Winc Review: The Netflix Of Wine

(Money Under 30 Rating)

Ranking

9/10

Wine clubs are often expensive and overrated. But Winc, a new company that bills itself as the “Netflix of wine,” offers great wines for low prices.

Visit Site


Cost

9/10

Selection

8/10

Personalization

10/10

Sign-up process

10/10



Best for:

 

  • Wine-lovers
  • Affordable wine
  • Wine/meal pairings

Editor's Note - You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

Wine clubs are not new. For years, wine-lovers have been able to subscribe to monthly shipments of hand-picked reds and whites. But for many, wine clubs have never been practical.

There’s the cost, for one. Most club wines begin at $15 a bottle and don’t include shipping. So you could choose between a shipment of four wines for $80 or pick up eight $10 bottles at your local wine shop. If you’re on any kind of a budget at all, that’s not a difficult decision.

The second thing about wine clubs is the uncertainty. Clubs send you new wines every month. Discovery is part of a wine club’s appeal. Clubs send “good” wines—you’re paying for the recommendations, after all. But we also have preferences.

Enter Winc: the Netflix of wine.

What is Winc?

Winc began in 2012 as a personalized wine club called Club W.

The club’s new name, Winc, reflects the company’s larger ambition of transforming wine packaging, distribution, and sales into a supply chain that brings great wines to your table sustainably and affordably.

To you and me, however, Winc is a wine club. Winc is different because it recommends wines based upon your tastes. Winc is also reasonably affordable (at least relative to other wine clubs).

Recently, Winc sent me four complimentary bottles to try out. Long story short, they were outstanding, and I just paid for another month!

How Winc works

Just like Netflix, Winc recommends wines from its partner vineyards based upon a preference questionnaire and your ratings of wines you’ve purchased.

When you’re new to the Winc site, you’ll take a quick six-step questionnaire, which will help define your palate. It asks questions including how you like your coffee and how much you like citrus flavors.

From there, Winc recommends a number of red and white wines based on your preferences. You can either choose which bottles to send or create a membership and let Winc automatically send your top picks every month.

I completed my preferences. I like strong, black coffee, some saltiness, a tad of earthiness and feel “meh” about citrus.

Based on those answers, Winc recommended several wines and I chose the following four:

  • 2019 Vinyasa Chardonnay.
  • 2019 Alma Libre Carmenere.
  • 2019 Debts and Lessons Riesling.
  • 2019 Likelihood of Confusion Cabernet.

Winc Review - Wine

I was pleasantly surprised on all counts. Both whites were bottles I would’ve been unlikely to choose for myself, but I enjoyed them both.

The reds were right in the range of wines I like: Full-bodied and more dry than sweet.

After you’ve sampled your bottles, you can return to Winc’s website to rate the bottles. The ratings will help recommend future wines, but you’ll also receive a $10 credit after you rate your first 10 bottles.

What Winc costs

Winc’s membership itself is free. But each month Winc will send you at least three bottles coming in at $39, with flat $9 shipping fee. But Winc offers shipping on the house with orders of four or more bottles, so that’s the better deal.

Basic Winc bottles start at $12.99. There are two subscription levels, Featured and Select. At the Featured levels, Winc only recommends cheaper bottles. At the Select level, Winc recommends bottles between $13.99 and $47.99, so your monthly dues will vary based upon actual bottles shipped.

You can skip a month anytime, but skipping will erase your “queue” of recommended wines. Suddenly get thirsty? You can also log into your account, add bottles and click “ship now” to receive a shipment in 2-3 days. (This doesn’t replace your regular monthly shipment.)

Winc also offers a 100% guarantee. If you don’t like a wine, they’ll give you your money back.

Can I give Winc as a gift?

Yes. Winc offers both gift boxes starting at $50 and personalized gift cards mailed to your recipient. The gift cards can be redeemed toward a wine shipment or recurring subscription.

Features of Winc

Before you give Winc or another Wine Club a try, there are some things to note.

Obviously, you have to be at least 21 years old. Because of that, you’ll need to be able to sign for your delivery. Winc sends out helpful shipping updates via text, including on the morning your wine is out of delivery. But this can still be a pain if you’re not home to get deliveries and don’t want a bunch of wine delivered to work!

Winc is definitely worth a try. Without a doubt, you’ll enjoy some very, very good wines. And, with any luck, you’ll soon be discovering more about your palate and finding new wines on the shelves, too. Here are some of my favorite features of Winc:

Book of flavors

Winc Review - Flavor guide

I’ve always heard the terms “dry,” “earthy,” and “sweet,” but after getting a handy term guide from Winc, I found that my understanding of these terms is entirely incorrect in the wine world.

Winc Review - Earthy

For example, when discussing “earthy” wine – Winc says “Think of the way a farm or barnyard smells – earthy wines sometimes smell and/or taste of that aroma.” It’s an odd descriptor, but one that makes complete sense when I drink some of the bottles of red wine I got from Winc. 

