About Online Wine Clubs

Our Ranking Criteria for Wine Clubs

Here is our breakdown of the five criteria we used to rate online wine clubs. Your input is a huge help to enhance our reviews & rankings. Email us at info@consumersconfidence.com with any tips, insights, or general thoughts about online wine clubs.

You can see the results of our top 10 list for wine clubs here: Top Online Wine Clubs 2016

Weight Distribution for Wine Club Reviews

  • Value in joining
  • Variety of Wines & Options
  • Ease of Use & Accessibility
  • Quality & Curation
  • Customer Service

Online Wine Clubs Value

This reflects not only a regular per bottle price of wine, but also considers sales, members discounts, and shipping costs. Any other promotional offers or complimentary gifts are included as well. Since the quality of the wine is a large factor that determines the price, the value of any given wine club is adjusted to account for that. For example, if a wine club gives you average wine at very low prices, then they will be rated higher than a club that deals you premium quality wine at a premium price point.

Variety of the Reviewed Club

How many different varietals of wine they provide, the diversity of the countries they curate their selection from, the number of different clubs they allow consumers to choose from, and the amount of configuration options they provide (shipment frequency, number of bottles).

Ease of use / Accessibility

Includes the navigability of their site and how easy it is to understand their offers and products. The less knowledge required to shop their selection and services the better. The more information such as newsletters or informative pamphlets provided with shipments, past  the better. Allowing potential customers to see past orders is a much appreciated feature.

Quality & Curation

Judges the curation process involved in obtaining the wines. If the wines have official ratings, then they are considered. Some clubs have expert tasting panels and others only choose from smaller wineries in a specific area that meet certain requirements. The price of the wine club will factor into this score, as highly rated wine purchased at lower prices will obviously score higher than the opposite.

Customer Services

Return policy and satisfaction guarantee, payment options (upfront or monthly). How easy it is to do things like change preferences, shipping configurations, or cancel. Any features that increase the personalization of the club contribute to this score as well. Any additional programs, benefits, or unique offerings that benefit the customers are included in this as well.

 

Recommendations

Selective Customer – Companies with the most clubs to choose from or the best options for people who know exactly what they want, our recommendations are Vinesse Wines and Naked Wines. Vinesse has over 16 clubs to choose from and a Naked Wines subscription provides you the ability to spend your subscription in their store, selecting whatever wines you want.
Inexperienced / Less Knowledgable Customers – For clubs that provide customers with a lot of information, and make finding and choosing wine easy, we suggest Lot18’s Tasting Room and Naked Wines. Lot18 uses a tasting kit and updated preferences to make sure you get wine you love, and Naked Wines has an online community of wine drinkers and wine producers for their customers to utilize.
The Frugal Customer – The best option is Naked Wines, since they allow you to choose whether or not to spend your monthly deposit, and they have incredibly low prices from funding wineries upfront.
Wine Purchasing as a Gift – We recommend Uncorked Ventures, they have a couple great gift basket options which include boutique foods found in the San Francisco area.

Information to consider

If you want to only sign up for a trial, remember that most services like these automatically bill you. So make sure to cancel online after you are finished with the service. We found that a disproportionate amount of the complaints from bad reviews on various sites was due to people being, as they called it, “wrongfully charged.” You should also keep in mind that most of the credits and “free” offers on these sites are actually discounts applied to purchases. Some states do not allow for the delivery of alcohol, and most of these services require you to have somebody over 21 present to sign for your package.

Top 3 "Best Variety Wine Clubs"

Gold Medal Wine Club 94 Points
Vinesse 93 Points
Naked Wines 91 Points

Top 3 "Best Value Wine Clubs"

Naked Wines 96 Points
Gold Medal Wine Club 91 Points
Vinesse 90 Points

Top 3 "Most Personal Wine Clubs"

Lot18 Tasting Room 95 Points
Naked Wines 94 Points
Vinesse 93 Points

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