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Firstleaf Review 2023: Great Wines for a Low Price

Author Zoran Trifunovic
Zoran Trifunovic
Updated on Nov 22nd, 2023
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Overview

Firstleaf is a reputable wine subscription and delivery service. It curates wines from around the world, handpicking the finest bottles and tailoring them to your unique taste.  What's more, the company has a collection of wine awards, currently totaling 3,062 wine accolades. And some of them are prestigious Gold and Double Gold & Platinum awards.

The company has strategies to ensure its subscribers get bottles catering to their palates. And you're in full control of deliveries, meaning you can schedule and reschedule them as you see fit. Moreover, Firstleaf commits to sustainability by ensuring its packages meet high eco-safety standards.

Firstleaf has some minor disadvantages when it comes to shipping costs and delivery, but I don't consider them dealbreakers. So, continue reading my Firstleaf review to learn more about this service and decide whether it’s your perfect match. 

Pros

Cons

Wine customization questionnaire

The shipping fee can be high

Free consultation with a wine concierge

You can’t choose delivery days

Various national and international accolades

The rating system could be more helpful

Current deal – Get $100 off your first 3 boxes

What’s on the Firstleaf Wine List

Firstleaf is like a global wine tour. It sources high-quality wines from many wine-producing regions worldwide. You'll find Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, and many other varieties on its website. And if you like surprises, take a quick quiz to help the service tailor your selection. Besides individual wines, the company has bundles and specialty collections on offer.

Firstleaf's homepage
Scroll down the page to see how the company works.

Wine Variety

Firstleaf gets its wines from around the world. You'll find bottles from wine-growing regions in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, and Australia, among other countries. You’ll also see USA-produced wines from places like California and Washington. No matter where the wine is from, each bottle represents the best that region has to offer. You can review wines without subscribing.

List of wine countries on the Firstleaf website
Some other represented countries are Spain, Greece, and South Africa.
The service's wine selection is quite diverse. While browsing the website, I came across many reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines. Fans of red wines will especially be thrilled with the assortment. Firstleaf also offers wine bundles, specialty wines, and a curated list of fine wines if you seek something special.

Firstleaf's most rewarded red wines
The wine delivery service has many awarded wines on its beverage menu.

Firstleaf's Featured Bundles contain between 3 and 15 specially-selected wines. But if you're after something truly unique, check out the Fine Wine Collection. It boasts special bottles, such as Thistle & Quail and Weelderige Velde. And the Specialty selection features options for various wine lovers, including lower alcohol, keto-friendly, and vegan-friendly options.

A few of Firstleaf's Eco-friendly Wines
Firstleaf has over 50 environmentally-friendly wines in its assortment.

I found it curious that the company doesn't mention the bottle size of its wines. But from my research,  it appears that most, if not all, are 750 ml bottles. I looked into various reds, whites, roses, and sparkling wines, and each was the standard size. It also holds true for wines in the bundles, specialty, and fine wine sections.

Label of Fristleaf's wine
Some products lacked even label images, making me wonder about the bottle size.

Red wine lovers have well over 100 wine varieties to choose from. And Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir were the most numerous. If you're more into white wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio were the most abundant. There were far fewer rosé and sparkling wines, with 19 and 6 offerings, respectively. However, I still found many of my personal favorites among them. 

A few of Firstleaf's sparkling wines
At the time of my review, Punt Comú and Laureleé were some other sparkling wines on offer.

Customization

Firstleaf lets you pick your wines. But you can also trust its experts to select them for you. If you prefer having control over the drinks you get, go for individual (reds, whites, etc.), Specialty, or Fine Wine Collection offerings. The only exception here is the Featured Bundles. Expert sommeliers handpick these collections, so you can’t personalize them.

Buying from this wine subscription service is pretty straightforward. Head over to Wine Store in the header and select your preferred type of wine – Reds, Whites, Rosé, or Sparkling. Or opt for 1 of the curated selections – Featured Bundles, Specialty, or Fine Wine Collection. You can also select bottles based on their region of origin if you prefer.

