|Overall Score||Cancellation Process||Shipping Time Frame|
|??/10||1/1: Intuitive. Easy to do online. Requires zero intervention.||2/2: Wine club ordered Monday. Shipped Wednesday.|
FirstLeaf Wine Club: Overall Impressions
Overall, I was quite happy with my experience ordering a wine club shipment from FirstLeaf. Over the years I had been gifted a bottle or two along the way and enjoyed those, so I wasn’t overly surprised. To start, I found the ordering process from FirstLeaf the most interesting and engaging of the quiz type setups. Unlike some of the others, it wasn’t always obvious exactly what they were trying to get at with each question. So yes, the quiz was fun and an exciting way to start your journey through a wine club. The wine itself when it showed up only a couple of days later was quite good and fairly priced at the $16 or so average price point for the bottles that were shipped. Of course, with the FirstLeaf wine club initial order discount code, the price came down to just over $3 a bottle which made this, by far, the best value among all the initial wine club orders that I’ve made while creating this review site. So really, I found three main takeaways when ordering and now writing my FirstLeaf wine club review:
- The Quiz Was a Fun Way to Sign Up
- The Wine Was Discounted to Just Over $3 Per Bottle
- The Wine Was Good
Like any other wine club, your long term experience with FirstLeaf may be hard to judge and is going to depend on how willing you are to rate wine and help in the process, but given that discount and quality of wine, I can’t think of a good reason why any wine drinker shouldn’t at least give them a try for a month and then go from there.
When you reach a few thousand words and dozens of pictures in a wine club review, you need a table of contents. Want to skip ahead, here’s what’s coming up!
FirstLeaf Wine Club Ordering Process:
Here’s how your journey ordering from FirstLeaf will begin. With a simple question. Would you drink wine from a region you have never heard of? As you might expect, I said yes to this question, but was having a hard time imagining what region that might be. After all, one of my favorite wine industry moments came when a really, really beat up package of white wines showed up at my front door from the Czech Republic, of course, much better known for their beer production than wine.
Here’s the first real step in the FirstLeaf ordering process. How much red wine would you like compared to white wine. In our house, this is always an open question and I ended up selecting slightly more red than white. For your initial FirstLeaf order, given that red wine is typically more expensive than white wine, you might receive better value by sliding that over to the right a bit.
Generally, I think many of us think of sweetness in wine only in terms of either sweet sparkling wine, or white wines like Riesling with left over, or added sugar to leave a sweetness on the finish. Given my wife’s propensity to want to throw any sweet wine across room and my general proclivity to anything sweet and red (which to be clear, I think is basically an abomination, or a winemaker trick to cover up bad, overripe fruit) it was pretty easy to tell FirstLeaf in this case, no thanks.
I’m going to come back to this slide when I write about what I actually received. Interestingly, I did get an Italian red and a Bordeaux, but didn’t get either domestic choice from Napa or Oregon. I know that the FirstLeaf ordering process is algorithm based, so it’s interesting to look and see how much the questions generally play off each other.
I thought this was an interesting part of the FirstLeaf wine club ordering process. As you can see, it’s the polar opposite of the last slide. It makes sense, they want to know what to include, but knowing what not to include, might be just as important. I’m actually not personally opposed to the sweet Riesling but a sweet red, the extra sweet Moscato or an overly oaky California Chardonnay would run a FIrstLeaf wine club shipment in our house. Anyway, as part of this FirstLeaf wine club review, I did not receive anything which I said specifically I did not enjoy, so that’s a plus.
I think part of the FirstLeaf wine club ordering process is fairly straight forward. How adventurous are you willing to be as a wine drinker? One of the small parts of my FirstLeaf review that I was disappointed in actually, was that everything I received was fairly standard. There wasn’t anything too weird or strange. Maybe over time I could choose those, or push the algorithm that direction, but in this initial wine club shipment everything was fairly mainstream. Can’t I get a carbonic Carignan just to have the conversation?
I’m actually kinda fascinated what FirstLeaf is doing with this question. Why does your experience with wine matter? I get that wine drinkers go through a standard progression which basically amounts to: cheapest we can find, more of that, oh, some different varietals. Wait, there’s this thing called a single vineyard. ETC ETC. Normally this progression ends with sparkling wine for every occasion.
Here’s where the FirstLeaf ordering process got hard for me. I’ve literally had only three wines on that list. I get that they’re pulling the most common wines sold in America, but still that’s hard. Obviously, not every step in one of these ordering process and your personal experience with wine is going to largely effect how you answer this stuff. Also, of course for this FirstLeaf wine club review not all of this has to make sense. But still, this was a funky one for me that might actually be the most valuable question that the wine club is asking as part of their signup process.
