Become an integral part of the winemaking process by directly funding independent winemakers.
Being an Angel (joining the membership program) gives you a sense that you’re supporting independent wineries
Solid options for every budget: decent $10 wines, fancier $50 options, and everything in between
Extra gifts for Angels, like a free bottle every month
Comprehensive rating system to help you pick the wines you’re most likely to love
Hassle-free refunds if you’re not satisfied
Picking your own bottles can take the mystique out of getting a variety box
Limited options beyond basic reds and whites
No membership tiers besides $40/month
The best wines seem to sell out fairly quickly
After seeing Naked Wines all over the news, I had to look into it to see just what it was about. There are quite a few wine subscription boxes on the market these days, and at first, I thought that’s exactly what Naked Wines was. As it turns out, though, Naked Wines isn’t really a subscription box at all.
Instead, the company is like a crowdfunding service for winemakers. Your monthly membership fee helps to fund independent winemakers across the globe, and in exchange, you get wholesale rates on purchasing the high-quality wines they produce.
Naked Wines isn’t like other subscription wine companies because it doesn’t automatically send you a monthly shipment. Ordering from Naked Wines is no different from any other online shopping: you browse the numerous offerings, add bottles to your cart, then check out when you’re ready.
What makes Naked Wines unique, however, is its “Angel” program, which lets you essentially become an investor to help fund independent wineries. When you become an Angel, you pay $40/month, all of which goes toward the production of new wines from those independent winemakers.
That money isn’t lost, however: you get to keep that $40/month credit to put toward your future wine purchases. What’s more, as an Angel, you’ll have access to exclusive wines (more on that below) and reduced prices (as much as 60% off the non-Angel price) as well as a free gift bottle every month and access to perks like exclusive tasting events.
Naked Wines has a slightly confusing pricing system. Basically, every bottle has two prices: a “members only” price for Angels and a price for non-members. For most wines, the Angel price is around 40-60% less than the regular price.
Beyond the membership fee (which, again, stays in your Naked Wines piggy bank), there are no hidden costs for members. Think about it like a crowdfunding model where your money goes toward the production of new wines. In exchange for paying upfront, you’ll also receive a hefty discount.
One thing to remember though – especially if you’re new to buying wine online – is that you can’t purchase a single bottle. Because of the nature of wine packaging, Naked Wines requires you a minimum of six bottles per order. This means that even if you’re in the market for inexpensive $10 wine, you’ll still need to buy at least $60 worth.
One thing that I like about some wine subscription companies is the fun of getting a curated case of related wines. Most of Naked Wines’ offerings are single bottles, but it was nice to see that the company does offer some pre-selected packages like the Napa Valley Discovery 6-Pack and the Cabernet Around the World 6-Pack.
One of the exciting things about Naked Wines’ offerings is that the selection changes pretty regularly with brand new wines. Previously, there had been complaints about the variety of countries available to select wine from but I found this to no longer be an issue as the choice was very good.
The company promises an offering of exclusive wines to its “Angel” subscribers. At the time of my research, there were only two wines in this exclusive category. I would have expected the selection to be greater, but this is good news for folks who want to check out Naked Wines’ offerings without having to subscribe.
Most of the bottles on Naked Wines are from the United States (especially Napa Valley), but there are several options from other great wine-producing countries, including Australia, Chile, France, Spain, and others.
One complaint I do have about Naked Wines is that it isn’t super easy to navigate if you’re interested in a specific variety of wine. The filter options, for example, include “Big Reds,” “Fruity Reds,” and “Smooth Reds.” However, it wasn’t readily apparent how to see what grape varieties are available.
Now, this format may actually be ideal for folks who aren’t too familiar with specific styles, as it lets them simply narrow down the list based on their ideal flavor profile. When I wanted to look up specific grapes like Shiraz and Petite Sirah, though, it didn’t seem to be possible and looked like the basic search function was my only option.
Later, I discovered you can narrow down your search through the inconspicuous All filters button (highlighted in the photo above). This opened up the comprehensive list of filters seen below which did include the option to filter by grape. So there is an exhaustive list of filters – but it was surprisingly difficult to find.
The biggest issue with the selection on Naked Wines, however, was the lack of options beyond your basic reds and whites. Fans of rosé or sparkling wines only have five or so options to choose from, and the news was even worse when I tried to view the selection of dessert wines:
I’m not sure if the lack of options in these other categories is because of the availability in my region or the ever-changing nature of the offerings in the Naked Wines marketplace. Regardless of the reason, it doesn’t look like Naked Wines is the best choice for people who prefer wines outside of the most popular red and white varieties.
Since everyone’s tastes are different, I appreciate how Naked Wines doesn’t try to use a vague rating system. Every wine shows the percentage of how many customers said they would buy it again, but the more useful feature is Naked Wines’ personal recommendation on whether or not you might like the wine.
The personal recommendation system helps you narrow down the wines to the ones you are sure to love. As you purchase and review more wines, Naked Wines gets a better idea of the flavor profiles you enjoy. This information helps the site determine how likely it is that you’ll enjoy a particular wine.
Before you rate your wines, the recommendation simply says “we’re not sure,” but that will be replaced with a personalized rating once you’ve begun to order and review more wines. The more wines you try and review, the more accurate the rating system becomes!
