Today we have something new. First, I’ll be reviewing three wines instead of the usual one. Second, the wines are not from Trader Joe’s. I repeat these wine bottles are NOT from Trader Joe’s.
Yup, I ordered some wine from Winc, a wine subscription service that’s exploded in popularity over the last year or so. If you haven’t heard of them, then you’d probably recognize them since their bottles have cute labels with clever names that are regularly ‘grammed and snapped.
Signing up was easy. After creating an account, you take a quick quiz about your tastes. This helps Winc suggest a few wines that may enjoy.
Though the Alyssa of years passed was into full-flavored wines, my palette has become a bit more refined. So, I ignored most of their suggestions for intense Cabs and tarty whites, and went for three reds that are more on the delicate side.
Did the wine live up to the hype? Read on for a review of each wine and then my final thoughts on the Winc subscription as a whole.
Wine: To Be Honest Red Blend
Full disclosure: I got this wine because Matt Bellassai is a lush who cracks me up with his videos of sassy complaints and hilarious musings on everyday life. He partnered with Winc to make this red blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Grenache.
The wine has a light color in the glass with little-to-no legs. Its nose is earthy with a slight whiff of tobacco and strawberry. Smoky strawberries, right? Sounds gross but smells yum.
While I expected something super fruity, this baby turned out to be peppery, spicy, and earthy. Others on the internets found this wine to be an easy drinker, but I personally found it too dry.
Perhaps it’s better for chugging just like Bellassai does in his videos? You could also aerate it a bit to take off some of the edge.
Wine: Nouvelle Ère Red Blend
Next up is a red blend from France that is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. I got it because, well, France. Though from the old world, it is made by a winemaker in Bordeaux who is shaking up the wine making process and aging his wine in steel barrels. Hence the name Nouvelle Ère, which translates into new era.
Similar to the To Be Honest wine, this one has a light color that is slightly darker and more burgundy. One whiff conjures up the sweet cola smell of a can of Coke, but there is a sour note on the edge.
Taste-wise, it is semi-dry with hints of pepper and red fruits like strawberries and cherries. Thanks to the steel aging, there is no oaky intensity but it’s definitely mineral forward. Or better put, you can really taste the terroir.
All that said, I found it delightful and easy to drink.
Wine: Scarlet Smack Zinfandel
Okay fine, I choose this wine because I loved the label. That minimalist Jagger-esque mouth had me hook, line, and sinker.
Light wines were apparently a theme because this one is also faint in the glass but with an earthier color. The nose has a fruity tang like sour cherries or bunch of red Sour Patch Kids.
But the taste, oh the taste! One swig revealed a delightfully light and fruity taste that I couldn’t quite place. Cherry? No. Berry? No, it was something more unique like pomegranate or one of the those fruits with the gnarly shape that vegan bloggers love.
Whatever it was, I want more and would totally reorder this wine again and again (and again). Also, you apparently can judge a wine by it’s label because this was my favorite wine AND design. Boom, wine lesson lived and learned.
Review on Winc Subscription
As a whole, the Winc subscription is definitely worth a try. The sign up process is fun (always been a sucker for a quiz) and I loved scrolling through all the different bottles. Plus, each package comes with a well-written and well-designed mini magazine about wine.
One downside is the delivery process. You have to be home to sign for the package since they can’t deliver alcohol without the signature of someone 21 or older. Though I’m glad this prevents the local youth from stealing my wine, it was a little annoying to reroute the packed to the nearest Fed Ex and pick it up later.
Though the wine is high quality and I really liked two of the three bottles, the price is a bit steep for our budget. We usually spend about $6 to $10 a bottle unless it’s a fancy pants occasion and then we’ll spend up to $15 a bottle. Most of the Winc bottles are listed at $13, but with the added cost of shipping they probably average out at $15 or $16 a pop.
Would I do it again? Sure, I’m down to order a few bottles every once in a while when I want to try something new, get a cute bottle as a gift for a friend, or get my fancy pants on. However, my Winc subscription is on currently on pause and our next batch of wine will likely come from Trader Joe’s. If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it, right?