Best Wine Clubs: Bright Cellars vs Winc vs Plonk vs Tasting Room & More

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Plonk Wine Club logo
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Gold Medal Wine Club logo

Are you an aspiring sommelier? Or just tired of the limited selection at your local market? If you’re a wine lover and want to explore beyond the usual retail offerings, consider joining a wine club.

Article Overview

Why Join A Wine Club?

Joining a wine club gives you access to estate wines as well as wine from lesser-known boutique wineries from around the world that you’d have a difficult (or impossible) time finding on your own—and they’re hand-picked by experts. You might be amazed at the variety of tastes, aromas, grape types, growing regions, etc. that you can explore with a subscription.

Not only that, you can get great deals, saving an average 40% off retail pricing. And there are many wine clubs to choose from—for beginner and sophisticated wine drinkers alike.

Can I Receive Wine Shipments Where I Live?

Before moving on to our wine club reviews and rankings, let’s discuss some limitations with shipping wine and other alcoholic beverages. There are a handful of states whose laws are strict about shipping alcohol. While we do our best to keep state shipping availability updated in each wine club review, these laws change, so we encourage you to check before signing up (most clubs will simply not have your state as an option if your state prohibits incoming wine deliveries).

No matter where you live, you must have someone at home who’s over 21 to sign for your wine deliveries. The carrier that delivers your wine may vary (Fedex, UPS, USPS, etc.).

Best Wine Of The Month Clubs

There are dozens of quality wine clubs out there. The competition is fierce, and it hasn’t been easy for our experts to choose (and rank) the best ones.

We based our picks on several factors, including:

  • Wine quality
  • Regional variety
  • Subscription variety (i.e. reds, whites, blends, etc.)
  • “Fun factor”
  • Pricing
  • Shipping and handling

Winc Review

Winc box and bottles of wine

#1

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Winc (formerly known as Club W) is our top pick. What stands out about Winc? They contract directly with vineyards, farmers, and winemakers to create their own wines.

Take a six-question palate profile quiz, and you’ll receive personalized recommendations each month. You can also opt to shop a la carte. The plus with this model is that you get to try wines that are unique to the club. And as a member, you get a discount on wines by the bottle and other perks. Winc offers excellent value for high-quality wines.

The only downside? If you discover a beloved wine through Winc, sadly, you may be out of luck. Winc cycles through their offerings and doesn’t always keep past wines available for reordering.

Still, Winc is one of the more affordable wine clubs, and they consistently deliver excellent and adventurous wine tasting.

Shipping not available to Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi,  Rhode Island, and Utah.

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely affordable compared to other clubs
  • Wines are unique to the club
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee (they’ll refund or replace a bottle you didn’t like)
  • Can cancel anytime
  • Offers wine club gift subscriptions
  • Good customer service with live chat
  • Committed to sustainable business practices
  • Shipping is $9/month (free for four or more bottles)
  • Only one subscription option (but you can add more wines to your order)
  • Doesn’t always carry past offerings
  • No discounts on reordering

Pricing

  • Free to become a member and shop for wines at a discount
  • Monthly subscriptions start at $39 for 3 bottles
  • Add additional bottles starting at $12.99 each
  • $9 flat rate shipping (free with purchase of four or more bottles)

Coupon

Go $20 off your first order with Winc! Use this link to have the discount code automatically applied.

Plonk Wine Club Review

Plonk Wine Club bottles of whtie and red

#2

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Plonk comes in as our second-place pick in our rankings. Plonk offers a wide variety of subscription options. You can choose from their Curated Wine Clubs (mixed, white only, or red only).

Every shipment includes international selections from lesser-known vineyards that grow organically and/or biodynamically. They do the choosing for you, and, based on customer reviews, they do a great job at finding “hidden gems.”

Plonk also gives you fun recipe pairing ideas and tasting notes with every shipment. The major con for them is they are the most expensive of the wine clubs we review. However, if you are a wine enthusiast who appreciates their commitment to the environment, then this may be a good pick for you.

