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- Vinebox is a quarterly wine subscription that sends you nine “glasses” of the world’s best wines for $79.
- But instead of full bottles, you’ll get vials that hold about a glass of wine each that’s perfect for sampling.
- It can be a good way to try different high-end wines you would otherwise never be able to afford.
Finding out which wines you like can feel more like an accident than any sort of comprehensive, efficient effort. My own history more honestly resembles stumbling around in the dark – and asking my local wine shop experts for blind personal recommendations.
It’s exactly this obscurity that makes intelligent wine subscription services like Vinebox so uniquely appealing. Vinebox is a service that sends subscribers nine of the best wines in the world to taste – by the glass – once every three months for $79. Each glass comes out to about $9, which is along the lines of what you’d pay at a nice restaurant.
While you might be used to this concept when it comes to bottles, it makes sense why Vinebox would send by the glass; the high-end wine selection would cost the average person a small fortune (and probably some plane rides), and trying only by the glass is a really low-risk commitment that encourages you to expand your palette. You’re able to try a variety of really diverse, premium wines for a fraction of the cost required for full bottles, and you won’t be stuck with a wine you hate if you take a chance sampling something more adventurous. If you love one, you can buy your own bottle.
How Vinebox works
- Order your first box: You don’t need to take a quiz or sign up for an account first. Just visit this page to view this quarter’s box and decide if the wine assortment sounds interesting.
- Taste the wines: Vinebox will send you nine 10 cL vials of wine every quarter and each holds a full glass worth of vino. They come nicely packaged in a sturdy box and with a booklet full of information like tasting notes and how to pronounce the names of each wine. You’ll get to suss out your favorite kinds of wine, learn more about the regions in and processes by which they’re made, and get the most out of the luxury wines sent to you.
- Discover favorites: If you love one glass more than most, you can buy a full-sized bottle, or Vinebox will make suggestions for a similar wine. Members also receive credits to buy full-sized bottles so you can save while finding and stocking up on your favorite wines. Quarterly members receive $15 in credits while yearly members receive $30. The credits expire at the end of each quarter.
What the wines are like
Of more than 11,000 fine wines tested by Vinebox, only about 1% make the cut into your box. They’re not the same as your local wine store options (even the really nice ones) – you won’t find anything mass-produced here. Though Vinebox handles the bottling and distribution, all the wine is imported from various winemakers and vineyards in Europe.
Quarterly releases are said to be the best wine of the moment – from old vintage cellar releases hitting their “sweet spot” to those that mesh perfectly with current wine trends (which you are now, by virtue of this subscription, apparently on top of). They’re curated by the company’s wine director and sommelier for delivery every three months.
The company uses a closed-nitrogen environment to prevent the wines from ever coming in contact with oxygen. The use of inert gas allows the wines to “maintain their complete bouquet, flavor profile, and mouthfeel” throughout the process. Once they’re encapsulated in the vials, the wines are good for up to three years – though you’ll want to pour yourself a glass much sooner than that.
Price of Vinebox
For a quick look at the membership:
Subscription price: $72 to $79
Subscription frequency: Every 3 months
Shipping fee: Free
A la carte shop: Yes
Vinebox only has a quarterly subscription and each box is $79. Delivery is always free, and you can cancel at any time. You can sign up here.
If you’d like to gift Vinebox, you can either buy an individual box of wines here or sign up the recipient for a six-month or one-year subscription. These are non-renewable payments so no one is surprised or stuck with an unwanted membership.
The six-month plan comes with two boxes of wine and $15 credit towards full-sized bottles per quarter, totaling $158, or $79 per box. The one-year plan comes with four boxes of wine and $30 credit towards full-sized bottles per quarter, totaling $288, or $72 per box.
If your Vinebox gift is for two people instead of one, you can double the plans and save 10% off your price. That means the six-month plan for two comes out to $284.40 total and the one-year plan for two comes out to $518.40 total.
Review of Vinebox
Vinebox’s latest collection for fall is called Back to the Classics. It’s an ode to the “classic” wines of regions like Tuscany, Italy and Burgundy, France and contains four reds, four whites, and one rosé.
All the wines in this particular edition are light- and medium-bodied, so if those are up your alley, you’ll love the box. I enjoyed trying and sipping on all the wines, especially because I tend to be a casual, low-commitment drinker. I hate opening an entire bottle knowing I won’t be able to finish it in one night (or even a few nights), so I really appreciated Vinebox’s unique design. It’s also convenient because all the bottles have screwtops – no bottle opener or corkscrew necessary.
In particular, I liked the Le Gabier Blanc, a medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blend with notes of apple and peach, which felt appropriate for the transition from summer to fall. Unfortunately, Vinebox didn’t have a full-sized bottle but it had a similar one – a Godello wine. This was slightly disappointing and I haven’t yet bought the full-sized alternative. It turns out Vinebox didn’t have any of the exact same wines as the samplers for the box I tried, so it might be best not to fall too head over heels for a particular bottle.
Other than the quarterly seasonal offering, Vinebox brought back a holiday favorite: 12 Nights of Wine (currently sold out), a fun take on the traditional advent calendar. This limited-edition box contains 12 bottles and comes in one of three beautiful holiday-themed packaging. Each of the slots is labeled by number, letting you work through the collection one day at a time.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for an affordable way to try premium wines, or you just want to stop wasting time and get smarter about wine or your own preferences, Vinebox is worth checking out.
The wines are delicious, and the service is convenient. There’s very little chance you’d have the power, money, or time to first become an expert sommelier and then test thousands of wines to pair them down to the perfect quarterly litmus test for yourself. This way, you get to maintain your life the way it is and still get to try the best wines of a high variety so you can get into a new hobby, impress dates, or just have less trouble ordering in restaurants.