There comes a stage in one’s life when it’s simply not acceptable to have an empty wine rack. Sure, you could swing by the shops on the way home, but the wine aisle in your local supermarket can be a very confusing place and you’d also have to lug your purchases home by yourself. A better idea, in our opinion, would be to place your trust in one of these wine subscription services, ensuring you’re never caught out again.
Offering a selection of delivery frequencies and bottle quantities, from the everyday drinkers to the more impressive bottles you’ll want to save for a special occasion, the wine subscriptions we’ve included offer a wide range of options with plenty of choice to tailor the package to you. Delivered directly to your door, you won’t have to lift a finger (well ok, maybe a corkscrew) and before you know it that wine rack will be bursting with exciting new finds.
When putting these subscriptions to the test, we were looking for quality wine, from exciting producers, packaged up sensibly, with fab customer service on the other end of an email.
The subscriptions start from as little as £25.50 a month, but budget and taste depending, you can of course spend a lot more. Spending more may get you a better selection of wine, or a larger quantity, so think about what’s important to you when making your selection.
We hope these boxes will educate, inspire and hopefully get you out of a wine drinking rut.
Delivery is included in the price unless stated otherwise.
From £30-£90 a month, Wanderlust Wine
Best for: Overall
Key specs – What’s included: Either 6 or 12 bottles a quarter; Delivery options: Quarterly; Delivery cost: Free Delivery
The small team at Wanderlust believe in offering unusual, quality wines, curated by the season; with an emphasis on organic and biodynamic styles. There are three membership levels to choose from – silver (which will get you 6 bottles a quarter) gold (12 bottles) or platinum (12 even better bottles) – all of which come with individual tasting cards. Payment is flexible, and aside from the steady supply of wine, club perks include 10-15 per cent off additional wine bought from the online shop, free tickets to tasting events, and the opportunity to taste alongside the wanderlust team when they pick new producers. We tried some very exciting bottles in our box, including a rich buttery Californian chardonnay Wanderlust’s own New Zealand sauvignon blanc, and also the organic Arbison from France which has been billed the “healthiest red wine in the world”.
£50, Nosy Wine
Best for: Millennials
Key specs – What’s included: 3 bottles; Delivery options: Every 1, 2 or 3 months; Delivery cost: Free Delivery
Wine can sometimes feel like a bit of an old boy’s club, but we love this millennial-friendly company with the most gorgeous packaging. The small club is run by two women who are on a mission to make the world of wine more fun. Each month they invite a new expert to select the three wines that will be sent out to members. July’s box was hosted by Valter Kramar, co-owner and sommelier of Hisa Franko, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, who took us on a journey of Slovenian wines. We loved reading through our booklet, which outlined the difference between organic, biodynamic and natural wines, included an interview with Valter and plenty of other down-to-earth tips.
From £59.88 for a taster box followed by £134.88-140.88 thereafter, Virgin Wines
Best for: A weekly ‘everyday’ bottle
Key specs – What’s included: 12 bottles; Delivery options: Every 3 months; Delivery cost: £7.99
The Discovery Club allows you to pick from either a mixed case or just whites or reds, depending on your preference, with 12 brand new bottles sent to your door every three months (which equates to a bottle a week). It works out cheaper than if you were to just buy the wines yourself, with a minimum 15 per cent discount. In each case you’ll find a wine tasting booklet so you can get clued up on your selection. It also provides a food pairing suggestion, description and a bit of background on the winery to ensure you get the most out of each bottle. As an added bonus, any of the Discovery Club wines you fall in love with can be re-ordered with a 15 per cent member discount. We tried a juicy Romanian pinot noir (something we might not have thought to pick up otherwise) and a mouth-watering herbaceous semillon from South Africa’s Western Cape.
