Experience a monthly wine subscription matched uniquely to your preferences.
Personalized taste matching – extensive algorithm with an intuitive ranking system
Worldwide selection – wines come from small and unique vineyards
Delight guarantee – get a free replacement bottle for any wines you aren’t happy with
Member rewards program – earn points by referring friends
Pricey – $88 per month is on the higher end for a monthly wine subscription
No free shipping – $8 per box regardless of your shipping frequency
Bright Cellars is a well-established company offering a wine subscription service that has been praised by the New York Post.
To be frank, the world of wine is known for being a bit uppity. For newbies, it can feel a bit intimidating to dive deep into the illustrious society of wine connoisseurs.
Much to my surprise, Bright Cellars proved to be welcoming to all levels of wine-drinkers. It was started by two self-proclaimed craft beer and cocktail connoisseurs who wanted to bridge the gap and educate wine drinkers nationwide.
There’s a reason so many people rave about Bright Cellars, but is it the right fit for you? This review will help you make the right decision.
With your Bright Cellars membership, you receive a monthly package with four bottles of wine chosen for you. To get started, you’ll have to take part in a seven-question quiz to determine your taste profile. The quiz consists of multiple-choice questions and takes a couple of minutes to complete.
The quiz will even ask about your comfort level with branching out and trying new flavors or whether you prefer to stick to your favorites.
Lastly, the quiz will ask if you prefer red or white wines. What’s great about this particular question is that you have room to mix it up and opt to try wines outside your comfort zone. For example, you can choose, “mostly white, but I’ll try an interesting red.”
After you’ve completed your quiz, you’ll be prompted to set up your account by connecting through Facebook, Google, or by entering the following information:
Date of birth (confirming you’re of legal age to buy and consume wine)
Zip code (confirming deliveries are available in your area)
The Bright Points algorithm takes your quiz results and compares them to 18 different attributes to fine-tune your preferences.
You’re immediately paired up with four bottles that rank the highest based on your Bright Points. You can opt to swap out any of the suggestions by clicking the link below the wine, but only once for each bottle. As you begin ranking the wines you receive, the algorithm starts understanding and refining your profile for future orders.
Lastly, you’ll enter your shipping and billing information, agree to the terms and conditions, and just like that, you’re a Bright Cellars Member.
Throughout your membership, you can swap out wines any time by reaching out to the Wine Concierge team. You can also update the frequency of shipments, as Bright Cellars currently offers monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly options.
The pricing model of Bright Cellars is entirely transparent, which is a feature many subscribers appreciate. There’s only one membership available, with the only variation being the frequency of your orders.
All wines are priced at $20 per bottle, and with four bottles in each shipment, you know you’ll be paying $80 every time. Shipping fees are not included and are added to each box at $8, with no fluctuation. In the end, you pay $88 per box plus tax, depending on your delivery state’s taxes.
Each month, you can expect a customized delivery of four bottles, straight to your door. Bright Cellars sources wines worldwide through its expert sommeliers who specifically look for small, unique vineyards.
Regions in the Bright Cellars wine collection include domestic, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and South America.
Let’s take a closer look at the wines I was paired with following the introductory quiz: my top three were a Souzao, a Merlot, and a Colombard, all with 93 Bright Points.
First up was Silverscape’s 2018 Souzao, with flavors of dark fruits, cocoa powder, and black pepper.
Next up was Jetbird’s 2019 Merlot, with flavors of red berries, baking spices, and violets.
And lastly, Meet Cute’s 2019 French Colombard, with flavors of grapefruit, lemon peel, and lime juice.
While you can’t currently send a Bright Cellars box as a gift, the company does offer gift cards for a “wine experience.”
It’s important to note that all gift card purchases are entirely non-refundable.