Pros

Cons

  • Free shipping
  • Wide variety of subscription options
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Offers up to 16% discounts for re-ordering
  • Environmental focus on organic and biodynamic growers
  • Good customer service
  • Top-rated wine selections from around the world
  • Wine club gift subscriptions available
  • Cancel anytime
  • A bit pricier than the other wine clubs we review
  • No live chat
  • Website resources not as extensive as our top pick

Pricing

Plonk Curated Wine Clubs

  • Choose from three plans: Mixed, Red or White
  • $110.00 per month for four bottles
  • $285.00 per month for 12 bottles
  • Free shipping for all orders
  • View all plans

Coupon

Get free shipping with all orders, no discount code needed just use this link to take advantage of this offer!

Gold Medal Wine Club Review

Gold Medal Wine Club box and wines

#3

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Gold Medal Wine Club rounds out our top three for the best monthly wine club, delivers a full-flavored experience—much more than just the wine itself. With six different subscriptions at affordable pricing, Gold Medal features consistently excellent wines (many award-winning) from boutique wineries in California and around the world.

Every wine shipment includes a full-color publication about each region, winery, winemaker, and other fascinating facts. And foodies, take note! With the international subscription, you can even order their Gourmet Adventure Package that includes featured foods from the winery’s region. And if you see or taste a wine you like, you can purchase it in addition to your subscription.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing
  • Huge variety of subscription options
  • Members earn rewards discounts up to 40% off toward online store purchases
  • Features award-winning wines
  • Customer service with live chat
  • Satisfaction guarantee (but it’s unclear if they offer refunds or replacement bottles)
  • Extensive online resources about wine, regions, stores, etc.
  • Member discounts on wine club gift options
  • No contract/cancel anytime
  • Free shipping when you purchase 6+ bottles from the store
  • Charge shipping fees (varies by location and number of bottles)
  • No mention of environmental practices

Pricing

Gold Medal Wine Club’s Gold, Platinum, and Diamond pricing tiers are based on wine ratings. View all plans.

Gold Series (all California wines)

  • $39 per month starting price for two bottles (also four-bottle/month option)
  • Choose from three options: mix, red only or white only
  • Available monthly, every other month, or quarterly

Platinum Series (all California wines)

  • $96 per month starting price for two bottles (also four-bottle/month option)
  • Choose from two options: mostly reds or all reds
  • Available monthly, every other month, or quarterly

Diamond Series (top-tier wines (93+ rated) from California and around the world)

  • $188 quarterly starting price for two bottles
  • Choose from two options: mostly reds or all reds
  • Available quarterly only

Garagiste (sourced from small-lot winemakers, mostly in California)

  • $69 per month starting price for two bottles (also four-bottle/month option)
  • Choose from two options: mostly reds or all reds
  • Available monthly, every other month, or quarterly

Pinot Noir

  • $76 per month starting price for two bottles (also four-bottle/month option)
  • Available monthly, every other month, or quarterly

International

  • $75 per month starting price for three bottles (includes two reds and one white)
  • Available quarterly only

Coupon

Get a Free Bottle of Wine from Gold Medal Wine Club with the purchase of a 3 month or more subscription. No discount code needed. Click here to take advantage of this offer!

Read Our In-Depth Gold Medal Wine Club Review

Other Wine Of The Month Club Reviews

Although the following companies didn’t make it into our top three rankings for best wine subscription, they’re still among the best wine clubs around! In our opinion, you really can’t go wrong with any of our wine club recommendations.

Bright Cellars

Bright Cellars logo

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Like our top pick (Winc), Bright Cellars creates a flavor profile based on a taste quiz. Their algorithm (developed by MIT) compares 18 attributes, and you rate each wine to help it refine your future matches over time. It then pairs custom picks that are unique to you each month.

