Fresh vineyard wine delivered to your home, from delicate white wines to bold reds and celebratory sparkling wine–that’s what Yahyn promises, but does it hold up in a review?
Let’s face it: more customers are curious than ever about wine subscriptions and delivery services, partially because just how much wine culture has had to shift in midst of safety restrictions during a global pandemic. Case in point? Wine tastings. Many labels and local winegrowers are now opting for virtual wine tasting events; take California’s 27 featured virtual wine tastings in Fall 2020.
Of course, popular wine subscription service options like Firstleaf, Bright Cellars, and delivery services like Winc and Drizzly have been a draw for some time. While many still prefer to enjoy terroir wine, for instance, in person, these services allow customers to enjoy wine from around the world without taking a foot out the door.
But if you’re like me, you’re careful about what you sign up for, and, even amidst different times–maybe especially now–quality and service matter most.
In this review, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Yahyn, from selection to price point and even delivery details. With an in-depth look, I’ll tell you whether or not a wine subscription with Yahyn should be on your list for your next glass of Pinot Noir, Merlot or even Dry Rose.
What is Yahyn?
Yahyn is a wine delivery and online service that combines technology with wine curation. The company was started by Pierre Rogers, who actually comes from a financial/ business background, while the company’s name refers to the Hebrew, Biblical term associated with wine.
The company ethos immediately struck me as different than wine competitors, with a focus not as much on delivering wine or service, but creating an experience around wine; described as a “ passionate journey of a group of wine lovers, aficionados, and technologists determined to create a new way to distribute, buy, and consume wine.”
Three pillars are said to be behind their wine services: inclusivity and diversity; passion about wine; and a tech-based, innovative ‘wine revolution.’
I could easily find the main leaders within the company, and while many of their credentials were pertaining more towards the business and marketing end, the company at first struck me as transparent and in capable hands.
Yahyn combines some ideas from its competitors, whether purposefully or incidentally, combining technology, delivery, and quality wine as tools for marketing.
The website itself is well organized, easy to navigate, and gives off a good first impression. I also am impressed with how easy it is to find information about the people behind the company. Of course, this alone doesn’t make for a great wine service.
How do you order wine from Yahyn?
Ordering wine from Yahyn is fairly straightforward–but let’s first clear up what it’s not. Yahyn is not technically a subscription service. While with a company like Firstleaf you can, for instance, sign up for monthly subscriptions, Yahyn works more like a marketplace, in the vein of companies like Drizly and Winc. They do also offer a second ‘virtual wine tasting’ service.
Much of the shopping experience is simple, a la carte style. I started by browsing the Shop Our Wines tab and was pleased to see easy filter options, a clean interface, and price points before you click for more information. You can filter by style, wine region, variety, vintage, and format (bottle size).
When you select your desired quantity, you’ll also be informed if it can be shipped that day, where the wine comes from, and where it’ll be shipped from.
What I would have loved to see was an option to filter by price, too, as well as flavor profiles. It was an easy enough shopping experience, but for someone not familiar with wine, it isn’t as intuitive.
I would have loved to see the ability to also have some sense of personalization. I understand that this works more like a marketplace, but Yahyn, upon review, could draw more customers again2 by adding a flavor quiz, recommended wines, and customer reviews. Overall, I was pleased with the experience but found myself wanting more features.
Virtual Wine Tastings
Virtual wine tastings are a second way to order wine through Yahyn, and something that does add beyond the typical wine delivery experience, at least for me.
Virtual Wine Tastings come in curated Yahyn wine tasting kits, which mostly remind me of packages you can order from a company like the California Wine Club. To be sure, these are single-purchase items, with around four bottles of wine set around a theme.
But there’s more to it than that. Once you receive your kit, you’re able to schedule a virtual tasting time, at your convenience. They send a confirmation email and you are able to coordinate by celebrating virtually with family and friends. It’s certainly a unique approach that I haven’t seen other wine deliveries provide.
I have mixed feelings about the virtual wine tasting experience with Yayhn. Upon initial reaction, I loved the creativity, flexibility, and attempt to recreate a tasting experience that isn’t possible for so many people right now.
However, for a fair review, I must say I’m not sold on added value. What I mean by this is that the virtual wine tasting more or less acts as a prompt to schedule; aside from the wine collection itself, virtual wine tasting with Yahyn is something you could easily just plan yourself. I would have loved other additions, such as wine tasting with wine experts, education about wine, or tours of vineyards.
What are the shipping and handling policies when you order from Yahyn?
Yahyn allows purchases by anyone 21 years old and up and residing in the United States. Since wine laws vary by state, there are some restrictions, but Yahyn ships to most states that allow it; you can easily check on their site when you shop. They do require a signature for deliveries.
Every order can be tracked online and ships within a few days. It appears that you can cancel orders but only if they haven’t already been shipped.
There’s nothing exceptional about the shipping and handling policies offered by Yahyn. I like that there is not much complexity, but I’d also like more options for shipping and handling. For instance, I’d like to see the ability to ship to other addresses, pick up at locations, and more information about cancellation policies.
Does Yahyn offer refunds, and how does payment work?
Even if I love a wine subscription or delivery service on face value, I am diligent about making sure there’s clear wording when it comes to both payments and refunds. And in the case of Yahyn, I admit that I was a little disappointed.
There is no mention of refunds, though a general customer service email is provided. Payment is handled through Monticello, with a standard 2 percent service fee for credit cards.
