Naked Wines Review – My Honest Take
If you’ve heard of Naked Wines, there’s a good chance it’s because you got one of their “gift cards” in another subscription box. I know I’ve collected many a Naked Wines voucher from other subscriptions, but I’ve never actually done a Naked Wines review! Lucky for me, Naked Wines reached out to My Subscription Addiction to see if we’d be interested in learning more about this wine subscription box. I jumped at the chance!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about their wine “subscription” program, and we’ll explain exactly how the vouchers work.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Naked Wines
As this article from the wine experts at VinePair explains, a lot of the money you spend on a bottle at the liquor or grocery store goes into the fancy sticker, marketing, and distribution of the product—not the wine itself. Also, that bottle likely came from one of a small handful of big-time wine companies, which take up a lot of space in the market. Smaller wineries are often limited by overhead costs that stifle innovation, creativity, and the overall selection of quality wines available to consumers.
Naked Wines set out to upend the traditional wine market. How? Naked Wines collaborates with small winemakers, taking care of all the sales, marketing and regulatory tasks. Their model allows smaller winemakers the freedom to focus more on wine and less on marketing and desk work. And because winemakers apply to collaborate with Naked Wines, the company gets to pick and choose from the best of the best to work with. Currently, they partner with well over 150 independent winemakers, many with pretty impressive famous-name pedigrees.
How It Works
There are a few different ways to get your hands on Naked Wines.
Naked Wines Vouchers
Maybe, like me, you got a Naked Wines voucher in a recent subscription box. The voucher directs you to a page where you can purchase a 12-pack assortment of Naked Wines for $79.99. (That is a lot of wine for about $6.67 a bottle!) Don’t have a voucher? No worries! Follow this link, and you’ll find a quiz you can take that will grant you the same discount!
Naked Wines Angel Program
When you make your purchase with your voucher, you’ll be auto-enrolled into the Naked Wines Angel program. This program is a unique take on a subscription model. Basically, you deposit $40 a month into your Naked Wines “piggy bank”. You can use this money at any time to buy bottles from talented winemakers at a special cost (usually 40-60% off retail). The pool of money goes towards the support of these growing vineyards, so it’s sort of like crowdfunding. You can also withdraw your funds at any time, and if you happen to hate a bottle of wine, they’ll refund your money.
From Naked Wines:
By funding winemakers upfront, we’re able to remove a huge chunk of costs that in a traditional wine business would be passed on to you, the customer. Costs like sales and marketing.
It also means the winemaker can spend more time in the vineyard and less in the office. Which means the wines taste better. It’s a win, win.
Another really cool feature is that on each wine’s page, Angels and customers can rate and review the wines. More than once, I noticed that winemakers themselves had responded to customer reviews, adding in details and sharing knowledge. For someone like myself who loves wine but truly doesn’t know that much about it, this is a fountain of information!
The Angel program itself can seem a little confusing because there isn’t another membership service quite like it, so if you have additional questions leave them in the comments, or check out the handy FAQ.
Not into memberships? No problem. You can buy these wines at the regular retail price in their shop.
This is the part where I tell you that I am not a wine expert:
I am not a wine expert.
But I do know what I like. I also want to get more into wine. (I have a friend who lives near a ton of wineries, and I want to look like I know what I am talking about when I visit her and hang out with her fancy friends.) I also enjoy killing a bottle all by myself over the weekend while enjoying a Bob Ross marathon. I have just recently begun to branch out into red wines instead of my preferred sweet whites. When our friends at Naked Wines reached out to see if I had wine preferences, I told them I loved Rieslings and other semi-sweet options, as well as Cabernet. They were kind enough to send me a 6 pack of 5 Cabs and a lone Riesling. I was admittedly a little nervous since that was a lot of red wine to try and sound knowledgable about.
Let’s drink some wine!
Ken Deis Reserve Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 — Retail Value $69.99 for non-members, $32.99 for Angels
Rutherford, Napa Valley, USA
This wine didn’t have much of a bouquet when I first poured it, which surprised me because the color is so rich and deep. I let it breathe for a little while in my glass before I tasted it, and the notes of flowers and berries exploded to life! This wine was incredibly smooth but did have a little bit of a tannin bite at the end, something I personally enjoy and have read is common with younger reds.
Ken Deis is one of those winemakers that leaves a ton of responses to the comments on his wine pages. I feel like I learned so much about this wine just from reading his replies to reviews! It honestly makes me want to try others from his brand, since he is obviously so passionate about his craft. This is a bottle I would absolutely drink again, and even my husband who doesn’t like wine thought it was great.
