I have to admit: I wasn’t always a wine lover. But ~adulting~ and Winc Wine Club changed that. As I got older, I quickly found myself opting for red wine (cabernet sauvignon, specifically) over cocktails, as well as stocking up on wine bottles for my apartment. And, while I have a “no drinking during the week” rule, I absolutely bent that during quarantine (like most people). But part of it stemmed from becoming more and more of a wine snob, too. Back in the day, if wine tasted good, then it tasted good—and that was that. I had never before noted aromas and flavor hints, but my newfound curiosity during quar led me to explore the more intricate details.
With my new hobby, I was buying more wine than usual, and the added expense began to pile up. I had heard of wine subscriptions and wine clubs before but never found the need to sign up—not until I met Winc Wine Club, at least. And before I dive in, let me just say that I now understand the hype surrounding wine subscription services. I get it.
The site features a quiz that can help narrow down options once you plug in your answers—red or white, your fave foods—but also allows you to browse wines by region, body, and preferences like organic and low-sugar. For your first box, you can choose four wines for $30. Then, for each month after that, you can select wines from Winc’s recs or your own picks with a $60 credit. There are no limits as to how many bottles you can purchase (although you pay the difference once you’re over the credit) and Winc boxes are designed for buying four, six, or 12 bottles at a time. Plus, shipping is free on any purchase of four or more bottles—just saying.
I’m a big fan of wines on the drier, not-so-sweet side. (If a wine is too sweet, there’s a high chance that I wake up with a headache the next day—even after just one glass.) So ultimately, I went with some of my favorite varietals along with other newbies recommended by Winc. As soon as I received my box of wine, I immediately zeroed in on the 2020 Sister Snake cabernet sauvignon for my first taste test. I was intrigued by the serpent artwork and the fact that it was from South Africa. I’ve only really tried wine from California, Chile, France, and Argentina, so I was excited to sip on something new.
On my first glass, all I could think was, Wow. This cabernet packs a punch, and the level of dryness was just to my liking. As for the actual taste, it’s peppery with hints of dark and red fruits and goes down very smoothly. The details note that the wine has tasting notes of blackcurrant, cherry, clove, and black pepper, which explains the kick. In fact, it almost resembles licorice, which I love to munch on whenever I crave candy. The fruit overpowers everything else, but there are faint notes of earthiness and woodsy flavors within, too.
Heads up, though: I’m not a lightweight, but if you are, it’s worth noting that this wine has a relatively high alcohol content of 14.7% (!) so please drink responsibly. Winc recommends pairing Sister Snake with burgers, beef, barbecue, and chocolate cake, although it’s excellent on its own. I had mine with some truffle-flavored popcorn and the combo was *chef’s kiss*.
And if you’re concerned about sulfur levels in your wine, this one is on the lower side. Sulfur dioxide (a.k.a. sulfites) protects wine from spoiling through oxidation, thanks to its antibacterial properties—so it’s often in there for a reason. But research shows that sulfites may be linked to headaches, which might be worth keeping in mind if that sounds familiar. (Although sulfites are considered perfectly safe for consumption). And, no surprise, you can search for low-sulfur wines on Winc if that’s your thing.
I love customization, and this tailored experience gets nothing short of an A+ in my book. If Sister Snake is any indication, my upcoming bottles will be just as crisp, delicious, and smooth.