A drop-down menu on Firstleaf's website
Besides Specialty, Reds, Whites, and Regions have drop-down menus like this.

You can buy from the menu or the product page if you prefer a more detailed look. There, you'll find info on the wine's country of origin, pairing suggestions, flavor profiles, and more. The only small snag is the quantity selection. Instead of letting you type the number of bottles you want, the system prompts you to click on plus (+) and minus (−) to adjust the quantity.

Tres Tigres Tristes product page on Firstleaf's site
As you scroll down, you'll find info about the wine's acidity, sweetness, body, and fruit intensity.

You can also specify the delivery destination from any page on the website. To do that, click on Ship to next to the search bar in the top-right corner of the screen. This way, you can check if your residential state is eligible for wine delivery.

A few of Firstleaf's awarded French wines
Hawaii and Alaska are eligible for wine shipping.

You can browse the products by various filters. Select the product category and browse bottles by grape type, region, or specialty. Several filters in the upper-right corner of the screen let you research wines by price, name, customer rating, and recommendations.

Firstleaf's product filtering system
Fine Wine Collection's the only 1 that lacks a filtering system.

There are 3 Firstleaf subscription plans – Classic, Preferred, and Premium. I'll elaborate on the prices a bit later. For now, note that they share various benefits but also feature differences that make each stand out from the previous. These monthly subscription plans let you choose 6 or 12 bottles.

Firstleaf membership plans
You can check savings, inclusions, and other details while scrolling down the page.

Unique Offerings

Firstleaf has an extensive on-site Wine School, something I haven’t found in any wine club I’ve researched so far. To access it, just click on the corresponding icon in the header. Then, you dive into a treasure trove of various useful and interesting articles.

These may relate to wine styles, wine and food pairings, and much else. The article that grabbed my attention immediately was Warm Climate Wines vs. Cool Climate Wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon vs Merlot comparison and Wine and Meat Pairings are a few others I recommend you check out.

How Firstleaf Works

You can buy Firstleaf bottles as a guest. But the company grants you considerable discounts on its products if you subscribe. What's more, you may get a free fine wine (or more than 1) if you opt for a Preferred or Premium plan. Now, I'll take you through the registration process.

How to Sign Up

The account registration process involves completing 2 tasks. These are the quiz and the ordering procedure. I've elaborated on each in detail below, so take a look.

To start, click on the Log In button in the top-right corner of the screen to sign up. Select Sign Up once the pop-up window opens. The system will prompt you to complete the questionnaire. Then, just answer the questions and follow the instructions.

Signing up on the Firstleaf website
You can take a shortcut and start the quiz by clicking on the Take the quiz button next to Log In.

Questionnaire

The quiz awaits you as soon as you land on the homepage. Take this quick questionnaire if you're new to wine or like being surprised. It’ll help the service's experts understand your taste and recommend bottles according to your input.

Firstleaf's questionnaire
You'll need to answer various questions down the line, including your experience with wines and how sweet you'd like your wine to be.

You'll answer simple questions of various kinds. They'll gauge your sense of adventure in discovering new wines, inquire about your favored foods (almonds, mushrooms, olives, and more), and even assess your monthly wine consumption. You respond by choosing a thumb-up, thumb-down, or I'm not sure.

A Firstleaf wine personalization quiz's question
Answering questions isn't mandatory, and you can bypass those you're unsure about.

Firstleaf presents you with a tailored wine selection once you complete the quiz. It also applies a promo code, so you only have to check wines and checkout. Note that you can replace suggested wines with others that match your palate by clicking on the Replace button next to the bottle.

Firstleaf's personalized wine selection
Pay attention to the timer in the top-right corner of the screen since the recommended wines won't remain reserved forever.

The Order Process

Placing an order is simple on the Firstleaf website. The procedure is the same whether you select the menu items or accept the wine delivery service’s suggestions. It goes like this:

  1. Select Checkout next to the chosen bottle or bottles.

Initiating ordering on the Firstleaf website
You can continue buying if browsing individual wines at this stage.

