Although I’ve really enjoyed the vicarious pleasure of this thread I must admit that I really don’t get it. When there is such a depth and breadth of cellaring options online why does this kind of program still exist? I’d be interested to hear from an insider whether its popularity has waned or increased as online sales have increased?
If you have a really deep knowledge of most areas and grapes, or aren’t particularly inquisitive, then it’s probably not for you, but when I was in it previously I was introduced to wine makers and regions that I wouldn’t have normally sought out and although hit and miss, I’d say no more so than buying myself. I’d be the first to admit that I probably know less and have tasted less than most on this forum, but I bet I’m above average amongst the general membership.
Don’t forget, most members probably have no more interest in wine than receiving a good quality service with good wines at a decent price. I’d bet many have 4 or 5 wines they buy over and over again without ever really deviating from it.
One of the facts we share on the tour that forms part of the Members Lunch is the significant rise in the % of wines purchased through Bottle Pick.
Bottle pick refers to all wine that is purchased that is either not an entire straight case of wine, or wine that is not part of a Wine Society Mixed Case.
Off the top of my head, the proportion of bottle pick has risen from around 17% to 43% in the last 10 years. Most of that growth has come at the expense of Straight Cases but some has come from the Society’s mixed cases.
Having said that, the volumes of those mixed cases have increased, it’s just the percentage that has fallen as more members drink more widely.