An important update from our CEO Steve Finlan

I suspect that off licences made the case that if supermarkets can sell it why can’t we? If they are prepared to open and staff are willing, I don’t see the difference from supermarkets?

In some parts of the country, the offies already operate behind security shields!

TWS has a pretty different model and I can understand and fully support their reasons for shutting up shop now.


Not normal to advertise other retailers here, but: Jancis Robinson has compiled a list of those who will still deliver:

Not behind pay wall.

This may be the time to support small specialist suppliers (for example, I just had an email from Alpine wines which I’ve used occasionally) rather than burdening the supermarkets.



I usually get around half my wine from local independents anyway (and have an order placed with Streatham Wine House/West London Wine School and one with Le Grappin as week speak, I’m also pondering the DVine Cellars Clapham for delivery list!).


Just logged onto the website to order wine for these testing times. I knew there’d be a wait for a delivery but had not realised orders were suspended. Sad but understandable, so I decided to join the community instead! Keep safe everyone.


Well that’s one brilliant thing to come out of this - welcome to the Community @IanT_39!

I’m sorry we aren’t able to deliver - I hope you’ve still got some wine around - or if you let us know where you’re based I’m sure some of our fellow members here might be able to recommend an independent merchant that’s still able to do deliveries!

I also don’t know if you have any Rioja in the house but we’re having a Rioja-themed virtual tasting tomorrow night, if you’d like to join us:

False information created a service failure, probably without necessity; certainly without explanation.

To enlarge: I had booked well in advance for a delivery by the Society’s van today (25th March). Just 24 hours before delivery came the message from the CEO: I have taken the decision to stop … making deliveries with immediate effect. Disappointing, and contrary to the government’s advice that day: Deliveries-24-3

…Sensible enough: my postal delivery was left on the doorstep, the postal worker rang the bell and stood back about 3 metres to ask my name.

At 14:52 I received the encouraging message: “We are pleased let you know that your order has been scheduled for delivery by a Wine Society van tomorrow between 13:06 and 15:06”. Hooray! Must have been a late recognition, I thought, that existing orders (at least, the immediate ones) should be fulfilled.

At 07:01 today - further encouragement, in a message to say: “Our driver Austin will be delivering your order today between 13:06 and 15:06” A tracking link was provided confirming the delivery as notified.

At 13:06 today - a text message: “We have good news: Austin will deliver your order within the next 30 minutes”. Excellent!

So much for the good news. 15:35 - 25.3.2020 : No delivery has been made. Poor treatment.


Hi Mr Bailey,

Firstly - welcome to this Community! I can see you’ve joined in less-than-ideal circumstances but I really hope you’ll find it a useful and enjoyable place to chat to your fellow members. :slight_smile:

Secondly, we clearly owe you an apology for the misinformation in the automated delivery information you’ve received. We took our decision to close very quickly, and while we tried to switch off automated updates, clearly we haven’t had total success doing this. It’s not acceptable, and it’s not our usual high levels of service, so I’m sorry. I totally get how unhelpful this must be at a time of widespread confusion and unease.

Lastly, this Community isn’t monitored by Member Services - it’s primarily member-to-member discussion, with me and a few other staff running events and joining in. So I’m going to send you a Direct Message now so we can transfer this issue over to Member Services and get some proper clarity for you.


Government issue update today at 3:45pm and include off licences in essential list of retailers

[Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19 - GOV.UK])


The supermarket chains seem able to supply customers without unduly exposing their workers and now the government is saying off licences are essential services so there’s really no excuses TWS, sorry but back to work.


On the note of 3x busier for March, I know a few people who are members who didn’t use the society for many years and placed orders when covid-19 kicked off!

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What an appalling attitude. The supermarkets HAVE to stay open and I would imagine that their staff are making a big sacrifice in that they are likely more exposed than would be ideal. As much as we all enjoy wine we don’t HAVE to drink it in the same way we HAVE to eat and so I don’t think the argument applies.

I can only hope this is a sarcastic comment and I have got the wrong end of the stick, in which case I apologise.


I have to agree with Mike here. Please also bear in mind, supermarkets on the whole are limiting items of up to three of a kind so you may not be able to get any more than 3 bottles either.
This is a community of members all going through the same worries and issues over covid-19. I for one would not be able to live with myself if my tws delivery driver, tws warehouse staff or external courier were to come down with this virus or worse die because of my selfishness to have a few bottles of wine!!


I’m strongly reminded of this:

Jeremy Thorpe quote on Macmillan ‘Night of the Long Knives’: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life”


Especially of the 2018 Gonon…


Virtually every retailer who has an online offering is still open for business from John Lewis to Screwfix so what makes TWS any different? These days there’s always someone who is appalled or outraged when their views are challenged so I take it with a pinch of salt. The wine business operates on thin margins and a shut down will be ruinous so by all means change the business plan, amend the operational model to keep staff safe but some people need to man up and stop looking for excuses.


Some people need to man up and use their real name.


Is John Lewis essential? No

Is it open online? Yes

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I would argue completely the opposite. John Lewis and Screwfix shouldn’t be exposing their staff to the risks involved as non-essential workers. Peoples lives vs the ability to buy wine. I know which one I choose.


Do you have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the wine society?
Does the CEO?

Those are the questions you should be asking yourself


I’m gonna man up and go find a crowded place.