Thinking of joining a wine club? It’s a great jumpstart if you want to immerse yourself into modern wine culture and helps you explore an assortment of brands and types of wine. In this article, we’re comparing two popular wine clubs, Firstleaf vs Winc, and we’ll help you decide which one is best.
Why Go For A Wine Club?
Wine clubs are a convenient way of providing customers with a series of wine bottles on a scheduled basis (usually monthly or quarterly) in order to save them the time and effort of having to go to wine shops. Most wineries offer this option to their visitors and clients, and a lot of them work directly with wineries to offer the best wines at the best price, and you can customize your shipments to suit your preferences.
Pros of joining a wine club
- Some wine clubs offer certain reserve wines or exclusive releases before they are even available to the general public.
- Wine club members receive a discount on any wines or merchandise they order from the winery or purchase at the winery.
- Wine shipments are usually discounted by 10 to 20%.
- Offers a convenient way to taste the latest offerings.
- Wine club members get to enjoy exclusive special events at the wineries.
- You can quit a wine club at any time.
Cons of joining a wine club
- Delivery charges are sometimes higher than the discount itself.
- The selection made by the winery might be a variety not to your preferences.
- The discounts are based on full retail pricing. With many wineries, especially the larger ones, sometimes you can find a better deal at various wine shops that deal in volume sales.
Firstleaf vs Winc – Which Is Better?
These two algorithm-based wine clubs have been making raves among aficionados lately, but are they worth the hype?
Winc is a California-based wine club specializing mostly in Californian wines and offers an easy, fast, and convenient way of picking a selection. Firstleaf, on the other hand, offers an affordable, personalized experience of offering award-winning wines from great local and international wineries.
To help you decide between the two, we’ll break their benefits based on important factors.
Sign Up Process & Wine Selection
Firstleaf Sign Up & Selection
As we’ve mentioned, Firstleaf specializes in award-winning international bottles. While its selection of wines isn’t that vast, there are enough options that you should be able to avoid a specific varietal or type of wine.
Once you subscribe to the Firstleaf wine club, the signup process involves taking a short quiz to specify your wine preferences. You can choose if there are any specific flavors or characteristics that you want, and then the algorithm will make a personalized recommendation just for you. Suppose you’re not satisfied with a recommended bottle. In that case, you can easily swap out any of them from the roster and pick another.
With Firstleaf, you can be assured that you’ll be getting the créme de la créme picks since its team of experienced winemakers sample over 10,000 wines annually to select only the finest bottles across 5 continents and 12 countries.
Some of the wines that Firstleaf offers include:
- 2020 The Perfect No. 6 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red – South Australia)
- 2020 Musa Nuctuaria Tempranillo (Red – Spain)
- 2020 FogBreak Sauvignon Blanc (White – Monterey County, CA)
- 2019 Bordeaux Blanc (White – Bordeaux, France)
- 2021 Monjitas Blancas Torrontés (White – Mendoza, Argentina)
- 2020 La Douleur Exquise Rosé of Syrah (Rose – Pays d’Oc, France)
- NV Impress Extra Dry Prosecco (Sparkling – Italy)
If you’re new to the scene, you can schedule a free consultation with their wine experts to help you get started on your wine journey and pick the best bottles for your taste.
Winc Sign Up & Selection
Winc’s wine club membership process is similar, and you’ll also take a short quiz to indicate your preferences, which will help them make personalized monthly wine recommendations. You can settle for the personalized selection or customize your own bottles there.
Winc club offers a diverse selection of wines to choose from– from reds, whites, sweet, dry, and even some exquisite sparkling wine and rosé options if you’re into light, sweet, and fruity drinks.
Compared to Firstleaf, Winc has a relatively wider selection of bottles, and they focus more on local and sustainable/organic wines. Their selection includes classic better-known wines and more rare boutique vineyard creations.
A few of these include:
- 2018 Pacificana Zinfandel (Red)
- 2019 Fog Land® Riesling (Sweet)
- 2020 Passarola White Blend
- 2020 Sapore Locale Sangiovese (Red)
- 2020 Tempo Vero Vermentino (White)
- 2020 Capela De Sta. Margarida Red Blend
Additionally, you’ll notice that their bottles are cork-free; that’s because their wine bottles are stored in controlled and regulated cellars or warehouses, which is a more sustainable option.
After receiving each box, both Firstleaf and Winc will invite you to rate the wines you received to help improve their recommendations.
Plan Subscriptions & Pricing
Both Winc and Firstleaf have very easy-to-follow subscription processes and websites that are easy to navigate.
Firstleaf Price & How The Subscription Works
The introductory shipment from Firstleaf costs about $39.00 (with free shipping) for the first box of 6 wines. This shipment will determine your palette profile based on your feedback after tasting the wines.
