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How We Test Wine Delivery Services

DeliveryRank’s expert wine reviewers know what to look for in a wine delivery service. With so many unique competitors on the market, it can be hard to find the right fit. Our team conducts in-depth research to find which services are the most deserving of your hard-earned money. When reviewing a wine delivery service, our experts consider every aspect of a service – not just the wine itself. The varietals and blends available are just one aspect of our ranking. We also consider the subscription model, the packaging, the shipping speed, and much more. Here’s how we review wine delivery services:

Category Breakdown
  • 10% - Wine Selection
  • 25% - Packaging and Eco-friendliness
  • 3% - Taste
  • 3% - Shipping and Delivery
  • 5% - Subscriptions
  • 10% - Customer Service
  • 7% - Prices

1. Wine Selection

At the very least – There is a good variety of wines suitable for a range of occasions.

At best – A wide range of wines with unique or exclusive offerings. The ability to have wines recommended based on individual taste or for the customer to select for themselves. 

Our reviewers analyze each service’s current menu. They investigate:

  • The types of wine available
  • The range of varietals
  • Whether there are recognizable brands
  • How often the range/selection changes
  • Where wines are sourced from
  • Whether there are special collections, ranges, or vintages available
  • Top/best-selling wines
  • Bottle size
  • What sort of wineries the service works with and whether they have access to exclusive growers
  • Plan types
  • Any questionnaires available that help customers choose the right wines for them
  • How easy it is to search/filter the menu
  • Extras – including snacks, glassware, magazines etc.

2. Packaging and Eco-friendliness

At the very least – Bottles arrive undamaged. Some effort is made to cut down unnecessary unrecyclable materials.

At best – Bottles arrive in perfect condition. All packaging is recyclable with instructions on how to recycle each item.

Our reviewers analyze:

  • What each delivery includes
  • How the wine is packaged and organized
  • The state of wine/bottles on arrival
  • Whether the bottles and label designs are attractive
  • Storage instructions
  • The eco-friendliness of the packaging
  • The necessity of any non-recyclable materials
  • Recycling or reuse instructions
  • The company’s eco credentials and goals

3. Taste

At the very least – Wine should be in line with taste expectations.

At best – Wine should arrive with serving suggestions for an optimum taste experience. 

Our reviewers analyze:

  • Taste
  • Aroma
  • Color
  • Viscosity
  • Whether wines recommended based on a taste profile or questionnaire were a good fit
  • Serving suggestions
  • Personal suggestions to improve the drinking experience e.g., letting a certain wine breathe for longer

4. Shipping and Delivery

At the very least – our shipment should arrive within a week of your first order. Delivery should be available to the majority of US states (that legally allow for alcohol deliveries) and arrive on time.

At best – The above, and a customizable delivery schedule to suit personal consumption. The ability to choose a specific day for delivery and receive detailed tracking information from dispatch to arrival. Plus, the option to deliver to a commercial address (e.g., an office) to ensure an adult is able to sign for the delivery where required.

Our reviewers analyze:

  • Geographical availability
  • Delivery dates and times available (including geographical variations)
  • Shipping carriers used (including geographical variations)
  • Tracking processes
  • Ability to leave delivery instructions
  • Ability to deliver to a commercial address
  • Any restrictions to receiving an order (for example, needing an adult’s signature)
  • Local pick-up points and collection locations
  • The ease of amending or rescheduling a delivery
  • Delivery punctuality
  • How flexible the delivery schedule is
  • What happens if a bottle is broken in transit

5. Subscription

At the very least – Ordering should be simple with a range of payment methods. Managing subscriptions should be easy with free cancellation.

At best – It should be easy to order from a phone or computer. You can amend and cancel your subscription online, without speaking to a customer service representative. It’s easy to amend, skip, or cancel individual orders. Gift subscriptions are available.

Our reviewers analyze:

  • Ease of the sign-up process
  • Which details are required to subscribe
  • Any questionnaires that create a taste profile
  • Whether there is a free or discounted trial
  • What is hidden behind the “paywall”
  • Which payment methods are available
  • How easy it is to apply discounts
  • At what stage during sign-up you can check delivery locations
  • At what stage you can select wine
  • How easy it is to modify an order
  • How easy it is to cancel after a trial
  • How easy it is to cancel an order
  • How easy it is to cancel your first order
  • The cut-off date by which any changes must be made
  • Gift subscriptions and vouchers

6. Customer Support

At the very least – The site should have an FAQ library and prompt email support.

At best – All of the above, as well as a phone number, 24/7 live chat, and text support where you can speak to a knowledgeable person who answers questions quickly and efficiently.

We test each company’s customer support by sending a variety of questions across multiple channels and noting the helpfulness and timeliness of responses. 

Our reviewers analyze:

  • The email ticket system, sending queries and timing the response
  • The helpfulness and tone of replies
  • The phone system and how easy it is to speak to an operator
  • Time zones and operating hours of phone lines
  • The efficiency of chatbots in answering simple and complex queries
  • How to get past automatic replies and speak to a representative through live chat
  • The level of detail in the FAQ section, and the searchability
  • Online resources like how-to blogs and video tutorials
  • The ability to feedback or rate wines from previous orders
  • The ability to amend your taste profile based on previous orders
  • Moneyback guarantees
  • Refund and cancelation policies

7. Pricing

At the very least – Pricing should be transparent. Prices of shipping and add-ons should also be listed.

At best – The service should offer value-for-money, with free or affordable shipping, and discounts for new customers.

Our reviewers determine the value of each service by looking at the quality of the ingredients and type of service, and compare prices to similar, alternative services to see if the price falls above or below the market average.

This helps us determine what is good value for money and what is overpriced. 

Our reviewers analyze:

  • The lowest price-per-bottle
  • The lowest price-per-serving with available discounts
  • Average weekly orders for different plan sizes 
  • Flexibility of deliveries (one-off, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc)
  • Shipping costs tested for different size orders
  • Shipping costs tested for various locations
  • Additional costs for customizations, upgrades, or extras
  • Additional taxes
  • Money-back guarantees and refund policies
  • Current discounts
We bring you the facts about the top meal delivery services today based on your diet, city, and lifestyle. From ordering meals, to canceling subscriptions, we’ve got you covered.
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