Vinesse was founded almost 20 years ago by two American wine lovers. Since then, it has expanded and grown to become one of the most respected names in the wine business today.
Tons of variety – lots of choices of different boutique wines
Accessible to all budgets – a wide range of pricing and wine experience options available
Quick shipping – orders are processed immediately and shipped within 48 hours
Available across the US – delivery also available to Hawaii and Alaska
Options can become overwhelming – with so many wine choices it can get confusing
Shipping costs – in addition to paying standard shipping and handling, members must cover alcohol compliance charges and residential delivery charges
Vinesse was founded on the premise of making boutique wines accessible for everyone across the United States with the convenience of home delivery. The company prides itself on going “off the beaten path” to find some of the world’s most unique and delicious wines. The result? A selection of high-quality, limited-production wines you will rarely, if ever, be able to find in stores.
I had high expectations going into my research for the Vinesse Wine Club, having seen them ranked as one of the best wine subscription and delivery services by multiple highly regarded brands, including Self and Conde Nast Traveler.
While I was initially drawn to the simplicity of the sign-up system, I quickly found that this might become a bit of a burden later on down the line with the Vinesse Wine Club membership. I’m a big fan of having options, but sometimes too many can become daunting.
In the end, was the Vinesse Wine Club all it was cracked up to be? Let’s do a deep dive and find out once and for all.
Because the wine experts at Vinesse focus on sourcing wines from smaller vineyards, the wine club membership creates an allure of having access to a unique, exclusive selection of wines. Every bottle has been hand-selected by the Vinesse tasting panel, so you know you’re getting top-of-the-line quality.
Created by two self-proclaimed wine connoisseurs, it’s no real surprise that over 95% of Vinesse wines are scored as “would buy again,” by the internal ranking system set up by members of the wine club.
To begin the process of joining the Vinesse wine club, you simply choose your selection for your wine preference between mixed (reds and whites), all reds, or all whites.
Next, specify whether your membership is a gift and finish up by filling in your details for shipping, billing, and payment. And just like that, you’re in.
Unlike other wine clubs out there, Vinesse has 14 clubs to choose from, each of which offers something specific depending on your particular taste.
Wine Club Name
Price Per Bottle
Reds, Whites, or Mixed
Reds, Whites, or Mixed
Reds, Whites, or Mixed
Reds, Whites, or Mixed
Mostly whites with some sparkling and blush
Wine clubs aimed at beginner wine drinkers include options like American Cellars or Grab Bag Specials. For the wine connoisseur, you’ll see options like Elevant Society Wine Club and The World of Wine Club. Simply put, there is a wine club for everyone through Vinesse.
Within each wine club, you have the ultimate level of customization available. Choose from the number of bottles in each box (3, 4, 6, 8, or 12), what types of wines (reds, whites, or mixed, depending on the wine club selection you’ve made), and the frequency of your orders (once a month, every other month, or every quarter).
Not surprisingly, with such a wide selection available, Vinesse has price ranges to fit any size of budget. You can identify your price range as you compare the different wine club options.
For the novice wine drinkers, or anyone looking to save a buck through the membership, Vinesse offers Grab Bag Specials, which has wines as low as $10 per bottle in its selection. Grab Bag Specials are the seasonal clearance deals, so you don’t have to worry about compromising quality despite paying the lower price.
At the other end of the price spectrum, Vinesse offers the Elevant Society Wine Club, which provides an ultra-premium selection of red wines starting at $43 per bottle. For the wine connoisseur or anyone looking to develop their palate, the Elevant Society Wine Club offers worldwide wines ranging from Napa Valley to Bordeaux.
In addition to the Vinesse Wine Club members’ incredible selection, you can also purchase a la carte options through the company’s online shop. Choose from individual bottles or sampler packs containing six or 12 bottles.
Whichever you decide on, Vinesse has over five pages of individual wines and sampler packs to choose from.
When it comes to shipping, the price can add up. The website does state that Vinesse frequently offers free shipping on any orders that contain more than 12 bottles, which is a significant motivating factor to up your shipment size. Otherwise, standard shipping and handling rates apply.
In addition to standard shipping and handling fees, there are extra charges to cover alcohol compliance, depending on your location. The highest charges apply to Alaska and Hawaii’s shipments, where an extra 35% is applied.
