Vinebox Review: A Truly Unique Experience

I was really excited to try Vinebox. I won’t lie. It just looks cool. I’ve tried wine subscriptions in the past, including Martha Stewart’s wine club and the California Wine Club.

There were some things about Vinebox that were even better than I expected, but other things could have been better. Let’s talk a little bit about Vinebox and then I’ll share my experience ordering with you!

About Vinebox

The Vinebox experience is truly unique. But is that really a good thing? I haven’t decided yet. It’s an awesome subscription to try if you want to expand your palate or try wines from a variety of regions.

They deliver a glass worth of 9 different wines in each box. You can choose a one-time shipment to try it out, you can have the wines delivered quarterly and pay quarterly, or you can have the wines delivered quarterly, but pay for it annually.

Of course, the unit price is cheaper if you pay for it yearly, but you’ll pay more all at once for the up-front subscription cost. We’ll get into subscriptions and pricing here in a minute.

Not convinced yet? If you would rather have a whole bottle shipped to you at once, there are a few things I have to say about that. First of all, if you try a glass and you don’t like the bottle, you have to go through the hassle of returning it or asking for a replacement.

You could just toss it, but who wastes wine?!?

With Vinebox, you can try a glass, and if you do like it, you can order a full bottle on their site at a discount.

The wines they send are so much better in quality than many of the other wine subscriptions out there. You’ll see if you keep reading that I was beyond impressed with the wines I received, and I’ll be ordering full bottles.

The wines that Vinebox offers are preserved in these unique little tubes. With a closed nitrogen system, they won’t go back. Other wine clubs guarantee that if a bottle you receive has gone bad, they’ll replace it.

Vinebox doesn’t need to offer this kind of guarantee, because it never happens. Never.

Handpicked wines preserved in this way are simply top-notch. You’re definitely not going to receive anything you could find in the grocery store down the street. Plus, less than 1% of the wines they test actually make it into a Vinebox. They’re that picky.

Vinebox Subscriptions and Prices

I chose to do a one-time shipment. It costs $87 for the box of 9 wines, but keep in mind that you only get a glass worth of each. That’s 9 glasses of wine, which is 2-3 bottles. It’s a bit pricey for my taste because I like to find the best deals on great wines.

You get one box of their current release, which for me was Vintages and Verticals. I’ll talk more about that later. It’s a one-time purchase with no renewal, so you don’t have to mess with the hassle of canceling it later.

The Quarterly subscription gets you a box of 9 wines delivered quarterly for $79 per box. You are billed quarterly and you get a $15 credit on any full bottles you want to order. You also get first access to new releases.

The Annual subscription delivers a box of 9 wines every quarter, same as the quarterly subscription, but you pay a one-time annual fee of $72 per box. That’s a total of $288 up front. You get a $30 credit on full bottles and the same first access to new releases.

On either the Quarterly or the Annual plan, you can subscribe to one or two people. Two people get you a 10% discount. Two people on the Quarterly plan are $71.10 each, and two people on the annual plan are $64.80 each.

Remember: if you sign up two people, you pay that price per person, per box. That makes your wines $142.20 per quarter or $518.40 per year.

Special Perks

One of the coolest things about Vinebox is that they really do try to tailor their quarterly deliveries to the season. You’ll enjoy seasonal varieties that you can pair well with the foods of that season.

These wines will resonate with your mood and the weather, making the experience that much more enjoyable. Every quarter has a different theme.

I was able to get in on the Vintages and Verticals, but next quarter, who knows?

As a Vinebox member, you get first access to the exclusive, once a year, 12 Nights of Wine event. It’s like a wine advent calendar. Count down to the holidays with naughty or nice. If you can’t decide, do a little of both and get a discount.

It’s going on right now, so make sure you pre order!

Shipping Locations

Vinebox ships everywhere in the United States, except for Alaska and Hawaii, which is pretty typical given the shipping laws associated with alcohol. However, if you have any questions about whether they’ll ship to your exact zip code, you can enter your zip code on their website to find out.

And no, I don’t live in Beverly Hills. I’m not going to show you my actual zip code, silly!

Customer Service

I had an exceptional experience with their customer service. They went above and beyond for me. I’ll share more about that in my experience below, but there are several things they’ll offer.

If your product is damaged, you simply have to take pictures and contact customer service. They’ll send you a new shipment. However, they don’t offer refunds if you don’t like it, simply because there’s only a glass of each.

The reason they only provide a glass of each is so you can try it. You can order the full bottle if you like it. This is the whole idea behind the way they do things.

Vinebox also leaves uncurated reviews up on their site. You can leave an honest review for everyone to see. This transparency is refreshing. Some people like it, and some people don’t, and that’s okay.

My Experience

Well, the first thing you should probably expect a pretty box with 9 tubes full of excellent, high-quality, better-than-you’ve-ever-tasted-in-your-life wine. I got way more than I expected out of my Vintages and Verticals box.