  1. Enter your personal information and hit Continue afterward.

Contact Info on Firstleaf's site
The system prompts you to the payment details once you select Continue.

  1. Choose your preferred payment method. Once you do, click on Save and then Continue to review. 

Firstleaf's payment options
Don't forget to uncheck the box above the Save button if your billing address differs from the shipping address.

Note that there could be 2 optional steps between the 2nd and the 3rd. These are about shipping/pickup details and the shipping speed, which comes down to the desired courier between UPS and FedEx. Whether you’ll take these steps depends entirely on your preferences.

Optional Firstleaf ordering procedure steps
You'll get a few options if you decide to receive your box at a later date.

Managing Your Subscription

You can unsubscribe from this wine delivery service in 3 steps. The procedure goes like this:

  1. Go to firstleaf.com

  2. Log into your Firstleaf account. You can do so by selecting Log In in the upper-right corner of the screen, next to Take the quiz

  3. Head over to Membership Status to cancel your account.

You can always call customer support or send an email if you need help.

If you wish to pause your subscription rather than cancel completely, head to Club Orders on your account and change the frequency of delivery. This won’t change the delivery date of your next order. To do this, use the calendar to select the next delivery date and press Save.

Unboxing

You'll find various promotional materials when you start unboxing your Firstleaf package. There will be an envelope containing details of any wines the service handpicked for you, which include tasting notes. There’s also a newsletter and a few brochures.

The bottles beneath are well-secured and protected from breakage by perforated separators. If you've gone for 6 wines, they'll be arranged in 2 rows, with 3 bottles side by side. The packaging is minimalistic and environmentally conscious. So, I give kudos to Firstleaf for keeping everything simple, well-protected, and eco-friendly.

Shortlist of My Favorite Wines

Choosing my top 3 was a tough task because Firstleaf has many exquisite wines on offer. I had to include a white, as that’s my favorite, but I’ve also included an option from the Fine Wine Selection and a sparkling wine for those special occasions. 

Before diving in, I have to stress that I love wine, but I’m not a die-hard aficionado. To simplify, I like to pair wines with food and have an occasional glass or 2 in the evening when relaxing. So, I think I made a pretty good choice regarding my favorite wines since I knew where to start. But if you believe you know someone who lives for or loves wines, they’d likely make a better consultant.

I also have to point out that I got some great recommendations when I completed the quiz. For this reason, I highly recommend allocating 5 minutes to the questionnaire. I think the service should provide more answers because some questions call for extra elaboration besides yes (thumb-up) and no (thumb-down). But I think the quiz is still a great place to start.

Aside from this, the wine delivery service provides a lot of info to help you decide. You can find various useful information when selecting a product, from its geographical region to tasting notes. So you’ll have a lot of information to guide your choices. 

Le Temps des Récoltes

Le Temps des Récoltes hails from Aquitaine, one of the top 3 French wine regions. This wine, originating from one of the world's most famous wine regions, earned itself the Best of France and Best of Class awards. And for those of you with a soft spot for Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes, prepare to enjoy its refreshing citrus flavor. 

Firstleaf's Le Temps des Récoltes
Le Temps des Récoltes pairs well with scallops, swordfish, and asparagus risotto.

This white wine has an alcohol content of 13.5%. And this bottle was produced in 2020, which proved to be a great year for Bordeaux wines. As for its characteristics, the wine has an acidity level of 3, a fruit intensity of 2, and a sweetness measure of 1.

Longitude 120 West

Longitude 120 comes from Sonoma County, a renowned California wine region. This wine presents a distinctive blend of acidity and fruit flavors thanks to the terrain's uniqueness. Made of Chardonnay, this wine's an award-winner, featuring Best of Class and the 2020 Sommelier Challenge awards, among many others. 

Firstleaf's Longitude 120 West wine
This multi-awarded wine provides a blend of flavors boasting candid fruit aromas mixed with oak.

