Club W Wine Delivery App Brings Affordable Vino to Your Door

Club W offers about 30 wines at a time, sold individually for $13 to $16. Each bottle comes with food pairing suggestions and recipe cards. The website shows which vintages are running low, so you can stock up on your favorites before they're gone.

Photographer: Corey Olsen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Xander Oxman was at a wedding a few years ago, and the couple was given a wine subscription. It seemed great until the groom tried to redeem it: The website was outdated, plus he had little control over what he received. Still, “there were real virtues to having wine shipped direct,” Oxman says. So he and two friends founded Club W, an app and website that, as of 2014, mails its own private varietals. You start with a basic palate quiz—do you like salt? citrus?—then receive three reds or whites for $45. Once you rate those, a Netflix-style algorithm might suggest the oaky Potager White Rhône Blend or the brighter Little Sur Chardonnay for next month’s trio. Haven’t heard of these wines? That’s by design. Club W teams up with 15 vineyards from California, Chile, and elsewhere to create exclusive vintages, then bottles the juice itself, which offers “the economies of scale of a big winery but the focus and diversity of a small craft one,” Oxman says. So far, Club W has shipped a million bottles. And the company’s raised more than $12 million in venture capital since 2013 to build up its offerings. “E-commerce 2.0 is all about companies that own the product, not just the delivery,” he says. That doesn’t mean the delivery part is easy: Only 38 states permit it, and Club W had to secure various licenses from the U.S. government. “They are still paranoid about the mob running the alcohol business,” Oxman says. “So my wife and I had to go get fingerprinted.”

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