You know what we love? We love a good surprise. We’re not talking, in this instance, about The Surprise pub (though we do love that, too); we’re talking about that feeling of opening your front door, and finding a rather exciting looking package on the doorstep. Is there any better way to brighten up a rainy, drizzly morning than with the arrival of a delivery box, package or crate — packed to the brim with scintillating, delectable delights?
Picture the scene: it’s a wet weekend, and you and your housemates are wondering what on earth you’re going to do this Saturday night. Then, imagine a delivery box with myriad bottles of the finest wine arriving at your front door. “Thank goodness we signed up for that wine subscription!,” you’ll cry. Not that we’re advocating drinking all those bottles on one Saturday night, but you get the idea; a wine subscription has the power to brighten up your day, and many of the days that follow as you work your way through your case.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, where the benefits of wine subscriptions are concerned; so we’ve curated a selection of the most corking subscriptions you can buy. Have your wine glasses and corkscrews at the ready: and bottoms up!
For hearty wine enthusiasts: Hedonism Wines
We have no doubt you’re more than familiar with the Mayfair-based Hedonism Wines; but you may not be as familiar with Case Study by Hedonism. It’s the brand’s first foray into the subscriptions world — and true to Hedonism form, it’s designed with an audience of true Hedonists in mind with a focus on unusual grape varieties from undiscovered regions. Hedonists have the option of signing up for three, six or twelve months (it’s a monthly subscription), with two price points to choose from.
The ‘Masterclass’ option (£200) includes picks from Hedonism’s vast Sub £30 category, which includes 800 different lines. The ‘Thesis’ option (£700) includes some of the most iconic, exclusive wines in the portfolio, together with tasting notes in a bespoke Hedonism binder (Hedonism really knows how to spoil its oenophiles) and introductory gift from champagne to glassware. Plus, you’ll be guided on your personal journey (and it really is a journey) with Hedonism’s in-house team of experts. What more could a wine enthusiast want?
Case Study by Hedonism (£200 — £700)
For inquisitive wine drinkers: The Sourcing Table
This is a subscription for anyone who wants to dive headfirst into the world of the very newest wines, and who wishes to hear up-to-the-minute news on what some of the world’s most exciting new winemakers have in store. In fact, the wines are so unique that — due to the scarcity of wines featured in each case — membership is strictly limited, so there’s an active waiting list. But this is a waiting list you’ll want to join: trust us.
If you manage to make it past the waiting list and into the database, you’ll receive a quarterly delivery of either six or twelve bottles — plus myriad membership benefits, including access to live Q&As with winemakers; behind the scenes information on new wines; and priority access to limited wines and tastings. The current edition is titled “A Sense Of Place”, and comprises six bottles (three white, three red), put together by award-winning sommelier Rajat Parr.
The Sourcing Table (£120 — £240)
For oenophiles with a penchant for port: Port.Club by Churchill’s
Churchill’s — the family-owned boutique port and Douro wine company — have set up a digital club for anyone with a port penchant or, equally, a port curiosity. Members will receive quarterly three-bottle Port Packs (with a choice of either annual or quarterly memberships) from the brand’s award-winning port portfolio (try saying that really fast…); and what a portfolio it is. Churchill’s fuses a drier style of port with minimal intervention viticulture and winemaking; and all their ports are foot-crushed, using purely Grade-A grapes and natural yeast for maximum fermentation.
A single Port Pack yields one everyday port, one special occasion port and one unique Club Port: together with explanatory materials and an invitation to a virtual tasting with Churchill’s founder and head winemaker, Johnny Graham. Plus, members will receive VIP access to Churchill’s four-bedroom Vineyard House in the Douro Valley and bespoke programs at the Churchill’s lodge in Porto. This is a starry (or should that be starboard?) subscription that offers a lot more than just port.
Port.Club by Churchill's (£70 — £240)
For seasoned wine experts: 67 Pall Mall
You’d be right in thinking that 67 Pall Mall is a private members’ club — and one for wine lovers and experts, too, with over 5,000 wines representing 42 countries within its walls, not to mention a 17-strong sommelier team. But never fear: they recently launched a Virtual Membership, so this is a club worth joining if you’re a dedicated wine lover at heart.
For just £10 per month, Virtual Members will be privy to regular communication from the club, with details of upcoming wine tastings and the benefits of a wealth of knowledge via the video masterclasses. The wine is sent directly to members, to be enjoyed in real time during each masterclass; and each wine delivery comes with storage and serving guidance, together with a tasting mat and thermometer, so you can ensure those wines are sampled at their very best.
67 Pall Mall (£10 per month)
For those who like to keep things natural: Provisions
We love nature. Who doesn’t love nature? Certainly nobody loves nature more than Provisions: their ‘learn while you drink’ wine subscription is a natural wine experience from this London-based importer. The team works with small, independent winemakers; more particularly, those who eschew chemicals in the vineyard, and maintain a ‘hands off’ approach in the cellar.
Their wines, therefore, are bursting with character. They tangibly express their respective terroirs, evoking the soil and climate of the vineyard where their grapes were grown. The monthly subscription wine cases each tell a story, and link members directly to the earth and all that’s natural. Sign up for three, six or twelve months, with the option for a monthly subscription or a one-time purchase — and make the most of the tasting sheets, which help you to learn while you taste.
To be taken on a wine journey: Corney & Barrow
We assume you’re familiar with the Odyssey? Possibly the most famous journey of all time, fraught with one-eyed giants and the like? Well, so are Corney & Barrow: and their Wine Odyssey subscription will take you on an oenophile journey of a lifetime. Cases arrive every other month, filled to bursting with tasting notes, recipes, educational videos and more — and there are two subscription options to choose from.
The Adventurer Case (£160 per case) is for those just taking their first tentative steps into their wine journey, and offers a fresh case of 12 bottles every other month, with two bottles of six separate wines. Carefully curated by the Corney & Barrow team, each case will reflect the season — even our ever-changing British weather — and will feature some ideal food pairings. The Explorer Case (£240 per case), meanwhile, is for those who have been journeying amid the wine-oriented intrepids. This case arrives every month, with a unique collection of wines with varying origins and styles.
Go on: channel your inner Odysseus. We know he’s in there somewhere.
Corney & Barrow: Odyssey (£80 — £120)