“Users should be aware that transmissions over the internet to the Website are not secure. The information housed on the system consists of Submissions and Content. While The Company does use encryption for credit card transactions, no security is absolute or guaranteed.”
In other words, the credit card information should be secure but the website itself may not be. Though this is the case of many sites, it is a step below some. I also would love to see evidence of refunds should there at least be a problem with missing or damaged shipments.
What kinds of wine does Yahyn offer?
As I already mentioned in this review, you can buy Yahyn wine through either the open marketplace or an organized wine tasting kit. Something I realized right away is the Yahyn acts, most of all, as a seller, and does not itself produce wine.
Think of Yahyn as a virtual supermarket—though it does include a nice variety of brands and labels you may not find in your local store.
Immediately the list of wine varieties is almost overwhelming, with everything from Albarino to Syrah, Red Blends, Pinot Gris and countless others. However, most have only a bottle of wine or two per each variety.
Notable exceptions include Pinot Noir (288); Savgnouse (88) and Port (40). In other words, I found many varieties to explore, but not very many options per variety for most, unless, of course, you’re an avid Pinot Noir fan.
You can select from blends, Champagne, dessert wines, sparkling, and sake, in addition to general red/ white/ wine filters. Red wines are by far most prominent, with over 1300 options, but there is a reasonable number of sparkling wines (111) as well as white wines (558).
I have to admit, Yahyn does source from a long list of wine regions, from general (Argentina, Mexico) to more specific wine-growing regions (Russian River Valley, California; Napa Valley).
But again, while the list of wine regions is long, the distribution is skewed a certain way; in this case, Piedmont by far offers the most, followed by France and a collection of California regions.
One aspect of the Yahyn wine selection that both impressed (and slightly surprised me was that they do offer a nice collection of vintage wines, with one dating back as far as 1959. As you may have guessed, wine does skew non-vintage, but there are a reasonable number of new vintage options if you aren’t too picky.
Wine Tasting Packages
Yahyn offers unique wine packages for taste testing, all with around four regular-sized bottles each. There’s one dedicated to Pinot Noir; a red wine variety; a mix of red, white, and roses; and ‘handcrafted wine’ from J. Cage Cellars.
Something that is both great, and frustrating about Yahyn is just how much the price points vary for their wine selection: You can find many options for an average of $25, but there are also options over $1,000. There is some quite cheap wine, for as little as $4.99.
Still, without a price filter, I found it frustrating to scroll through $25 bottles of wine alongside ones in the hundreds of dollars. While I couldn’t find many options for some varieties, there really was at least some of nearly every wine type. I’d go here perhaps for red wines, but consider other places for sparkling wines and Champagne.
Is Yahyn’s wine and Service Good?
Selection aside, is Yahyn wine quality any good? In my review, I was pleased to see at least some information about every wine you can buy. Selecting a wine will provide the brand/ vineyard name, year, region, and variety.
They also provide general tasting notes. My best advice, though, is to do a Google search. It’s tedious, but an external search can provide additional information about the vineyard in question.
I did notice that every wine also supplied information about the aging process and at least a little bit in terms of production. I did notice a focus on bigger brands, and a few vineyards, such as J. Cage Cellars. Sweet Cheeks, Component Wine, and Skipstone are other names I came across.
My impression is that most of the wine is well known, but there’s a heavier focus on commercial or larger batch vs small batch and terroir wine.
I may have a good impression of a service or vise versa, but two steps I take for every review is to get a sense of the general company reputation, as well as customer reviews.
Yahyn appears to be owned by PUROTRADER, LLC, but neither appears to have a Better Business Bureau profile. While not unheard of for an e-commerce business to not be accredited, I did find this unusual.
Customer reviews and individual experiences with Yahyn are quite hard to find. In fact, even their Facebook page lacks reviews and ratings. And while there are a few articles suggesting Yahyn, it’s more from a general investment standpoint.
Wine delivery, as opposed to wine subscriptions, typically offer a la carte ordering of specific wine to your door. Wine delivery is most popular offered by Total Wine, Winc, Drizzly, and also by emerging companies like Yahyn. It is also sometimes possible to order wine from grocery stores and wholesale, but state laws can be prohibitive for some.
While wine clubs and subscriptions have become popular, there are many ways to order wine without joining a club, both from delivery services such as Drizzly and services that offer both marketplace shopping and other options, like Firstleaf.
Wine with food can make for a memorable gift. Harry and David; Wine Country Baskets; and occasionally grocery stores offer wine and food baskets you can have sent directly to you or another recipient.
Services like Shipt and Instagram are soaring in popularity right now, and it’s not hard to imagine why, with many preferring to hire personal shoppers instead of shopping in stores themselves. Shipt does sometimes offer wine delivery, even the same day, with a subscription, depending on what store you’re ordering from, availability and state laws.
Final Buying Decision: There are better alternatives
I went into this review of Yahyn with an optimistic mood. I loved the initial feel of the web page, transparency of the staff, and how easy it is to navigate through. I also was fairly pleased with the overall selection of wine, even if I did long for more options from certain regions or varieties.
Most of my hesitation for buying from Yahyn, at least for now, comes down to two issues: there isn’t enough information; and there simply are better alternatives.
I don’t love that there isn’t a clear refund policy; there aren’t any customer experiences accessible and overall it’s still leaving me with an uncertain feeling. Plus, there isn’t much special to male Yahyn stand out from competitors.
My Alternative: Total Wine.
Total Wine is the best and most direct alternative if you’re looking for a wine delivery service. You’ll get a wider selection of wine, including award winning wines; more information about each wine; and it’s simply more tested.