Otherwise, shipments to NY, NJ, ME, DC, MA, IN, AZ, TX, KS, MT, DE, RI, GA, FL, MI, CT, NC, NH, OH, SC, VA, VT, WV will have an added charge of 17% applied to the shipment total. PA and IL will have an additional charge of 20%, and for all other shippable states, a 10% charge will be added to the shipment total. For residential deliveries, a further $3.00 charge is applied.
As you can see, there are a lot of additional charges that get added to your deliveries. The one nice thing is that Vinesse clearly defines all of these charges on its website, so although they add up, they aren’t hidden.
The wine selection offered by Vinesse is extraordinary. From the wine club selection to the a la carte options, I have yet to see any other company offer such a wide range. From the a la carte shopping alone, Vinesse offers 29 different varietals (grape varieties) to choose from. There are the standards, Chardonnays and Merlots, and some of the less familiar, including Nebbiolo and Torrontes.
When shopping online through the Vinesse wine selection, you can opt to sort your wines by price, type, wine club, or varietal. You can also clearly identify the bestsellers at the top of the page.
Otherwise, you can always sort by name (A-Z or Z-A), price (low-high or high-low), and new arrivals.
Not only does Vinesse have an incredible wine selection to choose from, but the website is set up intuitively, making shopping around and browsing a relatively simple process. The only challenge is for indecisive people – like me – as narrowing down your options gets complicated when you have so many to choose from.
It’s pretty clear to see that Vinesse Wine Club has one of the widest selections available on the market. Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific bottles offered in the American Cellars Wine Club – Vinesse’s flagship wine club – recommended to new or entry-level wine drinkers looking to explore different varietals.
Here are the top three highest-rated wines from the Vinesse American Cellars Wine Club, if purchased as an a la carte option:
In third place, the 2019 Elementus Monterey, California Pinot Blanc, is characterized as a light-bodied, crisp, and fresh wine offering exceptional flavor, character, and balance.
Next up is the 2018 Quail Hollow Lodi, California Petit Verdot, known for its richly concentrated, age-worthy flavors, including smokey, sweet-tobacco, and dark-fruit.
And finally, the number one spot belongs to the 2018 Silver Pony Red Hills Lake County, California Cabernet Sauvignon, a layered fruit and spice note on the palate, followed by a long and flavorful finish.
I couldn’t find these top-rated wines in other online stores, so I can only imagine that it would be much more challenging to locate these wines in stores. Vinesse sourced its wines from smaller vineyards, making each offering unique while maintaining a high level of quality.
Vinesse makes it incredibly easy to share the gift of wine. You currently have two different gifting options: you can choose to send a wine club membership or gift a one-time box of wine. All gift options come with free shipping and include a $25 Vinesse gift card to both the recipient and the sender to use on future purchases of $100 or more, encouraging you to continue buying wine from Vinesse.
You can purchase wine as a gift directly from the sign-up page and from there you’ll get to pick from any of the 14 different wine club memberships.
Otherwise, check out some of the gift packages, including single or multiple bottles of wine accompanied by wine accessories. The Quintessential Napa Cabernet Wine & Stemless Glasses Gift Set includes one bottle of Napa Cabernet along with two stemless wine glasses.
Here’s a quick summary of Vinesse Wine Club’s pricing and who it’s best for:
From $10 per bottle
All wine drinkers, from novices to wine connoisseurs
From $21, depending on the size of order and region
Vinesse handles the individual orders and wine club memberships in the same way, processing both immediately upon purchase receipt. In most instances, products are shipped within 48 hours of the order being processed.
Like other wine club deliveries, an adult who’s at least aged 21 must be available at the time of delivery to sign for the package. You’ll receive a tracking number so you can follow your order and plan for someone old enough to be there to receive it.
Delivery can be delayed during certain times of the year and in specific regions because of temperature control regulations. Otherwise, most shipments are handled by temperature-controlled trucks ensuring the quality of your wine.
All orders come delivered in clearly marked boxes and packaged in such a way to ensure no bottles are broken through the delivery process.
Vinesse recommends using a business address whenever possible because it can help expedite the shipping by a day or two, make the signature requirement simpler, and waive the $3 residential shipping surcharge for customers.
It’s pretty rare to find a wine club that delivers across the whole United States, but Vinesse Wine Club is the one! Not only are deliveries made across the contiguous United States, but also to Alaska and Hawaii.
