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Last updated: November 26, 2017
What is the best wine club? While wine taste is subjective, being a great wine club is not. At this website a wine-loving human being uses 11 ratings characteristics to evaluate more than 250 wine clubs from more than 50 different companies. These traits are: wine quality, wine quality-price ratio, discount opportunities, customer service record, satisfaction guarantee, giftworthiness, convenience, personalization, curation, uniqueness, and educational materials.
The wine clubs on this page are our best overall wine clubs. If you're buying for yourself and you're not looking for a niche wine club, one of these top 5 online wine clubs will make you glad you signed up for monthly (or quarterly) wine deliveries. No other list of best wine clubs online is as well-researched as ours is. We guarantee it.
Our ratings system is mostly objective, but which wine clubs we pick to be labeled as "the best" go through a much more stringent level of scrutiny — the opinions of our readers. The wine clubs that make this list have at least a 4.5 star rating AND are consistent top sellers among the thousands of customers who have bought wine clubs based on our recommendations over the last seven years. But we update it every month just to make sure no wine club stays on the list that doesn't belong there.
Need a different kind of wine club? Best Wine Club Gifts, Best Red Wine Clubs, Best California Wine Clubs, or see all of our best wine clubs lists.
Winc (previously known as Club W) appears high on many of our Best lists and we're happy to see it stay #1 on our Best Overall Wine Clubs list month after month. Why? Because it really is the best wine club for most wine consumers. Here's how our thinking goes:
Wine Quality: We find the wines at Winc to generally be of much better quality than comparably priced wines at grocery stores, wholesale stores, and fine wine stores across the country. When we talk about quality we're thinking of the balance of body, acidity, tannins, and fruit. We're thinking about whether or not the wine tastes like the grapes it says are in it. As a general rule, we're not crazy about their $13 red wines, though they've gotten better over time. If you typically spend $20-25 on red wines, you should expect to pay $17-22 for comparable red wines from Winc.
Wine Selection: While you can rely on Winc's algorithm to select wines for your palate, you can also hand pick every bottle in every box you receive. Winc's wine represents a broad spectrum of wine regions, grape varieties, blends, and styles, with a heavy focus on California. While 60% of Winc's wine selection is priced at $13, they offer a number of interesting premium wines priced $14-35 which increase in quality as the prices go up, always maintaining a high quality-to-price ratio. These prices are a members-only discount below their normal retail prices. You can purchase Winc at retail at Whole Foods, in restaurants and fine wine stores — and their popular Summer Water rosé was just featured on the Today Show.
Loyalty Customer Discounts: In addition to members-only pricing, Winc gives you ample opportunity to save more money. Load your monthly box with four or more bottles, get free shipping — load it with 12 and save 10%. Rate 10 wines, get $10 in credits. Really love Winc? Buy your credits in advance and save up to 20%.
Gifting: We have heard from some customers that they don't want their recipients to have to do any work. We don't think picking out your own wines online is work, and if you agree, Winc makes a super great gift for wine lovers. Gifts are sold as gift cards in fixed increments starting at $60. Also, each shipment includes a beautiful "book" with in-depth wine education materials which makes for a fun read while they're sipping on their gift.
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We love The California Wine Club and their Premier Series is the perfect way to get introduced to their wine membership. In addition to a delightful selection of boutique California wine, never mass-produced or bulk wines, there are lots of extras that make this club an excellent way to discover California wine at a very fair price.
Wine Quality: One of the things to love about The California Wine Club is an obsessive focus on selecting high-quality wines that appeal to many palates. Fortunately this doesn't just limit us to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay — you'll also find delightful Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rhone-style whites, too.
Wine Price: Fine California wine, the kind that comes from boutique wineries and has a specific wine region or even a vineyard name on it, doesn't come cheap, but The California Wine Club leverages relationships dating back 20 years to get access to the best of each vintage, and then transfers that exceptional value to their wine club members. If $27 per bottle, including shipping, is still too much but you really want to join, try their new Case Club Series. By getting 12 bottles per shipment, you save big on both wine and shipping cost.
Customer Service: When you join (or give) the California Wine Club, you get access to a personal wine consultant who can make most of your wine dreams come true. They can help with food and wine pairing suggestions as well as help finding wines that fit your palate. And naturally they help customers with every type of service issue you can imagine — from replacing bad bottles to re-routing shipments, vacation holds and storage, to wine country travel plans.
Giving a gift? The California Wine Club makes for a fantastic gift. Typically given for three months, there are frequently deals on Premier Series Gifts, our review page has the details. Wines come gift wrapped in the first shipment and all shipments include the full-color magazine Uncorked providing detailed background on all of that month's selections, including recipe pairing ideas often from the wineries. Last minute? You can customize a gift notice to print or email to your recipient so they have something to open on the big day.
The Gold Medal Wine Club showcases award-winning California wines and the Gold Series is their entry-level series, perfect both for gifting and getting hand-picked California wine for yourself delivered monthly. Their focus on wines that have won awards is nice, though not the only factor to consider as many small wineries don't enter their wines in competitions or send them out to be rated by wine critics.
