It’s a Thursday and it’s quarter to 5:00.
You’ve had a brutally hectic week, your boss has been breathing down your neck, and you are more than ready for the weekend.
But, you need a calm, quiet and self-indulgent evening to get yourself through the last workday of the week.
What you want is a nice bottle of wine, a slice of cake, a fuzzy blanket, and a romantic movie on Netflix.
Sadly, you don’t have any wine at home right now, which means you’ll have to stop at the store on your way home. It’s not the biggest deal in the world, but man you really wish you could go home and find a bottle of wine waiting for you on your doorstep.
Well, with Winc, that’s completely possible.
The subscription wine club delivers wine directly to you, and while you probably believe that, in general, a bottle of wine is worth your while, we are here to figure out if this subscription service is worth your while.
What Is Winc And How Does It Work?
In 2012, Xander Oxman and Geoff McFarlane joined up with winemaker and sommelier Brian Smith to build a personalized wine club. They wanted to make wine more accessible and easier to enjoy.
It has since grown into Winc – a California-based winery that offers an online membership experience. Its wines are now featured at select retailers and restaurants worldwide but, of course, the easiest way to get its wines is through the subscription wine club.
The team creates curates over hundreds of wines for you to enjoy. It makes trying and exploring wines much simpler, so you truly don’t have to put much work into finding a great bottle.
The winery and its online membership club offer hundreds of unique wines.
Sourcing from around the globe, the offerings range from classic blends, to more obscure wines. These more niche wines tend to come from single vineyards or fringe projects.
But no matter what the style, the goal of the company is to showcase the best of every region that it sources from. It also aims to use the best amongst the numerous varietals of grapes and styles of wines.
The winemaker, Smith, leads the winemaking team in making wine with a focus on quality over quantity. They create wines in smaller batches, allowing them to create wines with very distinct character and flavors.
Winc also reports that they develop relationships with independent winemakers and growers to deliver even more diversity and quality with its selection of wines.
Simply put, they offer everything from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, Cabernet to Rosé. It’s plenty and varied enough for you to find multiple bottles that you’ll love.
Best of all, the site provides in-depth and organized information pages on the wines that are selected for your shipment. For example, when you click on a wine in your shipment, you will see the major flavor notes, the sweetness, how to serve it, where it comes from and other relevant facts.
How It Works
As we mentioned, Winc connects regular people like you to a world of wine when they deliver a box right to your door.
And, thankfully, it’s a very simple and painless project.
First, you create a Palate Profile™, which sounds more complex than it actually is.
You simply need to answer six questions to help the team at Winc assess your unique taste. And voilà, you have a Palate Profile™.
From there, you will get the wine recommendations. Specifically, according to your taste palate and profile, they will start sending you a box of wine each month. Each box you will receive contains four bottles of wine, and shipping is free.
Now, you can be entirely adventurous and let each box be a surprise. But, you also have the option to pick your own bottles.
Regardless, your satisfaction is always guaranteed and you will never be asked to pay for a bottle you dislike.
Plus, it’s flexible. You can skip a month at any time, free of charge. Nor is there any commitment in general. If you want to cancel your subscription, you simply call or live chat and your wine deliveries will end.
Now, you can also upgrade your experience with Winc Select.
As a member of this aspect of the subscription service, you are recommended the most exclusive wines in Winc’s collection. It works the exact same way as the conventional service, but with a little dose of luxury.
The wines in the Select collection are made with grapes sourced from highly unique regions and finest small lots. From there, the winemakers at Winc handcraft limited editions wines for you to enjoy.
And, there is no upgrade fee, nor commitment. Instead, you can just expect to pay more for the actual bottles.
And that brings us to the next topic of our review: the cost.
How Much Does Winc Cost?
So, it doesn’t actually cost anything to become a member of Winc.
Rather, you pay for the bottles that come in your monthly shipment – and remember that there is no cost for shipment when you chose standard shipping.
The available wines start as low as $13 per bottle. And while, we are sure the highest price per bottle changes with the available selection, right now we see bottles in the $60-range (these prices are for normal members. We cannot see the prices of the Winc Select wines.)
