French wine subscription brand Le Petit Ballon are the best, and most exciting, wine club on the market. Sign up and you’ll get two bottles chosen by master sommelier Jean-Michel Deluc from the world’s leading wine regions and the most passionate winemakers.
Le Petit Ballon is the wine subscription for everyone, from beginners to experts! It’s all about having fun choosing, discovering and tasting wine, and learning something new; each box arrives packed with information about your wine and a Gazette filled with interesting articles, recipes and fun ideas.
What I love about Le Petit Ballon is receiving wine I’ve never drank before; you won’t find these bottles at the supermarket, and as each bottle has been personally hand-picked by a former Ritz sommelier, you know the quality is going to be excellent.
But, with two subscription choices, how do you know which one to choose? Here’s the run-down on the differences between Grape Expectations and The Age of Raisin (how brilliant are the names??).
What’s the difference between the two Le Petit Ballon wine subscriptions?
The boxes I am comparing are from the November 2018 release, part of the Christmas range with a focus on sparkling wines. The main difference between the standard subscription Grape Expectations and the higher value subscription The Age of Raisin is the price, but really it depends on your preference. Let’s find out more.
Grape Expectations November 2018
The Grape Expectations subscription is for those who want to discover new, exciting wines and for those who want to improve their wine knowledge and tasting skills. This is the standard subscription and comes at the price of £28.89 a month, including delivery.
This month’s box included a sparkling wine simply named ‘Vintage’, using grapes from the 2015 harvest. Reading the Gazette has taught me that when it comes to sparkling wines, the only ones that can call themselves vintage are those that have been created with very high quality grapes. Usually, sparkling wines are a blend of various grapes from a number of years. This wine is floral, fresh and perfect for Christmas Day! It will definitely be a wonderful addition to any festive table. It hails from the vineyards of Limoux in Southern France, using sustainable and traditional production methods, something to show off about at the dinner table! This bottle retails at £15, or £11.90 for subscribers.
To balance the sparkling wine nicely, the box also featured a fantastic red wine, Château de Beaulieu 2006, a spicy, deep red that I must admit I may have fallen in love with. I am a big fan of reds and complex wine such as this really hits the spot. This is one of the bottles I have enjoyed the most from Le Petit Ballon, so I may have to treat myself to a few more! This bottle is £15 or £11.90 for subscribers.
With a value of £30 (not including the heaps of fun extras) you get, this is definitely worth the monthly price, particularly when you remember that you’ll not find these wines in your local supermarket.
The Age of Raisin November 2018
The Age of Raisin subscription is the higher value club – and is for those who are wine connoisseurs (or who like to think they are) and features wines from prestigious appellations. It costs £39.90 a month, including delivery.
This is my first Age of Raisin box so I was incredibly excited to take a look. The first bottle is a beautiful, crisp Champagne – Le Favori – picked exclusively for Le Petit Ballon. It has been created with a combination of all three of Champagne’s major grape varieties; including the freshness of Chardonnay, the structure of Pinot Noit and the fruity flavours of Pinot Meunier. Le Petit Ballon insist this is the ‘holy grail’ of Champagne, a quality bottle at a good price! It’s a grand Champagne, ideal for Christmas parties or New Years, but affordable enough that it doesn’t break the bank. This bottle retails at £26.30 but is available to subscribers for £21.90.
Like the other box, this one came with a retro red – the Château Laride 2008. A powerful and fruity wine, this is a classic and traditional bottle ready for the table. It comes from the world-famous Haut-Medoc and is a wonderful example of why Bourdeaux is so popular. This is one of those wines that can be drank for any occasion, and goes well with red meats. Not quite spicy enough for my tastes, but that’s down to my personal preferences. This bottle is £23.90 or £19.90 for subscribers.
So, which subscription should you go for? It really depends on what you want out of the club, and of course your budget. If you are new to wine, or want to discover new and exciting bottles, then the standard Grape Expectations would be ideal. If you already know your wine, and want to taste the more esteemed wines, then the higher value Age of Raisin subscription would suit you. In other words, do you want ‘fresh and innovative’ or ‘traditional and prestigious’? I’ll leave that choice up to you.
For all of my Le Petit Ballon reviews, click here. Once you are a subscriber you can purchase further bottles from the online shop at a discounted rate, and there are gift options available. Head over to the Le Petit Ballon website for further information. I hope you love them as much as I do! Cheers!
*I was kindly gifted these wines for a review but all words and opinions my own*