ratings from across the web over time.
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
4 stars 1 stars
Firstleaf has an impressive customer service record as recorded online. I subtracted two stars because I have had my own problems with not getting the wines I swapped out or getting a shipment right away when I wanted to wait for it. That said they always make it right without a fuss. TastingRoom.com has an abysmal online customer service record. This frequently stems from people who ordered the tasting kit and didn’t know they were signing up for a membership. Their new website makes it clear you are joining a wine club and they automatically add the tasting kit to your first order.
Educational Materials
This rating reflects how much information you get about the wine you receive.
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
3 stars 2 stars
In addition to finding information about each of your wines on the Firstleaf website, they also send out fun wine tasting cards for each wine in your box. They provide a limited view into the wine region and the grapes in the wine, but their other wine info is helpful: Body, Acidity, Sweetness, Fruit, and Tannins. They also offer generalized food pairing ideas and a place to put your own tasting notes. The tasting notes for TastingRoom.com are all online. The new website just launched and there is very little info about each wine. Definitely not enough to help you learn about the wine you’re drinking.
Convenience
A subscription should be easier than shopping at the store. That means you have control over when and where deliveries occur and that it is easy to make changes to your account online.
Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
5 stars 3 stars
Choose a delivery date?
Yes Yes
Skip a shipment any time?
Yes, skip shipments whenever you want Yes, skip shipments whenever you want
Fully manage account online
Yes Yes
Cancel online
Yes No
Choose alternate delivery location
Yes No
Get SMS delivery updates from the club
No No
Get email delivery updates from the club
Yes Yes
Email reminders before card is charged
Yes Yes

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Available Upgrades

Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
Get free shipping
Increase your shipment to 12 bottles and get free shipping. You’ll get two each of six different wines in each box. n/a
Switch delivery frequency
Switch to deliveries every other month or quarterly, in addition to delivery on demand n/a
Upgrade to 12 bottles
n/a Get 12 bottles for $150 (2 each of 6 different wines)
Switch delivery frequency
n/a Switch to deliveries every other month or quarterly, in addition to delivery on demand

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Good for Gifts?

Firstleaf TastingRoom.com
Giftworthiness
(2.5 stars) (2.5 stars)
Gift options?
Yes Yes
Gift format
Electronic gift card Electronic gift card
Gift wrap
No No
Gift notification
Yes, an email is sent at time of purchase Yes, an email is sent at time of purchase

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Jessyca Frederick

Review by: Jessyca Frederick

After 12+ years trying 1000s of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs, Jessyca knows what it means to be a wine club worth joining. Her reviews can help you find a great wine club for you (or to give as a gift) at any budget and for any wine preference.