Bright Cellars is a monthly wine subscription that sends wine paired to your tastes.
Bright Cellars was founded by two MIT grads with a passion for wine and technology, and they approach wine a little differently than most wine clubs.
When you sign up for a membership, you take a “taste palate quiz” to determine your unique taste profile.
Your monthly wines are 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.
When it comes to selecting wines to add to their collection, Bright Cellars doesn’t turn to wine professionals or sommeliers. Instead, they crowdsource their wine selection by relying on the tastes of their team.
If you’re ever sent a bottle you don’t love, the Bright Cellars Wine Concierge will help you select a free replacement bottle that will ship with your next box.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Bright Cellars
The Cost: $60 + $8 shipping
ACTIVE DEAL: Get $50 off your first month! No coupon needed - just use this link.
The Products: 4 wines picked to match your unique taste profile.
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 [email protected].
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription box list or wishlist!
This Bright Cellars shipment contained a “Harvesting Happiness” print that shows all of the steps in the winemaking process that come after the grapes are harvested.
Information about the individual bottles in your shipment can be accessed through the Bright Cellars website.
Kogara Canyon Shiraz- $7.99
My first bottle this month is a Shiraz from Eastern Australia. and it’s one of my top matches this month. Bright Cellars describes this as “a well-balanced wine with vibrant fruit flavors such as black cherry, blackberry and plum… spicy black pepper notes mid-palate and silky vanilla characteristics in the finish.” I did pick up on some fruity flavors in this wine, but there was also a rather unpleasant vinegary taste. (I didn’t get vanilla in the finish at all.) I’m not a fan of this wine, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was sipping on salad dressing.
2015 Lavender Row Rosé- $11.99
Luckily, this French rosé is a little more my speed. It’s very light in color and has a delicate, clean taste and a crisp finish. There’s a hint of berry flavor, but mostly this wine is smooth and a little tart. This is exactly the kind of wine I like to drink in the summertime, but it’s just as tasty now that the leaves are changing.
California 2014 Forty Winks Chardonnay
I can’t find this bottle available for sale online, and I believe it’s a Bright Cellars exclusive. I’m excited to see that Bright Cellars is offering exclusive wines, but I’m not sure I’m a fan of this one. Chardonnay is a wine I tend to avoid when I’m shopping for myself because I’m pretty picky about it. (I tend to prefer steel-aged Chardonnays over the more ubiquitous buttery, oak-aged ones.) To be fair, this one isn’t super oaky or super creamy, but it’s still not for me.
Even though Chardonnay isn’t a personal favorite of mine, I don’t mind when the occasional bottle pops up in a subscription. (I like trying new things!) Still, it’s a little disappointing to see two in one box. I like that Bright Cellars uses a quiz to help determine which wines they send, but I do think it would be nice if there was a way to tweak your profile to favor certain varietals over others. While I don’t think this is a wine I’d seek out again, I do prefer it to the 40 Winks. It has a healthy dose of tropical fruit and a really nice minerality at the finish. It’s nicely balanced, and I would proudly pour it for my Chardonnay-loving friends at a dinner party.
Verdict: This Bright Cellars box was a little hit and miss for me. I wasn’t a big fan of the Syrah or the 40 Winks, but the rosé and the Limited Chardonnay were both solid wines (even if the Chardonnay wasn’t a great pick for me, personally). The subscription cost for this box breaks down to $17 per bottle, which I think if fair. It’s a bit more than I’d pay for everyday wine at the store, but I feel okay about the price knowing that Bright Cellars guarantees that I'll like what I receive.
Have you tried Bright Cellars?