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- Every month, wine club Winc sends you a box of wines (starting at $13 per bottle) personalized to your tastes.
- It offers a wide variety of wines, including red, white, rosé, sparkling, and vegan.
- I’ve used it multiple times and the service makes learning about wine approachable and convenient.
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One of the most popular wine clubs in the nation doesn’t require you to flash receipts for all the vineyards you’ve visited in the past year. In fact, the less you know about wine, the more you’ll probably enjoy Winc, an online winery and
that wants to make exploring wine simpler and more enjoyable.
What is Winc?
Winc is a California-based winery co-founded by sommelier Brian Smith. It uses an online Palate Profile and your own ratings to recommend and ship the best wines for your tastes, so you don’t spend an inordinate amount of time in the wine aisle deciphering labels and ultimately just choosing the one that looks the prettiest. There’s no fee or commitment to join, and you can skip the month’s shipment any time you want. If you don’t like the idea of a monthly subscription, the brand also offers an a la carte shop for members, with discounted pricing on wines.
Though I wouldn’t call myself a complete amateur and I know generally what types of wine I like, I am also eons away from becoming that person at the party who casually swishes her glass and rattles off tasting notes. Instead, I am more often the person who gushes over the cheese and charcuterie paired with the wine.
How to use your Winc membership
New members will fill out a short questionnaire called the Palate Profile, which asks things like how you like your coffee, and how much you like flavors such as citrus and mushrooms.
Then, Winc offers a selection of wine bottles it thinks you should try. Winc works with vineyards and winemakers all over the world to make these varietals. Since its launch, Winc has produced more than 664 wines from 78 grape varieties and 97 regions across 12 different countries. You may see some of these wines also sold at Whole Foods, Vons, and Kroger stores. Winc uses subscriber data and ratings to decide what to produce next, so you’ll see a lot of bottles that line up with emerging wine trends.
You can read up on the details of each bottle — its tasting notes, ratings from other Winc members, and its body and sweetness levels — before deciding whether to add it to your shipment.
Your monthly box includes three bottles, and you can add as many additional bottles as you’d like. Shipping is $9 for orders of three bottles and free for any order larger than that. There are also regular discounts to take advantage of.
Anyone can order wines to be delivered at any time, but you’ll get special discounted pricing if you become a member. On the 16th of every month, you’ll be charged $59.95 and receive credits to buy four bottles of wine. Any unused credits can be rolled over, and you can always skip a month.
If you prefer even more flexibility, we recommend skipping the membership and buying wine from Winc whenever you want. You’ll still be able to take and update your Palate Profile in order to receive recommendations.
Review of Winc
My bottles have always arrived securely packed in a box that also has a carry handle for convenient transport. In the past, shipments have come with a fun A-Z guide of important wine and Winc terms, but you can now find all this info, along with your specific bottles’ tasting notes, on the website.
I don’t usually love heavy, full-bodied wines, so I generally opt for lighter, medium-bodied bottles and a diverse variety of tasting notes. On your Winc profile, you can revisit the details of each wine and also figure out what types of food to pair it with.
In my most recent test of the service, I enjoyed the 2019 Pacificana Cabernet Sauvignon (currently unavailable), which was surprising because it’s full-bodied. In the past, the 2018 Cape Route Chenin Blanc (no longer available) helped pave the way for my current love of the varietal.
If you really love a specific wine in your shipment, I recommend re-ordering it sooner rather than later. Winc is constantly updating its stock and product turnover is high, so there’s no guarantee your favorite bottle will be there in a few weeks.
I haven’t loved everything I’ve tried through Winc, including a Touriga Nacional and a Valdiguié, but I ultimately appreciated that the site even offered so many varietals for me to try. With Winc, I’ve been able to learn more about what wines to avoid and what wines to explore more. Anyway, I’m able to rate all my bottles on my Winc profile so I could get better recommendations for my next box. In addition to a star rating, you can enter notes to refer back to later.
The next time you visit the Wines page, your recommended bottles will float right to the top, making it easy to add them to your box. Other than the provided recommendations, feel free to browse the rest of Winc’s wines, which include categories like Sparkling, Vegan, and California. The site is easy to navigate and neatly organized so you can find exactly what you want, while also providing enough discovery opportunities to help you stumble upon something new and interesting.
The bottom line
There’s no need to be stuffy about or intimidated by wine — Winc’s easy-to-use platform lets you get past your limited wine experience to fully enjoy a glass (or two, or three).
Its wine is also pretty affordable, starting at just $13 and maxing out around $32 per bottle. If you want to discover your next favorite wine without spending a lot of money or pulling your hair out over its complexities, there’s no better place than Winc.