My copy arrived this morning and I have been looking through it with interest. A few thoughts come to mind :
There is no “member pick” on the England pages.
Even amongst the most popular wines there are still so many I haven’t tried. Should do better!
The prices. The Pazo de Villarei Albariño caught my eye. Not so long ago, up to 2019 in fact, I was buying this for £8 something a bottle. Now £12.95. It’s a fine wine but it’s a bit sad to see. No polemics here though.
How about a little competition to see how the buyers’ tastes align with the members? Set a budget, perhaps around £100, and let each buyer put together a best 6 bottle case within the budget. Then after a few months count the sales.
No, I can’t really see this happening, but might be fun.
No, don’t encourage them. I really don’t care which are the most ‘popular’ (except to hope that they don’t include any that I like: mostly I was lucky this time). Selections by buyers are of some interest, but I don’t want a ‘snapshot’ of their range. I want a proper wine list, and I am afraid this type of thing is replacing it.
Does TWs have such a thing as a staff discount scheme for staff who buy their wine from their employer? I would be surprised if they didn’t and of so what is that discount? As we own the company (ha ha!) surely we should know.
The champions is a blind taste with various people not just the buyers. Why can’t people have favourites/preferred wines at any given time? Society buyers select wines at various price points, just because they don’t necessarily highlight expensive wines doesn’t mean they aren’t good value.
There is also probably a bit of needing to appeal the common denominator, yes there are members that can afford expensive wines but probably not all. Throw in the current cost of living concerns I can also understand the need to highlight affordable wines for all.
I would expect that due to the way the society operates the buyers think all the wines they stock are worth it. There have been plenty of examples where wines are only stocked in some vintages or new wines are sold because the represent quality.
I really don’t understand the constant criticism of the marketing from the Society, not everything has a hidden agenda.