You may have toyed with the idea of joining a wine club and getting a regular supply of wine every month or three months. If this sounds like you,, we are going to tell you more about the wine clubs, Firstleaf and Winc., both based in the U.S.
A Brief ExplanationAbout the Differences Between Firstleaf vs Winc.
Let’s first take a look at the most important differences and similarities between Firstleaf and Winc.
- Winc. sends you three bottles of wine a month while Firstleaf sends you six bottles every three months. However, the price of the subscription servoces are close.
- Firstleaf will send you wines from established wineries which you might already know about, while the wine provided by Winc. is made by them.
- Both Winc and Firstleaf ask you to fill in a questionnaire before you sign up so that they have an idea of the wines that you like.
- Winc. allows customers to choose their wines, while Firstleaf chooses the wine for you.
- Firstleaf concentrates on the origin of the grapes used to produce the wine, while Winc. is more interested in supplying vegan wines as well as sustainable options.
- It you order wine in bulk, Firstleaf offers better discounts than Winc.
An advantage of both wine clubs is that they give you the opportunity to try different wines. Perhaps you want to hold a dinner party and all you’ve got at home are a few bottles from the local supermarket. I’m not knocking supermarkets, but they usually do have a limited choice and there is rarely anyone to help you with your journey into wine. That’s where wine clubs come into their own. They will send you a selection of wines with information about the flavours and aromas and food pairings. The success of these wine clubs is reflected in the fact that many of the clubs have tripled in membership over the last six years.
You will find that you are spoiled for choice when looking at all the wine clubs out there. Firstleaf and Winc are based in the U.S., but there are wine clubs all over the world. Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have plenty to choose from.
There are different types of wine clubs out there. Some work together with small wineries while others associate themselves with larger suppliers. Firstleaf and Winc. work with larger wineries and suppliers.
In this article, we are going to go into further detail concerning the differences between Firstleaf and Winc. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to choose one over the other. First, however, we will take a look at the concept of a wine club.
How Does a Wine Club Work and How Much Does it Cost?
It isn’t difficult to understand the fundamentals of the working of wine clubs. They are subscription services and you sign up to receive bottles of wine either monthly or every three months. They usually give you an introductory offer so you get your first delivery at a reduced cost. After the introductory offer, the wine will be more expensive, but this is to be expected. Yes, they are luring you in with reasonably priced wine, but if you like their wines, you will probably continue with the subscription. Some wine clubs give you more of a say in which wines you will receive, while others will surprise you. Usually, however, you get to choose red or white wines or a mixture of both.
When it comes to the cost of the wine, this too varies. You could be looking at around £70 for a shipment of six bottles, or perhaps even more. However, these wines are generally of good quality so paying £10 for a bottle of wine isn’t at all bad.
Quite often, you are offered free shipping, but not all companies offer this benefit. Many wine clubs also allow you to order single bottles from their online shop. Then you would have to pay for postage, although some waive this fee if you order six bottles or more.
Both Firstleaf and Winc. are reasonably priced, but they still offer quality wines. Firstleaf offers the first six bottles for under $40, although the price will go up with the next shipment. You are not obliged to continue with your subscription. Of course, there will be people who will just get the first shipment and then move onto another wine club to get the first shipment again at a reduced price, but most people plan to continue with their subscription after the first delivery if they are happy with the quality of the wines.
Wine clubs are becoming more and more popular and they can make up at least a third of the profit of each winery they are associated with.
We can’t say which is the best wine club out there as it is all subjective. All we can do is give our opinions and it is up to you to decide which wine club offers what you want out of a wine subscription. Take a look at the varieties of wine that are on offer to make sure that they are what you want. Do they offer wines from the regions you are interested in and are the wines of good quality? Look into their customer service policies. Is it easy to get in touch with them if you’re not happy about something?
Now let’s take a look at Firstleaf and Winc.
What Sort of Wine Clubs are Firstleaf vs Winc.?