Now, the great part of all of this is that Winc offers plenty of benefits for its members.
First of all, you automatically get $20 off when you sign up. And you get 10% off when you order 12 or more bottles of wine.
There also is a referral program of sorts. When you invite a friend to become a member of Winc, you can up to $26 in credits, and your friends get $20 in credits.
You can also purchase Member Credits at a discounted price, which give you a chance to save up to $100. Basically one credit is the equivalent to $1 for any wine order. So as a member, you could only pay $500 to get 600 credits (so that’s $600 to use towards wine).
What Are Some Other Benefits Of Joining Winc?
As long as you enter your TrueBlue information before you make payment, you will earn those points. And, you don’t have to be a new member to earn points. After the second order that earns you points, you can earn 1,000 points for every 24 bottles delivered through your Winc membership.
However, the accumulation of these points cannot be combined with any other promotions.
Winc also has its “Give a Box” program where you can get your friend three bottles of wine – and it’s all on the company’s dime.
It amounts to a $ discount and it’s a good incentive for the company because it means you are spreading the word and generating new members for them.
Your friend will get an e-mail explaining everything, and from there they just have to sign up and they get some wine! And just like you, they can cancel or skip orders whenever they want.
Winc has become very popular over the last couple of years.
Right now, the subscription wine club has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Reviews, and the company displays on its website that 97% of members said they would recommend Winc to a friend.
The company is also known for its excellent customer service, fast shipping, and how fun it is. Many users love the chance to explore new wines without looking like a lost puppy in a wine shop.
So, not only to you get to explore wine with Winc, but you also learn a lot about different varietals regions and taste profiles in the process. And once you do learn which flavors, sweetness levels and regions you prefer, its way easier to walk into a wine shop and pick out a bottle you’ll like.
Of course, nothing is perfect.
The low-end wines the Winc offers certainly aren’t anything special. In fact, some reviews have gone as far to say that they are completely “undrinkable.”
And on that note, some reviewers have said that they’ve gotten better tasting bottles from grocery stores for less money.
Apparently, though the site says you can cancel anytime, you actually can only cancel during their business hours – both by phone and online chat. It’s a bit annoying, but we suppose the Winc employees have to go home and sleep too, right?
But, overall, the response to Winc is overwhelmingly positive.
What We Think About Winc
So, do we think Winc is worth your while?
Well, how much of a wine connoisseur are you?
If you already know a ton about wine and spend every summer in Napa Valley or Bordeaux, then you probably aren’t going to sign up for Winc.
We aren’t saying you won’t get delicious bottles of wine from the wine club if you’re already a huge wine nerd, but we think that part of what makes Winc worth the money is the educational experience. And if you already have a knowledge base in wine, then you don’t really need it.
But, if you know next to nothing about wine and only choose bottles based on how pretty the label is, or if it’s under a certain price, then you will probably reap the benefits of Winc.
So, our suggestion to you is to try Winc out while you can reap those discounts. Sign up to get that $20 discount and give it a try for a month, and see how you like it. Or maybe try to piggyback on a friend’s referral link so you get the discounts from that.
Because if the cheapest wines at Winc aren’t very good, then the overall cost of a shipment can get pricey. So use the discounts to bring it all down to a more manageable spending level while you try it out.
If you love, it then that’s great! You can continue getting monthly shipments, broadening your wine horizons, and avoiding the liquor store on those days when you are too tired to run errands after work.
But if you find that the wine subscription thing isn’t for you, then at least you got some discounted bottles for a couple of months!
And that is what is truly great about it – you have an opportunity to try new wine.
Wine – and particularly wine-of-the-month clubs from fancy wineries – can certainly be an inaccessible luxury for most.
But Winc makes it very pedestrian, laid-back and fun.
While we totally recognize that it isn’t for everyone, we’re giving you a little nudge to give it a shot for a month or two. At best, you find a plethora of wines that you love, and at worst, you got four discounted bottles of wine for a month.
Plus, the Palate Profile™ quiz is fun!