Spending an hour in a bottle shop sweating from choice anxiety only to walk away with something familiar – and safe – is more common than it has to be. Not only does it narrow the scope for wine drinkers who pride themselves on their taste in tipples, but it’s a disservice to the prodigious amount of local and international wineries working tirelessly to constantly bolster their respective ranges. A good wine subscription service would solve that issue.
Just like streaming services – such as Netflix and Disney+ – dig into your pocket on a set schedule, numerous services in Australia thrive on subscription-based alcohol. It’s possibly the best way to really tap into (and test) the expert knowledge, and resourcefulness, behind the country’s best restaurants, bars, bottle shops, and wine selectors, bringing you a bounty of unique wines and fan favourite wines to enjoy on the reg.
And just like those streaming services, it’s all about deciding who you trust to handle your taste buds and introduce you to new and interesting content. Below we’ve listed the country’s best, who either specialise in a specific category of wine or just go hard on all varieties and put together boxes of mixed wines for you to get across. Plus, we’ve included a few other wine clubs which aren’t necessarily based on subscription but deliver tightly curated wine boxes without the ongoing commitment.
If you’re a particularly insatiable wine drinker, having a subscription to one of the following is a no-brainer.
East End Cellars
As one of Australia’s most respected wine shops, Adelaide’s East End Cellars boasts what is perhaps the best wine subscription service available in Australia. Dubbed The Quarterly Club, this tightly curated trove of handpicked wines aims to “seriously over-deliver on value” and focus on local and imported wines. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to get your hands on some Ochoto Barrels wines from the late, great Taras Ochota.
Each box contains twelve wines, with a mixture of reds and whites, plus a few rare varieties some wouldn’t have even heard of before, accompanied by tasting notes and suggested food pairings. The team at East End Cellars are highly regarded for their unmatched knowledge of all things wine, so your taste buds are in very good hands, with each wine delivery box sporting a value tag well over $280.
Cost: $240 per quarter
Naked Wines is now one of the best-established wine clubs in Australia, growing steadily over the past decade to showcase the best of the best across Australian and New Zealand winemakers.
Committed to funding independent winemakers, the service has become an integral part of the wine industry, and those kinds of connections are obviously going to mean better wine for you. They offer next-day delivery, although it’s not really a subscription model they use.
Instead of the usual box selected for the wine connoisseur, you have an account that your can deposit $40 into each month – this makes you an ‘Angel.’ That money is used to pay indie winemakers upfront to produce wines exclusively for Naked Wines. It’s also credited to your account, which you can use to buy Naked Wines online. ‘Angels’ also receive free delivery (only in Melbourne and Sydney).
Is it worth becoming an ‘Angel?’ If you like what Naked Wines’ online store is offering, then definitely. Single bottles for ‘Angels’ work out to around $8.99 each, which is substantially lower than the wine you’d find at your local store.
Cost: From $8.99 per bottle
The Weekly Drop
As the name implies, The Weekly Drop is one of the more frequent wine clubs for those who can barrel through their bottles in no time. Oenophiles can opt for a weekly subscription, but there are also fortnightly and monthly options, with the top-tier choice featuring a box of six bottles – 3 “Weekly Drops” at once – for $50/month.
The boxes are curated by Josh Renshaw, who used to serve as the sommelier at Sydney’s widely acclaimed The Bridge Room before it closed its doors in 2019. He’s committed to The Weekly Drop having an impact beyond just delivering you top-notch wines; for every box of wine bottles sold, a tree will be planted.
Cost: From $45 per week
The Borough Box
Unlike all the other wine club listings you’ll find here, The Borough Box’s scope for regular delivery is confined to Sydney and Melbourne. Those that pass the geographical test get access to top-notch natural wines hand picked by Lo-Fi Wines’ highly experienced directors and wine selectors, James Audas (who used to command the wine menu at Rene Redzepi’s iconic Noma) and Love, Tilly Devine’s Tom Sheer.
It’s one of the youngest subscription services on this list too, launched only within the past few years with a dedication to sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines sourced from all corners of the globe. There’s a particular love of small-batch producers here, so members forking out $180/month can typically expect minimal-interventions drops from wineries many haven’t even heard of. Each box contains 6 wines in total, consisting of 1 or 2 whites, 1 skin contact, a couple of reds, 1 rose, and sometimes even some sparkling wine.
Cost: $180 per month
Grown from a tiny garage in Adelaide circa 2011, Vinomofo boasts over half a million members around the globe, all drawn to the extensive selection of wines and flexible subscription options. There are 2 choices for those who want to sign up, the $139 “Black Market” or the $179 “Mofo Club”, with either monthly, bi-monthly or tri-monthly frequency.
Each wine box delivered includes twelve wines, with the scope depending on which wine subscriptions package you’ve picked. The Black Market has a heavy bias towards reds like Pinot Noir and Shiraz, while the Mofo is a mix of white and red wines; both come with various tasting notes.
Cost: From $139 per month
Wine Journey is the newest wine club in Australia, and easily one of the most exciting. Although, much like Naked Wines, it doesn’t run on a subscription model. Instead, you’re purchasing expertly curated wine packs that are themed around adventure, designed to visit different wine regions around the world and showcase the latest and greatest drops.
For example, they’ve got a Tour of Tuscany box going for $229, connecting with talented producers from the iconic region and collating 6 restaurant-quality Tuscan wines that best showcase such a massive history. These aren’t your standards either, with drops like the Frescobaldi Tenuta Perano Chianti Classico 2018, and the Bissoni Girapoggio Sangiovese di Romagna 2017.
