9 wine, spirit, and cocktail subscriptions we love
It’s always wine-o-clock somewhere.
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In a perfect world, I’d always shop for alcohol at my local wine shops and liquor stores. But since the pandemic started almost two years ago, I’ve run out of my inventory on several occasions, which prompted me to search for online services that’ll deliver wine, spirits, and more to my doorstep. Luckily, our team at Reviewed is filled with pros when it comes to picking the best wine subscriptions and cocktail kits online.
Here are some of the best wine, spirit, cocktail subscriptions that we’ve reviewed.
If the whole idea of a wine subscription service is new to you, then Firstleaf is a great place to start, according to our reviewer. After taking a quiz, you’ll receive your first box of six wines based on your answers.
Subsequent boxes will cost you a bit more than the introductory box, you’ll be able to customize your boxes and rate the wines that you’ve already received. Each bottle comes with a card explaining the origin, tasting notes, and recommended food pairing for the wine, which serves an educational purpose for those who are learning about wine.
Our editor loves Winc not only because of its user-friendly interface and highly aesthetic design, but also thanks to the large selection of wines and rotating inventory that Winc offers. Like Firstleaf, you’ll need to take a quick quiz so that Winc can determine your preferences when it comes to wine.
As a member, you can select your bottles for each box as well as how many bottles you’d like to include (with a minimum of three per box). Though you can’t shop for your favorite brands as Winc makes its own wines, you’ll surely be impressed with the new flavors and blends offered here.
3. Blue Apron
For people who use meal kits delivery services to save time and money, Blue Apron’s wine subscription makes the service an even more convenient one-stop-shop. We like the service as each box provides a booklet about the wines being delivered. However, this service isn’t without drawbacks.
According to our reviewer, “Blue Apron sends 500 milliliter bottles that are two-thirds the size of a standard 750 milliliter bottles, making the monthly subscription less of a bargain than it seems because you’re getting less wine.” Overall, it's a good service and it’s nice to have Blue Apron’s professionals pair wines with your meal kit recipe selections.
4. Usual Wines
As a lightweight, one glass of wine is enough for me to call it a night. However, few wine bottles are available in a lightweight-friendly format and that’s why I was drawn by Usual Wines—a wine subscription that sends you by-the-glass bottles of red, brut, and rosé wines.
We like the streamlined ordering process and eco-friendly packaging but we’ve also found that the variety of wines is limited to a handful. However, if you’re a casual wine drinker and aren’t picky about which wines you recieve, this subscription may be a good fit for you.
5. Naked Wines
Though Naked Wines didn’t receive top marks in our testing, it didn’t discourage my husband from using this service over and over again. As a winemaking nerd, he enjoys spending hours researching a bottle of wine. Browsing the vast collection of bottles available through Naked Wines almost feels like a fun hobby for him. If you’re like him, you may find Naked Wines to be just right—you can look up a vintage Rioja from this specific region of Spain or a hard-to-find cava that is mostly sold in Catalunya.
I also want to give a nod to the customer service at Naked Wines. Once we flagged a wrong bottle placed in our box, the customer service was quick to refund us the bottle and ship us the one we actually ordered.
Spirits and Cocktails:
For cocktail novices who are still working on their palate, this cocktail subscription may be the one for you. Each box comes with top shelf spirits that are rarely seen in mini-sized bottles, allowing you to sample various high-end liquors without breaking the bank.
You’ll have enough ingredients to make two servings each of the two same-spirit cocktails, with recipes created by SaloonBox or a guest bartender. Small-batch syrups, bitters, and garnishes are also included in the box.
7. American Cocktail Club
This affordable cocktail club lets you experiment with different types of cocktails each month. It arrives with everything you’ll need for four servings of world-class cocktails, as well as recipe cards to keep in case you want to recreate the same in the future. If you have a fully stocked home bar, then you can also select the Everything But the Booze box that comes with natural juice blends, carbonated mixers, and garnish.
If you’re constantly looking to add new flavors to your cocktails, then you may enjoy Mouth’s monthly cocktail subscription. This mixers-only box features hand-picked products from small-batch, artisan drink companies that are enthusiastic about telling the stories behind their offerings.
Each month, you’ll receive a box of mixers with the full background of the producers, as well as recipes that’ll guide you through creating your own cocktail. Be aware that these boxes are alcohol-free, so you’ll need to shop for the liquor separately in order to shake up a cocktail.
9. Tippsy Sake
If you’re interested in learning more about the rich world of Japanese sake, Tippsy offers a valuable introductory course into the varieties and nuances of this rice wine. You can shop à la carte or sign up for the monthly subscription, which includes six bottles of sake picked by Tippsy’s seasoned sake sommeliers.
Each bottle comes with detailed information about its origin, techniques, and pairing recommendations to make sure you’ll get a comprehensive understanding of the sake you’re savoring.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.