Plonk and Firstleaf take very different approaches to wine delivery. Firstleaf recommends bottles from a broad catalog of wines based on your quiz results and ratings. Plonk takes a curated approach to its selection of organic wines, using its expert judgment to send you small-batch wines and unusual varietals from around the world.
Comparing Plonk and Firstleaf is challenging because both provide great service. But after lots of research and consultations with wine lovers, I have arrived at an opinion. And while I could make a case for either service, I think that in the end Firstleaf will be the better choice for most wine lovers.
Firstleaf is considerably cheaper and sends you selections tailored to your personal tastes. But if you love organic wines, Plonk is the undisputed wine industry leader in that market. Plonk is also a good choice for those who like sampling new varietals and regional wines and who enjoy being surprised by great new bottles they would have never discovered otherwise.
Read on to see which wine delivery service is right for you!
Firstleaf wins this round, as it offers over 200 wines, while Plonk has less than 50. In some ways, though, it’s an unfair comparison. Plonk is a boutique wine delivery service that focuses on organic wines, while Firstleaf aims at a more general audience. If you want lots of wine choices, Firstleaf is the clear winner.
Firstleaf gives you a choice of many varietals from domestic and international vineyards. You can use its filters to find varietals, regions, and other specialties. It has many options you won’t find at other wine delivery services. I was particularly impressed by its selection of nearly 60 keto-friendly wines that are low in sugar and carbs.
The wines offered by Firstleaf go through a rigorous vetting process. The company’s expert sommeliers sample over 10,000 wines each year, selecting only the finest. Many of the wines on offer are Firstleaf exclusives, and most come from small wineries with limited retail distribution.
France’s Bordeaux region is famous for its reds, but it also produces world-class white wines. This Ch. Philippe Jacques & Co. Bordeaux Blanc earned 98 points at the Santé International Wine Competition, along with a Double Gold Medal and a "Best of Class" designation.
This Bordeaux Blanc starts with a bright honeysuckle nose with a hint of sea spray. The mouthfeel is creamy with a bracing tartness and hints of grapefruit and ripe pair. It finishes with a hint of wet stone for a complex and crisp experience that you’ll remember, especially if you pair it with seafood or foie gras.
While Plonk may have fewer bottles available, its selection offers plenty of wine diversity. You’ll find indigenous wine varietals you’ve never heard of before and wines from regions around the world. You’ll find excellent small-production wine offerings from lesser-known regions like Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, and Hungary.
All Plonk wines are grown organically, with a focus on biodynamic and sustainable vineyard practices. Its wines contain no pesticides, herbicides, or commercial additives, offering a cleaner, more authentic taste. Plonk’s commitment to natural, sustainable wine-making practices is a cornerstone of its philosophy and sets it apart from its competitors.
The Pais grape was brought to the New World by Spanish missionaries in the 16th century and is among the oldest varietals in the Americas. Pais grapes are commonly found in Chile, where they are used in a variety of wine styles. This 2020 Pedro Parra Vinista Pais comes from southern Chile’s Itala Valley, a cool region that is home to some of South America’s greatest wines.
Pedro Parra grows his grapes organically and without irrigation. This produces a smaller fruit yield but results in crisper, dryer wines. This wine is lighter than many reds but is redolent with flavors of red currant, raspberry, and sour cherry with earthy undertones. Plonk recommends trying it with salmon or grilled chicken.
Firstleaf wins this round because it offers more flexibility in its subscription. Plonk offers a 4-bottle subscription in addition to its 6 and 12-bottle options, but you can only order a quarterly subscription with the largest option. Firstleaf gives you the option to order a quarterly 6-bottle delivery, whereas Plonk only lets you order a monthly or bimonthly 6-bottle delivery.
Your Firstleaf journey starts with a quiz. Using your answers, Firstleaf selects your wines based on your palate. After you receive your first box, you are encouraged to rate each of your bottles. Firstleaf uses that information to further hone its rating system.
If you don’t like the wines that Firstleaf chooses for you, you can swap out bottles for wines you find more interesting. But Firstleaf claims that after only 3 ratings its algorithm is 98% effective in picking wines that will suit your tastes.
You can choose between a 6-bottle or 12-bottle Firstleaf subscription, with monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly shipments available. You are also free to order additional bottles from the Firstleaf Wine Shop, where you get a 30% discount on each bottle.
