Naked Wines Review | Unboxing & Taste Test | 2023

Are you looking for a wine club that caters to wine experts? If so, the Naked Wines wine club might be for you.

Naked Wines is a subscription service where members’ fees directly support local wineries and winemakers. In turn, these “investors”, who in this case are customers, receive discounted bottles and handpicked wines from independent winemakers around the world. 

As someone who’s supported local wineries in the past and has extensive experience with drinking wine, I wanted to give the subscription a shot. 

In this review, I’ll go over how Naked Wines works, and show you what becoming a member is like. I’ll also review a few of the different wines you can get with the club, to see how they compare to other wine subscriptions. 

Naked Wines Overview

NameNaked Wines
How it WorksA $40 monthly deposit to your Naked Wines account to purchase premium, independent wines at low prices
Minimum OrdersOne bottle (six in the first month)
Rating4.5 (out of 5)
PriceCheck on Naked Wines


How Naked Wines works

Shipment of wines from Naked Wines.

Naked Wines Wine Club was founded in 2008 as a way to bring crowdfunding to the wine industry. Although originally formed in the UK, the majority of the club’s members today are in the US. The club also sources wines from all over the world. 

Let’s take a closer look at how Naked Wines works. 


Naked Wines’ memberships don’t work the way most clubs do. 

With this service, all you have to do is sign up on the website. When you do, you’ll commit to paying a flat monthly fee into your deposit account. 

Naked Wines then uses this money to source wine and invest in unique independent winemakers you won’t usually see in local liquor shops. These customers’ accounts are called angel memberships, and when you enroll, you’re considered an “angel investor” on the site.

In traditional investing, angel investors are high-net-worth individuals who invest in business ventures in exchange for a percentage of the company. With Naked Wines, you don’t get any percentage of the wineries you invest in, but you do get discounts on anything you purchase on the site.

First month

Although Naked Wines uses your monthly membership deposit to source wines, the money also goes into your own sort of piggy bank. However, the first month is special. When you first sign up as a member on the site, you’ll receive a case of wines rather than being able to put together a wine order as if you were grocery shopping. The standard initial shipment is six bottles, although if you sign up with their introductory offer, they’ll double that and send you a case of twelve at a discount. 

Subsequent months

After the first month, things start to look a little different. Although the club will send you a free bottle each month, it’ll be up to you to place wine orders. Just note that even if you don’t place an order in a given month, you’ll still be billed your membership fee, which can be put towards future purchases. You’ll also still get your complimentary bottle of wine.

Your membership fee goes toward the cost of your wines, and you accumulate money month after month. If you like, you can save up several months’ worth of fees to buy one large case at once, or make smaller orders on a more regular basis. 

Regardless of which route you go, if you order more than $200 of wine, you’ll also get free shipping, which can be an incentive to wait until you’re ready to buy an entire case.

Other perks

Besides the complimentary monthly bottle and free shipping, being a member gives you a couple of perks. One of these is that you get 40 to 60 percent off original wine retail prices on the Naked Wines site. 

Additionally, all bottles have a satisfaction guarantee, so if you don’t like a wine, you can send it back and get a refund for any money spent. 

Also, customers can leave reviews or feedback on the bottles they received on the Naked Wines website. This helps you find bottles you’re more likely to enjoy.

Naked Wines memberships are also quite flexible. You can cancel or pause your monthly deposit anytime you wish without penalties. The club will also refund any additional funds left in your account when you cancel. 

Overall, the Naked Wines membership system can take a bit to wrap your head around. Instead of just getting a membership that chooses the wine and sends it to you, you’ll be in charge of using your monthly fees to save up for and buy various wines. So, if you’re after regular monthly shipments, you’re probably better off going with a club like Winc

On the other hand, if your goal is to get access to uncommon wines at good prices, Naked Wines is a good pick. As a result, it’s generally more geared toward wine connoisseurs than beginners.

Placing orders

It’s important to note that the first order you place, if you take advantage of the introductory offer, won’t let you choose your wines. However, there is a short quiz that lets the sommeliers at Naked Wines choose blends that they think you’ll like. 

