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Reserves pricing

It seems that from July all bottles in reserves will carry the same charge, whether magnum or half.

I can understand the desire to streamline, and agree that it would be reasonable to charge halves at a small premium, but the present proposal seems a bit unfair on those who have stocked up on the previous basis of proportional pricing.


You could buy some more magnums to balance it out? Jokes aside, this does seem a little unfair.


38% of my reserve by number of bottles is in halves. If BBR or L&W charge by half bottle it might be the incentive I need to start using a second storage facility. Being able to put single bottles into cellaring with L&W is enticing…‘constantly’ monitoring a second offering is not.

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Calling a doubling of the storage fee on my halves “streamlining” is a complete insult to my intelligence. It’s a price rise, not a streamlining.

And what really upsets me is that I don’t expect a member-owned cooperative, and The Wine Society in particular, to describe it that way.

Quite apart from the fact that I bought my halves under the old regime with no inkling it would change.

What’s happened to this wonderful institution?


It’s a bit annoying that halves I bought EP will be now significantly more than their normal list price by the time they’re in their drinking window once reserves charges are factored in. I might ask if they can be returned.


Agree this is a stealth price rise. I doubt many people have large volumes of magnums in store - I mean how often do you need one? Halfs on the other hand are very useful.

I’m still smarting from the multiple changes to withdrawal rules which have left me with several mixed cases I can only withdraw whole, and this does feel like another poorly thought through change.


I’ve got 8 magnums and 54 halves, so this is a bit of a blow. The easy solution for me is simply to move all the halves to Lay & Wheeler - it will be more expensive than it was, but less expensive than it will be. Typically these are all dessert wines which I will keep for ages, so it will be worthwhile to do it, despite the hassle and the fact I don’t really want to!


Was this information on an email ?

It was



Thanks :pray:…. I haven’t received it .

Edit …. Oops I lied, it was in my junk :see_no_evil:

I think junk is the best place for it!

I was so cross when I read that bit of the email. I have no magnums in reserves and only buy dessert wine in halves, most of which I’m planning store a good while longer.


I must say that email seems very disingenuous to me - the positioning of the pricing change as the third of four items when it’s clearly the most important (and 2 of the others aren’t even changes - and the statement that they have made reserves easier to navigate is almost insulting when it’s still so much worse than it was before the website changed) seems deliberately designed to obscure it as much as possible. Furthermore, the justification that things are stored by unit is non-sensical when they’re clearly stored in the boxes they come from (try withdrawing a whole case of something to make that obvious) and the size of the boxes varies according to various factors - including typically the size of the bottles.

Furthermore, I just went to my Reserves, tried to filter by half bottles to see how many I had, and most of my reserves don’t even have the bottle size populated (and searching for half bottle is no better because the search is so bad - for anyone doing the same exercise I recommend searching for the single word half).

Actually I know what half bottles I have and it’s not enough to make that much difference to me, but I don’t think the Society should be communicating in such a weaselly way.


“… and we’ve held that price for the second year in a row.”

Except for half bottles!

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Appears I am 42 halves to 12 magnums. I shall have to put a Salmanazar of NV champagne in reserves to restore balance…

Poorly communicated and unfair is a good way to describe the change. I certainly hope IB transfers of halves to elsewhere will be done for free considering this. It seems based on a desire for simplicity of counting number of bottles, maybe another sign that the IT is not up to scratch…

I used to buy some bits and pieces from Laithwaites, until I got a storage invoice where sixpacks were charged the same as whole cases. On querying I was told they charged a flat rate per “case” no matter the size. I no longer buy from Laithwaites.


A little bit like the changes from last year, one gets the feeling that no one really minds if there’s a change to pricing (delivery/splitting etc.) if its flagged well in advance on a go-forward basis.

Obviously not ideal but I think most get it.

What causes the frustration is around legacy purchases which suddenly are going to be (in some situations quite materially) a worse of position.


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Looking at my mix, it’s really frustrating to see that the bulk of my halves are either port or stickies (165 of 225 half bottles in reserves) bought EP with the aim of cellaring them for at least 20 years.

Assuming I were to store with TWS to the start of the average drinking window (2034 - although I was thinking of leaving for a further decade), it would double the cellaring charges to 2,100 from 1,050.

Really poor form and leaves me disappointed and disillusioned with the integrity, decision making and value set of the current leadership.

Email sent to members services.



It is a bit perplexing.

At the same time as an extended trial of completely free delivery for orders, we’re being nickel and dimed regarding reserves.

Quite why you can order a case of 12 by the individual bottle and receive free delivery per bottle but if you placed them into reserves and tried the same procedure there would be a applied charge of £120 has still never been explained.

Some joined up thinking please. At times it seems that the reserves is handled by a completely different company than the general sales.


(Not so) Strange logic. Let’s assume that the most common format is 750ml bottles, followed by 375ml bottles, with magnums (and other large formats) a distant third.

In such case, and because there’s no substitution option, what you have is a de facto penalty applied to the holders of the largest “minority” bottle category. That must have been factored in, as the additional cost relative to the space occupied by large format bottles will not be that impactful, given their minuscule numbers.

Does this sound right?


I was also thinking that this was analysed prior to the decision, otherwise it would have been a price increase for Magnums. I am not impacted adversely, but still think this is crap. I could understand for mixed cases, but cannot be justified for unbroken cases of halves.