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Winc March 2021 Review + Sangria Making Challenge

Winc is a wine subscription box that re-imagines the traditional wine club by offering a regularly-changing selection of unique, small production wines that are sourced directly from vineyards and winemakers. It’s one of my favorite alcohol delivery options out there!

This box was sent at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

About This Wine Subscription

The Subscription Box: Winc

The Cost: Bottles start at $12.99 each with a membership. (Shipping is free on orders of 4 or more bottles.)

COUPON: Get 4 bottles for just $29.95! No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: Small-lot wines, ciders, and sparkling options sourced directly from vineyards and winemakers.

Ships to: Eligible U.S. zip codes, which you can check through this link.

Winc March 2021 Review

When you sign up to join Winc, you take a six-question palate profile quiz to help determine your taste in wine. Based on your answers, Winc makes bottle recommendations for you every month. You can go along with their recommendations, choose your own bottles from their regularly changing selection, or skip the month completely. You can also take the palate profile test as often as you’d like.

 

The bottles are shipped in an upright cardboard box that has molded pieces to hold them in place. This helps prevent the bottles from bashing into one another during transport. The box is rather sturdy and has a convenient handle that makes it easy to carry.

Now, let’s talk about the wine!

After last month’s blind tasting challenge, I wanted to keep the party going by putting another fun twist on this month’s Winc review. Here in my hometown of New Orleans, spring has fully sprung. Bees are buzzing, flowers are in bloom, and it’s the perfect temperature for sitting outside in the midday sun while sipping on an ice-cold beverage (bag of boiled crawfish optional). Such weather calls for fruity cocktails, so I called up my favorite neighbors (and ‘quaranteammates’), Jorge and Sarah, to see if they were up for joining my husband and me in a friendly sangria-making competition.

First, I laid down some ground rules. We’d each navigate to the Winc site and pick out a bottle of wine that would be the base of our sangria. From there, we’d come up with a recipe that included wine, fruit, and whatever else our little hearts desired. We’d whip up our concoctions, assemble on the battlefield (aka my backyard), and face off for eternal fame and neighborhood glory.

To my surprise and delight, it was clear from the get-go that we all had something different in mind for our sangria submissions.

Jorge and I both picked out bottles of rosé, Sarah went for a red blend, and Niall opted for white.

When the big day arrived, I laid out some Spanish-style snacks to pair with the wine: manchego cheese, Iberico ham,  garlic shrimp, and pan con tomate. We gathered in the garden, pitchers of sangria in hand and game faces on, to battle it out.

 

One-by-one, we presented our entries to the group:

 

Sarah’s Sangria: “The Lady Glea-Maria”

Wine: 2019 Point de Passage Red Blend— $14.99 (or $12.99 through the subscription)

Winc’s Description: “Point de Passage honors the global nature of wine, while also being a bottling that strongly reflects its French roots. A classic combination of Grenache and Syrah, this wine ferments in stainless steel so the true nature of the grapes shines through. Look for notes of bright red fruit with an underpinning of spice that make this quaffable wine a treat with cuisines from around the world… Tasting notes of pomegranate, raspberry, red cherry, [and] spice.”

Sarah: I started with a red blend, and I added a little bit of brandy, some chunks of apple, orange and strawberry juice, and topped it with champagne. I pureed the orange and the strawberry myself. Usually, sangria is made with wine, fruit, brandy, a little something sweet, and some bubbles. So this is pretty traditional. I’m calling it “The Lady Glea-Maria.” (A play on her last name.)

Jorge: *sips* This is good. It’s like a taste of Spain. *nibbles on a chunk of apple* Oh! If you take a bite of apple…

Sarah: A happy apple?

Niall: Oh, the brandy’s gone into the apples!

Sarah: I know! I soaked the apples in brandy before adding in the other ingredients. It’s maceration station.

Jorge: Yeah, the apples really soak up the brandy. When you drink the liquid, you get the wine… the traditional sangria. Bold, red, everything. But then you take a bite of the apples, and it’s like, ‘wow! someone just gave me a shot of brandy!’

Niall: But it doesn’t overwhelm the sangria.

Lindsey: Not at all. It’s so good! And it’s not too sweet. So many sangrias are sickeningly sweet, and this one is just juicy. I also like that I can still taste the wine. It really gives this sangria a solid backbone. There’s a great depth of flavor.

 

Jorge’s Sangria: “The G.O.A.T.”