Once it comes time for your second shipment, however, you’ll have a bit more liberty to play around with the wines you add to your order. 

After creating your account and placing your first introductory order, you can make a regular wine order. You can actually place orders even if you don’t have a membership, but you won’t get the discount that members receive. 

All bottles state the retail price and the member price, and after looking at the two for a bit, you might start to realize just what a good deal the membership is. 

The site feels like a standard retail store, with different pages you can browse to choose your wine. There are two categories to choose from when ordering: single wine or cases. 

You can also filter out choices by the toolbar on the left. There, you’ll be able to browse wine based on region, grape varietal, flavor profile, price, type of wine (red, white, sparkling, dessert, etc), and special filters, such as:

  • Critically acclaimed
  • Fine and vintage wines
  • Best rated by members

From there, simply add the wines you like to your cart. Once you’ve made your selections, you can click on the shopping cart icon and check out. 

Sourcing wines

If there’s one thing that’s unique about Naked Wines, aside from their piggy-bank membership system, it’s the wine selections. This wine club is one of the few that works with independent winemakers from around the world, not just in the US.

Naked Wines offers bottle selections from California, France, Italy, South Africa, Argentina, and more. All the bottles on the site are handpicked by the experts at Naked Wines. Typically, they’ll include the name of the winemaker or wine professional who selected a wine in the bottle’s description. 

This can be a bit confusing for beginners or if you’re new to the site. At first, the winemaker or sommelier’s name can seem like it’s the vineyard name. However, as opposed to the brand, it’s actually the person who picked the blend. 

Despite this slightly confusing system, however, it ends up being a nice touch. If you get to know which winemakers’ or sommeliers’ preferences you jive with best, you can start choosing bottles exclusively sourced by these individuals.

Naked Wines also doesn’t limit itself to a single grape variety or style of wine. As a result, they source everything from fortified wines to organic wines and more. Currently, they source from 76 different winemaking regions and have 59 different grape varietals on offer. 

Delivery experience

Naked Wines wine overview and gift card.

Unlike most wine clubs, Naked Wines doesn’t follow a set delivery schedule. Instead, you can order wine whenever you feel ready for a new case. This is great because regardless of how much wine you get through, you have a lot of flexibility. 

So, if you drink a lot of wine, you can order each month. On the other hand, if you tend to take a while to get through bottles, you can order as infrequently as once a year. 

In terms of delivery, Naked Wines allows direct shipment to your residence, or you can also pick up your orders from various locations through UPS and FedEx. They have both domestic and international shipping, although US-based customers can get free shipping if they order more than $200 worth of wine at a time. 

Naked Wines claims their wines arrive in four to seven working days – mine arrived on the shorter end of that spectrum, in just five days.

One thing to remember is that if you’re not ready to collect the shipment at home, someone aged 21 or above has to be available to sign and receive the package. My wines were delivered on a Saturday, so this wasn’t an issue. 

Actually, the only day of the week that Naked Wines doesn’t deliver is Sunday. However, the Saturday option is convenient if you aren’t home to sign for the package during the week. 

My delivery included a summary of all the wines included and a coupon code for a meal kit delivery. It didn’t include tasting notes or any free gifts, however, so it was a reasonably bare-bones order.

Naked Wines reviews

Shipment of wines from Naked Wines.

Now that we’ve gone over how Naked Wines works, let’s get into what their wine is actually like. When you order your introductory offer with Naked Wines you don’t get to choose what’s in the box. However, you do get to select whether you get all reds, whites, or a mix, which is what I chose.

I received twelve bottles with my shipment, and here are my thoughts on each of them.

The Cellar Cru, 2020 American Red

The Cellar Cru wine bottle.

The Cellar Cru is a red-blended wine sourced from Sonoma Valley. It combines Dolcetto, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, and Merlot grapes.

This Californian red blend has a bold and rich taste, so I think it’s ideal for more experienced wine drinkers. You might find this wine a bit intense and bitter if you’re a beginner. 