The bottle's alcohol by volume content is 14.1%. It pairs well with seafood pasta and Fresh Mozzarella with Basil Caprese, among other foods. Speaking of its character, the body and acidity stand at level 3, whereas its sweetness and fruit intensity both notch up a score of 2.

Prima Foglia

Prima Foglia (Firstleaf) won the title of Best International Sparkling Wine in 2022. It has also won gold medals in various Rosé wine contests. It hails from the Veneto region in Italy. And this Extra Dry Prosecco Rosé is the right choice if you relish fruity notes.

Firstleaf's Prima Foglia
Firstlleaf's Prima Foglia is a light wine featuring red fruit flavors.

Prima Foglia has an 11% alcohol content. It pairs well with savory cheeses, a creamy Fettuccine Alfredo, and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, among other dishes. The wine has a sweetness level of 4, with its body and acidity at a modest 2, and a subtle fruit intensity rated at 1.

To pair Firstleaf’s wines with excellent food, check out our expert selection of the best meal delivery services. 

Shipping & Delivery

Firstleaf delivers wines to most contiguous US states. Utah and Mississippi are the only exceptions. And if you live in Hawaii or Alaska, this wine subscription service can deliver bottles to you.

Note that only adults are eligible for wine delivery. You have to be 21 or older and a holder of a valid government-issued ID to get the shipment. So, when your package arrives, the courier will ask for an ID check before you sign for the box.

Contact Firstleaf's Membership Experience team to reschedule your delivery. You can do so via phone call or email (I’ll elaborate on them in a bit). But note that there are limits to how much the company can push back delivery if your order's already on its way.

The service ships the box 1 or 2 days following order processing. And depending on your location, you should get your wines between 2 and 5 business days after that. You can track the progress of the delivery via a tracking number. To do so, log into your Firstleaf account. You'll find all the details and an estimated arrival date on your account page. 

You can have your wine box dropped off at a chosen holding location. It will stay there for a week, and you can pick it up anytime that works for you. 

Customer Support

I had a great experience with Firstleaf's customer service. I wondered whether swapping bottles in the service's curated bundles was an option. I shot an email after business hours and got a detailed reply by the next day. Kudos to Sheena for addressing my query spot on.

 Firstleaf customer support's response
I haven't got the answer I hoped for, but at least I didn't have to wait long for it.

It appeared at this point that no customization options were available. But Kim D followed with another possibility quickly. She stressed that Firstleaf has a wine concierge service that serves both members and non-members. I also learned that the company's wine concierges are available 24/7, they hold WSET (The Wine & Spirit Education Trust) certifications, and are quite forthcoming. 

You can contact Firstleaf customer support via email or phone. Ring them up at 1-800-461-7203 or shoot an email over to service@firstleaf.com. There was no live chat feature available during my review. Personally, I find live chats super handy, so I think that the company should consider adding it sooner rather than later.

You can find quick answers to various questions in Firstleaf's FAQ section. I found it pretty comprehensive, covering a range of topics and questions. Some of the sections I found useful were about account management, delivery, and membership details. Scroll down to the footer and hit Help to find the service's FAQ.

Prices

The price of Firstleaf wines usually depends on whether you're a member or a guest. If you subscribe, you'll typically get considerable discounts for any item or product category except for Featured Bundles. That's because bundles come with discounts ranging from 33% to 46%, depending on the set you choose.

I’ve listed the price for guests and members below, with the price for guests in parentheses.

Product Type

Price Range

Shipping Fee

Featured Bundles

$79.95 to $219.95




Free or $14.95

Reds

$13.30 ($19) to $39.90 ($57)

Whites

$12.60 ($18) to $33.60 ($48)

Rosé

$13.30 ($19) to $18.90 ($27)

Sparkling

$15.40 ($22) to $18.90 ($27)

Fine Wine Collection

$25.90 ($37) to $36.40 ($52)

There are 6 Featured Wine Bundle packages available. Three of them come with 12 bottles while 1 of them has 15 bottles. There's also a package with 6 and a petite package with just 3 bottles. Note that you don't pay for shipping if you go big with the 12- or 15-bottle bundles.

