Main Differences Between Winc vs Vinebox:
The Main Differences Between Winc vs Vinebox are:
- Winc ships anywhere in the continental U.S, whereas Vinebox ships to thirty-seven states.
- Winc subscriptions include three bottles per month, whereas Vinebox includes nine glasses of wine.
- Winc encourages customers to select their own wine, whereas Vinebox selects wines for you.
- Winc offers monthly subscriptions, whereas Vinebox offers quarterly or annual subscriptions.
Though wine subscription services date as far back as the early ’70s, but only in recent years has the market taken off. After little growth for decades, wine clubs are seeing a boost as they go digital.
The problem? Due in part to the now thriving market, choices abound for wine subscriptions, leaving even prominent names like Winc and Vinebox fierce competitors in a crowded field.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, every wine subscription service is unique, and this comes with its own price tag. The average cost of a wine club ranges from a little under thirty dollars per month, up to eighty dollars per month, with a median price hovering around thirty-five to forty-five dollars per month.
In terms of cost, it’s always important to keep in mind that you are paying not only for wine but also a service. Yet the appeal of a wine subscription or wine club is not only is it convenient, but it can introduce you to wines you might not have otherwise experienced.
The best wine clubs should provide wine at a variety of price points, types and origins. Transparency and customization are also integral factors. In terms of transparency, it’s important that there’s information made available about the wine itself, from origin to variety to method of production are other identifying characteristics. When it comes to the degree of customization, you want to find a subscription that allows you to potentially select personal preferences.
Wine through Winc and Vinebox ranges both in variety and quality. The key is analyzing what wines are offered through monthly subscriptions and looking into the details of those wines. While the variety is in some ways a strength of Winc, Vinebox, or any wine subscription service, these are different from some wine clubs which come from an individual winery.
How does Winc vs Vinebox stack up when compared? Which is the better option?
Now let’s examine the key differences (and similarities) between Winc vs Vinebox. Both wine subscriptions enjoy popularity, and both have a number of appealing features, so we’ll analyze which one is more worth your money.
How long has Winc and Vinebox been in business?
Winc has been operating since 2012, while Vinebox was founded in 2015. Both are fairly new but do have a history of sales.
What’s the overall philosophy underlying Winc and Vinebox?
Winc was founded by Xander Oxman and Geoff McFarlane, who teamed up with Brian Smith, a sommelier. The main objective was to make wine more accessible, both in terms of affordability and locating wine. The online membership is aimed at allowing members access to wine found at restaurants and other retailers, for a more unique and signature experience. It is based at a winery in California and sources a large selection of wine varieties. They do also mention a focus on smaller batch wine
Vinebox first and foremost distinguishes itself with small-batch wine. In connection with wines from small vineyards they also mention terroir wines, pushing back against bulk wine. In addition, they tout innovative technology: a nitrogen close environment is said to maintain flavour and quality for more durable wine.
What subscriptions are available, and how do you sign up?
Winc starts your sign up by taking you first through a quiz to determine preferences. You’ll be asked simple questions that are easy to answer, no matter your wine experience, including how you take your coffee, how salty you like your food, if you like citrus, as well as how you feel about other flavours.
- From there, they’ll automatically suggest a few bottles of wine that may suit your taste preferences, though you also have the option to peruse the catalogue and select your own.
- Membership, which just includes access to the site, is free. The subscription includes three bottles per month for $39, with the option to add on additional bottles, individually priced. You may cancel or skip weeks as needed
Vinebox, like Winc, requires you to take a short quiz asking about personal taste preferences. Once you complete the quiz, you’ll be asked to select a subscription plan.
- Two subscription plans are available: quarterly or annual. The quarterly plan costs $79 a box, while an annual membership costs $72 per box.
- Each box includes nine glasses of wine, as well as detailed information about the wines. Note these are not full wine bottles.
- You can earn credit towards full bottles of wine (fifteen dollars for quarterly members and thirty dollars for annual memberships), which cannot be used after the quarter is over.
- While you may cancel or skip, prepaid subscriptions are not refundable.
- Of the two, Winc is more affordable and has better customer policies. While you only receive three bottles with Winc, those are full-size bottles versus small glasses, making the price point a better value overall. The fact that you can pay as you go per month is a better policy as well, and even the credit system with Vinebox is rather limiting.
How are wines curated? In other words, where does the wine come from, and what goes into selecting the wines that will be included in your box?
Winc claims to focus on smaller batch wines, and partners with vineyards across the globe, meaning you’ll be able to select from wines from as widespread as Portugal, South Africa, Europe, and countless other locations.
- Selecting your wines every month is up to you. If you don’t select any wine, they will be automatically selected for you based upon your profile and stored personal preferences, so it’s a nice balance between allowing you control and the option for suggestions and surprises.
- Winc also makes suggestions based upon ratings. You can rate (and see others’ ratings) of every wine you see, so the company gets a sense of wine you like and aren’t as excited about.
Vinebox also promotes its partnerships with vineyards around the world, perhaps even more so, once again with a focus on a smaller production, but also on terroir.
- Unlike with Winc, you not only don’t bear the responsibility of selecting your wine every month but also don’t have the option. Wines are selected based upon seasonal trends, but also exposure to countries around the world.
- 11,000 wines are tested and only the top tier make it into Vinebox.
- A by-the-glass format claims to allow for more versatility, allowing for smaller samples of wine you might not otherwise try. The focus is on selecting new, diverse samples of all flavours and varieties every month.
In terms of choice, you have more with Winc but may get more out of Vinebox. This is really a matter of personal preference, and why you’re opting for a wine club in the first place. In some ways, Winc’s model is preferable by allowing you the option to select your own, but without the burden of having to if you’d rather have it selected for you. However, Vinebox’s approach is more likely to expose you to new and exciting wines. It also is more choosy about what wines to include.