Subsequent boxes will cost $79.00 + shipping charges. You can also opt for bi-monthly or quarterly shipments of wine at an affordable price.
When you navigate Firstleaf’s website, you can look at their wine roster, classified into categories for easier selection. To begin your subscription, answer the short quiz to personalize your introductory shipment. Once you’ve created your account, you can view your wine box selection, customize the type of shipment, and then check out. You can also choose to skip a delivery or cancel your subscription hassle-free.
Firstleaf also currently ships to most states except Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Utah.
Winc Firstleaf Price & How The Subscription Works
Winc bottles start at $12.99 each with a membership, and they offer free shipping on orders of 4 or more bottles. Currently, they have a new member promo of 4 bottles for only $29.95.
Through the Winc website, you can explore the wine selections and subscription plans. To start your online account, create your palate profile and select your preferred type of box (red, white, or mixed)..
Once you see your wine selection recommendation, you can edit your order as you please. The wine bottle selection in your wine box will be based on your taste profile. You can also opt for an all red, white, or mixed delivery.
Winc offers you the option to skip a month whenever you don’t feel like receiving a monthly delivery. Canceling your membership is likewise easy online or through their customer support team.
Packaging & Delivery Process
Firstleaf wine’s shipments are packed flat and use molded layers of recycled paper. Like with their partners, all of their shipments are also carbon-neutral, a sustainable method that takes into understanding the impacts of packaging materials, packaging systems, and their environmental effects.
You can postpone your next order as you please, provided they have not processed it yet. You can preview upcoming shipments in your online account and make changes to your upcoming orders.
Meanwhile, Winc usually delivers bottles in an upright cardboard box with pulp trays to keep the bottles secure and prevent them from knocking into each other and breaking during transport. Both the box and the pulp tray inside are entirely compostable, which requires less carbon to produce, reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, and provides the soil with important nutrients.
Winc orders are processed on the same date every month. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll receive an email with your monthly recommendations, and you can navigate to the website to customize picks or skip delivery for the month. Otherwise, your package will be automatically shipped.
NOTE: Both Firstleaf and Winc wine deliveries require delivery recipients to be at least aged 21 and above to sign.
Brand Pros & Cons
We’ve noted some ups and downs in Firstleaf and Winc’s services.
- Guaranteed risk-free exploration experience.
- Tasting & pairing cards + the club’s newsletter.
- Recyclable and anti-break box.
- Carbon neutral shipping.
- Bottles of wine are only $15, lower than retail prices
- Easy to navigate website with a range of sorting categories
- Offers free wine consultation
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Excellent customer service
- Offers carbon-neutral packaging
- Easy membership cancellation
- No option to choose the shipper at the order time
- Delivery available only to 44 states
- Limited to only six swaps per shipment
- Extensive selection of different types of wines (varietals, regions, etc.)
- Lots of information available for every bottle
- Affordable subscription price
- Consistent delivery
- Free shipping on orders of four bottles or more a month
- Offers “refer a friend” promos and other similar discounts
- Compostable packing box
- Easy membership cancellation
- Selection may not be pleasing to more experienced wine connoisseurs
Firstleaf vs Winc FAQs
How do I cancel a membership?
Should you wish to cancel your subscription to Firstleaf, visit the website, sign in, and follow the prompts. You can also send an email to [email protected] for any queries regarding the cancellation process.
For Winc wine club members, you can use the Live Chat feature via the Support button on their site or submit a request.
Can I offer these subscriptions as a gift?
Yes. Both Firstleaf and Winc have an e-Gift card option. With it, you can choose an amount and write a personalized gift note for your recipient digitally.
Your recipient can then redeem their gift card to enjoy full membership of either club.
How do their return policies work?
Firstleaf guarantees 100% customer satisfaction. Send them an email at [email protected] within 30 days of delivery, and they will issue a credit to your account. If the package contents are damaged, let them know and they’ll either reship it or refund you for the order.
For Winc shipments, if the package is damaged or has a bottle missing, contact them through their website so that they can offer a replacement or account credit. Refunds take about 7-10 business days to process, depending on your bank’s processing time.
So… Firstleaf vs Winc – Both Firstleaf and Winc are reputable wine clubs that bring you high-quality, affordable wines for a remarkable wine experience. Both subscriptions are super convenient and learn your preferences over time and even curate boxes based on them.
The question of which is the better wine club ultimately falls on the customer’s preferences. But for our take, Firstleaf is undoubtedly the best wine club for us since its selection of international bottle brands, flexible shipping terms, and excellent wine concierge offer the very best of wine culture, especially for experienced wine lovers.
Winc, on the other hand, is also an excellent option for those starting to immerse in the culture and who would want a more pro-local and sustainable choice.
Regardless of choice, joining a wine club lets you experience wine culture on a different level and gives you a fresh new insight into the richness of the wine industry.