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Winc Review - Everything You Need to Know About the Most Popular Wine Subscription Box

Winc Review

Everything You Need to Know About the Most Popular Wine Subscription Box

We work hard at My Subscription Addiction to bring you all the subscription box news that’s fit to print, and we like to wind down after a long day with a glass of wine. And why pick up a bottle from the grocery store when you can have it delivered to your front door? There are lots of different wine clubs to choose from (and we’ve reviewed most of them), but Winc is one of our favorites. 

If you’re trying to figure out which wine subscription is best for you, there’s a lot to consider. For example, some wine clubs surprise you every month with a curated selection, while others allow you to pick out the bottles yourself. Winc is a great all-around, customizable subscription that can work for all types of wine lovers. But is it the right wine subscription for you? 

In this Winc review, we’ll use our years of wine reviewing experience to help you answer that question. We’ll take a look at selection, taste, cost, value, and convenience to help you decide if Winc is the best wine club for you. We’ll even look at Winc alongside other wine boxes to see how it stacks up. Now, let’s launch into this Winc review!

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

by Lindsey Morse, MSA Reviewer, Wine Lover
June 4, 2021| Leave a comment

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

Winc Pros & Cons

Winc Pros

  • 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.
  • Not a fan of your wine matches for the month? You’re welcome to choose your own bottles from the regularly changing selection.
  • Red wine, white wine, rosé, sparkling wine, and cider are all on the menu.
  • The ordering process is simple and straightforward.
  • The curated selection features bottles from independent wineries you won’t find in the grocery store.
  • The label art is next level.
  • Bottles start at $12.99 each with a membership.
  • Shipping is free if you order 4 or more bottles.
  • It’s easy to pause or cancel your subscription online.

Winc Cons

  • Most of Winc‘s wines are moderately priced. If you’re looking for budget bottles or high-end wines, another subscription is likely a better fit. 
  • The majority of wines are from the U.S. and California. If you want to exclusively receive old-world wines, this probably isn’t the subscription for you.
  • The greatest savings are available for Winc members. If you want to place a one-time wine order, you might find a better deal elsewhere.
  • The selection is decent, but those with specific tastes (like Chardonnay-only drinkers) might find it limiting.

All About Winc

 

How did Winc get started?

Winc got started back in 2012 with the goal of making wine easier to get and enjoy. It was founded by Xander Oxman, Geoff McFarlane, and winemaker and sommelier Brian Smith, and its personalized wine club approach has taken off. Winc has grown steadily since its launch. The wines produced in Winc’s California winery are available primarily to Winc members, but you’ll find the occasional bottle for sale at select retailers and restaurants.

How does Winc work?

In this Winc review, we’ll go over all the things you need to know about this wine delivery service, but in case you’re new to wine clubs, let’s start with a quick overview of how Winc works. The first thing to know is that Winc is a recurring subscription. When you sign up, you’re agreeing to receive wine shipments on an ongoing basis. You’ll enter your credit card information when you join, and you’ll continue to be charged until you decide to cancel. Here are the steps you can expect to follow when you sign up for Winc:

  • Take the quiz to help Winc make tailored recommendations: When you sign up for a subscription, you’ll start by answering a few fun questions about your palate. How do you take your coffee? Do you like salty food? What are your thoughts on citrus? These questions help Winc pin down your likes and dislikes so your monthly bottle recommendations are curated just for you.
  • Personalize your subscription: Want all red wines? Or mostly whites? You can program this into your subscription, too.
  • Confirm your order each month or skip: Every month, you’ll receive a notification when Winc has picked out your wines. You can go along with the recommended bottles or log into your account and pick out your own. You’re also welcome to skip the month.

How much does Winc cost? 

Winc subscriptions are flexible. Since you can choose your own bottles as well as how many your receive, the cost of your subscription may vary. Here’s some pricing info to better help you understand how much Winc costs:

  • Bottles start at $12.99 each with a membership.
  • Shipping is free if you order 4 bottles or more.
  • A 4-bottle shipment starts at $51.96.

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

Where and how does Winc ship?

Winc is currently only able to ship to states that allow direct wine shipments. Liquor laws vary greatly from state to state, so this information is subject to change. If you want to sign up for Winc but they don’t yet ship to you, we recommend checking back occasionally for updates. Currently, Winc is unable to ship to AK, AL, AR, DE, HI, KY, MI, MS, NJ, RI, SD, and UT. There are warehouses in both California and Pennsylvania to ensure shipments arrive as quickly as possible after orders are placed.

