Firstleaf Wine Subscription Review + Coupon – August 2016
Firstleaf is a new monthly wine subscription from the parent company that owns magazines like Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Sunset, and Travel + Leisure.
Firstleaf leaf sends wines that are “matched to your taste, direct from the vineyard, [and] delivered on your schedule.”
After your first box, you can rate the wines you receive from Firstleaf. This helps Firstleaf to learn your tastes and better personalize your future boxes.
You can preview each box before it ships and swap out up to 3 bottles.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Firstleaf
The Cost: $79 per box + shipping (For reference, the total cost with shipping to DC is $88.95.)
COUPON: Get your first 3 bottles for only $19.95 (including shipping). No code required, just use this link.
The Products: Six bottles of wine personalized to your taste.
Ships to: US
Keep track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wishlist!
Firstleaf offers a pretty impressive level of customization. You can choose whether to receive all white, all reds, or a mix. You can also choose whether to receive US wines, International wines, or a mix. (That’s an option I’ve never seen before!)
You can also choose how frequently you’d like to receive boxes.
I received some printed information about Firstleaf in my first shipment, but this box arrived with only a packing slip.
Four & Twenty Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
The first bottle I received in this shipment is a Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, CA. Looking at the color of the wine, I’d never guess that this is a Cab. It’s lighter in color and less opaque than most Cabs, I think. (Note: it looks darker in the photo than it does in person.) Unfortunately, I’m not really a fan of the taste. I love the bold complexity of a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and I think this wine is unappealingly thin and a little flat.
Still & Co. Oakville Limited Release 2014
Sadly, I’m not really into this wine either. It has a woody, perfume-y taste that doesn’t quite work for me. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a little picky about red wine, but, honestly, one sip was enough.
Andâs Malbec 2015
Happily, I had better luck with this Malbec! It’s very drinkable, with a nice kick of acidity up front and a smooth finish. There’s not a ton going on flavor-wise, but I’d be happy to drink this with dinner. I think it would be good with beef stew or a big bowl of spaghetti bolognese.
Clarendelle Rosé 2014– $16.99
This is the only bottle of wine from this shipment that I was able to find for sale online. It’s a rosé made from 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc, and 28% Merlot, and this is one of those wines that goes a little something like this:
Sip 1: “Meh.”
Sip 2: “Humm…”
Sip 3: “Yum!”
Both my husband and I agreed that this is a wine that grows on you, and I like that after the first few sips the deep strawberry flavors start to show themselves.
Sugar Reef Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand– $11.29
I couldn’t find this wine available for sale online, but I did see it listed on a wholesale wine site for $11.29 per bottle, so I’ve used that price for reference. Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite wines, and this one has that classic minerality I tend to expect from Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. I’m a fan.
It never ceases to amaze me how one kind of grape can produce two totally different wines, depending on where the grapes are grown and how the wine is treated. Unlike the Sugar Reef Sauvignon Blanc, this Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is super fruity, with lots of tropical and stone fruit flavors. I really like it!
Verdict: This is my first full shipment from Firstleaf, and I’m not quite sure what to make of the subscription yet. On one hand, I really like that Firstleaf allows subscribers to preview their shipments and make substitutions, and I’m pleased that I’m able to customize my boxes and discard wines that I don’t think I’ll like. I also like that I can rate the wines I receive to help improve my future match-ups. On the other hand, I have some mixed feelings about the wines I received this month. I had much better luck with the whites (and rosé) than the reds, so I might try switching up my preferences so that I receive all white wines next month. (I tend to drink more whites than reds in the summertime, anyway.) Value wise, I paid $88.95 for this box (including shipping), which breaks down to about $14.83 per bottle.
Wine aside, I think it’s important to point out that this subscription doesn’t offer much when it comes to branding and supplemental materials. Years ago (before the subscription box craze took off), I subscribed to an old-fashioned wine club that shipped out their wines in unmarked brown boxes, and this box from Firstleaf reminds me a lot of that. I think modern wine subscriptions are far more likely to send colorful, branded packaging and supplemental info cards. Personally, I really enjoy learning a little bit about wine before I drink it, so I think it’s a little disappointing that Firstleaf doesn’t include info cards. Still, if the wine is good enough to speak for itself, then I suppose I’ll be happy to overlook the lack of extra info. Fingers crossed I have better luck with my next shipment.
If you’re interested in giving Firstleaf a try, I’d recommend signing up for the 3-bottle intro offer. (Get your first 3 bottles for only $19.95 including shipping. No code required, just use this link.) I reviewed one of Firstleaf’s intro boxes last month, and, even though I wasn’t in love with all of the wines I received, I was very impressed with the value.
Have you tried Firstleaf?