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Winc, one of the country’s top digital wine delivery services, added a new notch to its ever-growing belt this summer. The company unveiled a brand-new offshoot collection in June: The Wonderful Wine Co. Winc’s first dedicated foray into the world of health-conscious wines is all about “clean wine for better living.” Put simply, it’s an approachable door into the natural wine scene. But The Wonderful Wine Co. is aiming at a different corner of the market: It’s got its sights on the “clean” wine category, which is likewise wide reaching and covers a lot of (wine) ground. The Wonderful Wine Co. isn’t marketing itself as a natural wine brand, but its wines do check some of the most common boxes for natural wine, which they bucket under another undefined category, clean wine:
- The grapes are organic and farmed sustainably without pesticides.
- The wines remain free of added sugar.
- And they contain low amounts of sulfites
IN THIS ARTICLE | What is natural wine? | Wonderful Wine Co. wines | How to shop for wine delivery boxes from Wonderful Wine Co. | Shop Wonderful Wine Co. wines
What is natural wine?
While more widely-accepted than clean wine, “natural wine” isn’t a regulated term or label but rather a broad term: It’s a catch-all for winemaking methods aiming to keep a wine as close as possible to its natural state, from the grape farming practices to bottling. In a nutshell, this usually correlates with the clean wine definition:
- Grapes come from small organic, biodynamic or sustainable vineyards.
- During the winemaking process, nothing is added to the wines (e.g. chemicals, yeast, or sugar)
- And nothing is removed through filtration or otherwise. Sulfites, if added at all, are kept to a minimum.
Using terms like paleo and keto, low carb, organic and vegan, The Wonderful Wine Co. is hoping to cater to wine drinkers with various dietary needs or aspirations. To figure out what you need to know about the new service before signing up, we consulted industry and wine experts.
What wines does Wonderful Wine Co. offer?
Currently, Wonderful offers three core wines: red, white and rosé.
- Malbec from Mendoza. “As a Malbec lover, I am hesitant-yet-intrigued to try [Wonderful’s Malbec] because I'm used to Argentine Malbec being sort of a 'kick in a glass,'” says Chicago-based wine journalist Chasity Cooper.
- Dry white blend from France’s Languedoc region. When it comes to the French white, Cooper finds the brand’s description to be spot-on, adding, “Whenever I drink a really good wine from France that's got a great tart, floral, mineral quality, I do envision myself absolutely running naked through a field of white flowers.”
- Wonderful’s French rosé. Wonderful’s rosé, a summer-ready offering, is a blend of Syrah and Grenache grapes featuring notes of red berries, rose petal, melon and a soft hint of cherry.
How to shop for wine delivery boxes from Wonderful Wine Co.
Wonderful’s whimsical, technicolor aesthetic gives an immediate allure to the brand. It’s a fun and playful interpretation of the natural wine scene, one that’s inherently far-out but can, at times, come across a bit stuffy to the everyday drinker. So what do Cooper and other wine experts think about Winc bridging the gap between the two worlds?
“I love the tone, the irreverence and feel,” says Chris Dukelow, founder of sustainable monthly subscription service Irreverent Wine, which reduces its carbon footprint by packaging its exclusive wines in recyclable pouches. Like Dukelow, Wonderful has paid attention to packaging as part of their eco-friendly efforts, using lightweight glass bottles that require less energy and water to produce than traditional bottles, and reduce the brand’s carbon emissions by approximately 26 percent, Wonderful claims. Additionally, the boxes used to ship Wonderful’s bottles to consumers are made from 70 percent recycled material, and are fully recyclable and 95 percent compostable.
Dukelow points out that sourcing and shipping wine internationally is, by definition, not the most sustainable practice. On the other hand, Wonderful bottles its wine post-import, which reduces emissions when compared to standard wine shipping practices. Ultimately, he thinks they’re headed in the right direction. “It’s where wine really needs to go in this changing consumer environment,” he says.
Opening new wine horizons
Former Winc members Stephanie Watanabe and Eric Hsu, who co-founded of Coast and Valley, a Brooklyn wine bar focusing on wines from California (as well as wines that give back to both society and the environment) consider Winc as a whole a “fun way to explore wine,” especially for those getting their feet wet. “[Winc] made wine less pretentious and fun (which is something we aim for at our wine bar as well),” says Watanabe. But when it comes to Wonderful, these natural wine experts think that while using buzzwords like “keto” and “paleo” does cater to the health and wellness community, there’s also room to educate consumers on the wine itself — Watanabe and Hsu don’t feel that Wonderful is addressing the natural winemaking movement, per se.
“Consumers care about the entire winemaking process, so it’s important to address that,” Watanabe says. “People are drinking wines in restaurants, bars, buying at the grocery store or liquor shops, [so] they need at least a little knowledge about what kind of wines they’re looking for in order to make an educated decision.”
At the end of the day, Cooper thinks that Wonderful has tapped into a smart niche. “There's definitely a place in the market for people who want to enjoy wine but want to remain mindful of how it can fit into their healthy lifestyle,” she says. “Brands that are launching wines to cater to people with specific food preferences are doing a good job of reading the room.”'
Wonderful Wine Co. wine delivery boxes
Winc member or not, you can head to The Wonderful Wine Co.’s own website to purchase these wines in packs of three, six or 12 right now ($60, $110, and $215 respectively). Here are your options:
1. The Red Pack
Choose a three-pack, six-pack, or case (12 bottles) of The Wonderful Wine Co.’s Malbec, a single vineyard wine from Mendoza, Argentina that balances red fruit, spice and silky tannins.
Choose a three-pack, six-pack, or case (12 bottles) of The Wonderful Wine Co.’s white blend, a dry wine from France — crisp and clean with notes of lemon curd and green apple.
Choose a three-pack, six-pack, or case (12 bottles) to try the red, white and rosé, a great summer wine with bright red berry, rose petal, melon and light cherry notes.
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