I know you absolutely love your mom—but you absolutely forgot to get her a Mother’s Day gift. We’ve all been there! And while there’s still time to ship her flowers or browse last-minute gifts for mom on Amazon, you might want to give her something a little more personal that doesn’t it seem like you, er, forgot.
Enter Firstleaf. This subscription-based wine club quizzes you about your taste, recommends six bottles direct from exclusive winemakers, and ships them to you for just $40. Once you rate these wines, Firstleaf incorporates your feedback into picking the right bottles for your future shipments. It’s a personalized wine paradise for moms—or whoever—looking to learn more about their vino and skip trips to the liquor store.
After extensively researching the best subscription wine services in search of a novel Christmas gift for my best friend last year, I settled on Firstleaf—and we’ve been using the service ever since. Here’s what I learned from my experience, and how to give the gift of wine this Mother’s Day.
How does Firstleaf work?
Like so many subscription boxes, Firstleaf is all about personalization and convenience. To begin, new users take a 12-question survey that evaluates their taste in food and wine, with questions like “How sweet do you like your wine?” and “Which of these foods and drinks do you enjoy?”
Once you’ve finished the quiz and entered your email address, Firstleaf provides a recommendation of six wines they think you’d enjoy, all from winemakers they’ve partnered with directly in the U.S., Spain, France, and more. Because of these direct partnerships, Firstleaf’s bottles cost a lot less than what you’d pay in the store—and they’re usually wines you wouldn’t find on most shelves.
From there, you can place your order, schedule your first shipment, and enjoy your wines! Not in love with every bottle you recieve? Firstleaf allows you to vote yay or nay on each wine, which helps them tailor future shipments to your liking. You can also choose whether to receive red, white, or a mix of both, with the option for an occasional rosé or sparkling bottle.
Just want the quick facts? Here’s what you need to know about Firstleaf:
- Price: An introductory box is $39 ($6 per bottle), while subsequent orders are $79 ($13 per bottle).
- Shipping Cost: Your first order ships free of charge, while subsequent club orders are $9.95.
- Shipping Limitations: All shipments require a signature from someone 21 or older upon delivery. Due to state regulations, Firstleaf does not ship to Kentucky, Alabama, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Alaska, Mississippi, and Utah.
- Frequency: Deliveries can come every month, two months, or three months, with the option to schedule shipping dates and hold for pick-up at certain locations.
- Options: You have the ability to choose all reds or whites, U.S. wine or imported, and whether or not you prefer rosé or sparkling.
- Gifting: You can gift a box to someone if you know their preferences and address. Unsure or out of time? Give a Firstleaf gift card.
I subscribed to Firstleaf—here’s what happened
Last Christmas, I knew I wanted to get my best friend Alex a big, celebratory gift, and somewhere along the way, an “absurd amount of wine” is what I settled on. As we were both recent college graduates trying to become a real adults, I knew she would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about wine and stock up on her favorites.
The only problem? Wine is both expensive and dependent upon personal taste, and I couldn’t find a service that was both affordable and customizable enough to be my perfect gift—until I found Firstleaf. Compared to other services, Firstleaf was the best fit for Alex’s lifestyle and my budget.
While Firstleaf offers gift cards, I had enough time and knowledge of Alex’s taste to choose a box for her (I’ve lived with her for five years!) and have it delivered to our house. Was this partially a selfish gift so that I could also have more wine? Absolutely. But it was also one of the most successful gifts I’ve given in recent memory—Alex enjoyed trying all the wines, jotting down her favorites, and rating the bottles for future shipments.
Unfortunately, the shipment process for Firstleaf can be a hassle if you don’t prepare correctly. Because the boxes require a signature from someone 21 or older, having them delivered to our house during the workday has been challenging—twice, we’ve had to pick up missed boxes from local drop-off points. Firstleaf recommends that you have your boxes delivered to your place of work if someone isn’t usually home.
After shipping, the educational component of Firstleaf is probably its weakest link. Each wine comes with a card that explains its general flavor profile, origin, and ideal food pairings, but they could be improved upon with more specificity and variety.
However, if your giftee is new to the world of wine, these cards can still be enlightening. Alex has a much better sense of which varieties and regions she prefers now that she uses this service. And now, we split the cost of the wine—because you can’t tackle six bottles alone.
How to gift Firstleaf
Interested in giving the gift of wine? You can order a shipment of Firstleaf for your mom and have it delivered to her home or place or work, or go the last-minute route and get a Firstleaf gift card for $25 to $200. Either way, you’ll be treating your her to a summer full of vino—making you the best child ever.