The Cellar Cru also has an acidic taste because of the additional fruity notes from blueberry, raspberry, and plum. It’s tannic and smooth and goes well with a good steak, lamb, or chicken. 

David Akiyoshi, 2021 Lodi Chardonnay

Akiyoshi wine bottle.

David Akiyoshi is a winemaker known for his California Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 and Lodi Chardonnay 2018. These wine selections are sourced from Yolo County, California. 

This 2021 Lodi Chardonnay is bold and dry and has notes of citrus, tree fruit, and oak. It also has a lemon aftertaste. The 2021 Lodi Chardonnay pairs best with pasta, chicken, fish, and vegetarian dishes. 

Miriam, 2021 California Chenin Blanc

Miriam wine bottle.

The 2021 California Chenin Blanc is a little on the lighter side. Among the wines I received in my first shipment, this had one of the lightest tastes. It’s smooth and combines sweet and acidic notes from apples, pears, peaches, lemons, and pineapple. 

There are also tropical undertones in this wine. The 2021 California Chenin Blanc pairs best with cheese and seafood.

Karen Birmingham, 2021 Clarksburg Pinot Grigio

Karen Birmingham wine bottle.

This 2021 Clarksburg Pinot Grigio is bright and smooth and has lemon and lime flavors.  This wine is made by Karen Birmingham and comes from California.

Clarksburg Pinot Grigio also balances acidic and sweet notes, as well as its rich and bold taste. The wine goes well with spicy dishes or cured meat.

F. Stephen Millier, 2021 Black Label Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

F Miller Lodi wine bottle.

Stephen Miller is one of the few independent winemakers who became famous because of Naked Wines. He’s renowned for the Late Harvest Zinfandel, Mokelumne River’s Pinot Noir, and the Black Label Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel. 

This famous Black Label Lodi’s flavor is a combination of red plums, blueberries, and blackberries. There are subtle spices in it, which complement the fruity notes. 

With Zinfandel as the main grape variant, the Californian red wine has a bold and dry taste. It pairs best with beef, chicken, or lamb.

Tom Shula, 2021 California Red

California Red wine bottle.

The 2021 California Red by Tom Shula has a pretty unique taste. It’s rich and bold with a subtle chocolatey hint at the end. Made with Syrah as the main grape, this red blend also combines rich Cabernet, Tannat, and Merlot. 

Tom Shula’s California Red also tastes acidic because of the red fruit notes from cherries and raspberries. There are also black fruit notes such as blackberry and plum. This red wine pairs well with meat and poultry dishes. 

Stephen Miller Angels Reserve Pinot Grigio

Old Vine Zinfandel wine bottle.

Stephen Miller has had more than 36 harvests. He’s famous for his Late Harvest Zinfandel and Pinot Noir. One of his latest releases is Angel’s Reserve. 

It should be noted that this is the same Stephen Miller who made the Black Label Lodi Old Zinfandel. 

This Angel’s Reserve is light and tastes of ripe fruit. There are also floral notes, and the blend has a crisp finish. The wine tastes best with chicken, sourdough bread, and shellfish.

Matt Parish, 2021 Rosé

Matt Parish wine bottle.

This was the only bottle of rosé in the order, and is one of the few times I’ve received a rosé with a wine club subscription at all. The 2021 Rosé by Matt Parish has the most potent aroma of all the bottles I received, with a distinctive scent of blackberry oak and various species. 

The wine is juicy and has citrus notes and bold, sweet flavors of raspberry and plum. There are also hints of watermelon, strawberry, and grapefruit. 

The 2021 Rosé by Matt Parish is a light drink to pair with quick snacks, fruity desserts, seafood, and spicy dishes. 

Ashleigh Holland Washington, 2021 Almeisan

Almeisan wine bottle.

The 2021 Almeisan by Ashleigh Holland Washington combines Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, and hints of Muscat. From its aroma, you can immediately predict it’s fresh, with floral and sweet notes. 

The Almeisan combines various fruit variants, including honeysuckle and the golden apple. It also has cherry and green tea sorbet flavors, which balance out the wine’s acidity. 

This wine pairs well with herbs, roasted chicken, and scallops.

