South Australia knows wine. We like it. We drink it often. But sometimes we don’t want to schlep out to the bottle-o to get it (and then make a decision from the many rows of red, white, orange and pink drops in front of us). Harder still is trying to get your hands on that delicious low-intervention small-batch local wine you had at your favourite restaurant last week. So let it come to you. Here are three online wine subscriptions making life a little bit easier.
Unico & Co
Brendan and Laura Carter of Adelaide Hills winery Unico Zelo have just introduced their first subscription service – Unico & Co – just in time for Christmas. The regularly evolving monthly “thirst aid kit” includes a themed pack of two Unico Zelo wines (one from the winery’s Rip, Tear & Share collection and one from its Untamed collection) and – as the name suggests – a guest drop hand-picked by the team (a recent inclusion was the 2019 pét-nat fiano from Sherrah Wines).
The service has been “quite literally” years in the making, says Brendan. “We really wanted to launch a subscription service that adds more than just financial value and convenience to our best customers – and that’s hard,” he tells Broadsheet. “I personally don’t like to be tied down to one particular producer, no matter how much I love their work. Especially considering the massive growth of awesome artisan producers … in the past decade.” Each pack is announced on the Unico Zelo website before it drops on the 1st of each month. Members will also get early access to new releases and more.
Good Pair Days
Sydney entrepreneur Tom Walenkamp and Adelaide-based star sommelier Banjo Harris Plane launched The Wine Gallery in 2015 before changing the name to Good Pair Days in 2018. This subscription is basically the speed dating of wine clubs. The team gets to know your palate (and budget) through an online quiz, which asks fun and approachable questions – about your favourite chocolate (white, milk or dark) and cocktail (Pina Colada, Mojito or Margarita); how much butter you like on your toast; how adventurous your tastebuds are – to pair you with your dream wine. If you’re so inclined, you can also answer more advanced questions about tannins, rotundone and lactones to find that special drop.
The team’s also introduced a 12 Wines of Christmas advent calendar. Each box comes filled with a surprise selection of 12 bottles of Good Pair Days’s highest-rated local and imported wines, as judged by subscribers. The boxes feature either all-chillable, mixed or all-red wines, including a mixture of approachable and adventurous bottles from Australia and abroad.
Alpha Box and Dice
McLaren Vale winery Alpha Box & Dice (AB&D) recently overhauled its Life Improvement Plan subscription service, in which members are regularly sent a selection of AB&D wines. Now you can choose how much wine you want (three-pack, six-pack or a dozen); how often you want it – “Saved” (biannual delivery), “Born Again” (quarterly delivery) or “True Believer” (delivery every six weeks); then select either mixed packs (including sparkling, white, orange, rosé and red) or red-only packs (with mostly Italian varietals, such as nero d’avola, dolcetto and ripasso). Subscribers receive invitations to AB&D events, True Believers and Born Agains get ongoing discounts for AB&D wines, and there are private barrel-tastings for True Believers.
This month the winery is also releasing its annual party pack to ensure you’re well stocked for those summer knees-up (including six free bonus bottles of Zaptung Prosecco with every box).