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Last Updated: July 2021

Firstleaf Wine Club Review: A Better Way To Find Your New Favorite Vino

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Introductory Wine Box

Whether you’re just dipping a toe, or diving head first, Firstleaf’s Introductory Wine Box is the perfect place to start. Tailored to your exact preferences and palate, you’ll receive 6 wines you’re sure to love.

Get $100 OFF your first three wine boxes ($40 off the first, $30 off the second, $30 off the third) — through June 20, 2021.

Featured Product: Firstleaf Introductory Wine Box

Price: $43

The Firstleaf Introductory Wine Box is a great way to check out some new wines. For my first box, I went with the six-bottle box, which, at $40 was really a no-brainer for me.

This introductory box includes 6 different wines chosen for you and customized to your palate based on your responses to Firstleaf’s wine quiz. It’s a fun surprise to see what Firstleaf chooses for you based on your answers to these questions.

Moving forward, I’ll have the option to keep the six-bottle plan or upgrade to a 12-bottle box (and get free shipping) for approximately $15 per bottle, all while continuing to provide my likes, dislikes, general feedback to Firstleaf, so that they can continue to curate the most personalized selection of wines for my palate.

Ratings Breakdown

quality

The quality of the wines from Firstleaf are generally higher quality, but there can be a bit of inconsistency with some of the brands offered.

value

Their usual $15 per bottle price is a bit higher than a lot of people pay for a decent bottle of wine at the store.

customer experience

The wine mix sent from Firstleaf can be a hit or miss mix on the first go. Some of the wines are fantastic, but others are just okay.

brand

Their wine survey can really help narrow down your tastes and likes for all future wine tastings, whether with Firstleaf or not.

Who is Firstleaf?

Firstleaf was founded by Philip James and his company, Penrose Hill. Both of these companies are based out of California in the Napa Valley area. Philip James has worked in the wine industry for most of his adult life and found a few issues with the way things worked. His primary issue was that there wasn’t any real system in place to help consumers nail down what they liked and didn’t like in a wine. Therefore, consistency in picking a bottle the consumer might like was spotty at best.

He also didn’t like how much of an upcharge he deemed the wholesalers and retailers were adding onto their products. So, he wanted to solve both problems in one fail swoop and that’s where Firstleaf comes in.

Pros

  • The opportunity to try wines you may have never considered before
  • Wine survey helps predict if you’ll enjoy the wines ahead of time
  • First box of wines come in at under $8 per bottle
  • Free shipping with monthly recurring wine subscription

Cons

  • Monthly recurring subscription
  • $15 a bottle after the introductory wine box can be a bit steep per bottle

Firstleaf Wine Quiz

The brand, built on the idea that “buying great wine should be easier,” aims to connect both novice and expert wine-drinkers alike with great wines curated specifically to their tastes. 

The first, and biggest issue Firstleaf was trying to solve is easily enable their customers to choose the right wine for the right palate. So, Firstleaf worked tirelessly to create their own wine quiz. This quiz is patent-pending and has helped hundreds of thousands of wine enthusiasts choose better bottles of wine. In fact, it’s the only such club built entirely around its customers’ distinct preferences. That means that the more wine you taste and rate, the more tailored your curated selection will become over time.

The quiz is brief and the questions are pretty simple. Do I like olives? (Duh.) Do I prefer sweet or savory? (Both?) Do I lean toward reds or whites? (Reds, but there are some white wines I love, too.)

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The first thing I was asked during the quiz was about which type of wine I typically like to drink, (which, makes perfect sense). From the consumer response to this question, it’s easier for Firstleaf to narrow down which types of wine they might like.

Since I chose a mix as my answer, I got a fairly wide variety of options after that to choose from for my general preferences.

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Once Firstleaf had that information, they wanted to know my thoughts on how adventurous I considered myself. And since everyone is a little bit different in this regard, it helps them to determine just how much variety you may enjoy.

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After all of the questions are answered, Firstleaf delivers the initial box of wines for you to try and explore, featuring a selection completely customized to you.

The quiz took me no more than five minutes to complete, left me weirdly craving a sampling of French cheeses, and had me excited to see what six wines Firstleaf had picked out specifically for me. The best part? Thanks to Firstleaf’s smart algorithm, each shipment from here on out will include a unique combination of wines selected specifically for me based on my preferences and my ongoing feedback.

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Introductory Wine Box

Get $100 OFF your first three wine boxes ($40 off the first, $30 off the second, $30 off the third) — through June 20, 2021.

My Firstleaf Wine Box

The fact that each bottle (1 rosé and 5 reds) was picked specifically for me based on the preferences I’d disclosed in the initial quiz added fun and curiosity to the tasting experience. Would I love them? Would they get it right?

