“Everyone knows the feeling of being overwhelmed by wine lists, endless choices in the store, or even worse, some of the snobbery and ‘wine code’ that makes drinking wine less fun than it should be,” said Geoff Edwards, Gale’s executive creative director.
The brand’s subscription model points toward an evolution in the alcohol industry towards brands seeking to grow via getting direct-to-consumer sales.
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People can sign up for a subscription through Firstleaf’s website and choose between six or 12 bottles per shipment. Consumers can update their boxes, swapping out bottles as their tastes evolve, and choose whether they want a box every month, or every second or third month. Each wine shipment costs $90, excluding shipment costs. The brand currently ships to 47 states and Washington, D.C.
The goal is to “make Firstleaf synonymous with the simplest way to get wine you love,” said Winston Binch, Gale’s chief brand and experience officer. He said that the brand wants to “do things differently from the stuffiness of the category.”
To create their box, customers take a quiz online to create a “tasting profile.” A few days after taking the survey, they will receive a box of wine tailored to their tastes. Consumers can then rate the wine to narrow down their tastes for future deliveries. The brand also advertises a “Wine Concierge Team” of grape specialists to answer customer questions about wine. Consumers can also ask the team for a different bottle, in exchange for one credit, if they don’t like one of the wines they have received.