Firstleaf Wine Subscription Review + Coupon – September 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.”
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.)
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.
I wasn’t in love with the wines I received in my last box, so I decided to mix things up with this one. I narrowed down my preferences to ensure that all of the wines I received this month would be international white, rosé, or sparkling wines. The first bottle in my shipment was this rosé from Argentina. The flavor is easy going and fruity (think strawberries, peaches, and citrus), with a clean finish. It’s very drinkable.
Next up is a Vin de Savoie Jongieux, an alpine white wine. This is my first time trying a white wine from this part of France, and I’m a fan of the flavor. It’s delicate, fresh, a little fruity, and it has a nice kiss of minerality at the finish.
MELI Riesling 2014 – $14.99
Riesling can be crisp and dry, syrupy and sweet, or somewhere in the middle. I really like dry and off-dry riesling, but I often tend to avoid buying them because I don’t know enough about Riesling to consistently pick out bottles that suit my palate. I get really excited, however, when a good one pops up in a wine box! This Chilean Riesling is dry and fruit-driven with a nice, fresh acidity. It’s really tasty.
Wairau River Pinot Gris 2012 – $17.50
I often seek out Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a Pinot Gris from there. (Fun fact: Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are both made from the same grape! Pinot Gris was first made in France, while the Italians across the border turned the same grape into Pinot Grigio.) Surprisingly, this wine is a little sweet. I don’t think I’ve never had a Pinot Gris that wasn’t dry, so the sweetness took me by surprise. It didn’t quite work for me, but I do think this would be an interesting pick for those who prefer off-dry and semi-sweet wines.
Okay, I have to get my sillies out about this wine. How much fun is the name!? It makes all kinds of craziness bounce around in my head, like quotes from Zoolander and vintage Seinfeld commercials. The wine itself is pretty good. Chardonnay isn’t always my favorite, but this one is well-balanced, with a creamy texture and fruity taste.
Cantharis Côtes de Gascogne 2015
The final wine I received this month is a white blend from the southwest of France. It’s fresh and very fruity, with lots of citrus and a little tropical fruit. Firstleaf recommends drinking it with Chinese food and dim sum, which sounds like a really fun pairing.
Verdict: After a mediocre last box from Firstleaf, I’m really pleased that I had better luck this month. I had a lot of fun discovering some new international white wines! Value wise, I paid $88.95 for this box (including shipping), which breaks down to about $14.83 per bottle. That’s pretty close to the average price of the bottles I received in this box.
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 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’m happy to overlook the lack of extra info.
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.
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