Agreed, it’s undemocratic and favours those who happen to be passing. In fairness however I should point out there were only a handful of the high-end cases, so would have caused a kerfuffle on the website. And red only.
I shall try not to enjoy the contents. too much.
There were some ‘2x3’ cases which were apparently exactly as you might expect, 3 x two bottles each - I don’t know how they turned out or if there were any whites inside…
I also picked up a couple of posh bottles from the fine-wine cave - £38 and £30. They await the end of Miserable January.
I was at TWS showroom yesterday and picked up a mystery 6 bottle case of reds for £99 (my first ever mystery case from any retailer). It contained one each of
Viña Ardanza Reserva 2012
Château Peyrabon Haut-Médoc 2015
Vida Peter Bonsai Öregtökés Kadarka 2020, Szekszárd
Montecchio Chianti Classico 2019
Domaine de Bellène Vieilles Vignes Saint-Romain Rouge 2020
Tyrell’s Old Winery Pinot Noir 2021
Not sure what my expectation should have been, but I feel vaguely disappointed. Doesn’t feel like much of a bargain against the single bottle prices (maybe a fiver?) and 4 of the 6 bottles had stained or damaged labels (is that typical?), so on that basis you could argue it’s even less value.
On the positive side, a bottle of Viña Ardanza is never a bad thing, and while the 2012 isn’t quite the 2010, neither is it that widely available now, at least from my regular haunts. I will be interested to try the Saint-Romain rouge and the Bonsai, which is a wine I’d have been unlikely to buy otherwise. The Peyrabon will be fine I’m sure, I’d actually also bought another bottle in a mixed case I put together for myself while there. Mine didn’t have a damaged label though…
The Tyrrell’s Pinot Noir and the Chianti felt like fillers in the £10-13 range (perhaps I’m being unfair, not too sure of the pricing of these).
I didn’t see any £165 fine wine cases (I saw £85/99 sixes, the others were in the £50 range), which is possibly just as well.
I don’t feel like I’ve been had, and I know TWS probably doesn’t have the same scope for markup reductions as some retailers, but based on this experience I wouldn’t do it again (particularly with the damaged labels). I can definitely say I got more enjoyment from mixing my own case, though I haven’t tested my judgment by drinking any yet…
Perfectly normal - damaged labels is one reason they are remaindered.
The high end ‘mystery’ bottles I have noticed recently in the ‘fine wine cave’ discounted but sold individually (not on the website), plus they are on show so you know what you are buying.
This might be because TWS prices are already low, without any ‘fat’ built in to allow for further discounting. Compared to Majestic etc (other retailers are avialable) who have a sizable margin included on their list prices.
The Ardanza 2012 & the Saint-Romain are possibly around the £30 mark, hence the lower price ‘fillers’ to balance out the pricing?
Bottom line: it’s a lucky dip. Sometimes you get lucky & ‘win’ over the odds, but they are never sub-value & you cannot lose (especially with ‘the promise’). I’m fairly certain you will enjoy working your way through them !
I would normally expect some discount for that, others may not.
Yes, saw them in there, I just meant I didn’t see £165 mystery cases, now advertised on the website, on the pallets in the showroom.
Personally I’ve never paid more than around £20 for Viña Ardanza (admittedly on mix 6 and/or offer, but such offers aren’t uncommon), from what I could see elsewhere online the Saint-Romain was probably in £20-25 range.
Like I say, I don’t feel “had”, and I wasn’t expecting 6 bottles of £25-30 wine for £99, but in the context of the pricing and the label damage, it wouldn’t be for me again. It’s a bit like restaurants, if you have good initial experiences, you will likely forgive occasional later failings, but a poor first experience will make you less likely to go back at all (by which I mean mystery cases, not TWS itself). Feels like I’d do better overall DIY (and personally enjoy that process more)
Out of interest, how does “the promise” work for mystery cases? Not that I’d have any intention of claiming unless there were actually something materially wrong with the contents of a bottle, just interested how they decide how much to refund.
Separate thing: I ordered a fine wine mystery case from Avery’s. Realised on arrival it was more of a standard Laithwaites case of six for £120. Didn’t seem good value but all sorted now (good customer service).
Il Poeta Barbaresco 2018
Boschendal Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2019
Derthona Colli Tortonesi Timorasso
Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc
Hacienda del Arte Reserva 2013
Chateau Dalem Fronsac 2018
Same thing, I ordered a fine wine mystery case from Majestic, promised as AT LEAST 50% reduction.
They sent a standard case, it was quite frankly rubbish. So I asked them to replace with a fine wine case as ordered ! Or if out of stock (I was feeling generous) they could let me loose in the shop and I would chose 12 wines and pay 50% off.
No chance. All they were prepared to do was give me back my money AFTER I had returned the rubbish case. And guess what… I have never shopped with them again.