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Invitation to AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying



Have you ever wished you could ask that burning question directly of the buyers at The Society? Well, now you can!

Tuesday, 30th January 2018 (13:00 - 14:00)

On Tuesday, January 30th Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying at The Wine Society, will join us LIVE in the community for an hour to answer your questions.

@PierreM will be joining us to discuss his recent article and mixed case selection: “What to Drink in 2018” to discuss the trends, plans and discoveries awaiting us in 2018.

Read the post here for inspiration – do you agree with Pierre?


Send us your questions

This is an AMA – Ask Me Anything format. Pierre will answer questions that are posted in advance on the day, then will join us LIVE for 1 hour (13:00 – 14:00 GMT) on 30/01/2018 where he can answer any follow-up questions, or any that you want to post live. You can log in and join him, or follow the conversation later at your leisure.

Unfortunately the buying team are unable to reply to all comments and questions in the community on a regular basis (though they may participate from time to time and do read your comments), so arranging specific dates and times means we can benefit from the chance to catch them in the office and get their advice.

Post your question TODAY on this thread (especially if it involves some research!) and we will collect these to reply to on the 30th.

It promises to be an exciting session that puts YOU in the interview chair.

Weekend Drinking Thread [20 Jan 2018]
Beaujolais Nouveau - discuss


I have a question about how TWS buyers (and Pierre Mansour in particular) choose what wines to offer it’s members (when clearly they have so much choice). I was wondering this after I saw that Pierre was on a Decanter panel tasting a lot of top Riojas last year - yet many (if not all?) of the top rated wines are not featured on TWS and visa versa TWS offer some top wines which aren’t necessarily on the wider radar. Very interested what guidance and considerations the buyers have when travelling out to a wine region. Hope that’s ok and makes sense?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

Which wine growing regions do you think currently offer the best value for money?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

What advice would you give to someone undergoing a career change and wanting to eventually become a buyer?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

TWS 16 y/o blended scotch - is excellent - not just my opinion but every review it gets.

BUT my question is… why is it just released as a watered down 40% expression? and what about offering exactly the same blend except cask strength, non chill filtered, no added colour (perhaps even in a 70c bottle!) ?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

I love the what to drink guides and have referred to them each year since becoming a member. What I’ve not seen suggested is the 2010 white Burgundy. When should we start on the 1er crus from the cote d’or, or has that time been and we need to get drinking?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

I’d appreciate top tips on predicting how immature wines are going to pan out.

White and red Burgundy please. Not so important for the villages wines as I can usually drink them quite happily from day 1 but a decent Nuits red, for example, might well taste like nothing on earth at a chilly vigneron’s cellar.

I’m sure many Wine Society Community members buy wine direct from growers - so any advice on how not to go for pig in a poke or conversely how to recognise the ugly duckling that will become a swan (that’s enough of the animal clichés, Ed)

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

Further to this, any advice on how to get into the wine business in general would be useful!


I’m a Beaucoup Fish man, myself, but what’s your favourite Underworld album, and what’s the best wine match for it?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

OK, we did say ‘Ask me Anything’ … but I’m not sure if The Society’s buyers should be expressing views on British electronic music groups as this could potentially have a substantial impact on the OCC’s “UK Top 40 Album” charts!


On a more serious note, if you have any questions for Pierre, do add them to this list. I think there is a great range of questions … yet none on Rhone (which is a surprise).


“Do you have a preference for blind or non-blind tasting?”

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

“the one that got away” - what wine under GBP20 do you regret not having offered to members (on the assumption you could have)?

Red, white, rose or sparkling - which do you go for instinctively?

Desert island wine or wines (assume a 4 course dinner).

The annual wine champions - what % of those tasted do you instantly recognise?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

Not quite as random a question as it might look - this is taken from Pierre’s biog from the ‘About the buyers’ page on the main site:

‘I love music, quite quirky styles, especially electronic music, plus bands like Radiohead and Underworld. I’m a real vinyl addict.’


ha! this is a man who does his research. I’ve not discussed this with Pierre, but actually thought he might have a clever reply to the question, and that proves it. Let’s see!



Only a day left until we run our first interview session.

If you have any more questions, post them here so we can do our best to give considered replies, … or join us tomorrow at lunchtime for a friendly chat where we will try to answer as many more questions that come up


I would like to ask Pierre what he deems in his career to date, to be his “Greatest Find” and why he feels that way about the particular wine ?
Thanks :+1:

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

A question I’d like to ask Pierre:

If I (or another member) had a £350 one-off windfall and decided to spend it on Rhone 2016 en emprimeur, would he recommend:

  • getting one or two top, well known wines like a good CDP or Cote Rotie @£150 - £200 a case of six for special occasions like Christmas in the future (wines I’ve never been able to afford before and may never be able to afford afford again).
  • or buying a range of four or five wines less well known wines, @ £50 - £120 a case of six, perhaps venturing to the Languedoc as well as Rhone. (wines I anticipate I probably will be able to afford in the future).

What would be the most fun? Where would be the most pleasure to make the most of this opportunity?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

Rhone 2016 related question - why does Pierre think the indie wine trade hasn’t gone for the affordable quality found in the Rhone, for example on the current WS EP offer and remains fixated with Bordeaux and Burgundy? I get very frustrated seeing shops with crates full of £45 Chateau du Have-to-google-it and one Rasteau gathering dust in a corner.

And another question - Gigondas quality and critical praise appears to be catching up with CNDP but prices in general aren’t - will there be a correction as others follow the apparent lead from St Cosme?

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying

My question is very simple: why no lafit sine 2001, thank you.

AMA with Pierre Mansour, Head of Buying