What's Inside Wine Down Box
- Club Name: Wine Down Box
- Theme: Monthly wine, cheese & charcuterie pairings
- Website: winedownbox.com
- Cost: $63-$70/month (shipping included)
- Cheese Included: 1 unit artisan cheese from various cheese makers
- Wine Included: 1 bottle limited production California wine
- Notes: The wines included in your box are truly “small batch” because they were impossible to find anywhere for price comparison!
About Cheese & Wine of the Month Clubs
You might have come here for the wine, but I came for the cheese. That's what makes Wine Down Box Unique. This is not just a wine club, it's a wine & cheese pairing club.
As I'm finding out in my (delicious) research, there are no shortages of cheese of the month clubs available throughout the USA. However, there are many, many more wine of the month clubs. In places that actually produce wine like California (where I live), there are also many options which are not advertised online.
So why does Wine Down Box seem to be the only cheese AND wine of the month club? Sure, many of these clubs will come with recommendations of how to pair, but none actually do the work for you.
That's the main reason I was excited to try Wine Down Box! Since they do the pairing and sensory guides, I just get to enjoy the show.
My Wine Down Box Subscription Experience
Wine Down Box faithfully delivered their subscription box on the 25th of each month for the three-month subscription I signed up for. I also received a confirmation email each time my shipment was sent out, so I knew it was on it's way.
- 3-month subscription subtotal: $144
- Shipping: $45
- CA tax: $10.44
- Total: $199.44
- Price per package: $67*
*NEW PRICING: The new pricing model includes shipping, so it looks more expensive out of the gate. However, they are now offering bigger discounts on long-term subscriptions, and even offer a 1-month subscription for people that want to try it out.
About The Wine
I was most impressed with the quality of the wine included in my Wine Down Box shipments. Before writing this review, my idea was to compare the prices of wine that you could buy in the store.
However, I simply couldn't find any of the wines that Wine Down Box sent! Exclusivity is always a fun feature of a club, so kudos to finding hard-to-get wine for us guys.
As far as the quality of the wine, my best assessment is that it was good. Helpful, right? Normally I'm a beer drinker, so I don't have that much to say about wine. But I do know high quality booze versus swill, so my opinion is that they were not messing around with the wines they sent.
Great stuff! Though I don't drink wine as often as beer, I'm normally a bold, thick, red wine guy. However, the rosé and sauvignon blanc that I've received so far were delicious and I've started to rethink my limited scope of wine preference.
About The Cheese and Charcuterie
There are hundreds of wine clubs out there, but my interest in Wine Down Box started researching cheese of the month clubs, so my main interest here was the cheese.
Both boxes I've got so far were from the same creamery, Plymouth Artisan Cheese out of Vermont. No doubt Vermont has some famous cheese! Both salamis were from Alle-Pia, a San Luis Obispo company making artisanal Italian salami.
All items were delicious, however, I was disappointed in the lack of variety. Both packages arrived exactly the same: a bottle of wine, a block of cheese, and a vacuum packed salami pack from the same companies as last time. The crackers were exactly the same as last box!
Looking back on past subscription boxes from Wine Down Box, they do variate the cheese and charcuterie selections. It seems that I just happened to get two months in a row that used the same companies.
As a wine drinker without a very discerning palate, it was difficult for me to tell the difference between the cheeses and salamis from month to month, so I think I would have enjoyed having different brands, different packaging, and a bigger difference in flavors.
Month #1 Delivery
For the first month, I really wanted to break down the cost of the package. $67 seemed like a lot of money to spend on cheese and wine! After my investigation, I found out that it really wasn't as expensive as I thought. I looked up the retail prices of each item.
The total was about $49. Considering shipping food and alcohol is expensive, and their business has to make money, $67 is a very appropriate price to charge.
Trujillo 2016 Madelynne Rosé
- summer wine, picnic, barbecue
- crisp bright blend of syrah, sauvignon Blanc, Muscat
- raspberry, strawberry, pomegranate
- silky finish
- $23 retail? Cannot find for sale online
Plymouth Artisan Cheese East Meadow
- aged 60 days, waxed by hand
- buttery, creamy, fruit flavors, acidity
- $10 retail
- Tuscan pork product during the Renaissance
- derived from fennel, alternative to black pepper in countryside
- contrast the rosé with mild spice
- $14 retail full salami. Small package probably about $8
Nita Crisp Wheat Breadcracker
Total retail for package #1: $49
Drinking rosé wine was an interesting experience for me. I normally gravitate towards “red” or “white”, so receiving a rosé was a good chance to expand my wine drinking experience.
The flavor description guide included in the box came in handy so I could properly describe what I was tasting. They weren't kidding when they said it would have strawberry and other red fruit flavors! This was a tasty afternoon drink for the summer.
I was most excited to tasted the “cave aged” cheese from Plymouth, and was not disappointed. This was a very light, buttery, and nutty cheese. It was hard enough to cut into chunks, but soft enough to melt in your mouth. Perfect pairing with the rosé wine!
The finocchiona salami certainly sounded interesting, since it's main characteristic was the fennel flavor. It was tasty, for sure, but I failed to really taste the fennel. It tasted like regular ol' salami to me. Unfortunately, the crackers are not very good in my opinion. They serve more as a vehicle for cheese-eating rather than adding much to the tasting experience.
Month #2 Delivery
As I mentioned above, I was a little disappointed in my second box. It was the same cheese and salami company as last time, so it was less-than-amazing to open up this box.
The wine was still awesome though! Pink grapefruit, passion fruit, and melon were highlights of this sauvignon blanc. Another great day-drinking experience for the end of summer (which lasts a long time in California). I'm ready for fall, but we still have some time go.
The original Plymouth cheese included in this package was sharper than the East Meadow version, and slightly more acidic. That paired well with th