Looking for a reliable wine delivery service to become loyal to? Then perhaps my Naked Wines review will help…
Raise your hands if you love wine! As an avid wine lover myself, and now I’ve moved to Bristol and am currently living in lockdown, I thought now might be the time to buy wine in bulk. I know, I sound crazy, but I would normally buy my wine from the supermarket, and it seems silly to buy individual bottles when I could get a collection all at once, right?
But where to begin?
Well, after purchasing some theatre tickets, I received a voucher for Naked Wines. I’d never heard of it before, but after doing a bit of research, and hearing my Dad’s recommendations on it, I thought I’d give it a go.
So, what did I think of this wine delivery service, and would I use it again? You can find this out, right here. I’ll also be going into more detail about my first wine order, and what I thought of the wines, so stay tuned if you want some insight into Naked Wine’s good and bad offerings…
What is Naked Wines?
Naked Wines is a wine delivery service, which brings packages of wine straight to your door. You are able to purchase a couple of wines at a time, or go for collections of wine, specially hand-picked by the owner of the site.
The main aim of Naked is to support small wine business across the world. When you buy your first batch, you’ll automatically become one of the Angels, which means you put in £20 (or more) a month into your account to be invested into your future purchases. You can opt out at any time, but I’ve been enjoying this so far, as I will always need my fix!
How Good were the Naked Wines Services
I have been really impressed with the Naked Wines service so far. Having received two deliveries now, I’ve been really chuffed with how it’s all been handled, and I can’t wait to keep using them. For some specifics on the Naked Wines services, read on…
Delivery Time and Quality
One element of this wine delivery service which I loved was how quickly it arrived. Even with COVID-19 pandemic, the box of wine arrived within a few days, all in one piece.
The only trouble I had with coronavirus was a wait time to make a purchase. It seems that they were very backed up at the start of the pandemic, which meant I couldn’t make a purchase for a few weeks. But, I continued checking and checking, and finally got through, making my first purchase. Since then, I’ve had no problems with access to the website, so this was definitely just due to the current situation.
Using a Voucher
One of the biggest, and only, disappointments was that I had trouble using my voucher. It provided a hefty amount off my first delivery but, because of the coronavirus, I was limited with what I could buy.
This meant I couldn’t use my voucher, but instead, Naked Wines offered me a choice of beginners crates, which had money off. As a red wine drinker, I chose the beginners red case of 12 bottles, which cost me just under £80; that’s £6-7 per bottle. Bargain!
One of my favourite things about the service is how personalised it is. As an “Angel”, I deposit £20 a month into my wine fund so, when it comes to making a purchase, I’ve got money in there ready and waiting, which I barely even noticed leaving my bank account!
What’s more, being able to rate the wines online once you’ve tried them makes it so easy to remember what was good and what was bad. Then, Naked can judge what wines you might like next, so it keeps the service really personalised.
To add to this, I also receive customised emails quite often. Normally I would hate this, but it’s quite nice to feel like I’m part of something – being one of the Angels – as my money goes towards helping small wine businesses get back on their feet and flourish.
Value for Money
For me, I consume around one bottle of wine a week, so a crate of 12 will last me around three months. So, by the time I come to ordering another batch, I’ve already got some money saved up in there, which makes me feel as though I’m spending less.
Generally, a crate of Naked Wines, with the “Angel Savings” (which I get being a member), would cost me around £104. This amounts to around £8-9 a bottle, which I’d say is what you’d spend on a nice quality bottle in the supermarket. This is a little dearer than what I’d normally go for, but apparently those extra pounds really add to the quality of wine… who knew!?
Variety of Wines
What’s more, I love that Naked Wines provides me with a variety of wines that wouldn’t otherwise be available in the supermarket. It’s really nice to be able to try such a fantastic global selection, and decide on my favourites to purchase again, whilst supporting independent wine labels.
As an Angel, you also have access to exclusive wines which other buyers don’t get. So, as a member, you really get the pick of the litter, which makes buying and tasting wine so much more exciting. Whether it be a mixed case, a red case, a white case, or a choice of individual bottles, the options are endless!
Free Bottle Once a Month
For optimum tasting, you also get gifted a free bottle of wine each month, as an Angel! I didn’t know this, so I missed the opportunity to get my first bottle delivered. However, my second free bottle came in my second delivery, which was fantastic, and I will definitely keep up with this so I can make the most of it all.
The Naked Wines App
To top it all off, Naked Wines even has an app, where you can buy wines quickly and easily. What’s more, you can scan the barcodes of your wine, and easily leave a review which you can go back to later to see what you thought.
Having used both the online website and the app, I actually find that the app to be a lot more comprehensive. You can even search the types of wine you like, be it smooth reds, bold reds, crisp whites, or whatever it may be. This furthers the tailoring of the service, to ensure you get the best wine that suits your taste.
Naked Wines Beginners Pack: From Best to Worst
Location: Western Cape of South Africa
Pairings: Cheese, Meat and Veg, Variety of Foods
This wine was described as full-bodied, with notes of plum, and I have to say I agree. This wine was delicious and sweet, but not too sweet. This was perfect for me, as I don’t like things that are too sweet, and this was just the perfect amount.
I reckon the heat and sun of the Cape really ripens these fruits, so they’re deliciously flavoursome and full. I would also agree that it could be paired with a number of different things, as I drank this alongside a dessert too, and even that didn’t make it taste tart.
I also thought this wine was very smooth, and glided lovely in the mouth. It was the first one I tried, so it was a great start, and it ended up being my favourite of the lot!
2. Le Petit Train
This is one of the Angel bottles where the Angel’s money goes towards struggling vineyards. When Katie’s vineyard was destroyed by looters, the Angels helped, and the love that goes into this wine can definitely be tasted.