Well, let’s just say Firstleaf seems to know me better than most friends.

Unboxing and reading each bottle is by far my favorite part of the wine-discovery process, and Firstleaf seriously delivered on this front. Each wine was accompanied by a tasting notes card, complete with a description, profile, suggested pairings, interesting stats, and even a beautiful image representing that wine.

Firstleaf Personal Faves

Of the 6 bottles selected for my box, here are a few of my Firstleaf favorites:

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I’m not going to lie, I had my doubts about this one, but after sharing a glass with a couple of friends, I’m ready to admit this may be the best rosé I’ve ever had. Beautifully balanced, not the least bit sweet, and ultra-crisp, I may just be looking forward to a Rainy Day this summer.

first-leaf-wine-pinot-noir

When in doubt (or when out of my beloved Malbec), always go for the Pinot Noir – especially if it’sits French. It’s no surprise that this Burgundian variety has won a Gold Medal four times. It’s an easy and elegant everyday wine that I’ll likely end up buying several bottles of for future dinner parties. A charming crowd-pleaser.

first-leaf-wine-alazules

Based on the tasting notes, I decided to make my grandmother’s Spanish rice recipe to pair with this wine. All I can say is, yum! This 95-point, “Best in Class” award-winning bottle was just as (maybe even more?) mouthwatering than the dish itself.

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Introductory Wine Box

Get $100 OFF your first three wine boxes ($40 off the first, $30 off the second, $30 off the third) — through June 20, 2021.

Our Taste Test

To assess a wider range of Firstleaf’s recommended wine types and flavors, I organized a taste test with the rest of The Fascination team. We went through Firstleaf’s wine selection process again; this time with broader, more generalized answers.

Since these answers were pretty middle-of-the-road across the board, the second box included a more diverse wine selection, featuring an even split of whites and reds.

To ensure fair results, we opted for a blind taste test. Our lineup included all 6 Firstleaf wines and an additional seventh, store-bought bottle of wine. Each participant was asked to try all 7 wines and vote on their top 3 choices.

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The Wine Tasting Results

Firstleaf claims that they taste around 10,000 wines worldwide per year to find the best wines for their customers. They say that only approximately 2% make the cut, which rounds out to about 200 new wine offerings per year. They also state that in order to meet their quality standards the wines they choose must be delicious, balanced, and artfully crafted. 

While my first box and more refined selection was pretty successful, Firstleaf’s wines seemed to vary more widely in terms of taste and quality across the generalized selection of wine we received for our tasting. Based on our blind taste test, only 2 of the 6 bottles of wine I received from Firstleaf in this box were rated better than the cheaper store bought brand.

However, this is likely due to the fact that Firstleaf is designed to cater to specific, individual taste preferences rather than that of a group or more generalized approach, and also that they source from many different vineyards around the world. It’s also important to consider the fact that Firstleaf is designed to learn and hone your preferences over time, so the more information you give, and the more wines you to which respond, the more accurate your selection will be.

Our Firstleaf Top Pick

While the $11, store-bought, widely distributed bottle of California wine got just as many votes as most of the Firstleaf bottles, there were 2 of the Firstleaf’s picks that came out on top, and their South African Sauvignon Blanc was the clear winner.firstleaf-sauvignon-blanc-2firstleaf-sauvignon-blanc

The reasons that this particular wine stood out, according to all that voted for it, were that it was:

  • Light
  • Clean
  • Fruity
  • Refreshing
  • Dryer, but with a slightly sweet flavor

I’ve found all of these traits to be fairly indicative of South African wines. A lot of this is due to how a lot of the grapes are grown in South Africa versus other wine regions of the world. Not in all cases, but fairly often in South Africa are the wine grapes grown in a goblet or bush shape instead of what we typically think of.

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Photo of a goblet vine from The Mercury News

 

This is due to the severe lack of rain in the region. By growing the grapes this way, South African winemakers are getting the most bang for their buck because the bushes have to struggle. The more they struggle, the sweeter the grapes, and typically, the better the wine. And if you haven’t been to South Africa, this may not be common knowledge. But you can taste the difference when you put a glass of South African wine to your lips.

While this particular wine went above and beyond expectations, it seems that Firstleaf wines can run the spectrum in terms quality and flavor. But, as I mentioned earlier, this may be one of those things honed as you rate each bottle of wine you try, and continue customizing your Firstleaf experience.

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Introductory Wine Box

Get $100 OFF your first three wine boxes ($40 off the first, $30 off the second, $30 off the third) — through June 20, 2021.

Is A Firstleaf Wine Subscription Worth It?