Miriam Alexandra Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 20162017 Pregame Red Blend — Retail Value $54.99 for non-members, $19.99 for Angels
Napa Valley, USA
This bottle has such a pretty label. I know that isn’t everything, but hey, I appreciate it. This cab was much more tart than the others sent in the box and had notes of pears, berries, and something sharp. It was also drier than the others and was refreshingly acidic. This was one of those wines that didn’t linger in my mouth and felt much lighter than I am used to with a Cab. Because it was a little unusual, I rather liked it! I feel like you could absolutely enjoy this lighter red with a fresh dinner of veggies and salmon, whereas I know a ton of other reds are generally paired with red meats/heavier fare. I enjoyed it with a cheese plate and berries.
Camille Benitah Terre de Feu Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 — Retail Value $29.99 for non-members, $14.99 for Angels
Lake County, USA
This is one of those wines that very much reminds me of perfumes I enjoy wearing. Notes of leather, smoke, and woods mingle with the dark berries and plums. It felt like a very cold weather wine, if that makes any sense. (Sorry, I got way into seasonal craft beers before wine!) This one was not what I would consider smooth, and the tannins are prominent. It benefitted greatly from sitting in my glass for a little while, which let those masculine notes mellow into something a little more smooth but still with a big mouth-coating taste.
Mauricio Lorca Reserve Uco Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 — Retail Value $21.99 for non-members, $12.99 for Angels
Uco Valley, Argentina
The wine was medium-bodied and very smooth! There is a little bit of woody barrel taste in there that I adore with the dark berry notes. Not a ton of tannin action here, but it does have some sort of special spice that worked really well with a red-sauced pasta. I am always so impatient when it comes to decanting reds, but this is another one that would likely have become even more complex and interesting if I had given it a little more time. Even straight out of the bottle, I really enjoyed it though, so no worries if you are impatient like me!
Michaud Quintessence Washington Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 — Retail Value $47.99 for non-members, $16.99 for Angels
Red Mountain, USA
This was the first bottle I opened from the box and is also my favorite! I would buy this again and again. I couldn’t get enough of this lively red, with its aromas of cherries, juicy berries, and something peppery. It got better and better the more time I gave it time to breathe, but the bottle really didn’t last too long. It has a pretty high alcohol content, but you wouldn’t know it based on how smooth it was. This is either a good thing or a bad thing! My husband and I enjoyed this wine while sitting on our porch, watching the sunset.
Michaud Columbia Valley Riesling 2017 — Retail Value $18.99, $10.99 for Angels
Columbia Valley, USA
This was the lone white wine in a box full of big reds. I love Riesling, especially in the summertime (anytime!) or with fish. This one was a little thin, IMO, but still really crisp and bright. It is off-dry, but if you don’t like sweet wines, I could see you thinking it was very sweet indeed! It has flavors of citrus and apples and would honestly make a great white sangria! I tried some straight out of the bottle, but it really shined when chilled. The twist-off cap means it is good to go whenever and a perfect picnic choice.
I am seriously considering joining the Angel’s Wait List. It is a great way to support smaller wineries, learn a ton about wine in general, and also snag yourself a really generous discount on high-quality bottles of wine. The site itself is a treasure trove of information, and for a newbie like myself, this is pretty valuable!
Also, the wine itself was legitimately GOOD. I would take any of these bottles to a party or give one as a hostess gift with zero hesitation. There were absolutely wines that I preferred in this batch, but I would gladly drink any of them again. Although I was worried about describing 5 different bottles of red wine well, this was actually a blessing—I feel like I learned a ton about the subtle differences between them. If you are new to wines or a veteran, you would be hard pressed to not find a few bottles on this site that tickled your fancy. And as someone who really values supporting smaller businesses, I think this is a fantastic model to show those smaller winemakers a little love while still stocking up your wine cellar (or tiny pantry shelf) with delicious, quality wines.
Any questions? Leave me a comment!
To Wrap Up
Can you still get these wines if you sign up today? Some of the wines in this box are now out of stock, but there are tons of other wines to try. See for yourself here!
Value Breakdown: The 6 wines in my order retail for $173.95, but Angels can get them for just $108.94. That’s a savings of about 37% for Angels. Remember, if you take this quiz, you can get a voucher to start your Angel membership with a box of 12 wines for just $79.99!
Check out the best wine club subscription boxes of 2019!