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Naked Wines vs Firstleaf Compared

Naked Wines vs Firstleaf Compared
Latest posts by Sarah Caldwell (see all)

Naked Wines and Firstleaf are two online wine clubs that offer members access to exclusive wines at wholesale prices. I’ve tried both of these services before, and there’s a clear winner in my book, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. I love wine and I have a lot of experience with many different wine clubs, so in giving these both a try, I thought I might find something new and unique that I hadn’t seen before. So, when it comes to Naked Wines vs Firstleaf, which is better? Let’s find out!

Bottom Line Up Front

Between these two services, I have to give the nod to Naked Wines because they simply have higher quality wines than Firstleaf. However, Firstleaf does a good job of curating more personalized boxes at a lower price based on your preferences. Because I prefer my wines to be higher quality, I don’t have a problem paying a little bit more.

Main Differences Between Naked Wines and Firstleaf

The main differences between Naked Wines and Firstleaf are:

  • Naked Wines offers a wider variety of wines, whereas Firstleaf focuses on providing its members with custom-made wines.
  • Firstleaf requires a monthly subscription fee, whereas Naked Wines does not.
  • Firstleaf offers a risk-free trial period, whereas Naked Wines does not.
  • Firstleaf uses a quiz to get to know you and your preferences better, whereas Naked Wines does not have any customization options.

Naked Wines Overview

Naked Wines was founded in 2008 by over 150 winemakers who were determined to sell their wines directly to customers, cutting out the middleman. Today, Naked Wines has over 400,000 members and offers them exclusive access to wines at wholesale prices, which I believe is a testament to how good this club really is.

Naked Wines provides its members with a wide variety of wines from all over the world. In addition, members can choose to receive customized shipments based on their preferences. Naked Wines also offers a wine education program called “Wine school” that helps members learn about different wine regions, grape varieties, and wine styles.

My favorite thing about the Naked Wines membership is the freedom it gives its Angels to decide when and how much they spend on their wine. It also allows you to select which wines you put in your cart rather than sending a surprise monthly shipment without your input. While some might not like the idea of a minimum deposit requirement, it’s only to start and doesn’t apply to every shipment.

How it works

Naked Wines operates on a membership-based model. To become a member, customers must sign up for a free account. Once they have an account, they can browse the wine selection and purchase wines at wholesale prices.

To begin, a minimum deposit of $40 into your Wine Savings Account is required. After that, you choose how much to put in and when to withdraw it. You can withdraw your balance at any time, which was comforting to me in case I changed my mind. I really don’t like having to deposit more money than I think I’ll spend, but I ended up spending it easily because there are so many great options.

Putting money in your account allows you to cover any shipments you want to order as well as allowing you to save up for anything extra.

The wines

The great thing about Naked Wines is that you go shopping and pick the exact bottles you want. There are no guessing games or wine clubs where you’re left with bottles of wine you don’t really like.

You can shop by grape, region, style, or popularity. You can also lookup wines you’ve previously purchased to reorder your favorites.

I enjoyed the variety of choices that Naked Wines offers. I found new favorites that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about, although I do still enjoy wine clubs that surprise me every month and curate my box specifically to my tastes.

Packaging and shipping

Naked Wines ships its wines in sturdy cardboard boxes with Protective Packaging Material inside to keep the bottles from moving around. Shipping is free for orders of 6 bottles or more. For orders less than 6 bottles, shipping costs $9.

My order was shipped within two days of placing it and I got an email with tracking information as soon as it shipped. The box arrived on my doorstep in perfect condition in about five business days and the wine was safely packed inside.

Returns

Naked Wines offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of its wines. If a member is not satisfied with a wine, they can return it for a full refund, no questions asked.

Naked Wine Pros:

  • High-quality wines from all over the world
  • You can pick exactly which wines you want
  • You can order as little or as often as you like

Naked Wines Cons:

  • Wines can be pricey
  • Minimum of $40 deposit to start

Firstleaf Overview

Firstleaf was founded in 2014 with the mission of providing its members with access to high-quality, custom-made wines at an affordable price. Firstleaf works with winemakers from all over the world to create exclusive wines that are not available anywhere else.

Firstleaf offers its members a risk-free trial period so they can try the service before committing to a monthly subscription. After the trial, members can choose to receive 6 or 12 bottles of wine per month. Firstleaf also offers a custom shipment option for members who want to receive a mix of red and white wines.

Firstleaf is a great option for people who want to try a variety of wines without having to commit to a monthly subscription. I also appreciate that Firstleaf offers a risk-free trial so you can decide if the service is right for you before you start paying.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Firstleaf is the way they learn about you and your preferences. For a beginner who doesn’t know a lot about wine, this is really convenient. If you’re often overwhelmed by the choices or don’t know what to pick, Firstleaf will pick for you based on your answers to the quiz and their selections are usually pretty accurate.

How it works

Firstleaf operates on a subscription-based model. To sign up, customers must create an account and take a short quiz about their preferences. Based on the quiz results, Firstleaf creates a custom profile for each member and recommends wines that they are likely to enjoy.

I had a lot of fun with this quiz because not only was it incredibly comprehensive, but it was easy to indicate preferences, level of wine knowledge, and more. It was interactive with fun graphics and made me feel like they were truly getting to know me.

After signing up, members can choose to receive 6 or 12 bottles of wine per month. Your first shipment of 6 wines is only $39 and shipping is free. After that, each shipment of 12 wines is $90 plus shipping. That only $13 a bottle for premium wines that retail for much more.

