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Does anyone else feel like it’s increasingly difficult to judge quality when shopping online?
We can’t count the number of times we’ve ordered something and been sorely disappointed when it arrived at our door. Clothes, makeup, even groceries! It can be hard to know what we’re actually getting. What about wine?
We’re sure you’ve seen lots of Instagram posts and articles about wine subscription services, but are they any good? We have great news on that front. We tried Winc — one of the biggest wine subscription services around — and we can confirm; it is very good.
Finally, a wine service where we can trust the quality of the bottles arriving on our doorstep. Wondering if you should take the plunge and join Winc? Today, we’ll outline how the brand works and if their original wines are as tasty as they look.
What Is Winc?
Winc is a wine delivery service that’s disrupting the wine industry as we know it.
Founded in 2012, Winc’s mission is to cut out all the obstacles and silliness that drive up wine prices. It’s wine for casual sippers and wine lovers alike with simple, fantastic flavors that are oh so conveniently delivered to your door every month.
Winc is both a wine subscription service and a winemaker. They make all of their own brands, so everything is streamlined for efficiency, cost, and carbon-cutting. Here’s how it works:
- When you join Winc, you take a test to outline what you like in a wine. Don’t worry — it’s not hard. You’ll answer simple questions like “Do you prefer red or white?” The test is over within three minutes.
- From there, Winc’s algorithm selects four bottles of wine that it thinks you’ll enjoy. You can select some bottles yourself, too, if there’s a brand you really want to try.
- Now, you reach the best part: Four bottles of wine arrive at your door ready to be enjoyed.
You’ll rate the wines and tell Winc whether you liked them. This data helps Winc give better recommendations in the future.
Sip, review, repeat: It’s that easy.
Is Winc a Good Wine Subscription?
Winc has had ten years to work out the kinks in wine subscription services, and it shows. It’s clearly an advanced and impressive subscription service with thousands of users backing it.
Let’s find out what makes Winc so spectacular.
You can have the best algorithm or the speediest shipping service around — if your wine isn’t any good, people won’t come back for more.
Luckily, that is not the case for Winc. This service offers a wide variety of wines from all over the world with all kinds of flavor profiles, ensuring there’s a bottle out there for everyone.
You don’t need to be a wine expert to enjoy Winc, but they do have plenty on their staff. Winc’s wine production is led by winemaker Ryan Zotovich who brings years and years of experience to every bottle.
Winc treats winemaking like the perfect marriage between art and science. With passion and the right balance of sun, soil, and science, they’ve created some of the most popular wines in recent memory.
Winc winemaker Robert Daugherty says that progress is always the goal:
“We focus on quality fruit, sound fermentation, and proper aging. With these in mind our philosophy is always progress — getting the best out of each harvest, and fine-tuning year over year.”
A wine company that’s willing to learn, invent, and strive towards great flavors? Literally, sign us up.
Once you start doing the math on Winc’s monthly service, you’ll see just how much money you’ll be saving. Their memberships start at $29.95 a month.
So, how does Winc keep their prices so slow? It has nothing to do with cutting back on quality. It’s actually all thanks to their innovative business model. By producing all of their wines and controlling their distribution, Winc has eliminated much of the fuss that usually drives up pricing in the wine industry.
Basically, it’s the idea that regular wine lovers everywhere didn’t know they needed.
Speedy Customer Service
One of the best things about Winc is its commitment to customer service.
If you don’t like a bottle that Winc sends you, they’ll replace it. If you want to pause your membership for any reason, Winc will pause it — no strings attached.
Their customer service team is available via call, email, text, and chat to answer your questions. If you call or email, you’ll get a response within a day. If you chat during business hours, you’ll get a response within a minute. Not too shabby, right?
While Winc uses data and an algorithm to power their wine-delivery magic, they’re committed to humanizing the customer service experience. You’ll get to talk to a real person when you’re trying to get in touch with Winc, and we think that’s pretty great.
Transparent Business Practices
Winc is committed to demystifying the world of wine, and that starts with their production line.
On their website and across social media, Winc shares tons of information about the science and agricultural practices going on behind the scenes. Transparency is so important in this day and age as customers ask more from the brands they support.
We think holding companies accountable is important, and it’s awesome to see that Winc is committed to sustainable farming, learning from user reviews, and always tweaking their formulas to deliver the best possible products.
