With another unpredictable Covid Christmas period to contend with, attentions are turning on how to plan a fail-proof festive period within your own four walls. And there’s one major box that needs ticking: will we have enough booze?
Wine subscriptions are a smart way to discover something new to drink, and having boxes delivered to your door saves the heavy trek home from the supermarket - and means you’ll stay reassuringly stocked up.
From natural wine subscriptions to at-home wine tastings to gift your dad, here are 13 of the best wine subscription boxes to add to your cart.
Laithwaite’s Wine Club
Since starting out under a railway arch in Windsor, Laithwaite’s has become one of the UK’s most successful wine retailers. They’re not into being prescriptive: you’ll have total control over what you’re drinking and can change the recommended wines in your selection online. Subscribers can choose from a 12-bottle case of mixed wines, delivered every 12 weeks (or less often, it’s up to you).
Introductory 12-bottle case for £65, laithwaites.co.uk
Brixton Wine Club
Brixton Wine Club isn’t your traditional wine club: it sells high quality wines, yes, but in bottles? No. This lot are into (infinitely recyclable) cans. In a world where drinks in the park have become the norm – even in the winter – this is what wine lovers have long been waiting for.
You can either join the club as a one-off customer or as a monthly subscriber, and choose from a selection of five subscription boxes – from Simply Red to Rosé All Day, to 100% Fizz.
From £16 a month, brixtonwineclub.com
Sociovino launched in 2020 from a team of former sommeliers, hospitality professionals and a chef. It wants to be the wine box that delivers everything Italians love about their culture: an obsession with flavours, a sense of community and a passion for knowledge and food.
The Seasonal Subscription Case is packed with 12 bottles (a mix of red white), a brochure with pairing notes, and two recipe cards with seasonal meals curated by an up-and-coming chef. Bi-monthly wine tastings are also hosted by the producer.
£150 every three months, sociovino.com
The Wine Club by Bar Douro
For curious wine drinkers looking to branch outside their usual Spanish styles. The Portuguese wine bar’s subscription service is delivered quarterly and is available for delivery nationwide - each box is curated by wine expert and writer Sarah Ahmed and features six exclusive Portuguese wines with intricate tasting notes, suggested food pairings and producer stories. The next box will arrive in February.
Sign up and you’ll also receive access to exclusive offers at Bar Douoro’s two London restaurants and invitations to private tastings - the perfect Christmas gift for the wine lover feeling bitter about the pandemic cancelling that trip to Porto.
Wine Club by Majestic
This one from Majestic is all about wine with an educational element, offering tasting materials, accessible expert advice and access to members-only webinars.
You’ll receive four cases a year (red, white or mixed, with either 12 or 24 bottles in each delivery) with each one based around a different region, country or grape - the perfect way to hone your wine knowledge.
From £99 every three months, majestic.co.uk
Struggling to know what to cook? Plonk’s popular monthly Three Fresh Drops case is a fun option for people who want to try bottles from small-batch, family-run producers.
You’ll receive three hand-picked bottles each month, with free delivery, food pairing suggestions and a card taking you through each wine. Make your first order and get up to 15 per cent of all future purchases and you can cancel anytime.
£50 a month, plonkwine.co
Ourglass certainly doesn’t mince its words when it comes to the quality of its bottles: “no adulterated factory-made shite” is the promise on its cheapest subscription offering. And things get more high-brow the higher up the rank you go, from better grapes and more sophisticated techniques to, according to Ourglass, the wines that are capable “of changing your outlook on life”. If you agree, then enjoy, and let the tasting notes and food pairing suggestions that come with each delivery should supplement the experience: if not, you can pause of cancel at any time.
From £50 per month, ourglass.wine
Discover two, four or six natural wines each month through the Littlewine Club’s carefully curated, planet-friendly subscription packages. Opt for a Backstage Pass and you’ll also receive the stories behind each bottle.
There’s a range of options: Roots (£50 a month) is ideal for those at the start of their natural wine journey; Grower (£90 a month) brings members four bottles each month from celebrated and upcoming winemakers alike; and Cosmos (£180 a month) delivers six carefully sourced bottles of low intervention wine, including hard-to-find benchmark cuvées.