Other ‘Journeys’ include the Rhine River White Wine Cruise, Barossa Shiraz & Beyond, Victorian Chardonnay, and a few others that should be coming soon. There’s also smaller, three-bottle ‘Taste of’ packs showcasing other destinations like South Africa, Lebanon, Rioja, and Greece. As such, if you really want to taste your way around the world and get a true taste of different terroirs, this one’s a smart choice.
Good Booze Project
The Good Booze Project doesn’t mess around when it comes to sourcing the world’s best natural wines. An initiative from Melbourne bar and bottle shop Mr West, the service has plenty of flexibility for subscribers, who can opt for boxes of 3 bottles, 6 wines, or a dozen wines delivered monthly, leaning heavily towards minimal intervention drops.
Whatever the choice, the package arrives temperature-controlled each month so members can enjoy their curated fine wines fresh from the box.
Cost: From $45 per month
P&V Merchants may be fairly new on the scene, but the shop has already been welcomed into the inner circle as a Sydney local liquor store with some serious style. The scope here is wide, although the heart of this trendy, inner-west spot is constantly searching for top drops across natural and sustainable wine, specifically with organic and biodynamic farming localised to Australia’s greatest wine regions.
Though you could pop in and just as easily journey through the wide-ranging world of sake, or pick from a colourful range of spirit bottles, your monthly subscription options are focused solely on wine. It’s a flat $150 per month for either a red, white or mixed box, delivered on the first Friday of every month and sporting 6 bottles of handpicked important and Australian wine. It’s one of the best natural wine subscriptions out there right now.
Cost: $150 per month
The Bottle Shop
Anyone who has dined at one of Merivale’s higher end restaurants should already know: the juggernaut hospitality group knows the ins and outs of sourcing good wine. In 2019, Merivale’s dedicated wine shop moved online and started servicing wider Australia, leveraging a team led by accredited “Master Sommeliers” Franck Moreau and Adrian Fuliuta to put together regularly rotating, targeted collections designed to showcase the full breadth of old and new world wines.
The Bottle Shop has three subscription options for different budgets, ranging from a monthly three-pack for $80 per month, to the $250 per month “Grand Seduce” pack, stacked with 12 bottles from the world’s greatest wine producing regions. For the undecided, the boxes are also available each month for a one-time purchase, with all the chosen wines listed on the website.
Cost: From $80 per month
Different Drop perhaps the easiest going of all wine subscription services, taking pride in the ability for customers to dictate their own schedule, and skip or cancel at any time. The team here just simply scour the globe for their favourites and pack them into a regularly rotating box of 6 bottles.
You can choose to have a uniformly red box, or opt for a mix, with either focused on keeping your house stocked with interesting wines, with a particular preference for ones with a unique story. In terms of price, you’re looking at $175 every 1, 2, 3 or 6 months.
Cost: $175 per chosen schedule
Qantas Wine Club
Few bodies have the kind of reach Qantas does when it comes to wine. The airline is well-known, particularly amongst business class travellers, for serving the best drops in the air and in their lounges. If you don’t want to wait until your next long-haul, jump on one of the Qantas Wine Club’s subscription offers – there’s 4 to pick from, with each delivered every 3 months.
You can choose to part with some points or commit to a monthly fee for each option, which ranges from $162 (or 28,188 points) per 3 months for a box of 12 – all red, all white, or mixed – to the top-tier $300 (or 52,200 points) 12-pack, which nets you 10,000 bonus points with each delivery and comes with a set value tag of $400.
Cost: From $162 (or 28,188 QFF points) per 3 months
Good Pair Days
Good Pair Day is a fairly new start-up that is laser-focused on individual tastes. Just hop on their website to get an idea of the level of customisation they put into each of their wine boxes, asking you a series of questions about your personal tastes before the team of experts picks accordingly. If it seems a bit too much like the Spotify algorithm of wine, knowing a sommelier like Harris Plane (ex-Attica) is part of the team should help quell any concerns.
The no-lock in subscription allows you to update your personal tastes at any time, keeping those regular wine drops changing along with your taste buds. Each bottle delivered is accompanied by tasting notes, pairing suggestions and custom-made recipes to fully illustrate each wine.
The Local Drop
Powered by Melbourne-based wine specialist Jagdev Singh, The Local Drop is a service dedicated to blending the convenience of an online wine club with the silver-level service of a high-end restaurant and the personability of a neighbourhood cafe.
Each month, Jag and his team take a wide-ranging, exploratory approach to wine discovery, packing a $175 box with six great bottles of red, white of mixed varieties. Unlike other subscription services, this also comes with your own “Personal Sommelier” who will call ahead and get to know your palate in order to individualise each box, and take requests for the next one. The team here has a good grasp on the premium market, so consider this a luxury option for lovers of fine wines.
Cost: $175 per month
Wine Subscription In Australia – Frequently Asked Questions
Is a wine subscription worth it?
That obviously depends on how much you love your wine, and how often you drink it. A regular wine subscription can easily save you money by beating bottle shop prices and packaging together curated drops from around the world. You’ll also get other benefits factored into the cost, including expert knowledge, and sourcing of hard-to-find wines that may be out of reach for your local bottle shop.
What is the best wine subscription service in Australia?
The best will depend on your personal tastes, but the most popular include Naked Wines (despite not being a proper subscription service), Different Drop, and Vinomofo. It’s also hard to beat the knowledge behind Adelaide’s famous East End Cellars, and newcomer Wine Journey has an incredible concept worth checking out.
How many Frequent Flyer Points does Qantas Wine Club cost?
If you’re going to be using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points to sign up for regular Qantas Wine Club deliveries, then expect to sacrifice around 28,188 QF Points every 3 months.