We love their clean, clear website with flavor profiles for each wine they recommend. If you don’t like one of your matches, you can swap it out for something else. You can skip a month and change your frequency of shipments at any time. And each bottle comes with a card that explains the notes, serving temperature, map of the winemaking region, and pairings.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing
  • Rigorous selection process (only one in twelve wines tasted by their in-house sommeliers makes it into the collection each month)
  • Features wines from all over the world
  • Customer service with email, live chat, call or text
  • Gift option includes a bottle opener in a gift box with a personalized note
  • No contract/cancel anytime
  • “Delight Guarantee” If you don’t love a bottle, they’ll send you a replacement
  • Shipping available in the United States only
  • Can’t buy individual bottles

Pricing

The California Wine Club Review

The California Wine Club logo

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The California Wine Club has been curating family, California wines since 1990. They pride themselves on helping to support artisan winemakers and getting to know the people behind their craft. The company has a loyal base with the average member subscribing for seven years or more.

The California Wine Club has five levels to pick from based on your budget and wine preferences. They are passionate about promoting small-batch wines and stand behind their selections with a satisfaction guarantee.

Pros

Cons

  • Curated, small craft wines (not mass produced)
  • Been around for 20+ years, specializing in California wines
  • Five memberships offered with 50% off retail price
  • Mix and match any wines you like
  • Each shipment includes a wine guide with tasting notes
  • Wine consultants can answer questions via phone or email
  • Members get VIP tours and tastings at featured wineries
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • $1 shipping
  • Mostly California wines
  • Only two bottles per shipment

Pricing

  • Premier Series starts at $40.45
  • Signature Series starts at $134
  • International Series starts at $71
  • Aged Cabernet Series starts at $231
  • Pacific Northwest Series starts at $77
  • View all plans

International Wine Of The Month Club Review

International Wine of the Month Club logoView Wine Club

International Wine of the Month Club arguably has the most stringent vetting process to find the best tasting international wines. Their panel of 40 wine enthusiasts, ranging from novices to expert sommeliers and well-seasoned importers, rate hundreds of estate bottled wines from boutique winemakers around the world.

You know you’re getting high quality and an excellent variety for a lot less than you’d pay at each winery. Unfortunately, International Wine of the Month Club only offers three levels of wine subscription boxes—and you only receive two bottles per month with whichever level you choose (although you can subscribe to multiple club levels simultaneously).

Shipment is not available to Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Utah.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing, even for its “Collection Series”
  • A long history of high-quality wines (since 1994)
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee (they’ll refund or replace a bottle you didn’t like)
  • Environmentally-friendly business practices
  • Excellent online resources, including FAQ, blog, region guide, and more
  • Good customer service with live chat
  • Other club offerings: beer, cheese, chocolate, etc.
  • Steep shipping charge of $13 per month
  • Subscriptions only ship two bottles per month
  • Not as much variety in monthly offerings as other clubs

Pricing

International Wine of the Month Club ships two bottles of wine per month at each pricing level.

Premier Series

  • Starts at $35.95 per month plus $13 shipping
  • Choice of mixed, two reds or two whites

Masters Series

  • $52.95 per month plus $13 shipping
  • Choice of mixed or two reds

Collectors Series

  • $72.95 per month plus $13 shipping
  • Choice of mixed or two reds

International Wine Of The Month Club Promo Code

International Wine Of The Month Club Fall Flash Sale: SAVE10 ($10 off any 4-shipment order); SAVE15 ($15 off any 6-shipment order); SAVE30 ($30 off any 12-shipment order); Use this link to take advantage of these offers.

Tasting Room By Lot18 Review

Tasting Room logo

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Tasting Room offers a fun, creative twist to the typical monthly wine subscription.

You start with the $9.99 tasting kit, which includes 6 mini bottles of various wines that you rate based on your personal preferences. Then they send you a personalized wine profile, including details about your palate.