Naked Wines does offer the option to send a box of wines as a gift to a friend, but there doesn’t appear to be any special extras available other than including a gift message. The packaging is otherwise the same as usual, and the recipient will still need to receive the delivery in person to verify their age.
Here’s a quick summary of Naked Wines’ pricing and who it’s best for:
Varies by the bottle, starting at $11.99/bottle or $8.99 for Angels
People who want a personal connection to their winemakers or anyone looking for great deals on quality wines.
$9.99 or free with orders over $100 for mainland USA
For my location in New York, shipping was a flat $9.99 – not a bad deal considering how heavy wine can be – and it was free with an order over $100. For me, there was also no additional sales tax.
Naked Wines also gives an across-the-board 1-4 day shipping window for any state, including Alaska and Hawaii. The one exception is Ohio, for which there is an 8-10 day shipping window although no reason is given on the website for this.
As with any alcohol delivery service, you must be there to accept the delivery in person, as you’ll need to verify your age. With a 1-4 day delivery window, this does require a bit of advanced planning. Thankfully, Naked Wines makes it easy to find a solution that works for you!
One popular option is to have your shipments delivered to your work or office since most deliveries tend to come during business hours. You can also schedule your wine for local pickup, and the package will be delivered to a local FedEx location or another retailer. With this option, you can pick up the package at your earliest convenience without the worry of waiting for the delivery at home. The screenshot below offers some insight into these suggestions.
Before we get into the details, you should know that wine delivery isn’t legal in every state. The laws can be convoluted and complex and may vary depending on where you are located. Naked Wines can deliver to 43 of the 50 states and Washington DC via FedEx.
It’s hard to complain about this company’s customer service. There’s a lot that can go wrong when you order wine, but luckily, Naked Wines guarantees its products 100%. The company makes it easy for you to get a refund on any bottle you don’t enjoy – no questions asked.
Besides the standard customer service channels, Naked Wines goes above and beyond by providing a message board for Angels, winemakers, and employees to connect. As a member, you’ll be able to join groups like “Naked Newbies,” and other communities where you can chat and ask questions with like-minded people.
Naked Wines offers hassle-free refunds not only on your monthly $40 payments but also on any bottle of wine you don’t enjoy. If you want to cancel your Angel membership, however, here’s how you can do it:
Since Naked Wines isn’t a subscription, per se, the process of canceling is much more streamlined compared to other wine subscription companies. Naked Wines provides three easy routes for you to leave the Angels program, any of which will immediately end your membership:
Via your Account page
Simply head to the Angel Account section of your page and hit cancel.
Send an email requesting cancellation to email@example.com
One fun trait of many wine subscription companies is the little quiz you get to take that identifies the sorts of flavors you might like in wine. It’s a great way to calibrate your palate if you’re new to wine, and it’s a fun way to try wines you otherwise may not have come across.
Unfortunately, Naked Wines’ model isn’t really conducive to this approach, since you pick out your own wines individually. If you are interested in such an experience, though, Winc is a great alternative at a similar price point. You can learn more about what sets Winc apart in our Winc review.
Less picky wine lovers, however, may prefer a service like Wine Awesomeness. Rather than try to figure out your personal preferences in wine, Wine Awesomeness aims to broaden and educate your palate by shipping out a preselected box of three or six wines every month.
The wines are all connected to a central theme (such as New World wines) and come with extensive literature to teach you about the wines as you enjoy them. The Wine Awesomeness model is great for people interested in trying out a wide variety of wines.
If you’re in the market for good quality wines without the markups that come with advertising and other costs, Naked Wines could be a good fit for you. Because the winemakers themselves are often very active in Naked Wines’ message boards, this service is also a great fit for folks who want to be able to chat more directly with the people who make their wine.
The benefits of Naked Wines may not, however, be as useful to people who are less interested in learning about the people behind the wine. It’s also not a good fit for people who want someone else to choose their wines for them, as is common in more conventional wine subscription boxes.
You can see some recommended alternatives in our roundup of this year’s best wine clubs.
Overall, Naked Wines is a great service for people interested in supporting high-quality but affordable wine produced by independent winemakers.
Naked Wines is a company that invests directly in independent winemakers. As described in our overview of Naked Wines, Its mission is to avoid putting money toward things you can’t taste – marketing, fancy labels, etc. – in order to provide better wine at better prices.
You can join Naked Wines as an “Angel” by contributing $40/month, and in return, you can access those marked down prices.
As described in our in-depth explanation of the Naked Wines membership, Naked Wines works sort of like a crowdfunding site for wine. Your $40/month membership fee supports independent winemakers in creating new, delicious wines.
By providing money upfront to these winemakers, Naked Wines cuts down on the expensive advertising markups that most winemakers have to deal with. This, in turn, leads to better deals for you!
Naked Wines is totally legit. As a member, you’ll have the ability to communicate with the people making your favorite wines. This direct correspondence is unlike anything else in the wine industry! That said, if you ever have any second thoughts, you can request a hassle-free refund of your monthly fee.
In our close look at Naked Wine’s customer service, we found that Naked Wines really stands by its wines.
It is a flat $40 fee per month to be a member of Naked Wines and get access to the unique wine offerings in the Naked Wines marketplace. You can cancel at any time without consequence.