Bright Cellars Review 2021

We’ve put more than 70 great wine clubs in the spotlight but one that stands head and shoulders above them all is Bright Cellars. It’s personalized tasting tech and top-tier choice of labels means members can expect an on-point selection of wines in each shipment.

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    Written by Lucie Robson Updated on October 25, 2021

    When joining Bright Cellars, members answer a short quiz about their wine preferences to create a tailored profile that results in super-personal wine choices in each case. The club features a diverse range of top-quality styles and regions with your tastes matched to its extensive range. Take a look at Bright Cellars to see why we’re super impressed with what it offers!

    Check Out Our Bright Cellars Video Review

    Bright Cellars Overview 

    • Personalized palate profile created with a short wine quiz.
    • Customized shipments based on your palate profile.
    • The chance to rate wines as you enjoy them to update your profile.
    • A concierge team anytime you want to discuss your wines.
    • Four premier wines delivered monthly for $80.
    • Satisfaction guarantee.
    • You can skip a delivery or cancel your membership anytime.

    What is Bright Cellars wine club?

    Founded in 2014 by MIT graduates Richard Yau and Joe Laurendi, Bright Cellars looked to bring technology to the wine club industry. It’s aimed at attracting new customers into the world of wine, so it might not be for you if you’re a dedicated connoisseur. 

    How does Bright Cellars wine club work?

    You’ll start by answering seven questions on your food and beverage preferences. The Bright Cellars algorithm gets to work and starts selecting wines it thinks will be a good match. Once you’re matched up, you’ll receive four bottles each month until you decide to cancel your subscription.

    If you’re a long-time wine-lover who knows their varietals, this might not be for you. You might be better off trying another service like Winc. Winc uses a similar questionnaire but then offers the option to add or delete wines from your package at your leisure.

    What Bright Cellars wine club costs?

    Our Rating 3/5

    I'm not saying Bright Cellars' wines aren't worth it but at $80 a month for 4 bottles, there are cheaper clubs offering the same standard of wine so I give it 3 for price.

    Bright Cellars keeps things simple, with only one subscription package available. You’ll pay $80 per month for four bottles of wine.

    About the wine

    Our Rating 4/5

    Bright Celllars has a good quality range which is matched to your preferences but, unlike clubs with a similar tasting tech feature, you can't choose what you want. It's a 4 from me.

    Bright Cellars doesn’t contain a lot of information on its website about the types of wine available. We do know that a range of reds, whites, and roses are available from all over the world. 

    Bright Cellars wine club wine brands

    Some varieties include Moscato, Riverina, merlot, Chenin blanc, and Chardonnay. However, you’ll only really get an idea of options once you answer the initial questionnaire, so it can be a bit of a mystery box. Some brands that are sold through Bright Cellars include:

    Forty Winks - Chenin blanc

    Forty Winks is a winery based in California that specializes in white wines. Its Chenin blanc is a popular choice with some decent reviews.

    Mojave Rain - Cabernet sauvignon

    Mojave Rain is another California based winery, started in just 2018. As a young vintner, it just has two wines available, one of which is the cabernet sauvignon. 

    White Willow - White blend Riverina

    White Willow is an Australian winemaker, with three different options on offer. The white blend Riverina is known for its crisp taste and light, floral taste. However, it generally tends to get only fair reviews from drinkers.

    Obscura - Pinot noir

    Obscura is the third California producer on this list and comes in with a respectable pinot noir. It has earthy and oaky notes with hints of cherry and raspberry. It goes well with red meats and poultry.

    Bright Cellars wine club membership benefits

    Our Rating 5/5

    I'm giving Bright Cellars a top score of 5 for its member benefits thanks to its tasting tech personalization, friend referral program which earns you bonus points for future purchases and the flexibility to pause deliveries when it suits you. 

    By keeping things simple Bright Cellars offers a number of benefits:

    • Referral rewards - Every friend you refer to Bright Cellars will earn you bonus points and money off your next month’s subscription
    • Membership flexibility - You can cancel at any time or even pause your shipments for as long as you’d like.

    Bright Cellars wine club membership programs

    There’s just one program available, costing $80 per month. Fill in the algorithmic questionnaire, and Bright Cellars will select your four wines to be delivered each month.

    Bright Cellars wine club membership length

    Bright Cellars operates a rolling monthly contract. You’ll only pay for the wines you receive and can cancel any time. 