The wines

While you can’t specify which wines you want in your box, Firstleaf does offer a clever way to indicate what you like and what you don’t. You’ll get a preliminary glimpse at what’s coming so you can read about each bottle and then choose to keep it or replace it. If you choose to replace it, Firstleaf will recommend two different options from which you can choose.

The tasting notes tell you all about the body, acidity, sweetness, and fruit intensity. It describes the flavors included and it offers some food pairing suggestions.

If you decide you don’t want a particular bottle, you can click the Replace button and Firstleaf will suggest the next best match and a Firstleaf favorite for you to choose from. This made me feel like I had more of a say in what Iwas getting to ensure I would like it.

Packaging and shipping

Firstleaf packages arrive 2-5 days from placing your order, which is more prompt than many other services. Everything comes in protective packaging to ensure you don’t receive broken bottles.

I enjoy this prompt shipping because I’m always impatient to try my wines! It also came in recycled packing that’s carbon neutral, which I think is really cool.

Returns

Like most wine clubs, if you do receive a broken bottle, they’ll replace it. If you don’t like one of your wines, they’ll send you something else and let you keep the bottle you didn’t like.

Firstleaf pros:

  • Curated boxes based on your preferences
  • Wide variety of affordable wines
  • Fun to sign up and use

Firstleaf cons:

  • Wines are lower quality
  • You can’t hand select which wines you want

Alternatives

When you’re looking for the right wine club for you, it can be tough to decide because there are so many options. These alternatives are also worth a look.

Wine Awesomeness

At first, I thought that Wine Awesomeness had to be fake. I mean, it’s such a simple name. But this wine club is the real deal.

Wine Awesomeness is a great option for people who want to explore different wines without having to commit to a monthly subscription. You can choose to receive 3, 6, or 12 bottles per month. The prices are very reasonable, starting at $39 per shipment of 3 bottles.

One of the things that I like best about Wine Awesomeness is that they focus on interesting, hard-to-find wines. You’re not going to find these wines at your local grocery store.

Cellars Wine Club

If you’re looking for a more traditional wine club experience, Cellars Wine Club is a great option.

Cellars Wine Club is a bit more expensive than some of the other options on this list, starting at $69.99 per shipment. But you do get what you pay for.

Each shipment includes 12 bottles of wine hand-selected by their team of experts. You can choose to receive all red wines, all white wines, or a mix of both.

You can also choose to receive shipments monthly, every other month, or quarterly.

Winc

Winc is a wine club that’s focused on making it easy and convenient to find wines that you’ll love.

To get started, you take a quick quiz about your preferences. I find this quiz to be more comprehensive and effective than the Firstleaf quiz. In fact, Winc does a fantastic job of learning what you like and what you don’t.

Winc then creates a custom profile for you and makes recommendations based on your results. As you continue to receive shipments and rate the bottles you try, Winc will continue to customize your preferences and send better wines every time.

You can choose to receive 4, 6, or 12 bottles per month. Shipping is prompt and the packaging is adorable. For each wine you receive, you’ll get an information packet that offers tasting notes, a winemaker bio, and suggested foods to pair with your wines.

California Wine Club

This wine club offers wines from all over California. While this may seem like a limitation, they still offer hundreds of wines to their members. They also have several other clubs that offer wines from the Pacific Northwest and Europe.

I like the California Wine Club because they offer a wide variety of wines at different price points. You can find something for any budget and the wines are of excellent quality. However, I still prefer to get wines from more places than just one.

The club offers 3, 6, and 12-bottle shipments that are shipped monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. I also appreciate that they use sustainable packaging to ship their wines.

FAQ

Choosing the right wine club for you requires a lot of research because there are so many options. These frequently asked questions should help you make a decision.

Question: What’s included with wine club membership?

Answer: Wine club membership typically includes access to exclusive wines, discounts on wine purchases, and invitations to special events. Some clubs also offer complimentary shipping.
However, there’s much more to a wine club than just access to great wine. Many of them also offer community groups, helpful tips, and recipes that make it easy for you to engage, learn more, and enjoy new wines.

Question: How often will I receive shipments?

Answer: Most wine clubs offer monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly shipments. The frequency of the shipment will depend on the wine club you choose, but most of them also allow you to order bottles from their shop in addition to your regular shipment.

Question: How many bottles will I receive per shipment?

Answer: This depends on the wine club you choose. Most clubs offer 3, 6, 12-bottle shipments, although some offer different amounts like 4 or 8 bottles.

Question: Is there a minimum commitment?

Answer: Most wine clubs don’t require any sort of commitment. If you find you don’t like it, even after the first shipment, you can cancel it at any time. However, there are some clubs that do require a 3-6 month commitment, so make sure you understand how the club works before signing up.

Question: What’s the best way to find a wine club?

Answer: The best way to find a wine club is by reading reviews and doing your research. You can also ask family and friends for recommendations. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few clubs, take their quizzes to get started. most clubs offer a quiz that will help you find the best wines for your taste.

Question: What is the quality of the wine like?

Answer: The quality of the wine will vary depending on the club you choose. But in general, you can expect the wines to be of good quality. The clubs that offer higher-end wines will obviously be more expensive, but they’ll also offer better quality wines.

Question: Do I have to pay for shipping?

Answer: Most clubs offer free shipping, but there are a few that charge for it. Make sure you understand the club’s shipping policies before signing up.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a wine club that offers great value, prompt shipping, and an easy way to customize your experience, Firstleaf is a great option. I also appreciate that they offer a risk-free trial so you can try the service before you commit to it.

However, I must restate that Naked Wines is my preferred option because it gives me access to high-quality wines from all over the world. I also appreciate that they have a wide variety of wine clubs to choose from so everyone can find the perfect one for their needs.

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