Signing Up

Signing up was as seamless as it could possibly be. The guided prompts were easy to understand and click, so choosing what I wanted was fast. Then it prompted me to sign up. Once I got over the initial sticker shock (I still think it’s pretty pricey), I thought to myself, “Well, this is easy.”

Then it asked for my phone number to “receive instant communication via SMS” and I started wondering if it was going to send me shipping updates and other exciting stuff, or just spam.

And here’s why they ask for your number. I didn’t check out right away, and about an hour after abandoning my cart, I got this:

Gee, thanks, Blair. You’re swelling.

I returned to my cart, added the code, and voila! My discount basically took care of the tax, but that’s fine with me! Plus, FREE shipping is always exciting. After I ordered my box, I got this nifty little option here. Yes, please!!

I got my shipping updates via email and text. I honestly prefer text, so that was great. Plus, the track shipment page is really cute.

As you can see, my box came in about 4 days. I love fast delivery, and FedEx is always on top of it. Martha Stewart’s wine club uses FedEx, too, and you’ll get your delivery practically faster than they can update the tracking information online. It’s pretty incredible.

My Shipment and Unboxing

When my shipment arrived, my son and wife were around, so we opened it together. No, my son isn’t old enough to drink, so no, I didn’t let him try any. Don’t go calling CPS on me. However, he did insist on taking some unboxing pictures for me. And my wife modeled.

Rock Chalk, baby! As she decorates cookies for my other son’s birthday party.

Anyway, when it first came, it was in a plain cardboard box, but it did say Vinebox on it, so I knew what it was.

Once we tore it open, our son latched onto the packing peanuts and there were peanuts everywhere. Go figure. I did appreciate the care they put into packing it carefully, though. Despite the fact that it made a giant mess in my kitchen.

Our first glimpse of the box revealed a very nicely designed product, high-quality packaging, and something we couldn’t wait to get our hands-on.

It’s my box, but look how excited she is. Photo credit goes to our four-year-old.

We removed the lid from the cute white, pink, and green box, and saw some literature, which ended up being extremely helpful and educational. Nice touch, Vinebox!

Here are the tubes of wine, so nicely tucked into the box. They’re surrounded in a custom foam filler, so they can’t move or get damaged, which is how they ensure that you won’t receive a damaged box. Don’t forget, if for some reason you do receive damaged bottles, they will replace them.

Once again, our son wanted in on the fun. That face, though.

At first, I was more interested in the novelty of these cool tubes than anything. It’s an awesome idea for packaging and I intend the reuse the tubes around the house because they’re so attractive, but I haven’t figured out how yet.

The literature included contained a booklet explaining all of the different selections I received. However, it also told me how to try them, which I thought was a really nice touch. I had never tried different vintages of the same wine side by side before, so that was helpful to me.

It was officially time to try them all!

My Selections

I received one vertical tasting of Barolo, one vertical tasting of Bordeaux, and some current releases from Spain. The Barolo vintages I got were 2013, 2014, and 2015. The Bordeaux vintages I got were 2010, 2013, and 2015.

So the idea is that for the verticals, you pour each into its own glass and then start with the oldest and work your way toward the most recent, or you can try the youngest and go backwards to see how they age.

Vertical Tasting of Bordeaux

Bordeaux is by far one of my favorite wines. It’s rich, flavorful, and ages extremely well. This vertical was the most fun to taste.

2010

This vintage was juicy and firm. I loved the smoky, mature flavors with ripe blackberry notes. It would have been excellent with a bacon cheeseburger, but I tasted these vintages side by side with some broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. My tummy was pretty happy after that.

2013

This vintage wasn’t as deep or rich and more fruit-forward. I noticed red currant and cherry flavors. According to the pamphlet, this vintage was a difficult year because of the heavy rains and colder temperatures, which I noticed in comparison to the other vintages in the box.

2015

The 2015 Bordeaux was another fantastic vintage with dark, brooding flavors like black cherry, black plum, and tight tannins. It will soften over time, and I would love to try it again in a few years. I would venture to say it will be even better than 2010.

Drink this one with barbeque (Kansas City is the best, but perhaps I’m biased), a juicy filet, or bacon and eggs.

Vertical Tasting of Barolo

I hate to admit it, but to my inexperience palette, I didn’t taste much of a difference between the three different vintages of Barolo. I could tell that the 2013 vintage had aged very gracefully and tasted more sophisticated than the 2015 vintage, but that was about it.

2013

According to the literature Vinebox sent, 2013 contained tastes like wet leather, tart cherry, underbrush, and rosehip tea. I could definitely taste the cherry, which I thought made it taste deep but crisp.

It has a bold flavor, just like the other Barolo vintages.

2014

This Barolo vintage was a bit more expressive, with some blood orange and cranberry flavors that made it brighter. It would have been great paired with some spicy chicken. It didn’t taste as bold or sophisticated, but it was delightful. This was actually my favorite Barolo vintage.

2015

The youngest Barolo vintage was even brighter with a bit of spice. There were notes of cherry, strawberry, and licorice. On the finish, you may notice clove, raspberry, and tobacco. It pairs excellently with truffled cheeses.