    Can I give Bright Cellars wine club as a gift?

    Our Rating 4/5

    Bright Cellars gets a 4 because, disappointingly, it does offer gifts but no membership plan options. You choose a dollar value for your recipient and they select wines accordingly.

    Gift options are available, but not the full subscription offer. Instead, you choose a dollar value you’d like to gift, and Bright Cellars will send the questionnaire to the recipient and issue wines to that value.

    Bright Cellars wine club coupon codes

    Our Rating 4/5

    It's a 5 from me for Bright Cellars' coupons because it offers $50 off your first order and runs discounts from time time. 

    Bright Cellars runs regular offers including $50 off your first order or a 50% discount over a certain time period. 

    Bright Cellars wine club price and shipping

    Our Rating 5/5

    Bright Cellars charges a flat rate of $8 per delivery which keeps things simple and manageable. I've given it a top score of 5 for shipping.

    On top of the $80 you’ll pay per month, you’ll also pay an $8 flat shipping charge. However, Bright Cellars doesn’t deliver to every state.

    Service and contact availability 

    Our Rating 5/5

    Bright Cellars garners a 5 for service as it has several ways of getting in touch and its customer service staff have a basic level of sommelier training at minimum so you know you're in good hands.

    If you have a query about your wines and need a solution to a problem, Bright Cellars has a customer service team that you can contact in several ways. There’s phone in office hours, SMS, and time-stamped email which the team aims to respond to within 24 hours. You can also check an extensive support section that covers typical questions about your account, a particular order, your subscription, and Bright Cellars’ range. If you really want to talk wine, the club has a concierge team consisting of members who have all had a minimum level of sommelier training and sometimes more. On the whole Bright Cellars comes out well in our wine club reviews.

    Cancellation terms 

    Our Rating 5/5

    As a member of Bright Cellars, you can cancel whenever you want and there's no penalty. I give this feature a 5 since it's pain-free and straightforward.

    You have the freedom to cancel your subscription whenever it suits you via an online request system and there are no penalties or fees. Customer service will likely want to know why you want to cancel in case it can suggest an alternative to improve your membership experience.

    Disadvantages

    The stand-out disadvantage to Bright Cellars is its delivery frequency. At present, you only have the option of a monthly shipment whereas many clubs have bi-monthly, quarterly, and bi-yearly delivery frequencies for you to pick and choose from. This means you don’t have much control over the flow of wine you receive although, admittedly, this might only be a problem if you aren’t a regular wine drinker. If you’re an oenophile you can probably enjoy four bottles a month easily. If you do need a break in the supply of wine though, you have the choice of skipping a shipment.

    The difference from the competitors

    On the plus side, Bright Cellars offers uber-personalized case contents because of what its sommelier team knows about your preferences. A few other clubs have a similar feature but it’s still not common across the board so if you like the idea of customizing your cases, Bright Cellars is ideal. In terms of wine variety and quality, this club’s range is very good as they’re strict about what they pick. However, there are a handful of other clubs that feature more exclusive, award-winning wines if you’re really looking for that level of experience.

    BrightCellars Order Process Step by Step

    1. Brightcellars.com is a great wine club with a user-friendly interface that results in a personalized selection of wine in each of your shipments. Let’s run through the website, ordering process, and taste some wine!

    2. The first thing you see on the Bright Cellars homepage is an instruction to start a wine quiz. It’s easy, fast, and digs deep to find out what you like in a bottle of wine so the club can select the best bottles for your tastes.

    3. Well, this is fun! What kind of chocolate do you like? White, dark, or milk? Believe me, it is relevant, and it’ll help Bright Cellars direct you to wine you’ll love.

    4. Next up - how do you like your tea? Methinks this may have something to do with your preferences around tannins…

    5. In what kind of environment do you enjoy wine most? I’d like to say ‘anywhere, anytime’ but I’ll get specific because I know where Bright Cellars is going with this!

    6. How adventurous are you when it comes to wine? This is important so I’m glad Bright Cellars asked!

    7. The final question is about the white to red ratio I want. Bright Cellars has all bases covered here. I’m going to go for ‘give me my best matches, red or white’.

    8. Bright Cellars gets busy matching your tastes with its vast stock and – voila! This is what they’ve come up with for me. Exciting – let’s take a look! A bottle of Zinfandel, a California Rosé and Syrah, and a red blend from Columbia Valley. Looking good.

