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How to buy wine online - your thoughts sought


NEVER buy through Amazon…:rofl:


I have done so several times (though not recently as I now very rarely buy wine in supermarkets), and it has never been a problem. I think most supermarkets give no-quibble refunds on anything.

One even refunded me even though they claimed they had never stocked the wine. It would have been an administrative problem to give a refund on something they did not have a record of selling, but they eventually found there was a record of a branch hundreds of miles away that had stocked it - so that was alright!


Delivery is included in the list price under those circumstances, but you get a 50p per bottle discount if you pick up the wine yourself. Some unkind people might suggest that equates to a 50p per bottle delivery charge :wink:


Yes I realise it isn’t ‘free’ and it’s included in the wine price.


Is that 50p universal? I mean any bottle of wine?


It is 25 p, but it is all bottles, even halves.


Was just thinking of my 24 halves of The Society’s White Burgundy…


I just checked, and yes it is 25p. And you have to pre-order. It’s explained at the back of The List (p156 in the current one).

I think it used to be 50p, but I don’t keep old lists so cannot check.


That’s true.

I bought Metallica’s St Anger in Tesco in Swansea the week it was released. I returned it that very same week on account of it being (I write as a fan of the band’s music) a load of tedious repetitive clattering rubbish and - hats off to them - they gave me my money back. They must have known that someone with such a pained expression would not have cynically ripped the CD and asked for a cheeky refund. I really, really didn’t want to hear it again.


Sounds traumatic, @Herbster! A similar thing happened to me with a Sonic Youth album. It was the end of my love affair with feedback, rattling noises and half-drunken utterances masquerading as ‘music’…


Haha that’s the only album I’ve ever taken back also! What total rubbish it is.


I am not sure this is what @Ewan was after, but highly entertaining.


I do most of my wine buying online through TWS or sometimes Lea & Sandeman or Wines from Portugal - all have been without problem, apart from just one carrier delivery problem, quickly resolved by TWS.
I like to also buy from local Independents whenever I get the opportunity, but it’s infrequent. I buy virtually nothing from Supermarkets (Gosh, but I must look like a teetotaller to those Nectar people - hehe…)

I cannot add much to what’s already been said, other than I do like to go ‘virtual wine-buying’, perhaps more so when I get the printed offers. Nothing better than reading through the wines and marking those that sound interesting and then, importantly, either not buying any or leaving it for a few days or even weeks to mull over whether it’s good value, worthwhile or affordable. You can also do this with the online Wish list or by putting wines in the basket to return to at a later date to see if they still appeal.

It’s a good way of countering the ease of online shopping - deliberately slowing down the process to allow ones head to catch up with ones heart.

I still end up buying too much wine though…


Yeah, sorry, slightly tangential there! It was quite traumatic and I just have to get it off my chest every few years or so.

Closer to the topic:

Yes, exactly this! Couldn’t have worded it better. I’m forever tweaking the basket as the I’ll-Have-Some-Of-That slowly becomes Hmmm-But-Should-I-Really.

I’m sure it’s the same type of slowing down as when you compose a grumpy email at work but then, instead of pressing Send in the heat of the moment, you save the draft and sleep on it. Always needs re-wording in the morning…


I’ve felt this a bit with Majestic recently and have a friend who simply cannot seem to get a case of Fevre Chablis from the vintage he actually orders!

Seems quite a rudimentary thing to get right given how important it can be


I buy from TWS, I also keep an eye on the L&W brokerage list and have some reserve holdings there. I’ve bought in the last two BBR sales and have recently picked up a case from J&B for the first time.

TWS is generally the easiest to deal with because of the returns, complete clarity re provenance and delivery options. I think L&W is the most flexible fine wine platform however because of its ability to buy single bottles EP and sell/buy singles via brokerage and/or for reserves, and to withdraw mixed cases for a flat fee. I’ve said it before, there is much TWS could learn from here.

BBR have good sales and clearly like to move stock on. J&B are sole importer for some really interesting stuff, not all ridiculously priced.

I do research extensively and usually go looking for something specific. So in a way I don’t mind where it comes from , if it can get to L&W I will sort it from there.


It’s ok, this thread has done its work - but it’s now getting even more interesting, if drifting somewhat … :joy:


At the risk of drifting further I’m always intrigued by wine recommendations in the broadsheet. Often a majority of wines recommended are from independents which means, usually, mail order. How many people sign on, search for other wines to meet the minimum requirement or postage, just to get that particular bottle?


Presumably most people do what I do: look at the end first, to see if the recommendation is for a place I use, and just ignore the rest. There are enough recommendations, and wines, out there; you don’t need to buy everything.


I don’t usually take reccos from papers, but I occasionally use an online retailer for a particular wine, and buy larger quantities of other wines (ones I am familiar with and like) to complete a case.

I also do it the other way round. If I want to stock up on wine I know I like, I might buy 10/11 bottles of it and slip in 1 or 2 bottles that are new to me but look interesting.