How is a Winc delivery packaged?

Winc shipments are securely packed in a brown cardboard box. Bottles are held in place by molded cardboard pieces that help 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. The packaging materials are made from 70% recycled materials and they are 100% recyclable.

What wines does Winc offer?

Image via Winc.

Winc offers a good selection of wines to choose from. Every month, you’ll find approximately 100 different wines for sale. The selection skews in favor of wines from the U.S. and California, but there are also always international bottles available. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Zinfandel, Viognier, and Grenache are available alongside red and white blends. You can also filter the selection to find wines that are:

  • Low Sulfur
  • Low Sugar
  • Organic
  • Sustainable
  • Vegan
  • Natural
  • Unfiltered

Are Winc’s wines tasty?

We’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of Winc‘s wines, and our reviewers have found that most of the wines are delicious given the price point. That said, this is an affordable subscription built to offer everyday wines. If you’re a wine connoisseur with Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, you might long for more sophisticated offerings from established wineries.

Is Winc convenient?

Without a doubt, we can say with 100% certainty that Winc is convenient. If you like keeping wine on hand and want to regularly receive new bottles, Winc is a great way to automate your wine buys. Whether you’re looking for a wine club you can put on autopilot or prefer to hand-select your own bottles every month, Winc has you covered. And having wine delivered to your door every month? What’s more convenient than that?

What information is available in the Winc app?

Winc has an app that allows you to manage your account on the go. You can browse available wines, lock in your bottle picks, skip deliveries, and update your account information.

What do MSA reviewers say about Winc?

We’ve had a variety of different writers step in to review Winc over the years, each with a different set of preferences and level of wine expertise. Curious about what they have to say? Let’s take a quick peek back at some past Winc reviews.

Savannah’s Winc Reviews

  • Review expertise: Savannah is an open-minded foodie who’s reviewed all kinds of food and wine boxes for MSA. She reviewed Winc nearly two dozen times, and while she started out as “a cheap beer kinda gal,” her knowledge and appreciation for wine expanded during her time reviewing wine for MSA.
  • Drinking profile: She’s “not crazy about dry wine” and prefers bottles that have just a hint of sweetness.While not typically a “red wine kinda gal,” Savannah is always game to try something new.
  • Thoughts on Winc Wines: Savannah has tried a lot of different Winc wines, but let’s zero in to look at a few in detail:
    • 2017 Restless Earth Grenache– Savannah tends to prefer white and rosé wines, but Winc hit a home run for her with this red. She says, “this grenache was light, smooth, and easily my favorite of the month. Ah, I can’t get over the lightness! (…) I’ve never had a red like this before, and I’ll make it a point to have more reds like this in the future. Did this grenache just make a red wine believer out of me? I think so.”
    • 2018 Loves Me Not Rosé– As a fan of sweeter wines, this bottle hit all the right notes for Savannah. “So wonderfully sweet, this rosé was almost like drinking candy, which at times can feel like too much, but for a quiet evening following a scalding hot summer day, it truly hit the spot. I kept reaching for the glass only moments after setting it down. With tasting notes of apricot, orange peel, peach ring, and white flowers, this bottle is one I’d order again without a second thought.”
    • 2018 Cocomero Rosé– Winc frequently dazzled Savannah, but perhaps never as much as when she found herself face-to-face with a scratch ‘n’ sniff label. “Hold onto your socks—this bottle has a scratch and sniff label (!!) that smells like candied watermelon. Sound the alarm! This is not a drill! Wow. What business does this rosé have being so charming? In addition to an unbelievably delightful exterior experience, it delivers a light and lovely palette of fruity flavors (raspberry, rhubarb, rose petal, and watermelon, to be precise), plus a dry finish. It also touts a grenache base, and I do love a grenache. This was my favorite this month, hands down, and it’s easy to see why this one is truly beloved by the Winc community.”
  • Verdict: Throughout her time reviewing Winc for MSA, Savannah found a lot of great wines. She ordered the Loves Me Not Rosé again and again and frequently stepped out of her wine-drinking comfort zone with solid results. Even after a shipment that largely missed the mark, she had this to say: “Winc has been one of my favorite monthly subscriptions for a long time, and even though this was far from my favorite shipment, I still stand by its excellent service and experience.”