Both of these wine clubs are online and based in the U.S. although Firstleaf ships in wines from all over the world. Unlike many wine clubs, they give you a quiz before your first order so they can match the wines to your taste. Unless you like surprises, this is an advantage as you are less likely to get wines that you won’t like.
Do Firstleaf vs Winc. Deliver Good Wines?
Neither Winc. or Firstleaf will ship cheap wine. However, if you are looking for higher quality wines, perhaps wine that has been aged or is rare, choose Firstleaf. Winc. doesn’t offer the cheapest wine, but neither does it deal in the highest quality wines. Firstleaf has more exclusive wines and they do rely a lot on customer reviews for the choice of their wines.
How Do I Sign Up with Either Winc. vs Firstleaf?
Both Firstleaf and Winc. give you a short quiz before signing up. This gives them a good idea of what type of wine you like. They are then able to choose suitable wines for you.
- Firstleaf is direct in their quiz. You will be asked how sweet or dry you like your wine, the flavours you enjoy, your colour preferences, and other such questions. If you’re new to wine however, it may be difficult to answer some of these questions. When you have filled in the quiz, you will be asked to submit an email to sign up with the club. They will tell you which wines you will be getting in your first package based on your answers in the quiz.
- Winc. isn’t quite so direct in their quiz. They will ask you about your general tastes rather than specific wine flavours and aromas. This is a good method if you are new to wine and don’t really know what flavours and aromas you like when it comes to wine. Once you have done this you can sign up either through email, Facebook, or Google.
What are the Subscription Plans for Both Wine Clubs?
Subscription plans are important when you sign up with a wine club. You don’t want to get too many bottles of wine and in the same way, you don’t want to get too few. Winc. sends you wine every month, while Firstleaf send you a shipment every six months. However, Winc. sends you three bottles while Firstleaf sends you six. Winc. allows you to order extra bottles from their website and they also have a special Insider Membership which gives you credits that you can use against future purchases. Firstleaf also offers you an a la carte membership which costs a little more but gives you an opportunity to get more exclusive wines.
Is it Easy to Unsubscribe From Winc. vs Firstleaf?
It is easy to unsubscribe from both Firstleaf and Winc. You can unsubscribe at any time, unless a shipment has already been sent out to you. You can contact either via your online account or by phone. There’s no commitment to a year-long plan so you really don’t have anything to lose with either club.
What are the Shipping Policies for Winc. vs Firstleaf?
Shipping is always an important factor when you choose a wine club. Winc. ships throughout the US apart from states that don’t allow shipments of alcohol. These states are Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Delaware. The same is true for Firstleaf. In addition both wine clubs insist that someone over the legal drinking age signs for the wine. They won’t leave the shipment at your door. Somebody has to be at home, although you can organise for the wine to be delivered to your work address. However, remember that the shipment may be heavy so if you have a long walk to your car, it might not be the best alternative. You can also organise to pick up your wine from the local offices of UPS or FedEx.
Firstleaf uses UPS and FedEx while Winc. just uses UPS. Unfortunately neither wine club offers free shipping. Firstleaf charges $10 and Winc. charges $9. However, if you order more bottles of wine from Winc. shipping is free.
What are the Refund Policies of Firstleaf vs Winc.?
Firstleaf offers a 30-day return policy if you don’t like the wines or if the package has arrived damaged. Winc. isn’t clear about their refund policy. They say that refunds will be offered ‘as appropriate’. However, if you do send wine back to either, you will be charged a restocking fee. This is also the case if you send back damaged parcels.
What is the Difference Between the Wines Offered by Winc. vs Firstleaf?
Firstleaf has a policy of choosing their wines based on customer reviews. If you rate a wine well, they will continue selling it, but if there are too many negative reviews, they will stop sending the wines to subscribers. This is where Firstleaf comes out on top over Winc. as Winc. doesn’t do this.