Wine: 2020 Wonderful Wine Co. Rosé— $19.99 (or $22.99 through the subscription)

Winc’s Description: “We are champions of respectful winemaking and we’re proving that commitment by bringing you this rosé that’s grown without pesticides, bottled without added sugars, and is vegan-friendly, low sugar, low carb, and low sulfite. Wonderful Wine Co. rosé is a classic Southern French blend from grapes grown overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This unique climate provides an early-ripening harvest that makes the perfect bottle of pink. Tart notes of red berries, melon, and citrus make this a bright, fresh wine that’s perfect for summer adventures.”

Jorge: I used canned peaches, fresh blackberries, about half a cup of the heavy syrup that came with the peaches, brandy, mango nectar, plus the bottle of rosé. To serve, I’m going to add just a little bit of champagne into the glass for some bubbles, and then pour the sangria on top. Oh, and this might require you to dig in with your fingers because you should definitely eat the fruit.

Lindsey: This tastes like fruit salad in a glass, but again, it’s not too sweet. The ratio of the wine to the syrup is just right.

Niall: I grew up eating tinned peaches, so this one is really nostalgic for me, but Lindsey’s right. It’s not overly sweet. The rosé gives this sangria a lightness and a really nice complexity.

Jorge: Yum, this is so good, don’t you all think? It’s like springtime in a glass, isn’t it? I’m gonna call it the G.O.A.T.

Lindsey: Are you trying to sway the jury?

Jorge: *chuckles* Maybe…

Sarah: This is lovely and light. It’s so much better than mine.

Niall: No, I think the first two have both been great! Should I go next?

 

Niall’s Sangria: “The Mr. Cooper”

Wine: 2020 Point de Passage Sauvignon Blanc— $17.99 (or $15.99 through the subscription)

Winc’s Description: “Point de Passage honors the global nature of wine, while also being a bottling that strongly reflects its French roots. This Sauvignon Blanc is grown on limestone soil, which is the perfect match for this grape, as it lets bright minerality and lively fruit shine through. Look for notes of citrus and peach with a flinty undertone, making this ideal with light foods or as an aperitif.”

Niall: I wanted to go with a crisp white wine, so I picked Sauvignon Blanc. For my fruit, I went with fresh pineapple, which I juiced myself. I then added in some minced ginger, lime juice, pineapple chunks, and lime slices.

Lindsey: It’s so light and refreshing! But I wonder, and I’m just playing devil’s advocate here, without fortification or bubbles… is it really a sangria?

Sarah: Oh, I think so!

Lindsey: *laughs* Okay, good, because mine is also a pretty loose interpretation.

Sarah: But, here, you know what? *picks up Champagne and tops each glass with a little fizz* I bet this will be delicious.

Niall: Oh, yeah, that’s even better!

Sarah: You know what else would be great in this? A little pinch of fresh basil.

Lindsey: I happen to have some growing right over here. *plucks some basil and adds to glass* Oh, you’re spot on! This is AMAZING!

(Everyone proceeds to add basil to their glasses.)

Jorge: Yep, this one is the best so far. It’s so crisp and tasty.

Everyone: *sips* *smiles* *nods*

Sarah: You should call this “The Mr. Cooper” (Niall’s last name) because everyone is gonna want to hang with this sangria.

 

Lindsey’s Sangria: “The Southern Porch Swing”

Wine: 2020 Cocomero Rosé— $16.99 (or $14.99 through the subscription)

Winc’s Description: “Inspired by the summer treat of choice in Italy, Cocomero (which translates to watermelon in Italian) takes a fresh California approach with this bright, juicy rosé. Light-bodied and dry, yet bursting with watermelon flavor, this rosé is the perfect pairing for a warm afternoon. And the fun starts before you even pop the top – this wine features a scratch-n-sniff label! Just smelling the fragrant watermelon will make you want to open the bottle immediately! Enjoy Italy’s favorite summer flavors – watermelon and wine – in one delicious glass.”

Lindsey: I picked a bottle of rosé that’s all about watermelon, so I used that as the base for my sangria— lucikily, the first watermelons of the season are just hitting the grocery store. I thought it would be fun to make a sangria inspired by lemonade, so in addition to watermelon juice, I added simple syrup, freshly squeezed lemons, lemon slices, and  sparkling water. 

Jorge: Oh, this is great, too!

Sarah: It’s so light and refreshing, you just wanna sit outside and sip on it while you watch the world go by. Oh! You should call it “The Southern Porch Swing”!

Niall: Yeah, this one is tasty. It’s smooth and really refreshing. It really does taste like lemonade, but I still get the wine flavor, too.

Sarah: We all killed it, you guys. How are we going to pick a winner?

Niall: I think we should each narrow it down to our top two, and then we’ll do a run-off. No voting for yourself.

Lindsey: I can go first. It’s close, and I liked them all, but I think my favorites are Niall’s and Sarah’s.

Sarah: I’m going with “The Mr. Cooper” and “The Southern Porch Swing.”

