Drizly vs Minibar – Which is the Best Delivery Service?

The main differences between Drizly vs Minibar include:

  • Average customer reviews
  • Emphasis on wine brands vs local vineyards
  • Service area coverage
  • Price range of wines

When most think of wine, they may picture visiting a vineyard, specialty shop, or at least driving to a brick and mortar store and perusing red, white and sparkling wines. But with delivery services like Drizly and Minibar on the rise, that is starting to change.

While there is little reason to believe that purchasing wine from traditional outlets will fade completely, more consumers, especially younger generations are increasingly looking for convenience and ways to enjoy products while also juggling hectic schedules.

That trend can be traced first and foremost with food delivery. Meal subscription services, for the most part, spurred the modern subscription industry and continue to be a powerful force in the United States and beyond.

Currently, in the United States alone, the demand for meal delivery services is up to six and a half percent. And as states change laws, that trend is extending to wine delivery. In recent news, Texas lifted regulations that are paving the way for an influx of delivery services like Drizly and Minbar.

Alabama, another state that has had some more strict laws, is now also eyeing wine delivery services straight to customers’ doors.

Still, there are concerns with wine delivery overall. Most notably, Amazon recently came under fire for skirting California law. And no doubt even where wine delivery is going well, many are hesitant concerning just how high of quality wine can be through a delivery service.

Today we’ll be putting some concerns to rest (or raising them( by comparing two of the most popular delivery services, Drizly vs Minibar.

In this review, we’ll explore how Drizly, compared with Minibar, performs and which of the two is the better wine delivery service.

Is wine delivery available where I live?

While we’ll be taking a look at where Drizly vs Minibar specifically deliver, let’s discuss general wine delivery policies. Wine delivery must be approved not under a sweeping, federal law, but based upon state laws in the United States.

For Americans, that means what state you live in will impact whether or not, or in most cases, how you can deliver wine. Of course, well-known companies such as Drizly and Minibar are required to oblige by state laws.

There are just three states where you will not have access to wine delivery:

  • Alabama
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah

In these states, current law restricts any alcohol deliveries to homes. However, as we have already mentioned, Alabama is perhaps on the verge of changing that.

State laws can be confusing and complicated when it comes to anything related to alcohol sales. The good news is that you can check whether Drizly or Minibar ship to your state (we’ll be looking into where they ship shortly).

What are the advantages of wine delivery? 

Wine delivery offers a number of advantages, most of which are admittedly self-evident. Delivery services:

  • Provide a huge selection of wine varieties
  • Introduce you to the wine you may not have discovered
  • Are organized so it’s easier to sort by wine type, region, and price
  • Cut down of time searching for a wine
  • Are a great option for entertaining

Most consumers simply like the ease and convenience of wine delivery services offer. Rather than having to rush to the store or not finding what you like, you can shop at home, and often have the wine either delivered directly to you or a local store.

Are there any downsides to wine delivery services like Drizly and Minibar?

At the same time, that isn’t to say that delivery services are perfect, nor are they the best option for everyone. Delivery services may have a fairly wide selection of wine varieties but at the same time, the wine that is delivered may not be of the finest quality.

While not universally true, many wine delivery services delivery many commodity wines, and less finer wines like classic French Champagne or aged Tempranillo.

Many wines you can order through delivery services are focused on being accessible to all drinkers and affordable.

Some wine delivery services are prone to customer service issues, whether it’s delayed deliveries, mistakes, or a limit on when and where you pick your delivery up.

Finally, wine delivery does not provide the experience many enjoy in searching for and selecting a wine for yourself.

What criteria should I use to compare Drizly vs Minibar?

 If nothing else, one of the most important steps to see how Drizly vs Minibar fare when compared is to first set up some key criteria. By doing so, we eliminate the potential for bias or basing decisions based purely on promotional materials.

