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Members' Reviews - do you use them?


#1

Have you ever taken a moment to read the reviews of wine left by other members?

While staff at The Society love nothing better than tastings so we can write notes about the wines and the producers, it is important to hear what other members think about them too.

If you click on any wine on the site, then scroll down the page, you can select “Reviews” to read Press and Member reviews of the wine, including Star Ratings. Here’s an example:

To see a list of latest reviews by members you can also navigate via the menu to:

Offers & Features > Popular > Member-Reviewed Wines

This will bring up the latest ratings by members and give you a chance to see what others are tasting.

Has there been a member review that really influenced you to buy something?

Or maybe you have already left a review yourself?

How useful are these reviews to you?

We’d love to hear how you use the site


#2

I use them all the time, skip the “Press reviews” >straight to the member’s. Hence I’d prefer that Members’ Reviews was the default rather than Press. There’s often a spread of opinion of course, but it’s another useful input into the buying decision.

I do leave reviews. I find them useful so like to contribute. It’s extremely easy to do, you don’t need to be an expert or write an essay. Scribling a few sentences when you drink the wine helps when you later write a review, doing it after the second bottle is likely to be less successful.:grin:


#3

I do occasionally enjoy rhapsodising mid bottle :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#4

We do read the members reviews and do take note of them (just as much as a professional critic actually). It is awkward when there’s contradicting reviews - but that’s the nature of reviews I guess!

The only reason I don’t leave reviews is it gives your full name when you do, which I’m personally not completely comfortable with - If it left a chosen username etc then I would leave a lot of reviews I think.


#5

I’ve had a similar fear of exposure (in every possible sense) but this community has helped me overcome that to a greater and greater degree…

The members reviews are a unique feature of the website and as I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere it would be great to integrate the community site and those sections of the main site even more.


#6

Usually ignore the press/expert comments and always read member’s reviews - get more of a straight opinion of the wine, also find that this community is really useful :slight_smile:


#7

that is interesting - is there a reason (I’m assuming no pending criminal warrants) that holds you back, or just personal preference?

Is there something (other than usernames) that could be done to mitigate this? Would it be different, for example, if the name was only visible to other members (i.e. logged in), and not to the general public?

Customer reviews on retail sites are fairly ubiquitous now, but I do think there is more we can do to make them useful.


#8

haha - no criminal warrants my end!

I just think it’s unusual to give a full name. I suppose the question to ask is why does TWS show the person’s full name? Other sites I’ve left reviews on (eBay, Amazon UK) do not show your name and only a username. It may be the industry I am in, but I think personal privacy on the internet is something to be taken quite seriously nowadays. With the new GDPR laws coming into effect in the UK in April next year, I believe this may force the issue with a great deal of UK companies.

All that said though, I do really appreciate those who leave wine reviews. We’ve taken successful punts on wine up to about £20 purely on the back of a lone member’s review.


#9

Yes GDPR is a big issue and is being looked into very carefully

The things with the Society is that members are also shareholders, so all sides have rights and responsibilities that go beyond those of Amazon and its customers. That is why the use of proper and full names emerged, but it is something to keep under review

I am currently reviewing the issue of requiring real names in the community too (the Display Name) and so it is one of the things I am curious about.


#10

That’s very interesting. With that in mind I think it would therefore be a suggestion, as you mentioned, that the full names could only be visible to those who are logged in (and therefore are other members of TWS).


#11

This is a good topic. I’m a huge fan of members’ reviews, and I read them regularly. And I strongly second @Rowley_Birkin_II’s suggestion that they be the default rather than the critics’ reviews. Members’ reviews are more fun to read, and they give an insight into members’ tastes and preferences. I do also leave reviews myself and I wish I could find them in my profile - I’ve no idea why they’re not a standard part of my profile so I can see what I’ve written. There are also some annoying usability issues with reviews - it keeps going back to the default tab, so you have to click a few times all over again to get where you were, and when you’ve posted one it does something funny on submit as well - I can’t remember what. It needs work, that whole area.

But to @Rich29’s interesting point about identity… I am more comfortable with real names than some people (in fact to the extent that I find wacky usernames that have nothing to do with the person’s real identity annoying and childish - sorry, no intention of offending) but I understand the desire for privacy, so the clever suggestion that only logged-in members can see real names is a nice compromise. Interesting debate.


#12

I will always check to see if there is a Members review. This can be very useful for a wine that I am not familiar with. I am equally always careful about press reviews; phrases like “pencil shavings” and “chalk dust” are a real turn off. Any review that says “this wine is approachable now” is actually saying - “Do not touch this stuff for the next five years”


#13

Member reviews are one of the factors I consider when buying a wine new to me and negative reviews are just as valid as positive reviews. But they have to give some justification. Me Like or Me don’t Like are no use, I like because so-and-so_ and I don’t like because of so-and so are useful.

For instance, if someone says about a NZ Savvie, I don’t like it because its acidic and tastes strongly of gooseberries then I’d incline to buy that wine because those are flavours we like in NZ Savvie


#14

I try to review every wine I drink - although it’s usually just a star rating unless my creative writing juices are flowing at the time :stuck_out_tongue:

As well as hopefully helping out other members with their wine picks I also really appreciate that the site remembers that I have reviewed a wine, and as someone who has an ever-growing wish list, I find this feature incredibly useful for when I’m placing a new order and just chucking things in from my wish list that I forgot I added, and ordered, 12 months ago!

In regards to finding them useful for when I purchase wine I would say they have little bearing on if I buy the wine or not (as I’ve usually added the wine into my wish list from hearing about it online or from this wonderful forum) however I do really appreciate the comments that offer advice on decanting times or food pairings.


#15

I agree with every word you say! “We didn’t like this wine.” OK, so what? You’re not talking about the wine, you’re talking about you. “We didn’t like this wine because [and then a characteristic of the wine]” - good, now I can understand whether I am interested in the wine or not.


#16

Why not have a review of the month competition - that might encourage some flights of fancy…


#17

Yes! Great idea

Some time ago we had a thread on “your favourite review” here, must revive that at least


#18

I love member reviews. I also read the press ones but prefer the diversity of opinion and frankness of member reviews. the only time I find them less useful is if there is only one review and it is unfavourable - when it can put me off but I know it probably shouldn’t. So anything the society can do encourage more reviews / discussion the better. Perhaps, like on Amazon, you could have the opportunity to reply to reviews? I like the idea of a prize - perhaps rather than for judging the best, simply pulling one from a hat each month. That might be a nice way of saying thank you to the small proportion of members who do leave reviews - and who thereby do add value to the whole Wine Society experience!


#19

I would add my vote supporting members reviews. I would like to see a members star rating, a la Amazon, when scrolling through wine lists. Given the Society Red Burgundy thing - some hate, others sort of appreciate, it would be good to be able to click on someone and see something on their tastes like “fav wine is Barolo, hate Sauvignon Blanc but like old world Chardonnay”. Just helps frame the review. On real names, I am with those that take their privacy seriously and I would like real names only to be available to logged in members. I had a real life stalker a few years ago and it’s serious stuff believe me.


#20

Member reviews can be very useful, and I use them and provide them. Much can be personal taste too, but that can often be picked up from reading them. Interesting to see the ‘break points’ between different vintages of the more popular wines, as there can be quite a difference in opinion - and not all down to the vintage itself.

I have no problem with real names being used, but happy for it only to be available to logged in members.