There are no quizzes when you sign up for Plonk. You choose between a White Organic Club, a Red Organic Club, or a Mixed Organic Club. Plonk chooses a selection of wines for you each month based on your choice. You can choose between a monthly shipment of 4 wines, a monthly or bimonthly shipment of 6 wines, or a 12-bottle shipment that arrives monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly.
All Plonk shipments are dispatched during the first week of each month. In order to qualify for the upcoming month's club shipment, you must subscribe to the wine club on or before the 1st day of the respective month. If you subscribe after this cut-off date, your shipment will go out the following month.
Billing for your first order is processed when you purchase. Subsequent orders are processed on the first day of each following month for the duration of the subscription. For prepaid and gift subscriptions lasting 3, 6, or 12 months, the entire amount is paid upfront as a non-refundable, 1-time credit card payment. Prepaid subscriptions do not auto-renew.
You always have the option to purchase additional bottles directly from the Plonk Wine Shop. There’s a 6-bottle minimum for wine shop purchases, but at least you get free shipping on all orders!
Winner: It’s a tie
This was a very, very close round. Firstleaf has a money-back guarantee, while Plonk will only replace damaged bottles, but Plonk offers personalized advice from the company owner. I finally decided to call this round a draw. Suffice it to say that both Plonk and Firstleaf are at the top of their game when it comes to customer service.
Firstleaf offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This policy assures that customers receive full credit for any bottle they did not enjoy, with no questions asked, emphasizing the brand's dedication to customer satisfaction. And if you have any questions or problems, Firstleaf’s Wine Concierge service is there to help.
Firstleaf Wine Concierges are there to ensure your satisfaction. If you're dissatisfied with your selection, they're available for free consultations to adjust your personalization info and suggest new wines beyond your regular shipments. They can also help you with organizing wine buys for events and celebrations and provide advice on seasonal wine choices.
Wine Concierges can also handle any other Firstleaf questions or problems you might have. They can answer queries or resolve issues relating to your order, delivery, the wine rating system, and more. You can reach Firstleaf 7 days a week from 6 am to 5 pm PT. For immediate assistance after hours, Firstleaf's digital chatbot can provide you with information without the hassle of a search through the FAQ.
Plonk gets high marks from customers for its personalized approach. The team shows a real willingness to engage with customers and ensure their satisfaction. You may even call the Plonk helpline to find yourself speaking with the company’s founder and CEO!
Plonk's customer service is available via email or phone. Its customer support email is email@example.com and its phone number is 1-877-50-PLONK (75665).
Firstleaf charges considerably less per bottle than Plonk. You will pay around $15 a bottle with your Firstleaf subscription, while a 4-bottle Plonk subscription will cost you $110 monthly ($27.50/bottle), while a 12-bottle Plonk box costs $265 (a bit over $22 a bottle) vs the $180 you’ll pay for 12 bottles at Firstleaf.
Firstleaf charges $14.95 shipping on 6-bottle orders, but all orders of 12 or more bottles ship free. All Plonk orders come with shipping included.
Organic and biodynamic wines
Wine lovers seeking great variety
$14.95 (12-bottle orders ship free)
45+ choices per month
200+ choices per month
FAQ, phone, chat
Both Plonk and Firstleaf are great, but Firstleaf is better for average wine customers. The Firstleaf algorithm is great for helping newcomers learn more about their wine preferences, and its recommendations improve with every rating.
Plonk is a great choice for those who are looking for organic wines. Its carefully curated subscription boxes are chosen by Plonk’s owner, who is always happy to listen to suggestions and even complaints. But it’s also considerably more expensive per bottle than Firstleaf and has a smaller selection of wines to choose from.
Overall, you won’t go wrong with either company. Both have top-quality wines and excellent customer service. But if you still aren’t sure which is right for you, check out our list of the best wine delivery services to see other options.
Firstleaf offers a 6-bottle or 12-bottle subscription monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. Plonk offers you a choice of monthly 4-bottle deliveries, monthly or bimonthly 6-bottle deliveries, or 12-bottle deliveries every 1, 2, or 3 months.
Plonk specializes in organic and biodynamic wines from around the world. While several wine services, including Firstleaf, offer a selection of organic wines, every wine offered by Plonk is made with organically farmed grapes.
Firstleaf offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every bottle that arrives in your subscription. If you are unimpressed with any bottle you receive in your box, simply contact a Firstleaf Wine Concierge, and you will receive a new bottle or a store credit.
Plonk’s per bottle price is higher than Firstleaf’s. You will pay between $22 and $27 per bottle for a Plonk subscription, while a Firstleaf subscription will cost you around $15 a bottle.