The idea of wine being delivered to your front door on a regular basis can only be described as incredibly tempting. Especially as it saves you the effort and confusion of being faced with a massive wall of options! If you’re anything like me, you can also find it very easy to get stuck in a rut of drinking the same wine all the time. That’s where Wine Selectors comes in, providing a regular subscription offering that includes a varied selection of Australian wines.
I wanted to explore what it was like to get a Wine Selectors subscription and whether it’s a better option for wine lovers than your local bottle shop.
Wine Selectors Subscription Box Review
Wine Selectors - Review Summary
An incredible physical product, delivering high quality wines at a significant discount. Perfect for exploring new Australian wines. Slightly let down by their online experience.
Ordering - Website - 5/10
Products - Quality & Experience - 7/10
Ordering - Delivery - 7/10
Value For Money - 8/10
- High quality wines
- Interesting varieties of grape.
- Great tasting notes.
- Can’t manage your order online after subscribing.
- $22 yearly membership fee.
Who are Wine Selectors?
Wine Selectors originally started in 1975 as the Hunter Valley Wine Society, providing a way for people to explore the various wines being produced in the Hunter Valley area. Since then, they have expanded across all the major wine regions in Australia, partnering with over 500 producers across Australia. The company also produces the popular Selector magazine that you’ll also receive as part of your subscription.
Wine Selectors is fundamentally run by a panel of wine tasting experts and competition judges, so you’d expect the quality of wines on offer to be exceptionally high. They judge every single wine available on their website, only stocking the wine if it rates at least 15.5/20 (bronze).
I’m personally a very casual wine drinker, so I’m not familiar with the way wine is judged. However, it does give a sense of confidence that they are selective in the wines they stock. I do enjoy some of the marketing material they produce, with some ridiculous statements such as this wonderfully hyperbolic quote from Trent Mannell.
From the first day I started in the wine industry I knew this wasn’t just a job, but a way of life in every respect.Trent Mannell, Wine Show Judge
What do Wine Selectors offer?
From the Wine Selectors website, you’re able to purchase single bottles and mixed cases of wines. I’ve found their selection to be highly impressive, featuring a number of more obscure wines that can be hard to get online. Single bottles start from $15 and cases are priced from around $95. However, I’m not here to review their wine catalogue.
Wine Selectors also offer a wide range of different subscriptions, including the expected splits between Reds, Whites and Mixed cases.
What’s really exciting about the different subscription boxes they offer, is the variety of different types of wine available. Here’s a sample of the different subscriptions you can choose from:
- Regional wines
- Organic wines
- Occasions / food pairings
- Sparkling wines
- Connoisseur wines
Each of these subscription types comes in various delivery timeframes, including every 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks. Some of them are limited to specific delivery timeframes. so make sure you double check that before you order.
Overall, I would suggest that whatever your taste/budget in wines, there’s bound to be a subscription that suits you.
Customised wine plan
Wine Selectors also offer the ability for you to customise your wine subscription, for people who know exactly which types of wine they like. This subscription option gives you the ability to select from a wide variety of different wine types to fill either a 6-case of 12-case box.
How much does a Wine Selectors subscription cost?
The prices can vary quite significantly between the different boxes, as you might suspect based on the quality of the wine. I also compare the cost of a subscription versus buying the wines directly slightly later on in this review.
For each subscription, a box with red wines comes a few dollars ($2-$3) more expensive than the white wine subscription. I’m not sure why this is the case, but it works quite well for people like me with a preference for white wine!
|Regional Releases – 6 Pack||$102|
|Regional Releases – 12 Pack||$199|
|Organic Releases – 6 Pack||$115|
|Organic Releases – 12 Pack||$219|
|Entertainers Releases – 12 Pack||$153|
|Sparkling Releases – 6 Pack||$111|
|Winemakers’ Releases – 6 Pack||$179|
|Winemakers’ Releases – 12 Pack||$327|
For anyone interested in the customised wine subscription, that’s $105 for 6 wines and $204 for 12 wines. Just slightly more expensive than the standard regional releases subscription.
Do Wine Selectors charge for delivery?
Yes, there’s a flat delivery charge of $10.99 across Australia. Wine Selectors can deliver to any adress in Australia.