Here’s what to look for when comparing wine delivery services in general:

  • Reputation: How long has the company been in operation? While older is not inherently better, it’s good to at least be able to trace a degree of company history, however nebulous. In order to check the company’s track record, so to speak, you should look at two potential sources:
    • Official reviews, through something such as the Better Business Bureau
    • External customer reviews, through a site like Consumer Affairs. You should never rely solely on internal reviews, which can be biased, pre-selected, or promotional in nature.
  • Where do they deliver? This is a pretty simple question, but of course, of high importance.
  • Delivery Options: How does the delivery service operate? Some of the best wine delivery services allow for multiple options, include both direct shipments (where permitted) and in-store pickup. In addition, options such as pre-scheduled deliveries provide additional convenience and flexibility.
  • Refund Policies: What happens in the case of an incorrect or damaged order? Some more generous delivery services will also allow you to cancel your orders within a certain time frame.
  • Wine Selection: This is perhaps one of the most important factors. What variety of wines are offered? Is there a variety of wine brands, types, regions, and price points?
  • Website Navigation: How easy is it to use the website and navigate? The best delivery services will offer a website that allows you to sort by price point, wine variety, region, and more.
  • Payment Methods: How are payments processed? There should be a reasonable selection in terms of method of payment, as well as clear privacy policies.

Is Drizly or Minibar the better delivery service? 

Following the criteria we’ve established, now let’s take a look at how Drizly and Minibar fare when compared side by side.

How long has Drizly vs Minibar been in business?

Keep in mind that wine delivery services gained popularity more in the last decade or so, so many will not have an extensive company history. However, a history of more than five years is ideal.

Drizly was founded in 2012 in Boston, where it has its headquarters. Nick Rellas, Justin Robinson, and Spencer Frazier, the founders, started the business as a way to enter the app and delivery market, feeling there were not adequate options for alcohol delivery. They did not officially start shipping deliveries until 2013, where they began operating exclusively in the Boston region. The next areas they began servicing included Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

Since then, Drizly has expanded to operate from over forty offices across the country, as well as parts of Canada.

The minibar was founded just a few years later, in 2014 by Lindsey Andrews and Lara Crystal, both University of Pennsylvania graduates. They too created the service to fill what felt like a lack of options for alcohol delivery. Originally, Minibar entered partnerships with local stores in New York City and subsequently expanded into major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Jersey City, Palm Beach, and others.

What is Drizly’s reputation vs Minibar?

In terms of reputation, we’ll be looking at any reviews from verified sites that provide a generally complete spectrum of customer experiences. We’ll also look to see if there are any complaints on file.

Drizly is not accredited through the Better Business Bureau and holds an unofficial A-minus rating; there have been five complaints closed in the last three years, twelve of which were closed within the past year.

On TrustPilot, customers rated Drizly just over three out of ten, well below average. However, it is important to note that reviews were very divided: a substantial sixty-eight percent of customers awarded Drizly the highest rating possible. Complaints included delayed or canceled orders, and poor customer service, while other customers found the process easy and well-executed.

Minibar is not accredited through the Better Business Bureau and holds an unofficial A rating. There have been four complaints closed within the past three years.

Minibar received fairly positive reviews on Influenster, with an average of just under four and a half out of five stars based on about the same (over three hundred) number of customer reviews as on TrustPilot. While there was a small variety of complaints, the most common concerned slower than expected deliveries.

Where does Drizly vs Minibar deliver?

Where the companies deliver, of course, can make or break whether it’s the best selection for you.

Drizly delivers across the country and in Canada, with a total of over one hundred regions. States Drizly operates in includes: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York,  North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. They do provide a specific coverage map to see if delivery is available in your area.

Minibar delivers to far fewer locations. Compared with the over one hundred areas Drizly services, Minibar delivers to just under forty markets. Minibar as a whole places a greater emphasis on partnership with stores and vineyards and is not the as wide scale of operation. Service locations include parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

What delivery options are available?

Delivery options allow you the flexibility to fit your needs, and not all delivery services for wine are created equal in this regard.

