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Supplier Supported Deals August 2020

Looks like the new campaign/offers start next week

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Well spotted Winestwit, will look forward to seeing what’s there.

And perhaps (in the case of the greedy clutches of the Burgundian negotiants…and Bordeaux houses owned by insurance giants) perhaps offering to pay substantially LESS this year.

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They are ruthless.

The problem of minimum orders (especially EP) is now being noted in the world outside this group, so not doing TWS’s reputation any good.

If you follow Elitist review (you should, not only for perceptive comments, but for enjoyment), you will find:

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Think that was the same guy who kicked it off on here? Whilst I understand (some) of his frustration, I’m not sure all the comments are accurate e.g. you do own the wine in Members Reserves.
I blow hot and cold about his site, some very good stuff, some less so.

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Yeah, he started a thread about that a few weeks ago. I wondered if he’d put something on his blog as well.

I have to say I feel broadly in agreement with much of this article. There do seem to be a lot of en primer offers, and clearly they do favour those who can spare cash a long time in advance, and often in substantial amounts.
Whether they are deliberately or incidentally discriminatory is another matter. The fact is they do financially discriminate.

On reserves, you might want to look at the Reserves string: some worrying comments on ownership.

I think the key question that I don’t think @doctorstrange received an answer to, was whether this wine will be offered on the list at a later date.

If it will be, the article looks a little over-the-top. If it won’t be, then I totally understand the anger. Very frustrating to exclude all those who can’t afford 6 bottles of a very appealing but not particularly affordable champagne. I certainly can’t.

EP as far as I understand it, is a purchase almost direct from the winery, negotiated by a middle man (TWS). Maybe the middle man could negotiate a bit harder for the winery to sell more flexibly, but I’ve got absolutely no idea about the power dynamics of the negotiations.

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Not sure about that. Seems to be some potential misunderstandings on it. ‘Ring fenced’ doesn’t actually mean there’s a fence around them…records, including website records held by members presumably show ownership.

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I can’t get excited too much about Mr Davy Strange - he might like to wear red trousers etc and be very upset about not getting what he wants (he’s still managed to obtain 3 bottles of Gratien 2012), but the harsh reality is that there’s economics and cashflow to be considered here and why not? Gratien and TWS are businesses with these things to consider.

There are many, many wines I cannot afford and most online wine merchants have much higher minimum orders (£500) or other restrictive limits than TWS. With any amount of limited product for sale where demand is likely to exceed availability, there will always be disappointment.

With regard to ownership in Reserves, all of my mixed cases that I have made up, stored and then retrieved are stickered with the original purchase label and details, over-stickered with a new delivery label on retrieval. Other wines that exist in quantity, well I don’t expect to have my own case of these until I request removal and delivery; can’t see how this could be an issue as long as it’s cared for in the same way.

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Agree regarding the commercials of it.

I would love to fish the Alta river in Norway. It is arguably the best salmon river in the world. To do this I have 3 options:

  1. Be the Duke of Roxburghe (who still has a long lease on part of it)
  2. Pay c $30,000 for 3 days fishing if I can get it.
  3. Pay a non refundable £50 to enter the Alta Lottery with a pretty low chance to get the right to fish for one day for an additional £350 during a slightly less good part of the season on a less good part of the river (it’s all relative).

The first is not the case, the second whilst possible might not lead to domestic accord, and the third makes EP wine purchase look positively equitable.

Life’s not fair. There are other perfectly good wines available by the bottle or 3 bottles. A fair number of EP wines do eventually hit the list at some point down the road. You also take the risk that they aren’t as good as they are made out to be at birth.

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I received the printed offer today and I’d like to with draw my previous comments.

Each producer has their own section with details of why they were chosen including history with the society. Answers most of my questions.

Although I still see few wines I need to buy.

Also I noticed that the printed list has discounted on 12 bottle cases, whereas some have 6 bottles discounted online.

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I’d further add that it would be good if TWS had this info online, without needing to download the PDF. I’m sure it could be done and help us who are trying to be more paper free.

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Not the same but this is really insightful from last month, I discovered it from this offer’s landing page

‘The Cost To Our Country Is Going To Be Huge’: Winemakers On The Devastating Effects Of Covid

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It’s an illustration of a sad, but fundamental, truth about this planet and current economy. Things are cheaper if you’re richer.

Buying a house, the more deposit you have the lower your interest rate will be. The better your credit history, the lower your interest rate will be. The more money you have, the more money you can afford to borrow. If you’re rich enough to be able to make high risk investments then that’s a whole other level of potential gain just not available if you’re not. There are countless examples of this.

I have little doubt that the 2012 Gratien will appear on the society’s list when it is actually available and delivered. It will be more expensive than it is for those of us who could stump up for 6 bottles EP. While I am all for the release of EP wines in singles, with so much more serious inequality in the world caused by this, it does grate a little when someone calling themselves “Elitist Reviews” and reviewing lots of fine wines throws their toys out of the pram because they can’t get the champagne they want at the price they want (before it’s actually been released, let alone in its drinking window) and then in the same “article” drinks more champagne than the cost of a case of EP Gratien.

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Yes, the use of the word ‘penury’ in this context did make my eyes roll more than a little. Is he being serious or not…?

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I think some of this issue is exacerbated by the TWS search engine not showing out of stock/previous wines. Too often I see comments saying TWS does not stock wine X, but in actual fact just don’t have any at that moment but probably will when the next delivery/vintage comes in.

If we had the option to search all out of stock wines then it would be much clearer. There is an out of stock tick box in the search engine but it only shows a small handful that have, presumably, gone out of stock recently. All these wines are still in the database as we can look at them from My Wines and they appear with ‘HistoricProduct’ in the URL. In my humble opinion these ‘HistoricProducts’ should be searchable so we know whether a wine is normally stocked or not.

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I don’t know if it helps, but the digital magazine has all this info, and there’s also some really lovely stories from growers on the landing page which we couldn’t include in the printed offer, plus the video too, and articles about how growers/TWS have adapted to the challenges of the year - so I hope this gives an even richer insight than the printed offer does. I’d really recommend a deep-dive into the offer landing page, which covers all of the above:

I also had some really helpful info sent my way about our discounting policy, which I hope will be of interest to some of the contributors to this topic:

The Wine Society’s pricing policy follows EDLP principles (everyday low prices). We never inflate a price to then discount it later in the year. The only time we pass discounts onto members is if it is supplier-supported (Backing our Best is a good example of this), or if we wants to encourage members to try something new and esoteric (what we call an ‘exploration discount’, usually applied to a pre-mixed case) or we need to clear/bin end stock to make room for the new season.

Hope this helps!

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