Last updated: December 4, 2018
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Tasting wine is subjective, but being a great wine club is not. At this website a wine-loving human being uses 11 rating factors to evaluate more than 250 wine clubs from more than 50 different companies including wine quality, wine quality-price ratio, discount opportunities, customer service record, satisfaction guarantee, giftworthiness, and more. 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 tens of thousands of customers who have bought wine clubs based on our recommendations over the last nine years. We re-check the numbers every month to ensure no wine of the month club stays on the list that doesn't belong here.
Buying a Wine Gift? Check out our Best Wine Club Gifts list for gifting recommendations.
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.
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.
VineBox is the first of its kind, a wine by the glass club. We love the wines that get delivered from VineBox and think it's the perfect way to enjoy red wine if any of the following apply to you: You typically only drink a glass a time, you are counting calories but still want a little indulgence without wasting a whole bottle, your weeknight policy is to cut back on alcohol, you wish you had more time to go wine tasting, or you want to expand your wine preferences and knowledge. It also makes a terrific gift.
Great for Red Wine Lovers: Not content to merely develop a new technology to transfer any old wine into convenient and sleek single-serving pours, their sommelier excels at choosing interesting red wines, primarily from lesser known wine regions in Europe's biggest wine producing-countries — France, Italy, and Spain. Their "Current Edition" is right up any somm-wannabe's alley: choose between a Bordeaux Vertical (2010, 2011, and 2012) or a Nebbiolo neighbor comparison (Barolo and Alba).
Great for White Wine Lovers: Not content to merely develop a new technology to transfer any old wine into convenient and sleek single-serving pours, their sommelier excels at choosing interesting white wines, primarily from lesser known wine regions in Europe's biggest wine producing-countries — France, Italy, and Spain.
Love a wine you tasted? You can purchase more glasses and (sometimes) full-size bottles from VineBox through your membership page.
Wine Price: VineBox's wine subscription doesn't make it easy to do a cost comparison as it would be if it were a regular wine subscription. Their new format means you're getting a little over a bottle of wine in each shipment (900 ml vs 750 ml which is a standard wine bottle). The wines themselves sell between $30-60 a bottle. You're definitely paying a premium, but what you get for that premium makes up for it: wine tasting at home, sommelier-selected wines, excellent packaging, and in the case of the new format, wine education good enough for sommeliers.
Gift info: For certain kinds of wine drinkers, VineBox is one of the coolest red wine gifts you can give. Anyone with a curious palate who likes to try new wines will love this gift. It's also available as a white wine only and mixed wine gift subscription.
Firstleaf, a personalized wine club, is a rising star on our Best Wine Clubs lists. As wine subscriptions go, they have mastered all of the critical components to providing an outstanding service: a guarantee, convenience, plenty of preferences to set, and customer service.
Who It's For: Firstleaf is perfect for new wine drinkers starting to explore the world of wine, wine drinkers who want easy-drinking everyday wine at an affordable price, and wine drinkers who are curious to discover wines that fit their palate to a tee.
Wine Quality: While we weren't bowled over with artisanal wine, that's not what Firstleaf is about. Firstleaf is about delivering value at $15 a bottle, which usually means large-production wines that are consistent and palate-friendly. Compared with similarly-priced wine of the month clubs, we think the wine is generally better than the others.
Wine Price: $15 for a bottle of wine is a great price. The question we always ask ourselves is this: could we get a better or more interesting wine for $15 at our local grocery store? In this case, the answer is definitely no. Most stores don't offer the selection of grape varieties and wine regions that Firstleaf does, much less in the under $15 price category.
Overview: A super-fun Pacific Northwest wine and coffee subscription featuring artful labels born of celebrity and tastemaker collaborations. Each quarterly shipment also includes a t-shirt with extra goodies around the holidays.
What We Love: Among other things, we love the uniqueness factor. This isn't a wine club where a celebrity slaps his or her name on the marketing. This is a winery that collaboratively produces with celebrities, and then lets the celeb pick the art for the bottle. Sometimes the celebs even design the labels themselves. This all adds up to a lot of personality and a feeling of being on the inside of the Hollywood industry.
Could Be Better: This wine club does not yet offer everything we expect from a top-rated wine subscription box. We'd like to see more information about what's in the bottle to accompany the quirky insider anecdotes, the ability to personalize shipments (choose a wine color), gift subscriptions, and an end to the two-shipment minimum (there's a $40 early cancellation fee).
Overview: The Plonk wine club has always been among our favorites because of the proprietor's preference for quirky but delectable wines. Etty Lewensztain sources interesting wines made from grapes and regions you've never heard of (and some you have). Whether you choose four or twelve bottles you'll be glad you picked Plonk.
What We Love: Lately we've come to think of Plonk as the "Somm club" that isn't run by a sommelier. With a focus on wines under $30 that will delight any curious wine drinker, we think the value is top notch. Also, unlike most wine clubs, if you're thinking of going red-only or white-only, you'll actually get four different selections (three of each if you upgrade to 12 bottles).
Could Be Better: When it comes to Plonk we have little to ask for in the improvement department. Because the wines are so great, we'd really like to see a more giftworthy version of the subscription which includes gift wrap and maybe even store credits so gift recipients can order more of their favorites.
Overview: We really enjoy this International wine club where each shipment contains six different wines from a single wine region somewhere in the world. Of the many clubs that offer an International selection, most aren't themed for additional wine discovery and education.
What We Love: We received shipments of this wine club for years because it always kept a good variety of food-friendly and affordable wines on hand, we never opened a bottle we were disappointed with, and we feel this club offers a good quality-to-price ratio.
Could Be Better: We'd love to see customers rewarded for buying bigger allotments. "Buy more save more" pricing would be a great addition to the line-up. We'd also really like to see the shipping costs come down dramatically.
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: These are the highest level wines you can get in a membership from The Original Wine of the Month Club ™, generally well-made wines from well-known areas. At $25-30 a bottle, it's competitive with several other wine clubs on price, but the wines are little more "traditional" and not discovery oriented.
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: This is our favorite wine subscription from Wine of the Month Club, but we think the marketing text on their website is a little overhyped. Expect very good wines for these prices, but "Special Occasion" seems too generous of a description.
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.