Wine Quality: As mentioned above, Gold Medal only offers award-winning wines through their wine club and their online store. Their selections always represent diverse California wine regions and grape varieties. A quick peek at their store inventory today left me impressed with the selection of wineries they're working with and the number of Estate wines available. We do a lot of wine tasting in California and we're pretty sure drinking these wines will make you glad joined.
Wine Price: The regular prices for the Gold Series at Gold Medal Wine Club range from good to great, it really depends on a number of factors, but you'll never pay winery retail. A great perk to ordering from Gold Medal is their focus on rewarding customers for buying more. Buy 6-months or more and save at least 5% (on Gold Series). Upgrade the subscription to four bottles and you'll save 10%. Please note: When you upgrade to four bottles you get two each of red and white or four each of all red or all white.
Giving a gift? Without a doubt, Gold Medal wins on gift packaging, and our readers get a special deal: Free artist-designed gift box ($7.99 value) and matching gift note in the box, plus a bonus bottle of Reserve Meritage ($24 value) in the first shipment. Shopping last minute? The Gold Medal Wine Club has customizable gift cards you can print or email so they have something to open on the big day.
Plonk Wine Club has been one of our favorite wine clubs for years. Their proprietor and wine buyer, Etty, goes out of her way to procure excellent, interesting, and, where possible, biodynamic wines to delight her customers. As a serious foodie, she also has chef-paired recipes for each selection.
Wine Selection: Here at WineClubReviews.net we have what we like to call "curious palates." We always want to try new things and we sometimes get bored with the selection of wines available through grocery stores. Plonk is the perfect wine club for people like us. This month's selection includes a Zweigalt (red) from Austria, a white Rhone Blend from Mendocino County, a red blend from Portugal, and a rosé of Pinot Noir from Sonoma County. If we received this shipment, we'd wish we were in the 12-bottle club so we could enjoy each of these over and over again. Plonk's Mixed Club is available in 2, 4, and 12-bottle shipments and you can choose red, white, or mixed.
Wine Quality: Plonk only works with high-quality wines, it's a point of pride for Etty to select the best wines around the world that retail for less than $30, and then bring those beautiful wines to a market who would otherwise never see them, month after month, year after year. Each wine is distinctive, balanced, and shows "typicity" (which means it tastes like the grapes it says are on the bottle). Each wine also has character, creating enjoyment and adventure in every sip.
Wine Price: Plonk, despite its name, does not offer cheap wine, so you can't get it at cheap prices, but it's really quite affordable for the amazing selection of wine you receive. Their 4-bottle wine club (recommended) is $94.99 per shipment ($23.75 per bottle), with free shipping. You can get that down to almost $20 per bottle if you join the 12-bottle club. Bonus! Save $10 on your first order with promo code NEWMEMBER and get a free double-jointed corkscrew in your first shipment — our favorite corkscrew, and we've got dozens.
Winecrasher is a small wine start-up who wants to bring highly-rated wine to market at the lowest price possible. Their focus is on quality, price, and making their customers happy. It's a bit like Hotwire (the travel discount site): You know the vintage, the grape, the origin, the critic's score, average retail price, and your price — but not the wine — before you buy. Then when you buy it, you find out what you ordered. It works for us for hotels and it's really not much different than picking out already-rated wines and comparison shopping until you find the right price — except they do all of the work for you.
Wine Selection: Normally to check the wine selection in a wine club, we just visit their online store and see which wines they've got for sale. Since Winecrasher keeps the wineries a secret (the wineries would never let them sell wines this cheap if they were published to the open market), that's a little trickier. But we see enough here to know it's an eclectic mix of wines from around the world, including many blends and a European-heavy inventory.
Wine Quality: Every wine sold by Winecrasher has been rated at least 89 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, or Antonio Galloni's Vinous Media. These are leading wine publications who have not been caught accepting money for increased ratings (as some of the other publications have), and therefore 89 points indicates a certain level of quality that will be consistent. That said, many of their wines are rated higher than that, too. The shipment we received had the expected quality.
Wine Price: Winecrasher offers a Best-Price Guarantee on all of their wines. When we spot checked these during the time of our initial review, their prices were good, and as advertised, the lowest available, but often not by much. Wine prices are fluid in the market — as new vintages come up older ones get marked down, and sometimes wine stores offer loss-leaders to get people in the door. Most importantly, we think the prices are very fair for what you're getting. Shipping is $5 in California and you pay the actual cost of shipping everywhere else.
The best red wine can be pricey so pick a trusted wine club with a satisfaction guarantee. Quality & service is how you get on our list of best red wine clubs.
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!
Some California wine is legendary. Wine clubs featuring CA wine range from cheap & cheerful to outstanding. We'll steer you to the right California wine clubs.
Find budget nirvana by combining two smart wine shopping tactics: Buy by the case, get a subscription. These are the best quarterly case clubs on the market.
Like most things, one size does not fit all in wine gifts. Our reviews outline the best wine club for gifts. We also have lists for red and white wine gifts.
In addition to the selection of best wine clubs based on general consumer preferences and what our readers like, we've gone ahead and cherry-picked the monthly wine clubs we'd most likely join if we weren't getting the subscriptions for free.