We don’t know about you, but we’re no wine experts. You know that moment when the waiter has you taste your wine before pouring glasses for everyone? Yeah, we don’t know what to do then, either.
That’s why Winc’s personalized recommendations are so awesome. They take your palette profile and introduce you to new wines you may not even know that you’ll love.
Winc’s bottle listings are so detailed that before long you’ll be saying things like, “I prefer wine with an oaky finish,” and know exactly what you’re talking about.
How Are Winc’s Wines Different From Other Subscription Services?
Winc is not the only wine subscription service out there, so you may be wondering what sets it apart. We’ve got the low down.
You Get To Choose
Winc has recommendation tools that can suggest wines based on your taste. That said, they also allow you to choose which wines end up in your monthly delivery.
That’s pretty different from most subscription services, which make much of their money from private collaborations with different brands.
Because Winc owns every brand they sell, there’s no need to surprise its customers with products they don’t want or need. With Winc, you can lean on their recommendations or go your own way.
They Have Biodynamic, Low-Sugar, and Organic Options
Have you tried natural wine yet? It’s the latest wine trend that’s sweeping the nation, thanks to its low sulfur and organic farming. Winc was way ahead of the curve here.
Winc offers a strong line-up of biodynamic and low-sugar brands and is working on more as we speak. Let’s talk numbers:
- 55% of Winc’s wines have a low-sulfur content. Sulfur is included in most wines as a preservative against oxidation. In recent years, that practice has come under fire due to some people’s negative reactions to sulfites. More than half of Winc’s wine includes the lowest amount of sulfur possible, so your wines can remain preserved without the frustration.
- 60% of their wines are dry and include low-sugar content. Sugar tends to do some of the heavy lifting when it comes to giving you a headache the next day. Less sugar makes for better mornings.
- In 2022, Winc plans to produce 300k+ cases of organic wine.
Point being: If you’re looking for more from your wine provider, Winc has got you covered.
They’re Made In-House
As we mentioned before, all of Winc’s wines are made in-house. That means the company has way more control over the flavors arriving at your doorstep.
Why does Winc do it all themselves? Well if you asked them (and we did), they’d say it’s because they really do love it. They’re passionate about producing quality wine and demystifying the industry to the masses.
Winc also believes making their wine in-house gives them the ability to tweak their supplies in real-time. Daugherty talked about how customer feedback works into their winemaking process:
“In terms of advantages to operations, making our own wine gives us the latitude to make meaningful changes in real-time. It’s crucial to be flexible in an e-commerce environment that relies on customer feedback. We can look to that customer feedback and respond quickly. Winemaking, by nature, is a slow production. Controlling the winemaking process keeps us ahead of the competition that is operating solely as a virtual wine shelf.”
So, the reviews you leave on these bottles could actually have an effect on how grapes are harvested next year. How cool is that?
It’s only natural — there’s a little wine humor for you — to expect more from your subscription services when it comes to sustainability. That goes twofold for a brand like Winc, which is responsible for producing, bottling, and shipping their delicious wines.
Sustainability is built into Winc’s fabric. Since 2012, the brand has been working diligently to fortify their farming practices so they can carry well into the future. They call it a ‘sip in the right direction.’
- By using flexitanks and bulk shipping its international wines, Winc has reduced its carbon footprint by 50%. This also makes for fresher wine when it gets to your doorstep.
- By the end of 2021, the brand produced 125k cases of sustainably farmed wine — and they plan on improving on that number this year.
- Their packaging is made up of 70% post-consumer recycled materials and is 100% recyclable.
- They don’t use cork capsules. That’s because corks are unnecessary given modern packaging, and they’re pretty wasteful.
- Last but not least, Winc partners with 1% for the Planet and has already donated $66,000 to environmental causes.
So yeah, Winc takes sustainability pretty seriously.
All in all, Winc is a gamechanger in the wine industry for two reasons:
First, they’re different from other wine delivery services because they own all of their wines, helping to reduce their cost and carbon output. This also allows users to customize their orders. It’s a win-win.
Second, Winc is different from other wine brands in that they have an infrastructure set up to hear feedback from customers and make changes in real-time.
Other wine delivery services buy wines after they’re already bottled. They have no control over what goes into the product and how it evolves over time. Winc is built completely differently. It really is wine for the people.
All this adds up to a pretty compelling picture, which might have you wondering something…
Is Winc Wine Real?
Yes! This is a common question around Winc, and we can understand why.