My same issue as the previous question from FirstLeaf, I haven’t really had any of these. Or if I have, it hasn’t been often enough to really get a handle on which ones I like. Here’s the quick notes from me, Prisioner has an element of residual sugar so it’s slightly sweet and like I’ve said before in this Firstleaf wine club review, I really dislike that in red wines. While the Menage a Trois is a marketing case study for MBA students everywhere based on its success, I’ve had the wine a couple of times at friends and simply haven’t been impressed. But again, to sign for a wine club, this was hard because I really don’t have much experience with these.
This is where the FirstLeaf sign up process got kinda fun for me. I mean, I like butter on everything, but I hate the buttery flavor in Chardonnay. I love olive oil and hate brined olives. I don’t like mushrooms, but love Oregon Pinot Noir. Maybe I’m not the perfect person for one of these wine quizzes. FirstLeaf did help me to see how ridiculous my palate is though, so that’s fun.
Again, here’s the inverse question. FirstLeaf is the only of these quiz backed wine clubs to ask their survey in this way and I think it’s quite smart. While I mentioned not really liking mushrooms, I know that the two wine regions most closely associated with earthy flavors in their wine are Italy and Oregon, so I left that off because I love wine from those spots. So I stuck with my initial premise of simply wanting FirstLeaf to not send me something sweet and red….I know I’m a broken record at this point. But, in my defense, I don’t understand how anyone over 18 would ever order a Frappuccino with extra caramel when a simple black coffee, or latte is available.
Does anyone seriously say they want their wine to be bitter? If you haven’t noticed to this point, FirstLeaf does do a good job at helping to explain exactly why we have the questions that are being asked in their quiz. While I might argue with some of the common wisdom that’s here especially in regard to Pinot Gris vs Pinot Grigio, it’s nice to see them trying to educate consumers about how grapes are made differently by different winemakers and also how growing regions do dramatically effect what ends up in your glass.
This was my ode to FirstLeaf NOT sending me a classic 1980’s style Chardonnay from California. Plus, I’d prefer my reds to be slightly lighter in body, so removing oak helps to do that.
Here’s where I look like a customer FirstLeaf really, really wants.
FirstLeaf Wine Reviews
Firstleaf had some fun packaging when I ordered my wine club from them. Here’s the box and yes, the delivery driver had it upside down….of course.
It was kinda difficult to get a good picture of the wording here, so excuse the funky picture, but my phone simply didn’t like the words being sideways. FirstLeaf had a cool package, especially once you got into the actual wine. Side note, I’ve got a pretty good match between this Firstleaf packaging and my old wallpaper behind, don’t I?
As you can see in this FirsLeaf wine club box, you get some good instructions about what needs to happen next. In this case, yes they are definitely planning on you ranking your wines so they can use their algorithm over time to pair you with better and better selections.
Overall what did I think of the packaging? Kinda cool. It wasn’t as serious as many wine clubs tend to be and it gave me the information I needed including a phone number. They also gave me paper notes and information which I do prefer to having to download a wine club app. I have enough apps on my phone as it is, just give me something to throw up on the fridge and I can check your site if I want more information as I’m drinking the wine in question. I get this isn’t the most important part of my FirstLeaf wine club review, but I think it helps to show the amount of care and concern that a wine club is putting in.
FirstLeaf Wine Club Extras:
Like many of the new age of wine clubs, FirstLeaf offers a myriad of different sales pitches and options to save some cash on future wine orders. From free shipping for a year, after cancelling, if you come back to severe discounts on your initial order, FirstLeaf is trying to get new customers in the front door with the hope that the wine will be compelling enough to keep them coming back in the future.
One part of the FirstLeaf experience that I enjoyed immensely was this GIANT newsletter that came in my initial shipment. I do mean GIANT too.
One thing that I found interesting about this FirstLeaf wine club newsletter is that the main page wasn’t devoted to the wines I had received, but instead what I might be inclined to order next. I had ordered in January 2021 and the inset spent a lot of time talking about Rose, which I think we can comfortably call a spring wine. So yes, it was coming next. The bottom as you can see, is a full case of largely international wines. In any case, this insert measured at least 24 inches in length, making it seem more like a newspaper than a newsletter. FirstLeaf included a lot of interesting information in their (I’m officially calling this a magazine now) magazine and this was easily the most extensive version I’ve found from any wine club.
So as far as extras from FirstLeaf. I can confidently say you’ll be happy with this.
FirstLeaf Wine Club Cancellation Process:
Firstleaf has an intuitive cancellation process that meets my requirement of being able to cancel from the comfort of your computer, in the same way in which you signed up originally. Here’s how it works. First, you will need to login to your account.
As you might expect, the folks behind the FirstLeaf Wine Club would rather you stick around. So, they’ll make some offers. First up, maybe you’d like to put your wine club on hold for a minute?
Next up, it’s a hey, maybe you could just put your account on hold. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure what the point of this offer is. Isn’t being on hold basically the same thing in practice as being cancelled, but FirstLeaf having your email address, physical address and wine preferences on file to market to as time goes by?
Next, it’s what can we do better? Or simply why did you cancel?