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Club W vs Bright Cellars vs Firstleaf vs Wine Awesomeness – September 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

wine collage

This month, I reviewed wine boxes from Club WBright CellarsFirstleaf, and Wine Awesomeness. To see how the subscriptions compare, I’ve outlined what I received from each subscription below.

Read on to see the wines I received and to find out which box came out on top for me this month!


Club W is a wine subscription box that re-imagines the traditional wine club. They offer a regularly changing selection of unique, small production wines that are sourced directly from vineyards and winemakers. Club W suggests bottles for you based on a “palate profile quiz” you take when you join. You can decide to receive the bottles they suggest for you, or you can pick your own wines from their ever-changing collection. Club W wines start at $13 each, and shipping is free on orders of 4 or more bottles. You can skip a shipment at any time.


(Note that Club W is in the process of re-branding as Winc. As of now, the packaging has been changed, but orders can still be placed and managed through Club W.)

COUPON: $20 off your first order, no coupon required, just use this link!

Ships to: All US states EXCEPT AK, AL, AR, DE, HI, KY, MS, OK, PA, RI, DS, and UT

Check out the full Club W review here!

Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wishlist!


2015 Chop Shop Cabernet Sauvignon– $13

2015 Yé-Yé Albariño– $13

2015 Copycat Barbera– $13

2015 Cocomero Rosé– $13

I picked my wines this month, so none of the bottles were a surprise. The Albariño is a repeat bottle for me; I ordered it last month and loved it so much that I decided to get it again this month! The other bottles this month were good, too, and I especially loved the tastes-just-like-watermelon Cocomero and the Chop Shop Cabernet Sauvignon (which tastes like a steal at $13). I also have to give the Copycat a shout out for having an absolutely adorable label.


Bright Cellars was founded by a couple of MIT grads with a passion for wine and technology, and the subscription is designed with both of those interests in mind. When you sign up for a subscription, you take a “taste palate quiz” that helps pinpoint your taste in wine. Your monthly wines are then selected using a proprietary algorithm that “scores each wine by comparing 18 attributes to your preferences, matching you with your monthly experience.” You can choose the ratio of red to white you receive in each box by adjusting your preferences online. Also, interestingly, Bright Cellars doesn’t hire sommeliers to help influence wine buying. Instead, they crowd source their wine selections by relying on the tastes of their team. (Office wine tastings? Wouldn’t that be a fun perk of working at Bright Cellars!) Shipments contain 4 bottles and cost $60 + $8 shipping.


COUPON: Receive a $30 credit towards your first box!, no coupon required, just use this link!

Ships to: US states where it is legal to receive wine by mail. If you’re uncertain whether you can receive wine shipments, contact the Bright Cellars Wine Concierge at

Check out the full Bright Cellars review here!

Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wishlist!


Blue Towers Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Glendale Cellars Red Wine Blend 2014– $19.95

Pana Merlot 2014

Pana Chardonnay 2016

This box was all wrong for me. I think the Glendale Cellars Red Blend is the standout bottle in this box, but that’s really only because the others missed the mark. I’ll have to go revisit my quiz answers to try and mix things up a little bit. The subscription cost breaks down to $17 per bottle, and I’ve felt okay about that price point given the boxes I’ve received in the past. Obviously, I’m not as crazy about this one, but hopefully revisiting the quiz will help with next month’s shipment.


Wine Awesomeness specializes in rare and unusual wines, and their curatorial team is led by a Food & Wine Sommelier of the Year! They seek out “the coolest, craveworthiest wines” and send “vino you don’t see everyday, but will want to drink everyday.” There’s no quiz with Wine Awesomeness, and the bottles you receive are not tailored to your taste; however, you can pick whether you want to receive all reds, all whites (with a chance of rosé or bubbly), or a mix (with a chance of rosé or bubbly). Wine Awesomeness costs $45 per month for 3 bottles.


COUPON: Get your first box free – just pay $22.50 shipping, no coupon required, just use this link!

Ships to: US (Including states where most other alcohol subscriptions don’t ship, like PA and OK!)

Check out the full Wine Awesomeness review here!

Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wish list!


2014 Carrier “Beach Comber” Albariño– $19

2013 Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Blanc Semillion– $17 AUD (approximately $12.81 USD)

Chronic Cellars Eunice X– $14.99

Wine Awesomeness really impressed me this month. All of the bottles I received were great, and I would happily buy more of the Albariño and the Scuttlebutt. Looking back, I think the Scuttlebutt is a really special wine. Wine Awesomeness describes it as tasting like a tropical fruit salad, and I think that description is spot on. I picked up on flavors of pineapple and maybe even a little banana? I know that probably sounds crazy, but it worked!


Firstleaf is a new monthly wine subscription from the parent company that owns magazines like Food & Wine, Cooking Light, Sunset, and Travel + Leisure. By rating the wines you receive, Firstleaf learns your tastes and can start to personalize the wines you receive. You can preview your wines every month and swap out up to 3 bottles. Every box includes 6 bottles and costs $79 + shipping. (For reference, the total cost with shipping to DC is $88.95.) Unlike the wine boxes above, Firstleaf 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 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 bit about wine before I drink it, so I miss that in this subscription.


COUPON: Get your first 3 bottles for only $19.95 (including shipping). No code required, just use this link.

Ships to: US

Check out the full Firstleaf review here!

Keep track of your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wish list!


Benegas 2014 Carmela Benegas Cabernet Franc Rosé– $13

Domaine Eugene Carrel et Fils Vin de Savoie Jongieux 2014– $12.99

MELI Riesling 2014– $13.99

Wairau River Pinot Gris 2012– $17.50

One Chain Vineyards The Googly Chardonnay 2014– $12.64

Cantharis Côtes de Gascogne 2015

My last Firstleaf box was kind of a bust, so I decided to mix things up with this one. I changed my preferences to ensure that I would receive only International white wines this month, and that decision definitely paid off. I had a lot of fun with these wines! Standout bottles for me were the MELI Riesling, a Chilean dry, fruit-driven Riesling with a nice, fresh acidity and the Vin de Savoie Jongieux, an alpine white wine that was delicate, fresh, and a little fruity, with a nice kiss of minerality at the finish.

The Verdict: It’s so much fun to compare the different wine subscriptions and look back at the bottles I received this month. There were a lot of great bottles in September, but this month one bottle rose above the rest. Wine Awesomeness’ 2013 Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Blanc Semillion was unusual and delicious. I loved it. In the race for best overall box, I have to say that I’m really impressed with both Club W and Wine Awesomeness this month. It’s close, but I think Club W takes the win by a hair!


Favorite box: Club W!


Top bottle: 2013 Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Blanc Semillion (from Wine Awesomeness)

Do you subscribe to Club WBright Cellars, Firstleaf, or Wine Awesomeness? Did you discover any great wines this month?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

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