However, both wine clubs will give you information about the wine offered. You will get flavour notes, information on where the wines were produced, and suggestions of what to pair the wines Firstleaf gives the most information and in this way is ahead of the game. Winc. doesn’t give you as much information. Firstleaf will even give you information about the wineries where the wines were produced. It is difficult to work out if the wines from Winc. are top notch as they don’t mention awards or customer ratings. In this way, we consider that Firstleaf is far superior as they give you cold hard facts. However, the one thing that Winc. offers is vegan wine and these days, this is important as so many people are turning vegan or vegetarian. Believe me, the taste of vegan wines is just as good as their non-vegan options.
Do Customer Reviews Differ Between Winc. vs Firstleaf?
It is difficult to find customer reviews for wines sold on Winc. If you go on Yelp, you may find quite a few but this is really the only search engine and they don’t put customers reviews on their website. If we take a quick look at the ratings, they average 3.5 out of 5. Unfortunately, this is mainly because there have been customer service problems and complaints about the quality of the wine. Quite a few people weren’t impressed with the wines they had delivered. They believed that the wines were below par. Another factor to note is that the Better Business Bureau has only given them an ‘F’ rating.
However, Firstleaf doesn’t do much better. They say that they sell their wines based on customer reviews, but it’s difficult to find many reviews. The Better Business Bureau also gives them an ‘F’ rating.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope that you have gained some knowledge about Firstleaf and Winc., but in case you have some questions about them and wine in general we’ll answer some questions here.
Why is wine often called plonk?
When people say plonk, it usually means that the wine is of low quality. It is thought to have come from Australian slang and the word is mainly used in the UK and Australia.
However, you will be pleased to know that most wine clubs don’t send you plonk. Instead, they generally send you wines of a higher quality and Winc. and Firstleaf are no exception.
Strangely enough there is a wine club called Plonk Wine Club, but this is just a play on words and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they sell bad wines. They support sustainable producers and showcase wines from untapped regions such as Greece, Croatia, and Hungary. Many of their wines are organic.
Firstleaf vs Winc. – What are their main philosophies?
If you go to the ‘About’ page of the wine clubs, you should be able to tell if they are interested in affordability or in quality. Maybe they have a mixture of both reasonably priced wine and high-end. You will probably also find out where the wines come from.
Firstleaf has an excellent website which you can browse before signing up. They tend towards quality wines but because they cut out the middleman and work directly with winemakers, you can get up to 60% off the retail price. They taste around 10,000 wines every year and select only the best for their subscription service. You will find that you are getting new and unique bottles of wine in every delivery. Because they ask you to do a quiz before signing up, they say that they offer a personalised selection at a reasonable price.
Winc. also has an excellent website. The company was started by two entrepreneurs and a sommelier. They make their own wine, brand it, ship it, and sell it. In this way, they can offer wines at a reasonable price. They focus on creating a large wine community both in the US and around the world.
Do We Recommend Firstleaf vs Winc.?
Before you decide which wine club to choose or to give as a gift, it is a good idea to look at not only cost, but details about shipping, the wines on offer, and customer service.
Both wine clubs have their pros and cons as you have seen so far. It is a good idea to take the trial offer from either club and then make a decision if you want to carry on subscribing. However, although Firstleaf says that they choose the wines based on customer reviews, there seems to be a lack of reviews on the site. Winc. on the other hand, doesn’t offer enough information on the wines.
The long and short of it is that Firstleaf has a slight edge. This is because it offers wine of a higher quality than Winc. does. In addition, they provide a more relevant quiz which gives a better idea of your wine profile. Firstleaf offers bigger discounts as well if you order wine in bulk. This is great if you find a wine you particularly like and want more. However, Winc. is great if you are looking for more affordable wine. In addition, they deal in sustainability and offer vegan and vegetarian wines which is important in this day and age. The choice really is yours to find a wine club that suits your needs.