Niall: I think Sarah’s and Jorge’s. They were the most traditional, and I think the best.

Jorge: I’m with Lindsey. I think Niall’s and Sarah’s.

Lindsey: So that means it’s between Sarah and Niall. Hmmm. Well, I think Niall presented a sangria that was tasty to begin with, but it only became great when we collectively tweaked it. So, I think the winner has to be Sarah.

Jorge: Yeah, I think that’s fair.

Niall: I concede defeat on one condition. Sarah, can I have some more of those brandied apples?

Sarah ended up taking home the crown with her delicious take on classic sangria, and she gets extra bonus points for leaning into the challenge and out-fashioning us all with her incredible outfit. (Did you clock her toro and matador skirt? Amazing!)

What an incredible afternoon! We all had such a lovely time flexing our creativity and coming up with sangria recipes that showcased our wines. The challenge turned out to be a tremendous success. Hats off to all of my competitors for being such great sports, and I have to give a special thank you to Sarah and Jorge for taking some of the fun candids I included in this review. (Like the one above that we all decided MUST be on the cover of our first album should we ever start a band. We’d have to call ourselves “The Sangrias,” right?… Too bad I have zero musical ability.) Congrats to Sarah for taking home the win; I look forward to a rematch!

Verdict: This was such a fun way to explore Winc‘s wines, and I couldn’t have been happier with how well they worked in our sangrias. Treating this month’s shipment as a party-starter-in-a-box was an absolute blast. Wine subscriptions can be a great way to keep your vino supply robust, but it can also be fun to think outside the (wine) box. Why not let your monthly shipment inspire a meal or use it to spark inspiration for a challenge like this one?

Without a subscription, the wines I received in this box would cost $69.96, but with a membership, it comes to $60.96— a $9.00 savings. I was very happy with the wines I received in this box and how they worked in this challenge. I snuck a taste of the Cocomero and Sauvignon Blanc before they went into the sangria, and they were both delicious. However, the nature of this challenge is such that I wasn’t really able to describe these wines in-depth like I normally do. If you’re new to Winc, and you’d like a more thorough rundown of the wines with detailed tasting descriptions, make sure to check out my past Winc reviews.

What do you think? Did you enjoy this sangria challenge? Are you inspired to host your own Winc garden party? Please let me know in the comments section below!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Since Winc allows you to choose your wine, you can get any combination you’d like any month. Not all of the wines I received may still be available for purchase, but Winc releases new wines all the time. Sign up today and curate your own selection, or let them choose a few bottles for you.

COUPON: Get 4 bottles for just $29.95! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Value Breakdown: This box cost $60.96 for four full bottles of wine, but had a retail value of $69.96, so that’s a savings of $9.00 by having the subscription. The per-bottle cost breaks down to $15.24.

Check out all of our Winc reviews and more of our best wine subscription boxes!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Wine Subscription Boxes| Tags: winc | 14 comments

Comments (14)

  1. This is great! I wish you were my neighbors!
    I see there was a 5th member of your party who did not get an introduction. I hope s/he at least got some cheese.

    • Ha! Good eye! Yes, that’s Olive, and she absolutely got some cheese. 😀

  2. Thank you for such an entertaining post! I sure enjoyed it & now jonesing a Sangria:) and longing for friendly neighbors -somehow people don’t want to talk to each other and would rather watch tv or browse internet

    • I feel you, Jane. I recently moved to the south from DC, and it’s like night and day. People actually wave and greet each other here!

  3. I really hope this is not our last Sangria party! Also, “The Sangrias” will happen…start those guitar lessons!!!

    • Oof, I think guitar is out for me. There were rumors in the 90’s that there was a band performing around NYC with a member who would sit on stage during performances in an armchair, just sitting there while the rest of the members played music. I think that might be a better fit for my level of musical talent. 😜

  4. Another fun read. Love Sarah’s outfit. I look forward to reading more stories.

    • Thanks, Jody! 😀

  5. This is so much fun! And inspiring! I actually just made some sangria myself tonight with stuff we had on hand, but it was definitely not up to competition standards. ☺️

    • If I learned anything in this challenge, it’s that it’s hard to make a bad sangria. 😉 Hope yours was tasty, Brandi!

  6. I loved reading this! Thank you for making it special and including us. 🥰

  7. This was so fun to read! The pics are fantastic and I like how the dialogue was written out. All of the sangrias sound delicious. I’m going to try the porch swing sangria. I’m a sucker for anything watermelon.

    • Thanks so much for reading, Zo! Enjoy The Southern Porch Swing! 😀

  8. This was such a fun review!! Thank you for all of the awesome Sangria ideas!

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