A lot of this will come down to how much you generally like to spend on wine to begin with. If you typically spend under $10 for a bottle of wine, then this probably isn’t going to be for you. After the first month, the wine subscription goes to $90 for 6 bottles of wine, or $15 per bottle. So, if this is outside of your comfort zone or budget for wine, then you should probably stick with a store-bought wine instead.

However, if you’re wanting to expand your wine knowledge and are not sure where to start, Firstleaf could be a great option. This is great for those of us who are feeling a bit adventurous or just want to find new things within our typical wine palate to try.

Firstleaf Coupons & Discounts

Firstleaf already gives a pretty big discount on the initial wine subscription order. But they also send out promo codes through their email list, social media and the mail.

However, as a bonus, Firstleaf is currently offering new members $100 OFF their first three wine boxes ($40 off the first, $30 off the second, $30 off the third). This is Firstleaf’s best sale yet, so be sure to snag this deal and start your subscription soon!

Frequently Asked Questions

Any time a consumer is considering a subscription, there are bound to be questions. And a subscription with Firstleaf is no different.

How does the subscription work?

Firstleaf’s membership grants a refreshing amount of flexibility in terms of personalizing your overall experience. Their subscription settings allowed me to select the type (red, white, rosé), number, and frequency of my wines, with monthly, bimonthly and quarterly delivery options available. After you get your introductory order, by default, you will continue to get a new order once a month, with the selection growing more and more refined based upon your likes and dislikes of previously received wines. You can, however, swap out Firstleaf’s pre-selected bottles for any bottle of your choosing from their list of available wine options if you prefer to include any favorites from past boxes or try a wine that’s caught your eye.

Can an order ship date be paused or changed with Firstleaf?

Yes, it can easily be done through your Firstleaf login prior to a credit card being charged. They will allow you to change your shipment date or pause it for a later date if need be.

Is there a deadline to edit, skip, or cancel my order?

Yes, there is. You can switch out your wines anytime prior to your credit card being charged for the upcoming order. Once that has occurred though, your order can no longer be changed.

Does Firstleaf have a return policy?

Not really. They want to make sure you’re satisfied though. So they do offer to refund you the amount of a bottle if you’re not satisfied with it for some reason. However, it’s a credit, minus the shipping, towards a future order. So, you’ll need to use the credit to try something else in hopes that it will suit your palate better. Their team is available seven days a week to answer any questions – including access to an experienced and passionate Wine Concierge team to help with your decision-making.

What if my address changes?

You can easily go into your account and change your address any time prior to your order being shipped.
Although, if an order is returned to them because your address is incorrect or has changed, they will give you a full refund, minus a $20 restocking fee.

Can I order wines outside of my subscription?

Yes, you can. If you don’t love the idea of someone else picking out a great wine for you, you can browse Firstleaf’s Wine Store to purchase bottles a la carte and still enjoy special pricing on those wines, including featured bundles and the ability to browse by color, region, and even grape. Firstleaf also allows you to purchase a build-your-own wine pack from their Wine Store. And if you purchase 12 bottles or more you will get free shipping on the order, too.

Do I have to be home to receive my Firstleaf wine order?

Yes, you or another adult over the age of 21 must receive the delivery. If you’re not going to be home when it’s supposed to be delivered, you can either go onto the delivery carrier’s website to manage your delivery. Some carriers have made the process even simpler and will hold it at a facility for you to come and pick up your wines at your convenience instead.

Firstleaf Wine Summary

Ultimately, the idea behind Firstleaf is great for us wine enthusiasts. There are so many wines on the market that it can simply just be too difficult to choose. So a lot of us just stick with what we know and never branch out. 

Which means we are missing out on a whole world of potentially really good wines. So, if your wine budget allows for the $90 per month price tag, then it’s probably worth it to give Firstleaf a try. After all, you never know what new awesome wines you might find with them.

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Introductory Wine Box

Whether you’re just dipping a toe, or diving head first, Firstleaf’s Introductory Wine Box is the perfect place to start. Tailored to your exact preferences and palate, you’ll receive 6 wines you’re sure to love.

Get $100 OFF your first three wine boxes ($40 off the first, $30 off the second, $30 off the third) — through June 20, 2021.

Firstleaf Wine Club Faves

Firstleaf

Assorted Red Wine Box

$39.95$79.95(Save $40)

$40 off your first box of 6 wines + free shipping

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Firstleaf

Assorted White Wine Box

$39.95$79.95(Save $40)

$40 off your first box of 6 wines + free shipping

SHOP NOW

Firstleaf

Assorted Mixed Wine Box

$39.95$79.95(Save $40)

$40 off your first box of 6 wines + free shipping

SHOP NOW