The price per bottle is considerably lower for members than for guests. For subscribers, each bottle comes with a 30% discount. Thus, the price difference you probably noticed in the table above. What’s more, you can currently enjoy a great discount with our code: Get $100 off your first 3 boxes

Member and retail prices of Firstleaf wines
You have to buy at least 6 bottles if you're a member to enjoy the discounted price.

Firstleaf has 3 membership plans. All provide personalized wine choices, a dedicated wine concierge, and access to award-winning wines, among other features. But the higher-tiered plans offer higher savings and enticing gifts in the form of Fine Wine Collection bottles. Opt for a 12-bottle membership to unlock free delivery.

Minimum retail values are $258 for Classic, $300 for Preferred, and $342 for Premier plans.

Whether you'll pay for shipping or not depends on the size of your order. If you buy at least 12 bottles, shipping is on the house. Otherwise, you'll pay a flat-rate delivery fee of $14.95 regardless of how many bottles you buy.

You can pay for Firstleaf wines with the most common credit cards. These are Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express. Apple Pay and Google Pay are other available payment methods.

You don't have to worry whether a bottle will meet your expectations or not since every purchase with Firstleaf is safe. Its satisfaction guarantee covers you with a store credit whether a bottle isn't to your liking or arrives damaged. All you have to do to get a reimbursement is give the service's customer support a shout within 30 days of receiving the order.

How Firstleaf Compares to Other Wine Delivery Services

Firstleaf vs. Naked Wines: Naked Wines has a slightly different model to Firstleaf. You’ll pay a monthly membership fee to support its winemakers, which you get back as credit when you order wine from the site. Firstleaf keeps things simpler, allowing you to check out as a guest but also offering membership plans that can net big savings when you order 6 or 12 bottles at a time. 

Firstleaf vs. Vinesse: Vinesse offers a great selection of wine and price points, similar to Firstleaf. Its Club is slightly more restrictive than Firstleaf’s, though. You don’t get to pick individual bottles – you can only customize your order to include, all reds, all whites, or a combination of both.

Firstleaf vs. Bright Cellars: Bright Cellars specializes in pre-set bundles of wine and membership boxes of 4, 6, or 12 bottles. While you can’t buy individual bottles like you can with Firstleaf, you can easily swap out bottles from your order with others.

The Bottom Line: Is Firstleaf Worth It?

Firstleaf is definitely worth a shot if you like red, white, rosé, or sparkling wines. It sources award-winning wines from many of the world's most celebrated wine regions. And the service lets you pick your bottles or test its wine-personalization quiz. It has 3 membership plans that help you maximize savings. And you can get the company's wines almost everywhere in the US, including Alaska and Hawaii. 

But the shipping fees can add up if you don’t buy in bulk. You'll usually need at least 12 bottles in your cart for free shipping. Sometimes the delivery fee may rival or exceed the cost of a member-priced bottle. And while I think that the quiz is a great idea, I wish it allowed for more detailed answers for even better recommendations.

FAQ

Is Firstleaf a good company?

Firstleaf is a reputable wine subscription service. It offers award-winning wines originating from various acclaimed wine-producing regions throughout the world, including Aquitaine, Venetto, and California, for competitive prices. Many users appreciate tailored selections based on the bottle personalization quiz.

Is Firstleaf easy to cancel?

Yes, Firstleaf is easy to cancel, which you can do from your account page. Reach out to customer support if you need any assistance.

How does Firstleaf membership work?

Firstleaf membership begins with members taking a wine-personalization quiz to tailor their wine selections. Once curated, the company delivers bottles to their doorstep. Members benefit from lower prices compared to guest orders and may receive 1 or 2 high-value wines as a gift.

How much is Firstleaf monthly?

Your purchase cost varies based on whether you're shopping as a guest or a subscriber. For account holders, the total price hinges on the number of wines bought and the chosen membership level. Additionally, a $14.95 standard shipping charge applies unless you order a minimum of 12 bottles.

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