Spanish Wines

The Spanish wines were all white, which was a nice contrast to the red verticals. None were very sweet, but all were very good.

De Andre Sisters ‘Alegra’

This wine was crisp and mineral-rich. I noticed zesty lime and crisp peach with some herbaceousness. It was excellent at snack time with a pasta salad.

El Modernista Blanc

This wine was brighter than the Alegra and instead featured some white cherry, lemon, and green plum notes. The texture and acidity were nicely balanced and it paired well with fried rice, which is another one of my favorite dishes.

Lagar de Costa Albarino

This wine tasted like kumquats and kiwi. It was tart and unique. I quite enjoyed it. Try it with fish tacos or ceviche. This winery has been in the family for three generations and is over 100 years old. They recently renovated, but the original wood and stone structures have been maintained for extravagant beauty. It’s worth a visit.

Pros and Cons

As with anything, there are pros and cons, which I think I’ve already made pretty apparent, but let’s review.

What I like about Vinebox:

  • The fun tubes that the wine comes in
  • The quality of the wine
  • The ease of ordering
  • The customer service

What I don’t like about Vinebox:

  • The price
  • The lack of full bottles

Alternatives to Vinebox

Vinebox is truly unique. I can’t think of another wine subscription that sends wines the way they do. But there are plenty of wine subscriptions out there that give you a discount on ordering bottles you like after you try them.

There are also other wine subscriptions out there that spend a lot of time on marketing and packaging to make the presentation and the experience as amazing as Vinebox. The Martha Stewart Wine Club comes to mind immediately.

Martha Stewart Wine Club

Martha Stewart Wine Club is an awesome budget option when it comes to wine club subscriptions. You get six bottles every six weeks for the same price as some other clubs charge for two or three bottles. In fact, six bottles are far cheaper with Martha than my Vinebox was.

Unfortunately, Martha Stewart Wine Club charges for shipping, but did I mention you get six full bottles?

Winc

This used to be Club W. You get four bottles for $40 per month, which isn’t as cheap as Martha Stewart but still cheaper than Vinebox. And shipping is free here, too. If you decide to sign up for Winc, they ask you to take a quiz so they can learn more about your taste and customize the selections.

California Wine Club

This wine club is fairly selective. It ships wines from California only, although they do try to target quality family wineries with wines that you wouldn’t normally have access to otherwise. Plus, they do have a subscription that targets wines from the Pacific Northwest and another subscription for international wines.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are plenty of frequently asked questions for wine subscriptions because it can be confusing.

When does the Vinebox membership have to be renewed?

At the beggining, you can choose between being charged for a quarterly or an annual membership. After that, it will be renewed every three months. You don’t have to worry about not remembering…Vinebox will remind you 5 or 7 days before the upcoming renewal, or even if you want to cancel, this will help you not be charged.

What forms of payment does Vinebox accept?

It is very unlikely that you will have problems with the payment methods offered by Vinebox. They offer a wide range of methods like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, Paypal, Diners Club credit cards or debit cards.

Is an adult signature required at the Vinebox delivery?

As we are talking about alcohol, it will be required to provide an adult signature when you receive the box. If you are usually not at home, you can always receive the box at work, or anywhere where an adult will be available to sign.

If you have anymore questions about how Vinebox works, check out their comprehensive FAQs here.

How to Choose the Perfect Wine Subscription For You

This is something no one else can decide for you. It depends on how much you want to spend, how often you want your wines shipped, and how many bottles you want. The experience is everything, so if you want to try a glass before buying a bottle, Vinebox is perfect.

However, if you’d rather have full bottles, try something like Martha Stewart if you’re on a budget, or California Wine Club if you want quality bottles from quaint family wineries that otherwise would have the exposure or the sales.

My Recommendation

Vinebox was so much fun. Was it the most affordable solution? Nope. But like I said, sometimes experience is everything. It was a learning experience for me trying verticals side by side because I’ve never done that before.

The customer service made my experience worth the price. The packaging was attractive and it was effective at building excitement as we all opened it together. The tubes are fun, and I hope I can find an interesting way to get my money’s worth out of those later.

Of all of the wine subscriptions I’ve tried, Vinebox by far had the most high-quality wines. I didn’t like all of them, but that’s always going to be the case. At least I only had a glass instead of an entire bottle. The only downside is that I didn’t have an entire bottle of the wines I did like.

The literature was educational and well thought out. I appreciated the time and effort they put into helping the consumer taste the wines in the right way. I feel like I can speak more intelligently about wines after ordering Vinebox.

I would recommend Vinebox to anyone who is interested in a premium experience tasting high-quality wines that would have cost quite a bit more had they delivered full bottles of each. Even if you only order it one time, it’s exciting and unique.

All screenshots and images taken by author October 2019.

Justin Caldwell

Justin likes to think he has a sophisticated palette, so he enjoys everything from sweet white to hearty red. His personal favorite is Fireside Winery's Glow, but he's open to trying anything at least once. His house is always full of wine, because his wife likes it even more than he does, and together, they share their affinity for the finer things in life.

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