Winc is a trendy new wine club offering bottles starting at $13.
This review talks about how Winc works, what you can expect to pay for a subscription, the quality of the wines and some potential shortcomings.
How it works
Winc asks you a handful of multiple-choice questions to determine what wines to send you. These were the ones I was asked.
- How do you like your coffee?
- How do you feel about salt?
- Do you like citrus?
- Do You Like Earthy Flavors Like Mushrooms And Black-Truffles?
- Do You Like Blackberries, Blueberries And Raspberries?
- How Adventurous Are You When It Comes To Food & Drink?
Then Winc asks you how much of each type of wine you’d like each month. I rarely ever drink white wine, so I went with 4 red, 0 white.
How much does a Winc membership cost?
Winc has two price tiers one for those who want to purchase one-off bottles of wine and one for subscribers. Being a subscriber gets you around $5 to $10 off their offerings.
If you are a subscriber, the prices per shipment vary depending on the wines that are included. For their basic wines a box of 4 bottles costs between $55 and $65. That could potentially double if you ask them to include premium wines.
Note: If you order has 4 or more bottles, you receive free shipping.
My first impression of Winc was very good. The case they ship in is well-packed and comes with a handle so it’s easy to carry. I was concerned about bottles being broken, but I never received an order that was damaged.
As you probably know, I’m a stickler for presentation and details. So, I was quite pleased with the welcome booklet that was sent—The ABC’s of Wine.
It was accompanied by some cute illustrations. What’s not to like?
But how are the wines?
Sure, everyone loves good branding, but how are the wines?
Before I answer this question, I have to let you know that I am a wine enthusiast not a wine connoisseur. There are very red few wines that I dislike.
Now that I’ve had all of the above wines, I can say that I enjoyed them. While none of them were excellent, I felt like they were all a good value. Think of these on par with a lot of the wine offerings at Trader Joe’s. Well, maybe not Two-Buck Chuck.
Second and third orders
One thing I quickly realized was that I don’t drink as much wine as I thought. As my second order approached, I had only gone through half of my first box. So I went into the account settings and asked for Winc to skip the shipment. No wine for another month.
When I received my second shipment I was disappointed that I had already tried one of the wines they shipped. I had expected new types of wine—that’s part of the wine club deal, right?
By the third box I had tried all but one of the wines in the previous two. If I was going to stockpile wine, I’d hope to have more variety. This probably isn’t an issue had I mixed reds and whites in my order, but I rarely drink white wine. Such is life.
I think there are some solutions to this. Split a box with friends or coworkers, perhaps?
In any case I decided to cancel my Winc subscription. I just don’t need 3 or 4 bottles of wine each month. Every other month would have been better. And I absolutely would have stayed, if I could have wine sent quarterly.
Cancelling Winc is a pain. It is absolutely the worst part of this service and makes me hesitant to restart my subscription.
I don’t want to have to call or have a chat with one of your reps to cancel. I know that you’re going to suggest I reduce the amount of bottles I’m ordering or skip a month. I wouldn’t be cancelling, if I could just get a delivery every other month without having to login to the website.
Having to tell a rep to cancel my service 3 times is probably something Better Business Bureau wouldn’t be happy with.
Final thoughts: Winc vs. Trader Joe’s wine
Winc’s wine subscription offers a solid value to those who go through more than 3 bottles of wine a month. If that’s not you or you don’t want to receive the same wines, I’d suggest avoiding the subscription. You can by Winc bottles a la cart or get similar value shopping for wine at Trader Joe’s.
If anyone working at Winc reads this I have two suggestions: Give flexibility to keep the subscription and allow orders every other month or quarterly and let people cancel online. I know you have a few engineers. It isn’t difficult to build a page after they hit cancel asking if they want to reduce the amount they are ordering.
You’re tarnishing something great with a poor customer experience.
Want a discount?
If you’re certain that you can use at least 3 bottles of wine a month or don’t care about talking to customer support to cancel, Winc might be for you. If that’s the case, check-out this post for $22 off your first order.
State delivery restrictions
Some states have laws the prohibit direct-to-consumer delivery of alcohol. Unfortunately, Winc cannot ship to customers in these states:
- Rhode Island
Winc doesn’t ship wine to South Dakota. However, that is because of issues with localcarriers, not laws.
There are also some postal codes in Connecticut, Florida, New Hampshire, and West Virginia that prevent shipping. If you reside in one of those states, see this post for the full list.