Anna’s Winc Reviews

  • Review expertise: Anna has reviewed all kinds of different subscriptions for MSA, and she frequently shared her love of food and beverage with the MSA community. She reviewed Winc a handful of times.
  • Drinking profile: When Anna first began reviewing Winc, she was “just beginning to explore and learn about wine.” Still, she approached her subscription with an open mind and was happy to try anything and everything Winc was willing to send.
  • Thoughts on Winc wines: Anna sampled approximately 20 different Winc wines in her MSA reviews. Let’s take a look at what she had to say about a few of them.
    • 2016 Summer Water Rosé – In her first Winc shipment, Anna tried Summer Water, a Winc wine so popular it’s been given its own dedicated subscription. Says Anna, “This is just about the friendliest rosé I’ve tried. It walks the line between fruitiness and dryness in a way that’s refreshing, smooth, and deliciously easy-going. I can see why this wine is so popular—its flavors aren’t necessarily subtle, but they’re gentle enough that you can drink lots of this wine without feeling overwhelmed or weighed down by flavor. How can I put this? If this wine was a piece of art, it wouldn’t be a masterpiece in a museum, but it would be the kind of cute, colorful piece I’d want to see every day in my apartment.”
    • 2016 Finke’s Widow Field Blend- Anna went out of her way to try all kinds of different wines, and it wasn’t long before she added a bottle of sparkling wine to her monthly box. And she loved it! “This wine was as bright and refreshing as a champagne, but with less overwhelming sweetness. The site says this Chardonnay has a dry, crisp taste with ‘pineapple, peach, and floral aromas.’ I definitely picked up the peachy vibes—it’s subtle but just enough to make each bubbly sip feel deliciously summery. I wonder how this would do in place of champagne in a mimosa? I’ll have to play around and see what I can create. It definitely tastes fun and party-perfect.”
    • 2016 RUZA Rosé Wine in a Can (3 Pack)- Wine in a CAN!? Anna found this Winc offering pretty dazzling. She writes, “whoa… now, this is new. I’ve had wine from bottles, boxes, and yes, the occasional bag, but a can? I would liken the experience to drinking a grapefruit LaCroix with a subtle boozy kick (so, uh, it’s awesome). This rosé is on the dry side, which I enjoy a lot. The sparkly quality takes a moment to get used to, just because the bubbles in a can seemed less dainty than what you’d find in a bottle. (Think sparkling-water-style carbonation rather than the delicate effervescence of a champagne.) Sure, I would’ve loved a slightly finer carbonation, but I couldn’t help but feel, well, cool drinking rosé in the same way someone might sip on a can of Perrier. That said, drinking this bubbly beverage from a glass does taste better. So if you have a glass handy, I recommend using it! I can’t help thinking how perfect these cans would be on a glamping trip or a tailgate party!”
  • Verdict: Anna enjoyed how Winc helped her “get a feel for the language of wine,” and the subscription helped her identify which flavors and varietals she most enjoyed. Her most favorite thing about Winc? Regular wine shipments make sure she always has a bottle on hand to pop open for visitors. Says Anna, “I love keeping my kitchen stocked with wine, especially with all the social events that happen in summer.”

My Winc Reviews

  • Review expertise: I’ve been writing food and wine reviews for My Subscription Addiction since 2014, and I’ve reviewed Winc about 15 times so far. I’ve visited wineries in California, Italy, France, and Spain, and I love drinking and writing about wine.
  • Drinking profile: I take an open-minded approach to wine, and I love trying new wines from all over the world. If I’m popping open a bottle at home for funsies, it’ll likely be a French rosé or Sancerre, Portuguese vinho verde, or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Thoughts on Winc wines: Not every bottle I’ve ever had from Winc has been a knockout, but I can safely say that most of the time the wine is great. Personally, I tend to have the best luck with white wines from Winc, and I think the rosés are fantastic too. I have to agree with Savannah that the Cocomero Rosé is a winner. From its scratch ‘n’ sniff label to its smooth fruity flavor, it’s a bottle I’ve ordered more than once. I recently enjoyed the blend of earthy and citrusy flavors in the 2020 Sister Snake Sauvignon Blanc, and I also found the crisp freshness of the 2019 Yé-Yé White Blend to be very memorable.
  • Verdict: I’ve tried A LOT of wine clubs in my day, and Winc is the one I recommend most frequently to my friends and family. It’s a great all-around wine subscription that can work for lots of different wine drinkers. I think Winc is a great everyday wine subscription that delivers solid quality for an affordable price.

What do MSA readers say about Winc in their reviews?

