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Ribera del Duero - Gran Reserva offer email



So @SPmember you’re saying that 50,000 people tune in for example the 1st Thursday of the month for a chance of splitting a couple of thousand bottles.
I can’t see that working.
Simply TWS can’t please everyone all the time.
A good thing about this community is that we can be tipped off by others at short notice and this is a forum open to all.


I understand the problems but there is a suspicion that the mail list is more exclusive than it should be. I know that Mr. Theo Foratenner won’t be interested in the Chave and would probably hold it against TWS for asking him to buy it, but I would like to know. I’m quite able to decide what to buy and don’t mind reading emails and deleting if it’s not for me. In this case TWS hasn’t had to decide for me, I’ve done that.

Obviously other may want a greater filter good for them.

I already get mails for TWS on various offers, which are no where near my interests. These are an equal waste of their time and mine. I just hope that I’ll get the one with the personal gem in it.


So more generally on mails. Today I got a reply from the members services.

“Thank you for your email.

Please accept our apologies that you did not receive our mailing in regards to the Vina Pedrosa, we have amended your preferences so you are included in the mailings for any of our Fine Wine offers. We can see you managed to put an order through for the wine but apologise you were not originally notified”

It seems I’ve not got the mail cause I wasn’t on the list. This seem odd as I get fine wine lists and wider offers, just not the specials. It seems to contradict want has been said by staff on this forum too.

As I said we need to control which lists were no and at the moment that’s not transparent,to me.


That’s interesting they’ve said that. Maybe we just all need to phone up and get manually put on for all the offers. Easy. I’ll phone up Monday and see what Member services can do.

Slightly different but I was able to get member services to insert a control to not dispatch my wine orders using a certain company as the delivery service was really bad - so they do have a lot of control.


Let me check this on Monday for you. As far as I’ve been made aware thus far there’s no way (currently) to ensure you receive all fine wine emails so this may not be correct info I’m afraid. Apologies for the confusion - promise I will investigate thoroughly.


Rational and sensible. @Herbster you star :slight_smile:
Have a :cheers: :smiley:


I really don’t give the proverbial, wines in short supply sell out, but the WS does have the tendency to not have the wines that are featured and praised in Decanter for instance in stock, they do also sell out of wines that are not even considered to be that highly reviewed, again I don’t care that much the market is the leveller.
But, this is a co op and for many seeing items disappear before they even receive the offer is out of order.
I repeat if wines are in short supply there is no harm in doing a Majestic with WIGIG or simply stating that a wine is only a small parcel or we only have so many bottles, others manage this with no problem so why not the WS.
The assumption that all members have nothing else to do all day but wait for limited offers to appear is nonsense, sure no system is perfect and not all can be pleased but it is an area the WS should have a look at vis a vis other companies, the WS is very good at getting these offers in the first place but it is not unique, Danchaq talks of the one bottle syndrome, he has a point but many people who are members can’t afford cases, many would like to buy a single bottle, that again can never be guaranteed no system can please all people allm of the time, but I go back to the fact that others do make the fact something is a limited offer obvious, my recent ordering forgetting the Ribera wine shows that this is a small but significant problem.
Again I purchase from several sources so I can afford to shrug my shoulders and go elsewhere but many members look to the society as their sole supplier, they are the ones the society should be looking after, even if it just informing them.


I know it’s frustrating to miss out but it could be worse it could have been Lidl!

Remember that lucky sod in Exeter who was getting delivery after delivery of that Claret whilst most of the country didn’t see a bottle.

Well I contacted head office and they didn’t have a clue. There was no procedure or inclination to transfer from one store to another to please a customer, and they had no idea how it was distributed . At least if you contacted TWS they would try and source stock if they knew the company had some.


Whether Laura or the member of staff sending the e-mail to Russ is right or not - the idea in the member of staff’s e-mail surely would make much the most sense . I cannot believe it is beyond the wit of modern technology for people to be asked to sign up for Fine Wine offers and if they are not interested not to get them.

It is the lack of a chance that strikes me as unfair . If there are 2000 bottles and the Society rations them to 3 a member and everyone has a chance to order and one misses out so be it- it is being deprived of a chance in a co-operative that is unfair.


I was also very disappointed by this. I didn’t receive the email, and even after being alerted to the offer reasonably quickly here still missed out as a result of the wine going in and out of stock. Whenever I looked, it was sold out but then the next time I checked here someone else said it had come back in stock so I would check again only to find it out of stock again. I appreciate the difficulties involved in coming up with a fair system (and I’m not sure what the answer is), but it seems to me that TWS failed miserably here.


