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Wine Insiders Review 2024: Quality Budget Wines

Author Mike Pawlik
Mike Pawlik
Updated on Apr 5th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Overview

Wine Insiders is a budget-oriented online wine store and club. It’s known for its affordable prices, extensive selection, and celebrity curations by the likes of Martha Stewart. With this Wine Insiders review, you can better understand what you're buying, alleviating the confusion and helping you make more informed decisions.

I’ve thoroughly researched Wine Insiders, leaving no stone unturned. From wine selection to regions offered, website usability, and pricing, I’ve vetted the service to ensure it met my expectations (spoiler alert: it’s pretty great!). Whether you prefer the classics of Europe or crave the excitement of emerging wine regions, it has wines for every palate.

Overall, it offers up an impressive selection of affordable (sub-$20) wines from diverse global regions. Its collection allows you to explore and enjoy wines from around the globe, expanding your selection and enhancing your wine-drinking experience.

Pros

Cons

Affordable, high-rated wines under $20

No vintage options

Flexible, no-obligation club membership

No gift subscriptions

Good selection of exclusive wines

The size of each bottle isn’t clear

Wine Insiders’ Selection

a screenshot of the wine insiders ecommerce store
Wine Insiders offers many choices like red, white, sparkling, rosé, and dessert/sweet wines. Regional options include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and the US (to name a few). 

Shockingly, though, it doesn’t offer any Ontario, Canada Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines. The Niagara region in Ontario, Canada is known for making some of the best wines, so I was very surprised to see a complete lack of Ontario wine. But you still do get a solid selection of international wines at least.

In terms of actual wine types, you can pretty much find anything in existence. Here are some of the most popular types of red and white wines you’ll find:

Red Wines

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Malbec

  • Pinot Noir (sadly, no Baco Noir, though)

  • Sangiovese

  • Syrah/Shiraz

  • Zinfandel

White Wines

  • Chardonnay

  • Moscato

  • Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris

  • Riesling

  • Sauvignon Blanc

  • Various blends

I’m very surprised at the complete absence of Chianti, though. This very popular, modestly-priced red wine from Tuscany, Italy can usually be found all over the world. So if you’re specifically after this, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

At the time of this article’s publication, you’ll find around 130+ red, around 20 rosé, and 80+ white wines. I find that pretty impressive overall. There’s also a good selection of around 6 sparkling wines and around 3 sweet/dessert wines.

I want to talk about varietals, too, of which you'll find around 100 on the site. These include Viura, Zinfandel, Zweigelt, Verdejo, Tempranillo, Pinotage, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Friulano, Carménère, Chenin Blanc, and tons more.

Lots of varietal types only feature 1 single wine from 1 winemaker. I wasn’t expecting to find this many varietals, that’s for sure, so even the small number of wines available for certain varietals gives a good selection overall.

Something to note is that there aren’t all that many major, recognizable brands. For instance, I noticed that Wolf Blass and Yellow Tail are missing from Australia, which are some of the most famous from the region.

I also noticed the absence of some other popular wine brands throughout the world. For example, Glen Carlou is missing from South Africa, Antinori from Italy, Craggy Range from New Zealand, and Campo Viejo from Spain. Pretty shocking stuff in my opinion.

Specialty Products

The company also offers some specialty products like organic and vegan wines, canned wine, and cocktails. Examples include Lulu Le Français Pinot Noir France Canned 4-Pack, Le Star Bubbles Rosé Canned 4-Pack, and bottles of lime, strawberry, or grapefruit margaritas (750 ml).

Ranges of Quality

There’s a good range of quality. For instance, the company offers a ton of wines with a 90+ rating under $20. This is a great way to test out some highly-rated wines without breaking the bank.

Though, if you’re looking for rare, vintage, or “fancy” wines that cost a lot, you won’t find those here. The most expensive wine, priced at $24.99, is the 2020 Wine Insiders Ruby Collection Bordeaux Blanc.

Spending $25 on a wine from an unknown brand seems a bit risky to me. I don’t know about you, but if I’m spending $25 on a bottle of wine, it better be from a well-known brand, not an unknown house brand.

There are also more expensive wines, but that’s only because they come in larger “Magnum”-sized bottles (1.5L). Another bizarre thing is that you can’t view the size of the bottles anywhere on the site. Just know that if it doesn’t say “Magnum”, it’s a 750 ml bottle.

But you can still see many other details about each bottle. For example, you can view information such as:

  • Winery

  • Variety

  • Year

  • Type

  • ABV

  • Country

  • Region

Special Sets

There are 6 wine set categories:

  • Sets under $100

  • Sets under $50

  • 12-bottle sets

  • 6-bottle sets

  • Magnum sets (1.5L bottles)

There’s a decent selection of white, red, and rosé sets for you to choose from. You can also choose from sweet/dessert wine sets, or even sparkling wine sets.

