Last updated: October 18, 2016
In the wine industry, there's no real difference between the traditional "wine club" and the new "subscription box" but there are certainly some wine of the month clubs who feel more like your next subscription service than your mom's wine of the month club.
Why have we called out these box services as being different than "wine clubs?" Because these are modern services with all the digital-era conveniences you expect. They offer extreme personalization (they all use palate profile systems to get the heart of your personal preferences), you can manage every aspect of your account online (including reviewing wines and reviewing past shipments to remember your favorites), and you get timely shipping notifications and tracking info—which is important because an adult has to sign for delivery of your wine.
Key differentiator: You can pick every bottle in your shipment. Or you can let them pick.
Winc (as Club W) led the way with the personalized subscription box service model for wine, and they're still leading the way in delivering great value at great prices. They've done this by rethinking their business model—they used to just buy existing wine and distribute it. Now they work directly with growers and winemakers to cut out the middlemen and save you money.
The selection of $13 Winc wines are typically meant to be consumed within a year of receiving them. Some of their higher-end wines, which you can add to you box at any time, could be aged. If you're a red wine lover, we think you should plan on choosing the premium reds instead of the $13 reds, they're worth the extra dough and we find they're better than anything you'd get at Bevmo in that price range.
Video sommelier reviews of the wines, a food pairing blog, and your choice of either palate-perfect selections or a totally custom box each month make this our top pick for a wine subscription box service. You can also choose any number of bottles for each shipment (with six or more you get free shipping) and skip a month whenever you want.
Care about the planet? Winc is your club. They have a sustainability mission to reduce carbon emissions by optimizing their supply chain, and they intentionally seek out organic growers and winemakers who focus on minimal intervention (some call this Natural wine).
Key differentiator: You can customize every aspect of how much wine you receive and when you receive it.
Tasting Room is another innovator in the wine space. Their box service (an offshoot of the Lot18 flash sale model) focuses on personalization through identifying your WinePrint (your wine preferences). While you can't choose the contents of your box, the wines you get are of a consistent quality and suited to your profile (after your first shipment)—and we think the wines, competitively priced with the other box services on this page, are of the same quality.
For the customer who wants to control everything, this is your club. After you sign up, you can switch your shipments to 2 or 6 bottles (though the standard 12-bottle case is the best value), and you can change this up whenever you want. You can also choose monthly or bi-monthly shipping options (quarterly is the default) and have wine shipped whenever you want (this is a really cool feature). You can even cancel online.
Tasting Room is definitely taking the "wine autoship" approach to their box service. They focus on figuring out what kinds of wine you like and making your regular wine subscription easy and convenient.
Key differentiator: You can customize your box to only contain varietals and regions you already know you love, and you can change the price point whenever you want.
Invino is a bespoke wine club—you customize just about every aspect of the service. It's designed for people who know what kind of wine they love and want to have it delivered regularly. They let you pick any selection of varietals and wine regions on the planet (we mean it!) and offer three monthly price points ($49, $89, $149). It's a little tricky to know exactly how many bottles you'll get but you'll never pay a penny more than your subscription charge (shipping is included). Your can choose monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly shipments and you can change it all up whenever you want.
They have three main levels: Everyday Wines, Premium & Upscale Wines, and Special Occasion Wines (you can upgrade and downgrade whenever you want, too), but they also have a bunch of pre-selected clubs for you to pick from if you like Napa Reds, Italian Wine, Dessert Wine, Rose (very popular and hard to come by in wine subscriptions), Pinot Noir, Champagne, and you can even go old school with Bordeaux or Burgundy.
The best red wine clubs are a mix of two things: the best wine clubs overall, and getting the most value on red wine (which can be expensive for the good stuff). We sifted through our independent wine club reviews to figure out which wine clubs are really the best red wine clubs. These red wine clubs are sure to delight.
Not surprisingly, there are a number of amazing values in white wine clubs. Since white wine is often cheaper than read for similar quality, we went even further with our best white wine clubs list, looking for the clubs that offer you interesting whites, not just good whites. Use our reviews to further refine your selection.
When it comes to California wine clubs, we've reviewed the most. And probably tasted the most, too. We live in California and frequently go wine tasting at the wineries. We know which producers deliver tremendous value, and then we use this information when we review all wine clubs featuring California wines.
Love wine but can’t really afford to drink the pricey stuff? No sweat. We know how value matters when you want to stretch your wine budget as far as it can go, and we lean our ratings heavily toward the ultimate measure of value in wine clubs—quality-to-price ratio (a.k.a. QPR).
Seen one of those great offers for a super cheap case of wine and want to know which one is really the best quarterly case wine club? Well, we’ve looked at ‘em all... and most of them aren’t worth it. Here are a handful of quarterly case clubs that pass our test to be called best.
Looking for the best affordable wine clubs? Our editors have carefully scrutinized budget-oriented wine clubs to help you extract the most value and enjoyment out of your wine-club dollars.