Winc Review: The Best Affordable Way To Try Unique & High-Quality Wine?

Winc is a subscription service that curates a selection of quality wines and sends them straight to your door.

Origonally known as “Club W”, Winc has become one of the most popular wine of the month clubs in the world. Why? Their service sends you incredibly high-quality and custom curated wines based on your personal taste profile.

As self-proclaimed wine lovers, we decided to try Winc out to see if this wine of the month subscription service was really any good.

Keep reading to find out what we thought…

How to Join & Choose Your Items

Winc Homepage

To get started and place your first order with Winc, it’s very simple. You’ll begin by taking a quiz. This allows their sophisticated wine algorithm to get to know you and your wine preferences.

The wine selections you receive each month will be based off of what they learn about you.

The questions in their quiz include the following:

  • How do you like your coffee?
  • How do you feel about salt?
  • Do you like citrus?
  • Do you like earthy flavors like mushrooms and black truffles?
  • Do you like blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries?
  • How adventurous are you when it comes to food and drink?

These questions might seem a little weird but they actually help Winc to better understand which wines you would like the most by narrowing down your personal flavor profile. Each question hits upon a different flavor profile (e.g. bitter, sour, salty, and fruity).

After you’ve completed the quiz, you’ll need to build your box. You have to select what kind of wine you’d like to receive in your box: only reds, only whites, or a mix of both. As someone who prefers red wine to white wine, it’s nice that Winc gives you the ability to choose your favorite. No one likes getting stuck buying something they’ll never use!

The entire ordering process took us less than two minutes to complete.

Once everything is set they’ll send you four bottles of wine per month, which have been carefully matched to your tastes. Once you drink those, you’ll have the ability to rate each of them, which helps tailor future wines to match your palate even better.

Types of Wine They Offer

Our Winc Wines

If you’re curious about the types of wine Winc has to offer, I can assure you they actually have quite a diverse selection. We’ve received multiple boxes by now and each of them have had an eclectic mix of wines that truly did match my flavor profile.

You can view their currently available wines on their website to get an idea of what you can expect to receive in your box each month.

For red wines, you will find options such as: 2014 Wonderful Wine Co. Red Blend, 2015 Salient Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir, 2016 Field Theory Touriga Nacional, 2016 Capuchon Carignane, and the 2016 Matchlock Cabernt Sauvignon, just to name a few.

Their selection of white wine includes: 2016 Capuchon Grenache Blanc, 2016 Selected Works Chardonnay, 2016 Wonderful Wine Co. White Blend, 2016 Honey Beast White Blend, 2016 Diviner Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 The Independent White blend, and the 2016 Funk Zone White Blend.

Although their collection of red wines and white wines are quite extensive, they do offer a few options for those who love rosé. You’ll find the following: 2016 Loves Me Not Rosé, 2016 Capuchon Rosé, 2016 #TBT Rosé, 2016 Cocomero Rosé, and the 2016 Summer Water Rosé, among others.

You’ll notice that the years and locations of each wine (red, white, and rosé) vary. So you know you’re not getting the same wine years from the same locations over and over.

Our Box

In our box, we received the following wines:

  1. 2016 Chop Shop Cabernet Sauvignon ($14)
  2. 2016 Brethren of the Road Valdiguié ($18)
  3. 2015 Rosa Obscura Red Blend ($13)
  4. 2016 The Independent Zinfandel ($13)

One great feature of their site is that you’re able to learn more about each of the wines they have. We were able to learn where each of our wines came from, the vineyard history, and what went into making the wine.

Learning about the wines, including their tasting notes and what they pair well with, was much more fun than we thought it would be. As someone who knows nothing about wine, Emily and I spent over an hour drinking our first bottle and learning its history.

Delivery

One thing to check before attempting to place your order is whether or not Winc can actually deliver to your state. Unfortunately, they are only able to ship to states that have laws that permit the shipment of wine directly to consumers. The states that are unable to accept orders are the following: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Utah. For those who live in Michigan, you’ll want to contact Winc for assistance because there are specific shipping restrictions in place. They currently do not ship to South Dakota due to carrier limitations.

There are also certain zip codes within Florida, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and West Virginia that do not allow shipments. If you live in any of the zip codes in these states that don’t allow for delivery, you can contact Winc to discuss possible shipping options with them to see if they can work out a solution.

All packages from Winc will be labeled as containing wine. They will require an in-person signature from someone who is 21 years of age or older. You’ll want to keep this in mind when choosing your shipping address because someone will need to be present to accept the order. This means you cannot ship your order to a P.O. Box. You can, however, choose a business address if possible. The carrier will not leave the package unattended, even if they have a signature for you on file.

Another option is to arrange for your apartment building’s doorman to sign for it on your behalf. Or you can have the package delivered to your local FedEx office for pick-up. They’ll hold your package for five business days. You just have to present your identification and tracking number in order to retrieve it from them.

The good news about delivery with Winc is that shipping is absolutely free when you order four or more bottles of wine. If you purchase three bottles, you’re looking at a shipping fee of $9. Keep this in mind when placing your order because you can always add a fourth wine if you’d like to avoid paying for shipping costs.

Once your order ships out, you’ll be provided with a shipping confirmation email that contains a tracking number. This will allow you to keep an eye on your package every step of the way as it heads to your home.

Monthly orders are processed on the same day every month, which is the date you joined the Winc membership. If you’re curious, you can log into your account and find your order date there. Your order will ship within two business days of processing. Shipping usually takes three to seven business days, depending on your distance from the fulfillment center.

