Why should you get a wine subscription?
Generally, a subscription will take the hassle out of having to choose from an overwhelming number of options. While it is fun for some to look through every single bottle in stores and wineries, the sheer variety of options can make this an exhausting ordeal. Subscriptions still you the chance to choose and discover, but with a much smaller and personalised pool.
Are wine clubs and wine subscriptions the same?
Yes! The idea of a ‘wine club’ started out in 1972, when Paul Kalemkiaran Sr. put up a wine “monthly selections” display in his California liquor store for his customers who would constantly ask for his recommendations. Eventually, due to popular demand, the monthly selections would be delivered directly to customers’ homes and it became known as the Wine of the Month Club.
Nowadays, there are plenty of Australian wine clubs that you can join, depending on your tastes and budget. ‘Wine subscription’ is just another name for the same service, since it works like a magazine or any other kind of subscription where selections are sent to your doorstep.
The best wine subscriptions in Australia
Have you ever felt overwhelmed and intimidated when you’re in the wine section? Wine is more than just red and white, and there isn’t one best wine – it can depend on the meal you’ll have with it, whether you’re mixing it into a dish or sangria, or even the occasion!
Tom Walenkamp knew what it was like to be clueless about wine, so he created The Wine Gallery. It makes buying wine easy and less scary for beginners by walking them through the process of choosing the perfect bottle. The Wine Gallery rebranded and relaunched itself as Good Pair Days in 2018, and they now focus on subscriptions.
Good Pair Days, according to Walenkamp, is like the Netflix of wine. You take a fun online quiz that will help them figure out your tastes and budget, then they pair you with three bottles. As time goes by, they learn more about your tastes and suggest better matches, similar to how Netflix suggests shows.
A set of three bottles can set you back around $AUD 54, which already includes shipping and the membership discount! This can change depending on their suggestions, which will depend on your quiz answers.
For those who want to play sommelier but are overwhelmed by the idea of receiving several bottles each month, the wine tasting club Secret Bottle is the answer. Instead of full bottles, you get tasting tubes which are specially packaged to preserve a wine’s unique taste and aroma.
Every month will bring you a taste of three different winemaking regions through three different boutique producers. If you happen upon a wine that you absolutely love, Secret Bottle can offer you exclusive deals on buying full bottles! These means you won’t be stuck with half-empty bottles of wines that you don’t end up liking as much.
Since each tasting tube is only 100ml, this wine subscription is quite affordable. You can choose either a set of three white or red wines for $AUD 19 per month or just get both for a total of six for $AUD 38 per month. If you’re feeling up to it, you can go all out with their full bottles – $AUD 76 for three a month, or $AUD 148 for six!
If you’re looking for unique wines produced by talented winemakers, then Naked Wines is for you. While not exactly a subscription, Naked Wines merits a mention as it will introduce you to wines that you otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
Members are called “angels” because they’re actually serving as angel funders or investors for small, independent Australian winemakers. The $AUD 40 that you pay every month is not a membership fee, but an investment. You can use it anytime you wish to buy wines on the website, where you can get the best value with special prices as an angel.
Being a Naked Wines angel can save you over a hundred dollars depending on the number of bottles you buy. And an additional perk for those living in Sydney or Melbourne is free delivery! For other places, shipping costs will vary.
You can’t go wrong with one of Australia’s First Families of Wine and the oldest family-run winery in Victoria. Tahbilk Winery has been around since 1860, and is a favourite of many Aussie wine enthusiasts.
While you already get discounts by simply signing up to be part of the wine club, you can take it a step further by upgrading to their Plus Program. This is perfect for those who purchase a lot of wine – at least four dozen a year! The Plus Program means you’ll receive at least twelve bottles four times in a year at much cheaper prices.
The Tahbilk Wine Club Plus Program requires a lock-in of at least one year to get the discounts and savings, which can be anywhere from around $AUD 150 to $AUD 200. Once the initial year’s over, you can cancel any time.