Drizly allows you to have wine delivered to either home or businesses addresses with a P.O. Box, and you must be there to sign for it. You also have the ability to pick up at a local partnering store.

Perhaps the best feature is the ability to schedule orders up to two weeks in advance. You do need to select a specific hour for delivery.

Minibar allows you to schedule also up to two weeks in advance, and you’ll be required to enter a two-hour pickup window. As with Drizly and any reputable delivery service, you must be of legal drinking age and present to sign for the delivery. At this time, they partner with local stores and mostly deliver to residential areas.

What are the refund policies for Drizly vs Minbar?

Under refunds, we will also cover cancellation and rescheduling, as these are all important factors to consider in a wine delivery service.

Drizly allows you to cancel or reschedule orders before the driver is in transit. You may face a restocking fee in some circumstances, and also a five-dollar cancellation fee. Refunds are handled by the local store and are not Drizly’s responsibility.

Minibar asks you to cancel orders by reaching out through their customer service line, though it is unclear when you may do so. No fees are mentioned one way or another. Items that have been opened are not eligible for a refund. In the case of incorrect items, Minibar will facilitate exchanges.

What is the wine selection like offered through Minibar vs Drizly?

Let’s take a look at the wine selection available to you via Minibar vs. Drizly. By no means is this exhaustive, but it will provide a general overview.

Drizly offers red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines from eighteen different states of origin, with no international wines and just a few in a number of states. They also offer about fifty kosher wines and four vegan wines.

There is a fairly equal ratio of light, medium and full-bodied wines, with a slight favor towards full-bodied wines.

Drizly is especially interested in carrying brand wines. Brand wines they carry include Louis Jadot, Beringer, Vineyard Block Estate, Barefoot, Francis Ford Coppola, and 90+ Cellars.

There is not anything in the way of expensive, vintage wines. The highest-priced bottle, aside from a sixty dollar outlier, you can buy is a thirty-five dollar Prosecco.

Minibar offers red, white, rosé, sparkling wine and mead. It’s hard to fully cover what they carry because you are asked to enter your address, which will determine the availability of their wines.

Since Minibar works more with local partnerships than Drizly does, what is available to you will vary based upon your region

Rather than brands, you can sort through local vineyards. Like Drizly, Minibar only ships wines from the United States.

There’s a higher emphasis on higher-end, but mostly middle-range wines. While forty dollars is mostly the upper limit for Drizly wines, Minibar has an entire category devoted to wines over forty dollars.

Depending on your region, you may have more or fewer options.

How easy are the websites to navigate?

Luckily, both websites can be navigated with relative ease. Both Drizly and Minibar provide search filters helpful for sorting wine by location, brand or vineyard, price, and variety. Ordering appears fairly simple, and both also offer customer help sections

Of the two, Drizly has a slightly more user-friendly site. They offer popular recommendations, which may appeal to more indecisive customers. Drizly also has a slightly easier to find FAQ section.

Overall, both are reasonably user-friendly and should not cause customers problems.

What methods of payment are accepted?

Do note that for both Minibar and Drizly you may be subject to small store delivery fees (about five dollars). In terms of methods of payment, Minibar accepts major credit cards, while Drizly accepts both debit and credit cards. Preauthorization fees are applied and canceled upon receiving your order.

Is Minibar or Drizly the better wine delivery service? 

For those in many locations, it’s true that Minibar delivery may not be an option. But for those who are within the service region, Minibar is the superior service.

While it’s also true that Drizly offers more options overall, here are the main reasons why you might want to select Minibar over Drizly:

  • More local partnerships
  • Greater emphasis on mid and higher range wines
  • Substantially more positive customer reviews
  • Minibar handles the bulk of customer service complaints, while Drizly outsources many of them

Further read:

Erin Jamieson

Erin Jamieson brings the latest information to you on wine flavors and types so you can enjoy your next glass to the fullest. In the past, she covered wine selections for weddings and engagement parties. She also previously worked with a private chef company to suggest the perfect wine pairings and believes there is a flavor for every occasion. Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu