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Issues ordering en primeur online


Not on my phone now either. Hope my EP order hasn’t disappeared!


Still works fine on my laptop. However you shouldn’t need the link; just go to Fine Wine - En Primeur - 2018 Bordeaux - My Order Details.


I think @szaki1974’s points regarding editing orders is the bit I find most frustrating - especially as the ‘May we substitute?’ box is ticked by default. On a couple of campaigns I have had to either call up to change this or call up to remove the whole order and then resubmit, remembering to un-tick this box. I fully accept that this could be a matter of personal preference, and that a far larger number of people would prefer to have the box ticked by default, but personally I would prefer it to be a pro-active choice.

If there is another over-arching point, it is that the system feels somewhat caught between being an online system and a telephone system, as you can create an order online, but then you actually have quite a lot of flexibility to change and edit it, but that must be done through contacting member services directly.

As others have mentioned, most of these issues would probably be resolved by some form of EP basket that you can add/remove wines from and edit substitutes until you are ready to submit, accepting this probably wouldn’t work as well for the Bordeaux pre-order which is run on a slightly more dynamic basis than the other campaigns.

That being said, I think the overall interface works and I have not had any real issues ordering far more wine than I should over the course of the last few campaigns!



Agree completely - I have lost count of the number of times I have had to start the EP process again because I have forgotten to untick the auto substitute box.


Completely with you on that May we substitute should not be ticked… Won’t stop me ordering, as you also implied.


Up to the deadline, can we be given the option to completely edit an order? To add, remove and cancel.

Also could EP allow ordering in a wider range of formats for a larger number of wines? At present it’s quite limited.


See these responses from the recent AMA with buyer Tim Sykes concerning non-75cl formats.

SykoWinoSociety Staff


Invitation to Ask Me Anything: EP Bordeaux with buyer Tim Sykes, 3rd July 1-2pm

Why are so few wines offered in sizes other than standard 75cl bottles? I suspect every Chateau listed in the ‘18 EP offer will produce halves and larger formats. Is the issue supply or demand?

Most châteaux will bottle wines in virtually any format, as when you’re buying en primeur the wine is still 18 months away from bottling. We have increased then number of wines offered in non-standard formats, but from a logistical perspective it’s very complex to have a proliferation of different format for a large number of wines. Added to this, demand for non-standard formats is actually very limited.

Invitation to Ask Me Anything: EP Bordeaux with buyer Tim Sykes, 3rd July 1-2pm

As a regular buyer of larger formats (eg double magnums) why do TWS never offer these EP?

We very occasionally offer double magnums en primeur, but we are considering stocking a few large format reds in future that have some bottle age.


@Robin63 and @szaki1974 - I get the feeling this may again be hangover from a time before online ordering where customers would ring up to submit EP orders or submit them by post, and the default position from TWS was that if you didn’t get allocated something you requested they would offer a substitute selected by TWS, and so when an online system was created that become the default position.

I think, however, that the online system does make this redundant and an opt-in system would be better, especially since upon missing out on an allocation you get sent the remaining stocks list to choose your own substitute if you want


This is the key point I think. The substitute option is largely redundant, other than the possibility that the substitute wine you may have chosen might also be limited in stock and you might get it on substitute but not on remaining stock.


Hi Alex

My issue is that I do not get to choose the substitute. If buying EP, I do a little research across various online sources before making the purchase decision. Having a random wine allocated to me is not what I am looking for.


HI Robin,

I completely agree, and wasn’t clear. What I meant was that if you do un-tick the ‘may we substitute’ box, and you are unsuccessful in the allocation process, you tend to get sent the remaining stocks list from which you can then chose something else if you want. I too would generally prefer to do this than have a random replacement selected! Although, having said that, in some cases I will leave it ticked on purpose to see what they suggest, as one can always decline the suggested replacement.


You know you can choose a substitute, right? It’s a bit odd in that if your chosen sub is also not available you’ll get a random wine and there’s no way to say ‘this sub but no other’, but you can always refuse it if not keen.

I quite like the potential for mystery. It’s introduced me to good stuff in the past.


Been thinking about the calls for baskets not to be emptied. It would be great to go further and have the ability to mark wines in wishlist fashion within the ep system. On the printed list I’m sure we all have our systems of marking which wines we want/like/are thinking about, but this could be much better online. After filtering down the price and areas I’m interested in, I’d like to mark wines into a long/shortlist with various tags. Then I can come back and just view those without having to search all over again.

I use this tool for my boardgame hobby. It’s a bit much for tws ep, but a similar idea of narrowing down the options, and being able to see those choices when you come back:

it’s nice that you can filter by certain criteria, and even export your selections (you can also create a shareable link but htat might be getting a bit much).

On another note, in terms of substitutes, I find it a bit annoying when specifying the sub to have to go and find the wine, copy the code, come back and add to the box. It would be much more helpful to have a real-time search box there instead, so I can just start typing the name of the wine I want to sub and it comes up as an option for me to select.

And finally, I think this has been mentioned before, but it would be great to have my choice saved online and editable there. So I can add/remove/edit up until the deadline, then my choices are more or less fixed. This is different from a saved wishlist, as the order is placed, but it giveds me the ability to change my mind without having to call CS, and as allocations aren’t made until the deadline has passed anyway, shouldn’t really matter in terms of stick levels etc.


Oh yes, this would be great :+1:


I am one of those unfortunate individuals that can easily be overawed. I was once terrified of phoning pompous stockbrokers in case they should sneer at my modest dealings. Fortunately online trading has changed all that.

The same applies to buying anything else. Even now, I sometimes feel uncomfortable in certain types of shops.

With TWS, I don’t feel out of my depth. I don’t have to speak to someone. Online buying is a wonderful enhancement for those that like this method. But I still prefer to browse through the catalogue that we receive and to fill-up the form to buy. A short walk to the pillar box completes they buying experience.