Packaging

Winc Packaging

Our Winc order came packed carefully inside a padded cardboard box. As mentioned, this box will be labeled as containing wine, so the FedEx carrier will know only to deliver it to someone who is 21-years-old or older. It also wouldn’t be wise to leave it unattended once you’ve received it, as someone could easily determine what its contents are. So if you have apartment neighbors with “sticky fingers”, be sure to sign for it at home or have it delivered to your place of work.

Once you’ve unpacked your box, you can recycle the cardboard. Any local recycling facility will take it and it’s a simple way to help out the environment.

Our box came unscathed, but Winc does acknowledge that accidents can happen during transportation. If you receive a bottle of wine that has been damage, or if a bottle has gone missing, make sure you get in touch with them right way to have it resolved.

Winc will offer a replacement or account credit to make up for any damaged or stolen items. You’ll just want to be sure to include which bottle needs to be replaced when contacting them.

In all of the Winc packages that we’ve received, not one has ever been damaged to the point where the wine was broken. When you open your first Winc order, you’ll see why. They keep the wine packed incredibly secure. Our UPS and FedEx carriers aren’t always that gentle with our packages so it’s a big relief to see that Winc goes above and beyond with their packaging.

Sustainability & Recycling

It may surprise you but Winc is one of the most environmentally friendly services we’ve reviewed that isn’t a meal kit. They go the extra mile to ensure they are as green as possible. Here’s how…

  • You know those foil wrappers that come on most wines and champagnes? They aren’t really necessary and mostly function as a decoration on the wine bottle. Winc has completely done away with them. This not only saves you money, it also saves massive amounts of that foil going into landfills.
  • Their packaging is almost entirely cardboard, which is 100% recyclable.
  • The wine bottles, once drank, can all be washed out and recycled as well.
  • They use a “just-in-time” inventory strategy, which means the wine bottles only travel when they are 100% complete and ready to be shipped to your door. This reduced their carbon footprint by around 50%.
  • They also support sustainable farming and winemaking by opting for organically grown grapes and minimal intervention during the production process.

Winc is easily one of the most sustainable wine of the month subscriptions we’ve reviewed.

Taste

Tasting “Chop Shop”

While the price of the wines we ordered all fell below $20, there is no way I would have ever guessed they were “inexpensive”.

I was amazed at the taste and quality of the wines for being so low-priced!

Below is a brief overview of how each of our wines tasted…

  1. 2016 Chop Shop Cabernet Sauvignon: This was our favorite out of the bunch. It had a fruity and full-bodied flavor. You could taste plum, red cherry, and a bit of spice with each sip. As someone who’s a big fan of spicy Malbec wines, I would definitely buy this one again.
  2. 2016 Brethren of the Road “Talk West” Valdiguié: This was a bit of a lighter tasting red with notes of fig and tart cherry.
  3. 2015 Rosa Obscura Red Blend: I’m a big fan of blends and this one did not disappoint. It had a velvety soft taste, with notes of cherry, cocoa, strawberry. This is the type of wine you have after dinner relaxing in front of a fireplace. Superb!
  4. 2016 The Independent Zinfandel: This was a juicy and complex wine. There were a lot of different tastes to it — fig, pink pepper, and red cherry. However, they all complimented each other well.

Pricing

There’s no hard and set price. It really comes down to how many bottles you want to receive each month. The bottles of wine you’ll receive from Winc start at $13. Although this is the price they sell them for, it’s not necessarily the price you’d find them at in liquor/wine stores. This is because they cut out the middleman and sell direct to consumers (meaning they pass the savings on to you).

One thing to note regarding pricing is because certain wines will vary in price, this means your monthly order may be lower or higher due to your wine choice, quantity, and local tax rates. You’ll want to keep this in mind since your monthly bill will likely never be the same for your purchase.

With four bottles of wine on their way to you, you’ll also receive complimentary shipping, which we found to be a nice added bonus. You can skip a month or cancel at any time, so you’re never locked into a membership with them. If you ever need to take a break from receiving orders, all you have to do is log into your account and skip the month.

There are also a few ways you can save some cash on your monthly subscription, which I outline below…

Member Savings

If you’d like to save some cash on your Winc subscription, they offer some great member savings you’ll want to take advantage of.

First, you can save 10% on any order that contains 12 or more bottles of wine. While 12 bottles of wine sounds like a lot, it could be a good way to save when you’re stocking up for holiday gifts or for a party.

Next, you’ll receive $10 in credits for every 10 wines you rate. Not only will rating wines help Winc better curate the selection of wines you receive every month, but it’ll also help save you some cash.

Lastly, you can invite a friend or family member to sign-up for a subscription with Winc and earn up to $26 in credits. That’s two bottles of wine!

Final Thoughts

There are a few different people who would get the most out of Winc… First, wine lovers who are looking to try and learn about new wines. Second, groups of people who get together on occasion (possibly a an informal wine club). Lastly, it would make for a great gift.

If you watched our video review, you could tell we had a lot of fun trying and learning about the different wines we received. The wines we received were really blew me out of the water for the price we paid. If you put a blindfold on me, I wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart from bottles that were $50+.

If you have any questions about Winc or you’d like to share your own experience with their service, feel free to leave your comment below!

Dan Scalco

As someone who is considered an "average" cook, I have looked far and wide for meal delivery services that will help save me time and money while still ending up with a tasty meal. In my quest, I have tested and reviewed tons of different food delivery services. I am using this site to share all of my findings with you!

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