Firstleaf Wine Subscription Review + Coupon – October 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.
Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2015 – $11.99
Like last month, I decided to request all international wines in this shipment, but, unlike last month’s where I opted for all white wines, I decided to go for a mix of red and white in this box. My first pick is a Viognier from Southern Australia. I’m really happy with this wine! It’s full-bodied and rich, with a nice bite that’s a little gingery.
Pontil Côtes de Gascogne 2015
Since Firstleaf only offers the ability to swap up to 3 bottles per shipment, customizing my box always feels like a high-stakes gambling game to me. I always mentally rank the bottles I’m initially assigned before deciding which ones I want to swap. (And I’m always nervous to swap my third bottle because if I receive something I like less then I’m stuck with it!) This wine wasn’t one of my top picks, but I like it. It’s crisp and bright, and the flavor reminds me of pineapple juice and granny smith apples.
Aren’t bubbles just the best?
Seriously, there’s something about sparkling wine that just makes me so happy! I’m a big fan of prosecco, generally, but I think this one is just okay. It’s dry (drier than most Prosecco I’ve had, actually) and minimally fruity, which is nice, but I swear there’s a flavor that’s a lot like… dirt? That’s weird, right? I don’t find it off-putting enough to toss this wine, but I can’t quite get over it.
Ultima Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
As I mentioned previously, I only requested white wines last month, so this is my first time trying Firstleaf’s international red offerings. (I wasn’t all that impressed with the domestic reds in my first box, which prompted me to skip reds completely last month.) The first red in this box is a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile’s Central Valley. Unfortunately, I flat out just don’t like the taste of this wine. There’s something about the peppery, red berry flavor that just doesn’t work for me.
Ephemera 2014 French Red Wine
The second red is this bottle of French table wine. At first sip, I wasn’t sure what to think of it, so I asked my husband for a second opinion. He took one sip, looked at me, and said, “this smells weird.” Despite the odd smell, which is a little like potting soil in hot water, it has a relatively pleasant taste. It’s earthy and smooth with a dry finish, but there’s just not a lot going on. It’s very drinkable, but there’s not a lot of complexity. And, for a table wine, I guess that’s okay.
Le Coq Gaulois Bordeaux 2014
Last up is a French Bordeaux, and, sadly, this is another flop. (It doesn’t seem like I’m alone in that opinion, either.) The first sip was okay, but I liked it less and less with each additional one.
Verdict: Ugh. I feel like I’m really trying with Firstleaf. I’ve adjusted my preferences online to try all whites, all international wines, etc., but I haven’t gotten a single box that’s wowed me. Wine just shouldn’t be this hard! I’m going to give Firstleaf one more month, but I’m coming to the realization that this just might not be the subscription for me. Everyone’s palate is different, though, and 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 previously reviewed one of Firstleaf’s intro boxes, and, even though I wasn’t in love with all of the wines I received, I was impressed with the value.
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