What are the shipping policies?
Shipping policies, of course, are also important to consider. They can add costs and make a difference in the overall experience.
- Winc also allows non-members to order individual wines. For non-members, the shipping fee is fifteen dollars. That same fee is applied for members, but if you order four or more bottles (adding at least one extra bottle to the subscription) the shipping fee is waived.
- Orders ship within two business days of your original order and normally arrive within half a week to a week. They should arrive close to the same date every month.
- You can contact if you have any issues with the delivery date or wish to change the shipping location. At the time of shipment, someone 21 or over must be present to sign. You may ship to apartments, houses, and businesses.
- Winc does offer a replacement in the case of damaged or missing items.
- Winc ships anywhere within the Continental US, but nowhere else.
- Vinebox ships to most states in the United States, but it not available for the following: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.
- As with Winc, and any responsible wine delivery, someone of legal drinking age is required to sign for the delivery.
- Missed deliveries can be picked up or shipped up to two more times, and damaged packages can be reported by emailing Vinebox with an image of the damage box; you’ll be shipped out a replacement.
- Shipping is free of charge.
Both have fair shipping policies, but Vinebox may be limited depending on where you live. Since Vinebox starts at a higher price point, free shipping is a bonus but much for a marked difference. Both have reasonable shipping policies, but if you live, or are trying to gift, Vinebox may not be an option for everyone.
How does gifting work?
Of course, maybe you’re thinking of selecting Vinebox or Winc as a gift instead.
Vinebox allows you to gift one of two ways: either a seasonal box or annual membership. You’ll be asked for the recipient’s name and email address and a message. You have the option to have the email sent to them immediately, or schedule a date. Since gifted memberships don’t automatically renew, it’ll be up to them whether or not they wish to continue.
There are some options for buying ten or more subscriptions for corporations, though you need to email for details.
Winc offers two options for gifting: gift boxes and gift cards.
- Gift Cards allow you to choose any amount and include a note; the card will be sent by email and can be redeemed towards a membership, or purchase their own gift box.
- Gift Boxes are available in many different varieties, usually themed. Some come with a food item as well, such as gourmet popcorn, or tasting glasses. There are around two dozen options, with prices ranging from forty-five to one hundred and thirty-five dollars (for a full set of wine glasses).
Both are nice ways to gift, but Winc offers gift boxes for those not interested in a subscription.
What about the wine itself?
How much information does Winc vs Vinebox provide? Of course, it alls comes down to the wine itself. Let’s take a look at what wine is being offered, and information along with it.
Winc does offer wine around the world, as promised if limited locations. Each wine includes customer ratings, tasting notes, suggested food pairings, a full description, and information about key characteristics (body, alcohol level, winemaking style, level of sweetness). With each wine, you’ll have the label name and year, so you can easily research even more details about its origins on your own. Overall, the information is fairly comprehensive.
- Regions include California; France; Italy; Argentina; Spain and Portugal
- Varieties include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Zinfandel, Viognier, and Grenache
- Level of sweetness includes dry, sweet, and semi-sweet
- Winemaking style includes vegan and eco-friendly
- You can also sort by light or full-bodied
Vinebox offers a glimpse of their wine, but mostly through a handful of features, especially with seasonal specialities. While we do know the company states that wines are selected from small vineyards, it’s far more difficult to peruse or get detailed information before you order. While that may be in part due to the element of surprise or changing inventory, it’s not as desirable in terms of transparency.
The criteria for selection is high, or at least as professed through the curation process. But overall, there is not much information made available before your purchase, aside from sweeping policies.
In terms of transparency, Winc is a stronger choice. It also appears they stay true to their word and supply wine from individual vineyards, rather than bulk wine. With information at your fingertips, you can easily select what you like.
Drawbacks are present: for one, there is not much in the way of vintage wines, and there are restrictions on geographical locations. Another thing to note is that there seems to be more emphasis on sweeter wines.
What does customer have to say?
Finally, let’s take a look both at company reputation and customer satisfaction.
- Winc has not accredited the Better Business Bureau, but unfortunately holds and unofficial F rating, based upon complaints. On Yelp, Winc averaged three out of five stars, based on around three hundred reviews. Many enjoyed the convenience, but others said the wine quality was not as high as they’d hoped, and cited issues with being allowed to cancel subscriptions.
- Vinebox is also not accredited with the Better Business Bureau but holds an only slightly better D rating. Vinebox does not have much in the way of customer reviews but earned a high rating from Consumer Advocate.
- Overall, customer rating and professional opinion are not that encouraging. While it’s clear that some enjoyed their experiences with, the ratings leave something to be desired.
Do we recommend Winc or Vinebox?
While both offer a nice selection of wine and a number of admirable features, neither are perfect.
We are most concerned with customer ratings, as well as the overall price for the services. We suggest starting with Winc, as you have less obligation and can more easily cancel.
Where to Buy: If you’re interested in either Winc or Vinebox, simply follow the hyperlinks below.
Smart Alternatives: Of course, If you don’t find that Winc or Vinebox are to your liking, there are also alternatives. If you’re still interested in a wine club but want another option, consider the following:
- Gold Medal Wine: Gold Medal Wine offers many different levels of membership for small-batch wines, mostly from California. Flexible payments are available, include bi-monthly, monthly, and quarterly. To purchase, click here.
- Splash Wines: If you like the idea of surprise boxes or boxes curated for you, Splash Wines offers a service similar to Vinebox, where you’ll get new wines to try you might not have otherwise. It’s also a bit of a better value, with six bottles of wine arriving per month for around sixty dollars a month. To purchase, click here.