A month later, you’ll receive your first shipment of 12 international wines hand-picked for you based on your profile (approximate cost: $149). You continue to rate each wine as you pour your way through, and they adjust their next shipment based on your preferences. Shipments are every two months, but you can adjust your desired length of time between each delivery.

The set cost at $149 per case is an excellent value for the high-quality wines they select. Tasting Room is a fun way to delve into wine tasting for novices, but if you’re already a connoisseur, you probably want to go with another club.

Shipping not available to Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Deleware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, or Vermont.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent price per bottle
  • Option to set your own shipping schedule
  • Can cancel anytime
  • Offers credit or replacement bottle if you dislike a wine
  • Personalized high-quality wine selections
  • Good customer service reputation
  • Discounts on select wines at online store
  • Gifting options
  • Only option is 12 bottle shipment
  • Hefty shipping fee
  • No information on environmental practices
  • No live chat

Pricing

      • $9.95 starter tasting kit (includes free shipping)
      • $149 for 12 bottles (every two months but adjustable)
      • $19.95 shipping per case
      • View all options

Coupon

No discount codes that we are aware of. Use this link to get the best possible deals from Tasting Room.    

The Original Wine of the Month Club Review

The Original Wine of the Month Club logoView Wine Club

As its name implies, The Original Wine of the Month Club was the first-ever mail-order wine club, dating back to 1972—and they’re still going strong today despite a ton of tough competition.

A reliable choice for beginner and experienced wine drinkers, the Original Wine of the Month Club isn’t quite as adventurous as some of our other best wine club picks (you can find all their offerings elsewhere).

But they’ve remained a top contender in this category for decades with consistently palate-pleasing choices. And their prices are hard to beat!

Shipping not available to Arkansas, Deleware, Georgia, Indiaina, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, or Utah.

Pros

Cons

  • Most affordable compared to our other reviews
  • Good variety of subscription choices
  • No contract required/cancel anytime
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee (replacement or reimbursement for wine you dislike)
  • Excellent website resources, including blog, podcasts, videos, articles, and more
  • Can choose delivery every month, every other month, or quarterly (except with Cellar Series)
  • Excellent customer service with live chat
  • Shipping charges apply (starts at $9.75/month but varies on location and number of bottles)
  • Wine selections not quite as adventurous as some other clubs
  • No environmental practices mentioned on the website

Pricing

Two Bottle Club

With each of the following clubs, you get two bottles and can choose to receive shipments monthly, every other month, or quarterly. The prices below only reflect the monthly subscription cost. View all plans.

  • Classic Series: $23.96 per month (choice of mix, red only or white only)
  • California Series: $28.96 per month (red only)
  • Vintners Series: $33.96 per month (mix, red only or white only)
  • Limited Series: $44.96 per month (mix, red only or white only)

Six Bottle Club

This club only ships every other month.

  • Cellar Series: $71.88 per shipment (mix, red only or white only)

Video: Are You A Wine Newbie? Wine 101

If you’re new to wine or just have never taken the time to learn about different types of wines, check out this video by AllRecipes.com that gives you a quick tutorial on wine varieties and regions around the world where certain grape types thrive.

Are There Monthly Clubs For Beer And Cigars Too?

Electric wine opener, caption: Best Electric Wine OpenerThere sure are, our experts also review the best beer of the month clubs and compare cigar of the month clubs.

Make sure you have the right electric wine opener for all the new wine you will be receiving!

Cheers and happy sipping!

Which club are you leaning towards?

About The Author:

Sally holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in anthropology from James Madison University. She went on to pursue a master’s in journalism at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An international traveler since she was under 10 years old, Sally loves exploring the world’s mysteries first-hand. Her favorite destinations? Greece, the British Virgin Islands and NYC.

She also spent much of her career in health sciences communications and has enjoyed working with and learning from some of the world’s leading academic scientists in genetics, global health, addiction research and other fields. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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