Full marks for sustainability. All of Littlewine’s materials are made from recycled and/or compostable materials (even the tape is water-activated and made with soy-based ink, meaning it can go on the compost pile), so the wine will arrive carbon-neutral to your door.â£
From £50 per month, littlewine.co
There a few wine clubs to choose from here. JustREDS is just that, with scrumptious reds chosen by wine writer Matthew Jukes, while Discovery Club focuses on craft wines from independent makers, while WineBank tops up your wine-spending credit by a quid every time you save £5 into your account.
From £59.88 every three months, virginwines.co.uk
Crispin Wine Club
Crispin’s wines are recommended by its in-house expert Stefano Cazzato, a former sommelier at Londrino and Hakkasan. The Spitalfields restaurant’s subscription service offers hand-selected bottles with a focus on natural, biodynamic and low intervention wines from small producers and cooperatives.
Each subscription case includes some easy drinking wines alongside more interesting, funky and wild wines, hand-picked by Cazzato, some of which will be exclusive to Crispin. Select either three or six bottles each time and how regularly you’d like to receive your order (every two, four or six weeks).
From £55 per case, crispinstores.com
Is your go-to wine a bottle of pinot grigio? If so, listen up. Savage Vines aims to get subscribers out of that habit and introduce them to new wine regions and grape varieties.
All of their wines are handpicked from small, independent winemakers and you can choose from two, four, six, or 12 bottles of either red of white wines to be delivered every month (or more infrequently, if you like).
From £29.95 a month, savagevines.co.uk
If you’re not a self-proclaimed wine expert but still know what you like, Wine Post may be spot on. The delivery service allows customers to choose between customisable boxes of three, six or 12 bottles of wine every one or two months.
Based on your preferences, Wine Post selects wine from a range of more than 150 different wines to match your taste. You’re not tied to any contract and you can pause or stop your subscription whenever you please.
From £32.95 per month, winepost.co.uk
Wanderlust Wine Club
As the name suggests, Wanderlust Wine Club aims to explore new wines in new regions, supporting small producers that make sustainable, quality wine in the process. Wanderlust subscribers receive four to 10 bottles of artisanal wines every two months, depending on their membership (silver, gold or platinum).
Each case gives the full story on each wine, as well as background information about the producer, tasting notes, and food pairing suggestions.
Four bottles every two months from £24 per month, wanderlustwine.co.uk
The Wine List
At the Wine List, the aim is to learn about wine by putting it into practice: subscribers receive two bottles of carefully chosen wines every month from Wine Roots, a 12-part wine course that teaches the fundamentals of wine tasting.
However, if you’re eager to speed up the learning process, you can get six bottles every month instead of two. The Wine List’s subscriptions are flexible, and can be cancelled at any time.
Two-bottle box for £39 per month, six-bottle box for £99 per month, thewinelist.net
The Grape Reserve and Wine of England
Quality over quantity. The Grape Reserve sends you two fantastic wines each month from top vineyards across the world. Each comes with tasting notes and food pairings, plus free delivery.
Just choose whether you want two red, two white, or one of both - gift a subscription to a loved one and they’ll receive their first box just two to three working days after you order it.
(Check out the company’s sister brand, Wine of England, for the same two-bottles-a-month concept, but solely for English wine.)
£34 a month, thegrapereserve.co.uk, wineofengland.co.uk
Good Pair Days
Your flexible wine-pairing subscription. Good Pair Days’ fun palate quiz is designed for anyone from beginners to wine connoisseurs – answer questions about your food likes and dislikes, favourite cocktails and how much butter you like to have on your toast (yes, you read that correctly) and the site will send you a case of three bottles to your door.
Its team of wine ‘explorers’ is led by a three-time Sommelier of the Year and if you don’t like a bottle, the company will add a free bottle to your next box. The site (and its corresponding app) has served 30,000 happy drinkers so far and 1 per cent of all revenue goes to independent winemakers around the world who have been directly impacted by climate change to up the feel-good factor.
From £46 per box, goodpairdays.com