In 2019, (the last year for which there is data) the US consumed 967 million gallons of wine according to the Wine Institute.
I’m going to hazard a guess that in 2020 we easily crossed the billion gallon mark.
But globally, only 3.6% of wine produced is organic.
“Cleaner” wine does have an impact on how you feel, I can personally attest to that.
And an organic certification is actually only one element of making a clean wine.
Clean wine is a tiny, rare and elite slice of all wine produced.
So I’ve been aggressively searching for wine delivery services that provide healthier wine options, and one possibility I’ve located is Thrive Market wines.
First, let’s talk about clean wine…
- What Is “Clean” Wine?
- Thrive Market Wine Review
- What Makes Thrive Market Different
- Taste and Effects
- Pros and Cons of Thrive Market Wines
- Bonus: All Your Other Groceries
What Is “Clean” Wine?
Like most products that have been mass produced and tweaked to appease the palate of the masses, wine has changed a lot over the years.
One of those changes was that they started adding sugar to it (like they’ve done to most food and drink). So wine that originally would have fit a low-carb diet no longer does.
There are also contaminants in modern wines like pesticides, herbicides, and sulfites–all of which can make you feel sluggish at a bare minimum.
As I mentioned above, I’ve been testing out various clean wines for myself. I have been shocked at what a difference drinking clean wine makes.
Clean wines, almost without exception, seem to have no meaningful effect on my body (when consumed in moderation of course).
I mean, there’s still a little buzz to be had, as you’d expect of any wine. But there’s no hangover, no sluggishness the next day.
I wake the next day feeling like I drank nothing but grape juice, and that’s an incredible difference.
Thrive Market Wine Review
Thrive Market is an online health food grocery store. What makes it unique is that they have filters for just about any dietary restriction you could possibly have.
They go to great lengths to accommodate any allergy or diet you may be on, and they have extended that service to wine delivery.
Thrive Market isn’t a typical wine club. It’s really a clean wine shopping retailer wrapped inside the larger Thrive Market grocery shopping experience.
There’s no obligation to receive regular shipments of wine, and unlike some wine clubs, you get to choose every bottle.
It’s basically just like if Costco had a clean wine retail store, only it’s online.
What Makes Thrive Market Different
The key difference between Thrive Market and other clean wine vendors is the resolution you get in selecting your wines.
They give you the same advanced filtering options for wine that they give you for food on the grocery side.
To start, all of the Thrive Market wines are organic and chosen by a master sommelier for their taste, quality and sustainability.
But then, Thrive Market allows you to filter the wines by:
- No Added Sweeteners
- No sulfites
- Certifications (Biodynamic, Organic, B Corporation)
- Farm type (Family owned, Sustainable)
- Vegan (I’m perplexed by that option)
- Average customer rating
This is another major advantage of Thrive Market over some other services. Some retailers like FitVine have a very limited selection, while others like Dry Farm Wines don’t allow you to choose your wines at all.
Thrive Market has a fairly broad selection of different wines from various producers. This diversity allows you to find options that fit your specific criteria from the list above.
It also gives you more options to explore and if you find one you really love, you can keep ordering it. It’s just a lot more flexible than most clean wine delivery options.
Taste and Effects
On average, I enjoyed the flavor of the Thrive Market wines a lot.
I did like some of the wines a lot better than others. Clean wines are often dry and tart, sometimes lacking complexity. But with a broad selection you can get around this.
Luckily, if you don’t like one, you can try another brand of wine that has the same basic “clean” characteristics.
The effects were the same in terms of how I felt. Perhaps it’s the lower sugar content or the lack of pesticides, but whatever I normally react to wasn’t there.
Thrive Market is among the most affordable clean wine delivery options overall. In fact, the lowest priced single bottles of clean wine I have seen anywhere were at Thrive Market.
But to compare total pricing accurately, you have to consider shipping costs.
At Thrive Market it’s free if you order $79 or more in wine alone (food ships separately). Thrive Market also has an annual membership fee, but amortized across all your wine (and food) purchases, it would only add a nominal amount.
FitVine is the only clean wine vendor I’ve found that has pricing that is comparable to Thrive Market. It is slightly higher per bottle but can sometimes be found at a local wine store, which removes the shipping and membership costs entirely.
Pros and Cons of Thrive Market Wines
Thrive Market has a great offering, but there are always pros and cons to each service.
- “Clean” wines in general are great and deliver on their promise. I definitely felt a difference after drinking these wines vs. my regular wines (mostly from the Naked Wines service or purchased from the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list).
- The ability they give you to choose exactly the wine traits you want with their filters is unparalleled anywhere (that I’ve seen anyway).
- Their clean wine options are among the most affordable on the web.
- You need a membership to buy them (though one can be had for as little as $5).
- They rely on certifications and research to classify the wines as clean as opposed to lab testing, which some other clean wine services provide.
- The shipping packaging is nice, but not insulated to protect the wines from heat like Scout & Cellar.
Because I already had a Thrive Market membership, this was a pretty easy choice for me. And overall I really enjoyed the Thrive Market clean wines, from the shopping experience to the taste.
Bonus: All Your Other Groceries
Wines are only one aspect of Thrive Market. If you’re a health-conscious person who sticks to a diet that is strict in some way—which you likely do if you’re interested in clean wines—then you’ll find a LOT to like about Thrive Market.
You can filter ALL their products by factors that are important to you. Their whole selection is similar to a normal grocery store, with packaged food, frozen food, meat, supplements, health and beauty products. They have everything except fresh produce basically.
So you’re getting a ton of value beyond just the clean wines. For this reason, I think Thrive Market is an amazing value overall.