Quality wines at this price delivered straight to your door sounds a little too good to be true. We hope by now you understand how Winc does it and what makes the brand so unique and special.
Winc wine is very real. Much of it is grown on California’s coast on a vineyard in picturesque Santa Barbara, but the brand also sources wine from Australia, Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain.
Winc’s expert winemakers work tirelessly to produce a bottle for every occasion, whether it’s dinner with friends, a quiet night in, or a big party. Winc wine is real — and it’s very good.
What Are the Best Wines on Winc?
Itching to get your hands on some of Winc’s best labels? We can’t blame you.
While we really do recommend Winc’s taste test to learn more about flavor palettes and experiment with new styles, there are some bottles you have to check out when you join.
Red wines pair deliciously with red meat and pasta. They’re great for cool evenings and curling up with a good book. Here are some of Winc’s best, according to the winemakers and many of their happy customers:
- Porter & Plot Cabernet Sauvignon is a dry and fruit-forward wine sourced from Mendocino County, CA. It’s bold and well-spiced with notes of oak, blackberry, and cherry.
- Sister Snake Syrah comes from South Africa. It’s a juicy, bold, and medium-bodied wine that’s sustainably farmed and delicious.
- Cherries & Rainbows Red Blend is a favorite among natural wine lovers. Sustainably farmed in a small lot in France, this organic and no-sulfur wine has sold out several times for a reason.
If white wine is more your speed, here are some awesome bottles that Winc members are raving about:
- Rome of the North is not your typical riesling. Coming from a long history of grapes planted by Emperor Constantine for his legions in Germany, this slightly sweet wine packs a punch of lime, pineapple and wet stone.
- Altre Món Grenache comes from the Spanish coast. This white Grenache is picked early in the season for extra brightness, and gives you lots of orchard fruit and flowers.
- Far + Wide Grüner Veltliner is an Austrian wine that’s an experimental take on Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re feeling adventurous, this is definitely the move.
As we get closer to summer, there’s only one word on everyone’s mind: rosé. Some of Winc’s most popular brands have been rosés. You may have even heard of a few…
Sauvetage is an organic rosé and a Winc bestseller. With pops of raspberry and grapefruit, it’s pretty inside and out.
Summer Water is a favorite of many an influencer and reality TV star. It’s on the drier side with notes of melon and grapefruit.
Last but not least, there’s Lost Poet Rosé, which was made in collaboration with masked Instagram poet, Atticus. It’s a little sweeter and citrusy.
Remember, everyone has different tastes when it comes to wine. Take these recommendations, but don’t forget to explore and figure out what you like best.
How Can I Learn More About Winc’s Wine Selection?
Winc has an impressively detailed page for each of their wines on their website. You don’t need a membership to peruse and see if anything sounds appealing to you.
Their site is honestly a great educational tool. Each of the wines’ pages includes a scale that tells you where the bottle lines up on its fruit, wood, and earth tones. The descriptions are simple and accessible to anyone who’s only dabbled in wine so far.
You can leave it at that, or you can go deep on how the wine was made and what other customers are saying about it. Again, we’re pretty wary these days about buying things online, and it’s refreshing to see a brand be so transparent from the grape to the bottle to our wine glass.
Can I Buy Winc Wines Without Subscribing?
You might be wondering if you could purchase one of the wines we mentioned above without a Winc membership. The answer is not yet. Winc has previously sold wines a la carte but took a break when pandemic-era shipping delays hit.
They’re planning on reintroducing a la carte shopping this year.
In the meantime, we seriously recommend you try out a subscription. You can cancel it at any time, though we have a feeling you might not be so inclined.
A Few Last Thoughts on Winc
If it wasn’t clear by now, we’re fans of Winc’s convenient and easy-to-use wine delivery subscription service. They’ve taken all the guesswork out of selecting a delicious wine — and even better, they’ve added the convenience of never having to leave your house to get it.
We have a few last thoughts on what makes Winc so great:
- Winc’s quality, housemade wines are made better by user reviews from regular wine drinkers like us. It’s the only wine delivery service that’s data-driven.
- Winc’s commitment to sustainability is admirable in our changing world. It’s nice to support a wine company that’s doing good.
- Winc understands that everyone’s tastes are different. Their personalized recommendations and customizable product list ensure there’s a bottle for everyone on their item list.
- Winc’s team of expert winemakers brings years of experience to the table. Winc is changing the wine game, but not without bringing the lessons of the tradition with it.
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