David Akiyoshi, 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Canermet Reserve wine bottle.

Another selection by David Akiyoshi is the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. This special wine selection has a bold and dry taste.

The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve combines oaky, black fruit, and earthy notes. It has a more mature taste compared to the other selections I tried. This is a good wine to pair with meat and poultry.

Karen Birmingham, 2020 Lodi Malbec Reserve

Birmingham Malbec Reserve wine bottle.

The 2020 Lodi Malbec Reserve has rich and dark flavors because of the combination of French oak and ripe plum. It has a velvety texture, making it smooth to drink. However, this red wine can be intense if you’re a beginner. 

The 2020 Lodi Malbec Reserve also has subtle chocolate and vanilla notes. These are well-balanced, so they help make the drinking experience less overpowering. Karen Birmingham’s Lodi Malbec Reserve is best paired with poultry and red meat. 

Sin Fronteras, 2020 El Mechon

Sin Fronteras wine bottle.

The vintage 2020 El Mechon by Sin Fronteras is a red blend made from a combination of Tempranillo and Cabernet grapes. This selection has deep and dark cherry flavors that are bold and intense. 

Despite the intensity of the blend, the drink has a velvety texture, and unlike most red wines, you won’t immediately feel the heat upon swallowing. One thing to note, however, is that this wine’s taste is more acidic than sweet because of the black fruit notes. 

The 2020 El Mechon pairs well with meat and poultry dishes. 

Naked Wines vs. other wine clubs

Naked Wines is quite different from other clubs.

Members pay a flat fee each month as opposed to having various membership tiers. The money they pay each month goes into a personal piggy bank which they can then draw from any time they want to place an order. Members then choose when and if they want to order wine. 

In contrast, other wine clubs like Firstleaf are subscription-based. This means that members pay based on how many wines they want to get and how frequently they want to get them. They’re not in control of the shipments in the same way they are with Naked Wines.

Additionally, Naked Wines has a huge variety of wines for you to choose from. Many clubs end up forcing you to repeat bottles due to limited selections. With Naked Wines, however, it’s hard to run out of new wines, so you’re constantly trying something different.

What also sets Naked Wines apart is how it works with independent and startup winemakers. Although there are other subscriptions that try to support independent winemakers, Naked Wines focuses exclusively on this type of winery. Because of these partnerships, they can also get discounts for their angel investors.

Naked Wines also stands out from other clubs because it allows anyone to purchase wine on the site, not just members. In contrast, many wine club memberships require you to sign up in order to place any kind of order. The big benefit of being a member is you get a significant discount.

Finally, Naked Wines has an introductory quiz, as Winc and Firstleaf do, but it’s pretty basic. It doesn’t go as in-depth, and is really only used for your initial wine offer selections. After that, it’s up to you to choose your own bottles. 

One slight downside to Naked Wines compared to other clubs: they don’t ship to quite as many states. There are a few states that permit wine shipments to their residents, but Naked Wines doesn’t deliver to at the moment.

Final thoughts: is Naked Wines a good club for you?

Offers a 40-60% discount on any bottles purchased for membersThe wine subscription can be confusing at first
Sources from unique and independent winemakersNot geared toward beginners
Flexible shipping and delivery optionsOnly ships to 43 states and DC
Has a wine-rating system, so you can get better selections each time

Naked Wines is a crowdsourced wine club that connects with independent winemakers, allowing them to source some of the best-tasting wines available and sell them at reasonable prices. As a member, you are free to choose the bottles you want and when you want them delivered. 

Although there is a lot of variety in terms of the types of bottles you can choose, the subscription can be pretty confusing to understand at first. On top of that, you may have to save up your monthly dues for a while in order to cover the cost of an entire case of wine. 

So, is Naked Wines for you? If you’re a seasoned wine drinker and are looking for hard-to-find and premium bottles, this is a good pick. 

Overall, I would give Naked Wines a 4.5 out of 5. Although there are tons of wines and lots of unique varietals, the whole service can be a bit confusing. Still, it’s a great option for giving back to the winemaking community, and trying blends you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.

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