Winc Reviews

November 17, 2020

This Winc Reviews post contains affiliate links and we were given a sample.  We may be compensated if you make a purchase.  All opinions are our own.

winc-reviews

By MealFinds Wine Review Team

Winc

Winc is a direct-to-consumer winery focused on producing delicious, handcrafted wine, and delivering it to consumers in a curated, inclusive and user-friendly way. Co-founded by sommelier Brian Smith and winemaker Robert Daugherty, the Winc team is clearly passionate about introducing new wines to the world– especially those that are organic, vegan, low-sugar, low-sulfur, sustainable.

The underlying ethos of Winc’s winemaking process is to respect the product by following minimal intervention winemaking methods and sustainable farming techniques. Winc handcrafts all of its wines from grape to glass and partners with innovative, dynamic winemakers to bring unique experiences to their members. Winc’s team has produced over 664 wines from 78 grape varieties, and 97 regions across 12 different countries.

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What We Like

  • Winc’s focus on producing organic, low-sugar, low-sulfur wines with sustainability in mind.
  • The playful, engaging, and enjoyable experience Winc gives to consumers.
  • Flexibility to purchase wines a la carte or become a Winc member to receive discounted pricing.
  • Pricing. Winc wines are both affordable and of good quality.

What We Don’t Like

  • Challenging to find Frequently Asked Questions on their site.
  • Would be nice to have per quarter shipment options vs monthly.
  • Might not be the best option for wine aficionados.

Winc Reviews

For our Winc reviews, we decided to try four sustainable wines including one white – 2019 L’Atelier du Sud® Chardonnay- and three reds – 2019 Keep It Chill Chillable Red, 2019 Far + Wide Zweigelt, and 2019 Restless Earth Syrah.

Why Buy Sustainable Wine?  The driving principle of sustainable wines is that they are made in ways that both support a healthy planet while also ensuring a delicious product. When you buy a sustainably-made wine, you’re helping to maintain healthy vineyards, protect the environment, and ensure the well-being of the wineries and winery workers.

The Winc team creates and curates over a hundred wines, and makes the experience of exploring interesting, sustainable wine easy and pleasurable.  We couldn’t wait to try our sustainable wines!

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2019 L’Atelier du Sud® Chardonnay
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Price: $17.99 (members), $19.99 (non-members)
Vegan, low-sugar, organic, sustainable

Although white wines, Chardonnay’s especially, are not typically my go-to choice of wine, this bright, inviting white from the South of France may have converted me. Produced in the Languedoc in the foothills of the Cévennes Mountains, soft notes of green apple and citrus definitely shine through. We enjoyed it with a steaming bowl of creamy tomato soup and sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches (sublime!).

2019 Keep It Chill Chillable Red
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Price: $19.99 (member), $22.99 (non-member)
Low-sulfur, low-sugar, sustainable

While this red was a bit too tart and dry for my palate, it was probably my husband’s favorite. We both agreed it would be a lovely alternative to a white or rosé on a hot summer day.

2019 Far + Wide Zweigelt
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Price: $16.99 (members), $21.99 (non-members)
Vegan, low-sulfur, low-sugar, sustainable

Having never enjoyed a Zweigelt grape, I was excited to try this wine from Austria. Although I’m typically a big fan of blackberry and dark plum tasting notes in the wine, my palate did not enjoy this particular vino. Perhaps it was the heavier notes of blueberry and black pepper but I was not a fan of the finish. Conversely, my husband really enjoyed it!

2019 Restless Earth Syrah
winc-reviews-restless-earth

Price: $17.99 (members), $19.99 (non-members)
Low-sulfur, low-sugar, sustainable

I found this Syrah to be very enjoyable to drink. Perhaps it’s because I’m a fan of pomegranate and red cherries but this wine was my favorite of the four.

Something I noted after tasting all of these wines over the course of a few days is that the hint of a headache I now tend to get the morning after drinking wine was significantly abbreviated or absent altogether, which was very appreciated.

Winc Reviews: Sustainable Winemaking and Wine

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Winc’s winemaking philosophy is to incorporate as many sustainable farming practices as they can, believing it is the right thing to do for the consumer, for the growers, the vineyards, the community, and the planet.

The Winc team makes every effort possible to operate in a way that minimizes its environmental impact. In fact, 60% of their wines produced in 2019 were made from grapes that were sustainably farmed. They are also committed to increasing that to 75% by the year 2021.

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Here are just a few of their earth-friendly initiatives they apply to their winemaking:

  • Compostable shipping box and pulp trays: Every Winc wine order is delivered in a fun, funky box. That, as well as the pulp trays used to keep the wines stable and secure within the box are. entirely compostable.
  • No cork capsule (wrapping) on wine bottles: Back in the day, capsules were used to protect corks from rodents or dirt in old cellars. Now they are used more for decoration and tradition since wine bottles are stored in cellars or warehouses where temperature, moisture, and cleanliness are all regulated and controlled. Going without a cork capsule is not only far more sustainable, it’s actually much easier to open the bottle!
  • Bottling and transporting: By transporting their wine in reusable totes to a centralized bottling and distribution facility, Winc is able to significantly lower their carbon impact. They also bottle wine using a just-in-time inventory strategy where the wine travels in bottles for the “final mile” only, directly from their distribution center to your doorstep. This approach reduces its carbon footprint by an estimated 50%.
  • Supporting sustainable growers and winemakers: Whenever possible, the Winc team opts for organically grown grapes with minimal intervention in production. They also do whatever they can to leave vineyards in better shape than they found them.
  • Vegan wines: Vegan wines do not contain any animal-derived products. Winc limits the use of fish and egg products that are occasionally used in winemaking for the purpose of “fining” (making them clear and bright).
  • DIY recycling projects on their YouTube Channel: Winc doesn’t have a recycling program in place for their boxes or bottles because the carbon impact of moving them back and forth to a facility is substantial. Instead, they promote the re-use of the materials in fun DIY projects on their YouTube Channel to give them further lives. Think fun picture frames, decorative trays, flower vases, and more!
  • 1% for the Planet partnership: Winc partners with 1% for the Planet, giving 1% of all their Pacificana® sales toward benefiting and preserving the environment.

 

Winc follows the definition of sustainability set forth by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and works with additional organizations depending on grower affiliations for specific wines.

Other sustainable winemaking programs include those from the USDA, EU Organic, EMS Environmental Management System (ISO 14001 / ISO 14004), SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice), Certified Green (The Lodi Rules), LIVE Certified (Low Input Viticulture and Enology), Salmon Safe, Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ), Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile, Integrity & Sustainability Certified (South Africa), Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW), and Bodegas de Argentina Sustainability Protocol.

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Winc Reviews: Membership

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Winc connects you to a world of exclusive, small-lot, sustainable wines from around the world, tailors them to your tastes and then delivers them right to your door.

Each month, Winc will introduce you to new wines that match your tastes, share the story behind each bottle and provide interesting wine knowledge you can share with friends. You can also skip a month or cancel any time, no questions asked.

Winc Membership: Cost

Winc’s monthly wine membership order starts at 3 bottles a month for $39 (plus a $9 flat shipping rate and tax). If you order 4 or more bottles, shipping is included.

You can add as many additional bottles as you’d like to your monthly shipment. Bottles start at $13 each. Your monthly order may be lower or higher due to wine choice or quantity, and local tax rates.

Winc’s Insider Access Membership has a monthly charge of $59.95 (redeemable as member credits).  You can also purchase a la carte with Winc wines ranging in price from $15 to $48 (member price $13 to $40).

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Winc Membership: Benefits

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  • Exclusive savings on each wine
  • Personalized wine recommendations based on your palate profile
  • Complimentary Shipping: 4 bottles or more in a membership order and shipping is included
  • Save $15 on every Winc Gift Box order sent via Standard shipping
  • Case Discount: Order 12 or more bottles and get 10% off your order. Case discount will be applied automatically upon checkout
  • Member Credits: You can purchase Winc credits at a discounted price allowing you to save up to $100.   1 credit is equivalent to $1 for any Winc order.   Member credits can be redeemed toward the purchase of Winc items at any time.
  • Refer a Friend Credit: For every friend you sign up via your personal Winc invite link, they give you $15 back in credits

Winc’s Palate Profile Quiz

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The Winc’s Palate Profile Quiz on their website is one of the first steps you take to discover wines uniquely matched to your tastes. After you complete the initial Palate Profile, the Winc team continually refines your preferences based on your Personal Wine Ratings for each bottle.

Palate Profile quiz questions include:

  • How do you like your coffee? Apparently, the answer to this question says a lot about someone’s wine preferences!
  • How do you feel about salt? Helps the Winc team discern whether or not you are averse to bitterness. For example, bigger reds can have bitter characters, which come from the skins, stems, or seeds of red grapes.
  • Do you like citrus? Tells Winc whether or not you like acidity. Lower acidity wines tend to be softer on the palate.
  • Do you like earthy flavors like mushrooms and black truffles? Someone who loves these earthy flavors tends to enjoy a wine that has some funk to it.
  • Do you like blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries? Alludes to juicy fruit and/or jamminess in wine. Someone who loves berries and would eat them raw will probably enjoy fruit-forward wines.
  • How adventurous are you when it comes to food and drink? Your response to this question guides the team in just how much they can geek out with the cool wines they include in your order.

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Winc Reviews: Gifting

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Especially with the holidays right around the corner, A Winc gift card is definitely worth considering for your wine-loving family and friends. It’s also a thoughtful gift option for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, or other notable events. And with so many observing “safer at home” practices at the moment, Winc’s gift card options can also make for a fun virtual wine-tasting event with friends or family over the holidays.

Winc offers three gift card options:

 

After selecting your gift card option, you can write a personalized gift note to your recipient and send your gift card via mail or email. Your recipient can then redeem their gift card to experience a taste of a Winc Membership (including getting to take the Palate Profile quiz to see what Winc’s wine experts recommend specifically to their tastes).

When completing a gift card purchase, please note that you’ll be asked to create an account in order to receive an email confirmation. You will not automatically be enrolled in the Winc Membership after purchase.

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Winc Reviews: Bottom Line

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As someone who cares deeply about the environment and keeping it healthy, I greatly respect Winc’s efforts to champion safe, socially responsible wine growing, making, and delivery practices. Their commitment to increasing organic, sustainable, vegan, low-sugar, and low-sulfur wine options is both commendable and effective. Winc’s wines are not only very good to drink, but they are also something you can feel good about when drinking.

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Cheers!

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