Curated bottles

I personally love Winc’s sign-up process, where they ask you about some of your favorite (none-wine) flavors. By answering these questions, Winc can offer you four bottles perfectly attuned to your palate. 

I’ve never been adventurous when it comes to white wine, so I was unsure how I’d feel about Winc’s recommendations. But, it turns out that I actually do like some white wine (apparently chardonnay’s are perfect for my taste buds). 

Invest in Winc

If you’re REALLY into wine, you’ll be excited to know that you can invest with Winc and actually own shares in your favorite wineries. If you decide to invest, you’ll need to have over $1,000 to buy one share – so it is a costly investment. 

But, the wine investing community has actually been around for quite some time, and Winc is making it a little more interesting. Winc does strongly urge you to read their Offerings Circular before you decide to invest with them, as they do have some stringent requirements. 

Winc Select

Winc Select is for the wine-lover that isn’t all that concerned with budget (hey, we all have something we like to spend a lot of money on). Select members get recommendations for Winc’s most exclusive wines. 

Fortunately, there’s no fee to upgrade to Select status, but you will pay much more for the bottles Winc recommends you. 

Recipes

Winc Review - Recipes

Another surprise that came with my box of wine were recipes to make while drinking each bottle (or to add to the recipe). While some of the recipes were a little fancy for my taste, I imagine that experienced wine-lovers would love them.

For fun, I tried the Sunflower Hummus (a ridiculously simple recipe) and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was!

Well-designed packaging

Okay, it might sound ridiculous to mention the packaging in this review, but as someone who has had alcohol shipped before, only to end up with two broken bottles, I was excited to see that Winc packaged their wine so there’s almost no way it can break during transport. 

My experience using Winc

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by Winc. For one, I have always been a red-wine person. I always turned down white wine, saying “it gives me a headache.”

Turns out, when you don’t drink cheap, boxed white wine, headaches are far less frequent. I never would have discovered a new-found love of Chardonnay without Winc. 

I didn’t mind the cost, because I use Honey – a chrome extension that finds coupons codes for me – and most every time I order I get at least $20 off. Plus, I truly appreciated the add-ons I never expected like the flavor guide and the recipes that came with each bottle. 

Finally, I appreciate Winc’s site as a whole. It was easy to browse wines, and each came with a lengthy description and tasting notes to help me decide if it was a bottle I’d really like. 

Who is Winc best for?

Winc is obviously meant for those who like wine and don’t mind paying a little extra to get it delivered. You’ll definitely pay more than the three buck chuck that you’ll get at Trader Joe’s, but the wines do have much more depth and flavor. 

Who is Winc not right for?

If you don’t like wine, you won’t like Winc. And, unfortunately, if you live in the following states, Winc won’t be able to deliver to you:

  • Alabama.
  • Arkansas.
  • Delaware.
  • Hawaii.
  • Kentucky.
  • Michigan.
  • Mississippi.
  • Rhode Island.
  • South Dakota.
  • Utah.

If you’re open-minded when it comes to wine (and Winc ships to your area), then there’s no reason you shouldn’t give Winc a try.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Curated selections — Winc will hand-pick bottles of wine for you, based on your favorite flavors.
  • Easy sign-up — All you need to do is provide your email, a password, and fill out Winc’s survey so they can start choosing wine for you.
  • Helpful bonus material — The flavor guide and recipes were a nice touch.
  • Easy to navigate site — Browsing wines is incredibly easy, and they’re broken down into helpful categories (i.e. vegan, chillable, Italian, etc.)

Cons

  • Not the largest selection — Yes, Winc has plenty to choose from, but nothing compared to your local liquor store.
  • It can be costly — While there are some bottles closer to $12, many bottles are over $20.

Winc vs. Firstleaf Wine Club

 WincFirstleaf Wine Club
Cost$12.99 $47.99 per bottle$13.99 - $34.99 per bottle
Wine categoriesRed, white, rosé, sparkling, chillableWhite, red, rosé
Sign-up processQuick quiz that helps you determine the wines that are best for youQuick quiz that helps you determine the wines that are best for you

Winc’s biggest competitor is Firstleaf Wine Club. Firstleaf is very similar to Winc. You’ll start by taking a quiz that helps Firstleaf determine which wines you might like best. You can also choose from Firstleaf’s long list of wine options. 

But there are a few places where Firstleaf falls short. For one, Winc simply has more to offer. Wince has more categories to choose from, including sparkling and chillable red options. And, if you’re into premium wines, Winc also has more to offer. 

Summary

Winc is the perfect service for wine-lovers. With tons of options to choose from, it truly is the Netflix of wine. And, with low-cost and premium wine selections, there’s a little something for everyone. Plus, thanks to their helpful quiz, you’ll get bottles curated to your own personal taste.

Read more:

Related Tools

About the author

David Weliver
Total Articles: 296
David Weliver is the founder of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues he faced during his first two decades as an adult. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.