    9. When I click for further details on each wine, I get all the info a need in a few words. For the California Rosé  there’s a Bright Cellar score, tasting notes, and pictures of fruit and flowers that correspond to the aromas and flavors of the wine. Not wordy, not complicated – just a snapshot of all the vital statistics. Great!

    10. Ditto for the Syrah. Look at all that gorgeous black fruit! Seeing the wines presented in this way makes it easier to decide if I want to add them to my cart or ask Bright Cellars to come up with other suggestions.

    11. OK – I’m sold and going for these four wines. On to payment, shipping, SMS notifications on delivery, and the chance to earn reward points with a friend referral. My order is on it’s way!

    12. It’s arrived! I’m happy! I could track it’s progress too because I signed up to SMS notifications.

    13. Wow! It’s so classily packaged plus there’s a pamphlet. What does it say…?

    14. This is really cool. The pamphlet contains cards nicely printed with the label of each wine plus tasting and pairing details. There’s also handy info on serving temperatures for the wines, how to store them so you can get the most out of each bottle – and even how to use a corkscrew correctly! im impressed.

    15. Hmmm – what does it have to say about my Syrah from Lodi California? Everything I need to know as well as details on how to rate the wine online. This is super important as your ratings determine how Bright Cellars suggests future wines that float your boat.

    16. A word about the packaging; it’s sturdy and secure plus you can use it for storage as it folds out and works like a drawer.

    17. Ok – I can’t wait any longer. Let’s try the wines! The Washington red blend smells gorgeous and is super smooth. I do love a red from Washington!

    18. How about the Syrah? I love this. It’s got really nice black fruit and I only have to check it’s card details for food airing suggestions!

    19. Bright Cellars is known for its fine rosés so let’s try this Lodi. Its nose is light and crisp, and it tastes delicious. I already know this’ll be a favorite.

    20. That just leaves me to say check out brightcellars.com to get amazing wines like the ones I’ve just enjoyed sent straight to your doorstep. The personalization process is perfect and there’s an excellent choice of wines. Cheer!

    Conclusion

    Bright Cellars’ portfolio features fine labels from all over famed Old and New World regions making it a perfect red wine club. You can expect favorites like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Merlot plus a range of other reds made in a wide selection of styles. There are plenty of much-loved whites as well hailing from top international vineyards and crafted with a local touch. While most wines are reds and whites on the dry to off-dry scale, there’s the occasional sweet wine too. A highlight of Bright Club’s range is it nods to labels produced with sustainable and biodynamic farming methods with a few bottles if you like to keep the environment in mind. The club tasting team tries a huge number of bottles and only passes one in 12 so, whatever style you have in your case, you know it’s of the highest quality.

    The club does understand that you may want to leave your comfort zone and make new discoveries as well so it has a special membership package for this. Named the Mystery Bottle, each month you get a red or white that has nothing to do with your preferences just to keep things interesting. You may find a new favorite and, at the very least, will have learned about a new grape or style.

    You can also take advantage of wine club deals like credits every time you introduce a friend. 

    FAQ

    How long is the delivery time?

    It’s not clear how long shipments take. If there’s severe summer or winter weather, Bright Cellars will hold off delivery for a couple of days to protect your wines from extreme temperatures.

    How do you sign up?

    Click the “Get Started” tab on the homepage and you’ll be directed to a short, seven-question quiz that delves into your tastes. After this, you can sign up for an account via Facebook, Google, or standard email.

    How can I send my wine back?

    You can’t send your wine back once delivered. If it’s a case of being dissatisfied with a bottle or a case arriving damaged, contact customer service and it will give you a refund at its discretion or send a complimentary bottle in your next shipment.

    How much does it cost?

    Membership with Bright Cellars cost $80 for four wines sent on a monthly basis. It isn’t clear if delivery is included in this charge.

    How do I cancel?

    To cancel, you fill in an online request form and select “Subscription Cancelation” from the drop-down menu. Customer service will ask you if it can do anything to improve your experience before letting you go.

    Can you give membership as a gift?

    You can purchase wine club gift membership for a friend or family member for $100 a shipment with the option to ship one to 12 months’ worth of wine with monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, and annual frequency choices on offer. This gift certificate can be sent electronically or physically for $10 more.