At MSA, we don’t just publish our own in-house reviews. We also invite our readers to rate and review the wine clubs they’ve tried. Here’s what Alexis had to say about her experience with Winc:

“Obsessed with Winc, also have loved all the wines sent! For the price it’s unbeatable.” –Alexis

Sarah made a point of sharing how flexible Winc is:

“If you enjoy wine, this is an awesome wine club. You get to pick which wines, and you can skip a month if you need without penalties. If by chance you don’t like a wine, they’ll send you a different one to try or credit your account. Each bottle we’ve gotten has been awesome and there’s a good variety each month..” –Sarah

Glenda, however, wasn’t such a fan. She found the wine to just be “so so”:

“Liked the idea of this and loved the first bottle I opened. Each one after that was only fair to mediocre. Because you have to call to cancel, I skipped online for months. You can now cancel through live chat but the process was still a bit more time consuming that I’d hoped.” –Glenda

If you’d like to learn more about Winc and read even more reader reviews, you can visit our Winc brand page here.

Are there alternatives to Winc?

If you like the idea of a wine club, but you’re not sure Winc is the right subscription for you, there are a few competitors that might be a better fit.

Winc vs. Wine Awesomeness

Wine Awesomeness features great wine from around the world. They specialize in rare and lesser-known wines, and selections are made by an experienced curatorial team, which always includes a Food & Wine Sommelier of the Year. Each box comes with digital access to tips, recipes, pairing ideas, and more. Let’s outline some of the key differences between Winc and Wine Awesomeness:

  • Customization: Apart from choosing all red, all white, or a blend of both, there’s no customization with Wine Awesomeness. If you’d rather choose your own bottles, Winc might be a better fit.
  • Shipment size: With Winc, you can choose how many bottles to receive each month. Wine Awesomeness shipments feature 3 bottles of wine.
  • Adventure: Interested in trying adventurous and offbeat wines? Wine Awesomeness specializes in varietals and blends that you’re unlikely to come across in your grocery store’s wine aisle.

Winc vs. Bright Cellars

Like Winc, Bright Cellars is a monthly wine subscription that uses a quiz to help pair you with wine matches. Bright Cellars was founded by two MIT grads with a passion for wine and technology. Using your “taste palate quiz” you are given a 4-bottle recommendation to review. You can either agree with their selections and proceed to purchase, or you can switch out one or more of the bottles.

  • Cost: Bright Cellars costs $80.00, making it more expensive than a box of Winc’s cheapest wines.
  • Quantity: Bright Cellars shipments contain 4 bottles of wine. With Winc, you can order as many as you like.
  • Smart recommendations: Both Winc and Bright Cellars make initial suggestions based on your responses to their quiz, but Bright Cellars adapts to your likes and dislikes. Based on how you rate the bottles you receive, your recommendations will change over time.

Winc vs. Firstleaf

Firstleaf is another wine subscription service that matches you with personalized wine selections. When you sign up, you take a quiz that helps pin down your preferences, and then Firstleaf picks out your bottles. (You can swap out any wines that don’t interest you.) As you rank the bottles and continue to provide feedback over time, your recommendations will become increasingly more accurate. Let’s see how these two subscriptions stack up:

  • Shipment size: Each shipment from Firstleaf contains 6 bottles of wine.
  • Price: Firstleaf costs $39.00 with free shipping for the first box, and $79.00 + shipping for subsequent boxes.

Is Winc worth it?

We’ve covered a lot of info in this Winc review, but one big question remains: is Winc worth it?

First and foremost, both our writers and readers have good things to say about this subscription. Most have had great experiences with Winc’s wines and appreciate that the subscription is customizable. The quiz is short and fun, and Winc’s tailored suggestions are appreciated. That said, most reviewers tend to hand-select their bottles each month. For those just getting into vino, Winc is a great way to learn about the world of wine, and for seasoned wine drinkers, it’s a great way to get explore affordable new bottles from independent winemakers.

If you’re interested in joining a wine club and you’d like to receive a handful of bottles every month, Winc offers a good selection of wines at an affordable price point. While not every review has been five stars, most experiences have been positive. The selection, value, convenience, and quality have won over the majority of reviewers who’ve tried Winc. If you’re ready to sign up, just make sure you understand that you’re signing up for a subscription; you’ll be charged every month (unless you skip) until you decide to cancel.

Ready to subscribe? Make sure to sign up using our coupon below to ensure you get the best deal.

 

You can try Winc for yourself here:

 

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


Have you tried Winc? Head to the comments section and let us know!



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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.

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