Delivery times are dependent on your region but follow this clearly defined map.
You’ll find customer service details on the website to contact Vinesse by phone (via a toll-free telephone number), live chat, or email. Despite clearly stating the live chat agent availability hours, I couldn’t find a way to access this feature.
I tried calling customer support at 3:55 pm PST on a Tuesday and received a prompt message saying it was currently closed.
Nonetheless, I went on to reach out to customer support via email and received a response in less than 24 hours.
There are no penalties for canceling your Vinesse Wine Club membership at any time for any reason. There are also no minimum purchases or minimum spending amounts, so you can easily skip shipments as you please.
If you’ve decided to go ahead and cancel your Vinesse Wine Club membership altogether, you can reach out to customer service via email or telephone.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Vinesse, Firstleaf is a good place to start. Similar to many other wine subscription services, you start by doing a quiz about your wine preferences, which is an excellent feature for anyone who has particular tastes and is looking to narrow down their options.
The introductory box that comes with the six-bottle subscription costs $39.95 total, which is under $7 per bottle. After that introductory offer, the price rises to $90 for six wines. This is nearly $15 per bottle, which is comparable to Vinesse. We go into more detail on the pricing in our Firstleaf review.
California Wine Club is another club with a similar model to Vinesse, offering five different wine club levels to choose from.
Your options become much more limited with The California Wine Club beyond this selection. While these wines are in the same price range, you’ll save on shipping fees. However, you can only choose up to four bottles per wine club level. We explain it all in our The California Wine Club review.
Both Firstleaf and The California Wine Club are great alternative options to Vinesse. Still, if you are looking for the widest variety and customization options, I recommend sticking with Vinesse Wine Club.
Vinesse has clearly earned its ranks, having been in the wine industry for nearly twenty years, and it shows. Its wine experts scour vineyards worldwide, prioritizing small boutique wines that you won’t find in stores.
Offering the widest selection and customization options I’ve seen in a wine club, Vinesse stands out above many of its competitors. Above all, what stands out the most to me with Vinesse Wine Club is that it’s suitable for wine drinkers of all budgets, flavor profiles, and expertise.
That being said, the number of options can become daunting if you’re an indecisive person. You can easily spend hours shopping around through Vinesse’s nearly endless a la carte wine options.
The shipping and handling fees can also add up, depending on your location and shipment size, so make sure you’re aware of that. If you’re trying to be particularly price-conscious, you might want to opt for an alternative service that offers free shipping. Otherwise, take advantage of Vinesse’s free shipping on orders with over 12 bottles.
Through my research, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did Vinesse live up to the hype, but it exceeded quite a few of my expectations. I have yet to see an offering quite as vast as Vinesse’s, but more importantly, one that caters to such a broad demographic.
Vinesse is an excellent wine club to join because it welcomes wine drinkers of all levels and budgets. Whether you’re a novice or a connoisseur, there’s a wine club option with nearly endless bottle selections for you to choose from.
With Vinesse, you can highlight boutique wines, enjoy varietals from around the world, and gain access to bottles you surely won’t be able to find in stores. Meanwhile, you’ll be developing your personal preferences or branching out and trying new flavors and options. The world is your oyster with Vinesse.
Whether you’re a regular wine drinker or appreciate having a bottle handy for holidays or other special occasions, wine clubs are an excellent option. Due to the customization options of most wine clubs, you can opt to have deliveries as often as you like, depending on your personal preferences.
By joining a wine club, you often gain access to wines you can't find in stores and at a highly discounted rate. Often, members of wine clubs can save 40-60% off the retail pricing of wines.
One of the many great features of Vinesse is the availability of wine at all pricing levels, depending on your preferences. Enjoy wines for as little as $10 per bottle through the Grab Bag Specials Wine Club or, if you have a more refined taste, you can opt for the Elevant Society Wine Club with wines priced at $40+ per bottle.
While shipping costs can get pricey depending on your order’s location and size, you can always take advantage of Vinesse’s free shipping on orders of twelve bottles of wine or more.
Vinesse is a wine club that works directly with its favorite award-winning boutique winemakers across the globe to bring delicious flavors directly to its members' doorsteps. The professional team at Vinesse sources the best wines, which shows since nearly 95% of the wines provided have been ranked as “would recommend” by the Vinesse wine club members.