Currently, there are 3 best-selling sets. These are the World of Rosé Trio, Geoffrey’s Dark & Delicious Cabs Trio, and Best-In-Class Half Case.

You can view any and all the wines before signing up, of course. And, if you want, you could sign up for shipments of 12 fresh bottles every 12 weeks. You can choose white, red, or mixed boxes.

If you opt for the 12-bottle subscription, your first order comes with 3 bonus bottles of 2016 Château Grand Champ Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux. When you subscribe, you also get 1 free surprise wine accessory gift with certain shipments. More on the subscription below.

How Wine Insiders Works

Wine Insiders works in 2 ways – order as you need or subscribe. Order a minimum of 3 bottles + shipping or 6 bottles + free shipping, or sign up for a subscription of 12 bottles every 12 weeks.

How to Sign Up

  1. Browse the site. Browse around and start adding bottles to your cart. The minimum order is 3 bottles, plus a shipping fee, or 6 bottles if you want free shipping throughout the US.

a screenshot of wine insiders' menu items

  1. Add at least 3 bottles to your cart.

a screenshot of wine insiders' shopping store

  1. Click the cart icon in the top right. Once you’ve added 3 or more bottles, it’s time to check out. Click on the little shopping cart icon, as shown.

a screenshot of wine insiders' shopping cart icon

  1. Click CHECKOUT.

a screenshot of wine insiders' checkout process

  1. Enter your information. Enter your name, email address, and address – then continue to your payment information by clicking Continue to Shipping before completing the checkout process.

a screenshot of wine insiders' data collection screen

Unboxing

Your bottles are protected with regular wine shipping best practices. That means, your bottles come in a cardboard box with individual sections for each bottle. a screenshot of wine insiders' shipping box

Each shipment also comes with:

  • An overview of the varietals, producers, and regions featured in your order

  • Tasting notes, flavor profiles, serving tips, and pairings for each bottle

  • Your first Club shipment will come with 3 free bottles of a premium Bordeaux produced by Yvon Mau

  • A free surprise wine accessory gift (only included with some orders)

a screenshot of wine insiders' Connoisseur’s Deluxe 7-Piece Lever Pull Corkscrew Set gift

Everything in your order is recyclable. This means the wine shipping box, the cardboard separators, and your bottles. If your bottle(s) come with corks, these may be recyclable depending on your region’s specific recycling regulations.

Top Wine Insiders Wines

a screenshot of wine insiders' featured collection

Head to the Customer Favorites section to get a very fast overview of what others are already loving. You can also check out the 90+ Rated Under $20 section for a great selection of excellent and affordable wines. There’s also an Award Winners section along with Staff Picks for even more ideas.

2019 Cala De' Poeti Maremma Toscana D.O.C.

a screenshot of wine insiders' 2019 Cala De' Poeti Maremma Toscana D.O.C.

This 1 is from the Customer Favorites section. It features a 4.5-star rating based on 7 reviews.

It comes from the Castellani S.p.A winery in Italy, from the Maremma Toscana region. It’s a blended red wine from 2019 and features an ABV of 13.0. It’s 1 of Martha Stewart’s picks.

2020 Marquis de Bacalon Bordeaux Blanc

a screenshot of wine insiders' 2020 Marquis de Bacalon Bordeaux Blanc

Here’s an example of what you’ll find on the 90+ Rated Under $20 section of the site. It has a 5-star rating based on 6 reviews.

You’re getting a classic Sauv Blanc from Marquis de Bacalon in Bordeaux, France. This wine features an ABV of 12.0 and is from 2019.

George Phillips Cellars Signature Reserve Sparkling Brut

a screenshot of wine insiders' George Phillips Cellars Signature Reserve Sparkling Brut

This is 1 from the Award Winners section. It also happens to be one of the Staff Picks and a Customer Favorite, too, which says a lot.

Here, you’re getting a white blend from George Phillips Cellars in California. It boasts an ABV of 11.5 and features a rating of 5 stars based on 4 reviews.

These are just 3 of my selections for you. Each section I mentioned offers anywhere from 2 to 3 to around 6+ wines. Check these special sections frequently for a quick overview of the hottest wines currently available.

Shipping & Delivery

You can’t choose a delivery date, but you can expect your delivery to arrive within 1 to 5 business days. The closer you are to the Pacific Time Zone, the faster your delivery should arrive.

It’s also illegal to ship alcohol to certain areas in the US. As a result, Wine Insiders ships to all states in the US, with the exception of

  • Rhode Island

  • Delaware

  • Kentucky

  • Alabama

  • Alaska

  • Hawaii

  • South Dakota

  • Utah

  • Arkansas

  • Mississippi

a screenshot of wine insiders' shipping areas

All deliveries must be signed by an adult over the age of 21 with proper government-issued photo identification. This means you must be present to accept your delivery as it can’t be left for you.

