Without binge drinking or blowing the budget, one way to explore the wonderful world of booze is through a subscription service.
Whether you enjoy craft beer, natural wine or gin, we've found the very best booze subscriptions on offer in Sydney. These regular deliveries will encourage you to experiment and expand your know-how by curating a selection of delicious drinks and—best part—sending them direct to your doorstep.
Here are a few of our favourite booze subscriptions and delivery services.
If you've visited the likes of Fred's, Bert's or Totti's—you'll know Sydney's hospitality juggernaut Merivale and its master sommeliers are good (like very good) at wine. If staying in or hosting dinner at home is more your vibe this week, you'll want to check out The Bottle.Shop, a curated selection of wine pieced together by Merivale's sommeliers. A shopfront has existed at The Ivy complex for a few years, but in 2019 The Bottle.Shop dropped a digital shop packed with recommendations and subscription boxes to suit a huge range of tastes and budgets.
Wines here are tagged up with tasting notes, fun facts, food pairings (cured meat, BBQ, pizza) and helpful hints (drink with good company). Sommeliers Franck Moreau MS and Adrian Filiuta MS have really done the hard work for you—shop by occasions like "Weeknight Wine", "Party Starters", "Picnic Wine" and "Au Naturale" for all the natural wine fans out there. Subscriptions include boxes of 3, 6 or 12 covering great picks that won't break the bank, something a little special and a splurge box for the best of the bunch. Check it out here.
Two In Hand Wines
If ease of choice, speedy delivery and quality Australian wine is what you're after, Two In Hand Wines are solving all three problems at once. This simplified delivery service takes out the hit-and-miss factor, by selecting either one or two great failsafe drops for you. Order before 12pm to enjoy same day delivery in Sydney Metro, and if you're sending a gift, Two In Hand can add in a personalised message. Packs come with tasting notes and food pairings too. Check it out here.
Loose Ends specialises in organic and bio-dynamic wines produced in family-owned vineyards around the world—but with a lot of love for Oz, of course. Like many wine subscription services, you can select a red, white or mixed (including orange and rosé varieties) pack depending on your preference.
While many services do six or a dozen bottles in a box, Loose Ends offers from six to 24 ($150-$600). The list of wines included in each box goes up on the Loose Ends Instagram at the start of each month, if you’re curious. Check it out here.
If you’re familiar with Surry Hills icon Nomad, you should know the restaurant’s badge of honour is its wine list. The team travels far and wide to gather wines from across the country, focusing on small growers, to curate a drinking experience that’s like a cellar door in the city.
It seems a natural step then for Nomad to invite the wider public into their obvious passion project in the form of a wine club. The subscription fee for Nomad is a bit pricier than others on this list, with a three-pack costing $95 plus delivery and a six-pack going for $180 (free delivery in Sydney metro). The good news is: with curators like this you will never be disappointed! Want to further your wine education and order vino like a total pro? Nomad also offers wine classes. Head here for more info.
Gin Society is a membership program which not only includes a bi-monthly delivery of gin, but also cocktail recipes, articles and content, event invitations, and a luxe gift for first-time subscribers, which includes a crystal glass, cocktail spoon, jigger and strainer. Membership costs $95, paid every two months coinciding with the delivery of a premium bottle of gin from a small batch distillery.
Don’t expect Hendrix or Bombay Sapphire to be sent your way, you’re going to be sent artisanal creations like Rivo foraged gin from Lake Como (wow) and Sheep Whey Gin made from Tasmanian native botanicals. Check it out.
What Gin Society is to gin, Whisky Loot is to whiskey. In short, it’s all about education. For $59 a month or quarter, depending on your preference, you receive three 60ml tasting bottles of premium whiskey, tasting notes and a journal to start your notes. You can pick from a few types or regions, for instance, there’s the American Box or the Traditionalist Box, to name two. Each box is then themed, for example, "Classic Summer Whiskies" or "Intro to Bourbon Casks". Sign up here.
Wine Gallery offers one vital point of difference: the gift of control. The first step in this highly personalised journey is a palate profile quiz, with questions like “what’s your favourite chocolate or cocktail”. Wine Gallery will then recommend three bottles which you can opt to order or sub-out for your own preferences. So, if you know your tastes and just want the same wine delivered to your door each month—go for it. Or if you want a few red recommendations but need a bottle of sparkling thrown in the mix—no problem.
The other great thing about Wine Gallery is that you can rate your order after you’ve tried it, allowing for smarter selections the next time around. The cost for three bottles starts at $69 plus $9 shipping, but you can add more as you like, paying per bottle for the extras. Four or more and the shipping is free. Forget choice paralysis, this sounds like the perfect way to build upon your taste, no matter where you’re at on your wine journey.
If you’re into beer, you might have already heard of Beer Cartel. Operating since 2009, it claims to be Australia’s longest-running craft beer subscription service, which—when put next to their reviews—suggests this is a crew who knows their shit and isn’t about fads.
Beer Cartel offers local and international craft beers with packs catered to “starters” ($35 x six), “enthusiasts” ($60 x 12) and ‘crowd pleasers’ ($110 x 24). Shipping is extra but there’s also an option to click and collect if you happen to be near the Cartel’s Artarmon store. Check it out here.
Did you know Sydney’s most talked about bottle shop has a subscription service? For $150 a month, you can have a selection of six bottles delivered to your door on the first Friday of every month. The kicker? Rootstock co-founder, wine judge, writer and all-round vino extraordinaire Mike Bennie handpicks the pack so your natural wine dreams will definitely come true. More details are here.
You know what goes well with fine wine and booze? Art. Check out our guide to the best exhibitions happening this month.
Image credit: Justin Aikin.