Reading back through this thread again, the one thing that strikes most consistently is that TWS are in an unwinnable position; damned if they do, and damned if they don’t when it comes to communicating these offers. We’ve had some good descriptions from TWS staff on how these offers operate – in essence, batches of emails to a targeted subset of the membership, which one assumes continues until the stock is gone (or replenished and gone again if very popular and TWS can respond to meet member demand as they did in this case). On reflection, whilst not perfect I do think this is a very pragmatic approach for TWS to take when they get small parcels of wines. I know that I got this offer, but am certain that I didn’t receive others that have been posted on this community – such is life. The “targeted” nature of this is imperfect, but improvements like AI approaches would likely be expensive to implement and hugely over-engineered for the problem being addressed (and commercially just not worth it for small parcels of wine on small margins). It sounds like the “opt in to emails” approach might one day be possible, but isn’t currently an option.

Sometimes it helps me work the numbers on these things; so, let’s assume TWS got 200 cases of this wine – 1200 bottles. It currently has >140,000 active members, so if they were to contact everyone about the offer – that would be 1 bottle per 117 members, or less than 1% chance of securing even a single bottle! If you limit it to a 6 bottle case as has been suggested, then the chance falls much further (to 1 case per 700 members) and in effect you end up with the certainty of disappointing virtually every one of the >140,000 members. That clearly isn’t good business practice to do.

The other important factor here for me, is that this has only become a problem because we share information about offers on this community. Prior to that being possible the offers would have been emailed out as normal, but only those that received them would know about it, and those that didn’t would have been none the wiser. You don’t miss what you never knew existed. In that circumstance the TWS’s current approach has probably worked well for years. The benefit of this community is that it has allowed us to peek behind the curtain and see the inner workings of things like this offer and the previous Chave Hermitage one, and that is something TWS has not had to contend with before, and it has clearly caused some angst with some members.

My suggestion on a previous thread was to see if TWS could at least post details of offers here in a more systematic fashion. At least that way, this community and any member wishing to join it, gets as much notice as anyone else. It doesn’t guarantee success (and nor should it) but may level the playing field a little, without requiring any major effort or cost for TWS.

I will spend the rest of my life seeking out and trying new wines, and yet I have no hope to try them all – sometimes there are ones that just get away. Maybe this just ends up by being £22 I can spend on a different bottle among the near limitless opportunities out there……

At times like this I wonder what Noel and Liam would say?! :wink:


I agree with the conclusion, about posting here, but would like to question the assumption that everyone of the 140 000 active members would be disappointed not to get a bottle. I did receive the offer, and did not want this wine. We all have different tastes (and budgets), fortunately, or all the TWS wines would always be sold out. It would be interesting to know approximately what percentage of those contacted did respond (or were expected to respond) for a more realistic estimate.


Perfectly summed up - we have been our own worst ‘enemy’ by sharing information. Previously, this wasn’t an issue because any one member didn’t know that there was an offer available and the limited audience soon bought the wine. It’s very nearly impossible for TWS to get this right and any widening of the target group will mean the wine disappears even more quickly. It’s a no-win situation and I think that TWS have made the best of it; shall we leave it there and move on? :smiley:


Yep it’s time to move on :+1:



I believe in the democracy that the Society brings to wine purchasing.
Everybody should have a chance.
BUT, those who support the WS year in, year out should in the algorithm should be preferred.
And no, I’m not talking about an annual spend of £10K, but more the steady drip of wine purchase that a proper WS supporter demonstrates.
This should not be about financial clout, more the demonstration of the wine fan.
And maybe the membership of these pages might give a clue.
You might not have posted but you have read!!
So many ways of sorting the wheat from the chaff!?!
That might mean just an annual Festive mixed case.
But without log-ins during the year scouring the site for bargains, looking at the EP offers etc., there is little to hang ones hat on that says “I am worthy!! lol”


I really wanted the Chave and did get an email.
I only took 3 bottles from a possible 6 bottle allocation.
I did that, so in my own small way I was being helpful in the sharing out process.
Do I regret my altruism, maybe a tiny bit but in the wider scheme of things, there are one or more members who got bottles that will be the stuff of legend. That makes me happy and they will never know that I and quite probably other members made possible a memorable vinous occasion for them!


They do now! :wink:


Again thanks for posting the offer here, without it we wouldn’t have known.


It does seem that the only fair thing to do is for TWS to crosspost the email offers to a dedicated page on the site or in a subforum here that all can access - the forum probably best because that way people can watch and set up alerts etc (plus, you know, discussion is fun!).


Personally I think the best way forward is for Marcel, Pierre and Toby (not fussed about the other areas) to have my mobile on speed dial and give me a buzz when an offer is about to go live :rofl:


Not quite true since, pre-Community, my WS member mate down the road would sometimes say ‘did you get the email about X?’ and, since we have different buying patterns, I’d sometimes say no. Same thing happened in reverse.

I’d support a variable purchase limit, depending on the number of bottles available and the perceived demand.