You also can’t receive deliveries to P.O. boxes. However, you’re able to ship orders to FedEx hold locations (more than 14,000 available throughout the US) along with Walgreens, if you like.

The company states that orders placed before 1 pm (PST) qualify for same-day shipping. But the chat agent I spoke with couldn’t corroborate this information. They stated that this may or may not always be possible. 

If your order does qualify for same-day shipping, you’ll incur some added costs:

  • 3-5 bottles: $14.95 plus a $2.95 processing fee (total of $17.90)

  • 6+ bottles: Free shipping plus that same $2.95 processing fee

If anything gets damaged during shipping, you must notify Wine Insiders within 60 days. If you don’t do so within this time frame, the company states that it won’t be liable for any damages.

Rescheduling Your Delivery

The company doesn’t technically offer delivery rescheduling. However, in an effort to avoid undeliverable packages, it suggests giving the company a call if you want to try to reschedule delivery. The agent I chatted with stated that Wine Insiders “can reroute the package to the nearest FedEx location” and that it “can always find a suitable option for every customer request”.

Customer Support

If you need help with pre-sales questions, or to try and reschedule a delivery, it’s simple to do so. You can call 1 (800) 615-7304 from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 8 pm (EST), and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm (EST), excluding holidays. a screenshot of wine insiders' live chat feature

The same support hours are available for chat (again, from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 8 pm (EST), and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm (EST), excluding holidays). 

I actually tried out the live chat feature for myself and was quite impressed. An agent got back to me very quickly and answered my questions professionally.

The company also has a decent FAQ section, but it really only answers 6 core questions. As a result, for the most part, you’ll likely want to get in touch with the phone or live chat support team for most questions.

How to Cancel Wine Insiders

You don’t need a subscription to order from Wine Insiders, but you can cancel anytime if you select one. You can accomplish this from within your account dashboard, or by contacting a support agent via phone or chat.

Prices

Starting from

Minimum Order

Shipping Fee

$9.99/bottle

3 bottles/week: $29.97

Free (6+ bottles) to $14.95 (3 to 5 bottles) to any of the available shipping zones

Prices start at around $9.99, and go all the way up to around $25 for standard, 750 ml bottles. There are also Magnum wine sets, which are 1.5L bottles. These range from about $35 for a single bottle up to around $47 per bottle for a case of 6.

Additionally, there are wine sets under $100, which come in 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 12 packs. Prices for these range from about $15 to $35+ per bottle. You could also opt for wine sets under $50. Again, pricing for these is pretty much the same. Try our exclusive discount for more great deals: Get 10% off + FREE shipping!.

Then there are regular 6 or 12-bottle sets, which range in price from around $12 to $46 per bottle. You can also opt to join Wine Insiders’ Club and get 12 bottles every 12 weeks for $89 with free shipping on a recurring basis. Your first Club order will also come with 3 bonus (free) bottles of Bordeaux.

Gift Subscription

At the time of this article’s publication, Wine Insiders doesn’t offer gift subscriptions.

The Bottom Line: Is Wine Insiders Worth It?

Wine Insiders offers a large selection of affordable wines. This alone makes me feel like this service could very well be worth it for those looking for a budget-friendly wine delivery service.

There's something for everyone, from regular- and “Magnum”-sized 1.5L bottles, sets, cocktails, and canned wines, plus a recurring subscription every 12 weeks. You can choose sets from 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 bottles from various regions throughout the world.

If you’re looking for wines from Australia, Spain, Italy, France, New Zealand, and more, it could be worth it. You’ll get the choice of several types like red, white, rosé, sparkling, and even dessert/sweet wines. Though, there are a couple of things missing like VQA wine from Ontario, Canada, and red Chianti from Tuscany, Italy, which I found surprising.

FAQ

Is Wine Insiders a club?

It’s not exclusively a wine club, though you can opt for its subscription service. You can get one-off, a la carte orders, or you can subscribe for recurring shipments of 12 bottles every 12 weeks for $89 with free shipping.

What are the best value wine clubs? 

One of the best value wine clubs is Wine Insiders. It offers competitively-priced wines from a vast range of global regions. You can also choose from a large selection of wine types like red, white, rosé, sparkling, premixed cocktails, and dessert/sweet wines.

Is it worth being in a wine club?

If you’re looking for recurring shipments of wines on a regular basis, then joining a wine club could very well be worth it for you. For instance, Wine Insiders offers 1 of the most affordable wine clubs in the US right now. You get 12 bottles shipped every 12 weeks for only $89 with free shipping.



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