You can choose from the following denominations:
$100 (1 month / 6 bottles)
$200 (2 month / 12 bottles)
$300 (3 months / 18 bottles)
You can also choose to have your gift card delivered with the following options:
Certificate via mail ($5 for standard shipping / $25 for expedited shipping)
Gift box and corkscrew (Add $10, plus $5 for standard shipping / $25 for expedited shipping)
Certificate via email (pick your delivery date for no additional cost)
Here’s a quick summary of Bright Cellars’ pricing and who it’s best for:
$20 per bottle
Wine beginners, anyone looking for fun and interesting worldwide wines
$8 per box
Bright Cellars delivers across the contiguous United States, utilizing UPS and FedEx, depending on your region. All of your deliveries must be met with someone at least 21 years old to sign for the package.
Three attempts will be made to deliver your box. After that, UPS or FedEx will return it to Bright Cellars. You can receive a refund if this happens, but you’ll have to reach out to the Concierge team to initiate it. Your total refund amount will be what you paid for your order, minus a $25 returned shipment fee.
You can also opt to have your package held at UPS or FedEx locations for pickup, but you will have to contact the Bright Cellar Concierge team ahead of time to get this set up.
To finalize your account, you have to enter your zip code, ensuring you can receive deliveries to your area.
Bright Cellars customer service is known as the “Wine Concierge team” and is available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm CT. If you email the team outside of their regular operating hours, you can expect a response within a three to five business day window.
You can also opt to talk to the Concierge team by texting 84410 with your message. I reached out to see how quickly they would respond and immediately got an auto-response. Then, a formal response within twenty-five minutes:
You can cancel your Bright Cellars membership at any time by reaching out to the Concierge team. You can contact them by calling or emailing.
Winc operates almost identically to Bright Cellars, requiring you to answer a set of personal preference questions before recommending four bottles of wine. The primary difference between Bright Cellars and Winc is noticeable at check out. While Bright Cellars offers bottles at $20 each, Winc offers bottles of wine at $12.99 each, with no added charges for shipping.
Although the price tag on the Winc subscription is significantly lower than Bright Cellars’, these wines are more geared toward California-specific vineyards. So, if you’re looking for less variety and lower cost, Winc might be a good option for you. Find out more in our in-depth Winc review.
If you’re looking for variety, Vinesse is another excellent wine club to consider. Much like Bright Cellars, Vinesse welcomes wine drinkers of all levels and budgets, whether you consider yourself a novice or a connoisseur.
Vinesse features boutique wines, allowing you to enjoy varietals (grape varieties) from around the world, and access bottles not readily available in stores. Through Vinesse you can enjoy top-quality wines from as low as $10 per bottle. Read more about Vinesse in our expert review
The Bottom Line: Is Bright Cellars Worth It?
Although Bright Cellars doesn’t offer the ultimate level of customization in a wine subscription service, this can prove beneficial to anyone who considers themselves to be a novice wine-drinker or is just curious to try out new and unique blends.
At $20 a bottle, Bright Cellars is more expensive than other wine subscription services out there, but this price is much lower than you would pay for equivalent quality wines in standard stores. Not to mention, you’re gaining access to smaller, unique vineyards globally that might not be available in your local stores.
Bright Cellars might not be the best option for anyone particular about their wines. While you do have the opportunity to swap out your matches each month, you still don’t have the full freedom of selection you get with other services.
That being said, the Bright Cellars team of knowledgeable staff and expert wine concierges go above and beyond to handle member questions and requests both quickly and thoroughly. There is a delight guarantee, and you can get a bonus bottle added to your next delivery if you’re unhappy with anything you receive.
Bright Cellars’ monthly subscription costs are $88, plus tax. With this price, you’ll receive a 100% customized order containing four wine bottles based on your preferences. Shipping is $8 per box and included in this price.
As soon as your order ships, you’ll receive tracking information via the email address on file for your account. You can also access your shipment information through the Bright Cellars web page by selecting “Rate Your Matches.”
For every wine match you receive through Bright Cellars, you’ll also get a wine card with detailed information about the wine. Depending on the type of wine, you might need to refrigerate it or store it at room temperature. When it comes to serving, the general rule is the lighter the wine the lower the serving temperature.
Bright Cellars is headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, but delivers across the contiguous United States. To find out if Bright Cellars delivers to your location, check out its website for more information.