Although there was no description of the wine on the bottle, I thought it was deliciously smooth. It was also pretty sweet, and would probably work well with desserts.
For me, this one wasn’t my number one, only because it was perhaps the tiniest bit too sweet for me. That said, it was definitely a close second.
Although I am no expert, I can imagine this would taste really great with a light cheese, like Brie or Camembert, and some grapes. I would definitely buy this one again.
Location: Southern Italy
Primitivo was grown in an supposedly undiscovered area, covered in ancient vines. As a history lover, this already got me very interested. What I also really loved about this one was its earthy red colour, which made it look really jewel-like and appetising.
Although there was no description of the wine on the bottle, I thought it was also deliciously smooth at the start. But, I’d say it has a bitter hit around the sides of the tongue on swallowing it. This provides a lovely warmth in the throat and chest area on swallowing.
Again, I am no expert, but I think this wine would go really nicely with cheese, as most wines do, but stronger cheeses in particular. Unlike our previous wines, this one was not very sweet, so it would probably be a good pairing for saltier meals, perhaps involving red meat.
4. Maurico Lorca
This wine was characterised by its fruity blueberry colour, as well as its strong smell. The description on the bottle of this wine was medium-bodied, with black currant and damson flavours. It was also described as long and smooth, with a juicy finish.
I would say it smelled much like black fruits and violet, which was lovely, as I often breathe in through my nose when drinking wine, and this just added to the taste. This made for a very fruity and floral experience, which makes it very soothing and pleasant.
Overall, I’d say it is very fruity and rich. I enjoyed drinking it, however, I found it wasn’t as smooth and sweet as some of the others. Yes, it was pretty sweet on the tip of the tongue at first, but it later hit the back of the throat a little harshly.
However, it was still a lovely choice which I enjoyed drinking. It might be quite a nice pairing for a sweeter meat, like pork, which would match it nicely, but cut the sickliness down too.
5. Reserve de Pierre
Pairings: Meats and Mature Cheeses
This wine was described as being delicious, on its own as an aperitif. The bottle also described it as powerful, rounded and smooth.
I would certainly agree, as I definitely found this one to be powerful, but still subtle. However, for me, it wasn’t necessarily smooth; it was smooth at the front of my mouth, but cut the back of my throat when swallowing.
I had Mac ‘n’ cheese that night, so I had a cube of cheese with it (I can never keep my hands out of the cheese when it’s grated), and it definitely paired very well with this. There’s nothing quite like wine and cheese!
Overall, I loved that this wine had a really gorgeous, deep colour and texture, and a lovely bottle, which always gets my hopes up. But, alas, I was a tad disappointed with the tangy after notes of this one. If I were to drink it again, it’d definitley be with a wine and cheese night.
6. Virgile Joy
Pairings: Meat and Mature Cheeses
This was a very rich wine, with a meaty and deep flavour. However, it was pretty tangy at the end, which I don’t find very pleasant, as it hits the top of the mouth and the back of the tongue with a tang. As someone who gets frequent acid re-flux as well (TMI??), this really exacerbates my symptoms, I find.
That said, I think this would be really tasty with a cheese board of rich cheese, like mature cheddar and blue cheese. I think it would mellow out the tang. Generally, I found that the more sips I took, the less tangy it became, and it actually turns into a really nice drink.
7. Lacaze Cabernet Carmenere
Pairings: Dark Meats and Game
On the bottle, our first Lacaze wine is described as being filled with berries, perfect for dark meats and game. For me, I found this had a really strong cranberry taste, which was really prominent throughout. So, I guess the bottle isn’t lying there!
I also found that this was much nicer than the other bottle of Lacaze, described below. Like many of the others, it was smooth at first, and then tangy afterwards. So, I reckon it probably wouldn’t be a great pair for anything sweet, but would probably really compliment meat and mature cheeses.
8. Carmen Stevens
Location: South Africa
I had two bottles of this wine in this case, and I have to say, neither time did it make much of a mark. Like a number of the other wines, this one had a little tang at the back of the throat when swallowing. So, for me, this is not my favourite.
However, I find this a pretty drinkable wine, that I wouldn’t be adverse to drinking again. Paired with mature cheese, and a nice meaty dinner, I’d say this is a good match for anyone who loves rich foods.
9. Lacaze Cabernet Sauvignon
I feel awful about this, because the note on the wine from the winemaker is so sweet, but I really disliked this one. It was very tart, and really hit the back of my throat harshly.
There was no indication on the bottle of the flavours, but I’d say it was quite rich, and probably good for meats and cheeses. But, as I’ve described before, my heartburn really reacted to this wine. It was too harsh on my stomach, and I could feel this one warming and sliding through me quite sourly.
Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the bottle, and put the leftovers into a bolognese. I’m gutted that this was one of the wines that I received two of; I would have much preferred receiving two of another one instead.
UPDATE: I was going to gift the second bottle to someone else, but we actually opened it recently, because we thought that maybe the previous bottle had been corked. Again, I found it was sour still, but definitely more drinkable than the first batch. So, perhaps the first bottle was corked? I’m not sure, but either way, I don’t think I’ll be buying this one again any time soon.
My Overall Thoughts on Naked Wines
It’s pretty clear to see that I’m very fond of Naked Wines. I’ve only been an Angel for a few months, and have only made two purchases, but I’m certain I will remain with Naked for a long time to come.
If you liked this post, let me know in the comments below, as I have another batch of wine ready to review!
Have you ever tried a wine delivery service, or Naked Wines in particular? Or, perhaps you’re inspired to try it out now? Let me know down below; I’d love to hear your thoughts!