From £29.95 a month, Savage Vines
Best for: Podcast
Key specs – What’s included: Either 2 or 3 bottles a month; Delivery options: Once a month; Delivery cost: Free Delivery
As much as we love seeing a box of wine turn up on our doorstep, it can be tricky to coordinate deliveries and it’s not always an option to leave it outside if you’re not in. Savage Vines have got around this annoyance by delivering its subscription in a handy carry case, so you can get your loot sent to work before carrying it home easily. Choose to receive either two, three or six bottles once a month on an ongoing basis, or for a set three-, six- or 12-month period. Delivery is offered four days of the week and you’re also able to specify whether you’d prefer your wines to be red, white or a mixture. Included with your wine is a simple booklet detailing the six wines you might have got that month, including a food pairing, brief tasting notes and a link to the monthly podcast, during which Kyle at Savage Vines talks you through the wines on the monthly tasting sheet. What’s more, monthly subscriber’s get a further 25 per cent off everything in their online wine shop.
£33 a month, The Grape Reserve
Best for: Wine and food pairing
Key specs – What’s included: 2 bottles; Delivery options: Monthly: Delivery cost: Free Delivery (some remote postcodes will incur a 10 per cent additional delivery fee)
Straight-talking and straight-forward, The Grape Reserve will send you two bottles of wine a month for a set price of £33. You can select 2 bottles of red, 2 bottles of white, or a bottle of each – and each month they’ll include tasting notes, complementary food pairing ideas and a recipe. They aim to shine a light on different varieties, perhaps from regions you might not have tried before, working with independent wineries, so expect contrasting wines in each delivery. Our selection included a complex but refreshing Portuguese white and an unusual but full-bodied red from Romania which The Grape Reserve recommend enjoying with shepherd’s pie.
From £25.50, Abel & Cole
Best for: Organic
Key specs – What’s included: 3 bottles; Delivery options: One off, Weekly, fortnightly, every 3, 4 or 8 weeks; Delivery cost: £1.25
Each month the selection changes, but like everything from Abel & Cole, all three bottles will be organic. Honey Spencer, Abel & Cole’s sommelier, will pick a new theme each month, each with its own newsletter and tasting notes. Although the selection only changes on a monthly basis, you can choose from various delivery options (more or less frequent). The August box featured new world wines (meaning those produced outside the traditional winegrowing areas of Europe) including a fairtrade chenin blanc from South Africa, a cabernet sauvignon dubbed ‘the Bordeaux of South America’ and a super smooth Argentinian malbec.
From £79.90 for an introductory box, followed by £99 a month for the standard case, Majestic
Best for: Choice
Key specs – What’s included: 12 or 24 bottles; Delivery options: Every 3 months; Delivery cost: Free Delivery
This is a crowd-pleasing wine club with a plan to suit everybody. Every three months you’ll receive a case of your choice – a standard box of 12, a double standard box of 24 or a more premium selection of 12 bottles with a choice to mix or stick to just reds or just whites. Printed tasting notes will help you make sense of your loot and you’ll receive a free bottle to boot (or two with the double case). A swanky VIP card will give you access to open any bottle up to the value of £20 in store, and you’ll always receive their ‘best price’ even if you’re not buying in bulk. If you opt to have your wines sent to your local store, you can taste all the wines in the case, swapping out any that you don’t like before you take it home.
From £85-£149 depending on plan, The Wine Society
Best for: Everyday Drinkers
Key specs – What’s included: 12 bottles; Delivery options: Choose your frequency – from once a month to once a year; Delivery cost: Free Delivery
There are five plans to choose from at The Wine Society, all of which include 12 bottles, available as either all reds, whites or a mix. Selections are refreshed every two months (New Year, Easter, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) with you paying a maximum price for your plan (but less if the bottles equate to less, which will be a nice surprise in your bank account).
The cheapest of these plans is the ‘Wine Rack Essentials’ which you’ll pay up to £85 for. It includes everyday bottles you can happily enjoy midweek without overspending.There’s a ‘Discovery Selection’ which should offer more exciting bottles, as well as ‘Lighter Wines’ (those with a lower ABV), ‘Worldwide Wines’, and pricey ‘French Classics’. All boxes include tasting notes, recipes and food pairing suggestions and should ensure your wine rack is kept topped up.
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