If you order individual wines from their wine cellar, you’re able to get free shipping on orders above $299. Unfortunately, this deal does not apply to any recurring wine subscriptions.
My Wine Selectors subscription
I opted for the Regional Releases subscription with 6 bottles of wine in each delivery. Normally, I get through 1-2 bottles a week, so getting 6 delivered every 4 weeks is perfect for me. I have quite a strong preference for white wine, so I opted to only receive bottles of white wine.
My box only took 3 business days to arrive, which I was very impressed with! It came in a sturdy wine box which effectively protected the bottles during delivery. Here’s the box that turned up at my door:
I enjoyed the design of the box and it certainly felt exciting to open up, not having a clue what types of wine would be inside.
With my box, came my 6 bottles of wine along with a copy of the Selector magazine. No doubt, this will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about the world of wine. I also received a welcome pack (pictured below) with details about Wine Selectors and all the detailed information about the wine in my box.
Each wine comes with a detailed description that includes:
- Where it was grown
- Who it was made by
- How it feels on the nose and on the palate
- Great ways to pair the wine with food
My box had 6 really interesting wines from SA, NSW, TAS, VIC and WA. No doubt, this gives a great taste of wine across Australia. Getting them out of the box, here’s what they looked like.
I was really happy with the variety of wines I received, with the common grape types of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling complemented with the slightly more obscure Viognier and Grüner Veltliner.
I was quite surprised to see a Rosé along with my box, I usually don’t find them to my taste. However, this one was particularly nice to drink and has started to change my personal perception of Rosé wine.
Is a Wine Selectors subscription good value?
Wine Selectors promise to beat the RRP of your wine by at least 25% in your subscription. I wanted to test that out and see if I could have purchased my selection of wines any cheaper.
|Amadio Sauvignon Blanc 2019||$25.00||$21.99|
|Lisa McGuigan Grüner Veltliner 2018||$30.00||No Better Price|
|Relbia Estate Riesling 2016||$25.00||No Better Price|
|Sam Miranda Rosato 2019||$20.00||$18.99|
|Three Elms Chardonnay 2019||$35.00||No Better Price|
|Yalumba Viognier 2017||$24.00||$20.00|
According to the RRPs listed by Wine Selectors, the total value of my wine came to $159.00. I paid just $102.00 which is a grand saving of 36% from RRP!
By buying the wine individually from various different sites (not counting the impact of delivery costs), I would have paid a total of $150.98. This still represents a sizable discount of 32% for my selection of wines. Overall then, I think the wine discovery box from Wine Selectors presents fantastic value.
Other things you should consider
One of the most disappointing aspects of the Wine Selectors offering is that you can’t pause, skip or cancel your order without calling their customer service team directly. Having tried lots of subscription services working on FoodBoxMate, this is always top on my personal list of priorities. I want to feel like I have 100% control of my subscription, without having to go through a retention/sales phone call.
There’s also a hidden charge when you subscribe to a Wine Selectors subscription plan. Every 12 months, they will automatically bill you $22 for membership. I personally think this is a shady tactic, as it isn’t clear enough when you sign up to your wine subscription. That being said, $22 isn’t bad value for everything you get:
- Selector magazine
- Offers / Discounts when visiting various wine regions
- $30 voucher during your birthday month
- Access to members only events
They haven’t yet charged my account for the membership fee yet (6 weeks after signing up at the time of writing), so it’s possible you can get a few subscription boxes without being charged.
Finally, it’s really interesting to see that you can find out what ‘theme’ your subscription box is going to have months in advance. Here are my next two boxes:
There’s no doubt Wine Selectors provide a fantastic range and variety of different wines. With a strong discount compared to purchasing each wine individually, there’s also great value to be found. I feel this makes their subscription box an enticing proposition for anyone looking to explore new Australian wines.
In particular, these boxes being perfect for anyone who wants to refine their wine tastes and discover new grape varieties.
Whilst the product (wine) itself is fantastic, the service is let down by a lack of subscription management options on the website. Alongside the hidden membership fees, these leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth. My reflection is that these downsides are driven by an old-school business, potentially leaving space for a more consumer focussed competitor to provide a better overall experience.