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Value Wine

Having one of my relatively infrequent looks at TWS website and my attention was caught by the “value” promotions. Looking briefly through all of these I noticed that the great majority of wines were (well?) under £20 a bottle, with very few outliers. I think a Barolo at 26, and Soc champagne at 34, were the most expensive.

Does this mean that none of the higher priced wines available are good value? I very rarely spend more than £20 on a bottle so this idea broadly fits my preconceptions and does make me wonder whether some more expensive wines are worth bothering with at all. It’s not much of a recommendation if TWS is selling them and doesn’t even consider them good value!

An alternative thought is that “value” is just a nice way of marketing “cheap”.

This is a semi-frivolous, and semi-serious post by the way.

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Thank you: I had the same reaction, but with more doubts. I would be more interested in knowing which they think are ‘value’ among the more expensive wines. I can experiment with the cheaper wines, but want more information for the more expensive. I am also concerned if TWS thinks it is mainly a place for lower-priced wines.

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I think the term “value” is being used in its broader sense in this promotion

I rather think value is very subjective. What one person may regard as good value another may view as a rip off. It all depends on our budgets and what we want to spend them on. Additionally some wines are always more expensive because of a variety of factors. Barolo is low yield and long ageing in the cellar, usually in oak, before it is released. Similarly Champagne is labour intensive.and a long complex ageing process. Shipping costs also play a part in bottle price. I could cite numerous other examples.
When I browse through wine lists and email offers I ask myself simply whether I am prepared to pay £X for whatever is asked. To give a personal recent instance, I was sent an offer of De Moor Chablis this week, I had also tried a bottle of Laurent Tribut 2019 village Chablis. I was pondering the De Moor Chablis as I have a couple of bottles of previous vintages and thought they were excellent. I then looked at the recent offer price and thought it very high. So I am opting for the much cheaper Laurent Tribut

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Discover the best-value bottles – whatever the price –

Mmm. But “whatever the price” does seem to include suspiciously many low budget wines and this could indeed lead to the impression that the Society is going in a low budget /high volume direction.

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It was released at the same time as the fine wine list.

Possibly it’s being pitched as the alternative current offer, where everything was over £10, mostly well clear of that.


I think the Society is pitching different campaigns at different members, and that’s very good with me - in fact, I would consider it odd if it only ever promoted wines in the £20+ bracket. My (unsubstantiated) hunch is that the majority of members probably pay between, say £8 and £15 for their everyday wines, so here’s a campaign to shine a light on these wines and offer some (excellent) suggestions.

I fail to understand what the issue is here. As a Society with a diverse group of members (one hopes!), different themes will appeal to different people. Not everyone buys EP, not everyone has a budget to spend £20, or even less, regularly - nor do some people want to.

We are but a small sample of (very enthusiastic [obsessive?]) wine lovers on this forum. To extrapolate from this value campaign that the Society is somehow dumbing down or only going to concentrate on this price bracket is a touch fanciful in my opinion.


Yes, I suppose “value” has more marketing merit than “not fine wines” would! It doesn’t exactly mean the same though and “value” does have meaning, even if it’s open to various interpretations. (Unfine wines? Less than fine wines? Budget wines? Cheapskate wines? No, can’t see this catching on!)

Now I wonder about the sales prospects of any “budget” wines that are not in the “value” selection? Perhaps there aren’t any: I don’t know.

In fairness, “value” is very often used to denote lower priced options as opposed to premium options.

For example, if you look at a review of best computer monitors, or best vacuum cleaners, there will almost always be a “value pick”, which is the best option in a low price bracket.

I think people are reading too much into this.


But isn’t just this ‘value’ campaign. It is the number of campaigns and the repeated use of ‘value’. My WS emails go into a folder to be deleted so I can count them: in March so far, I have had 12 marketing emails of which 3 had ‘value’ in the subject line.

Value means different things to different people. It’s good that TWS is highlighting bottles that represent “value” at different prices. I too have no problem with this. Wouldn’t it be great if we obsessives could afford and only drank grand cru etc but wine life would become pretty boring.


I suppose I am not offended by the term ‘value’ - and as many here already state, it’s a subjective notion in any case. I have a number of friends who enjoy wine very much - for whom value denotes wines under a tenner. Is their enjoyment less worthy than my own?

If a quarter of March’s emails were about ‘value’ wines - then surely the rest of the three quarter emails weren’t. We need a Society with a broad approach to appeal to all the membership, not to just to us, wine fanatics :slight_smile:

I often feel that whatever the Society does, someone will always find fault in it. We don’t want it to be ‘stuffy’, but we don’t want ‘value’ wines. We don’t want it ‘old fashioned’ but we don’t want it to court new members either. Freud would have had a field day trying to figure out what we actually want.


I am sure the choice of terminology is very deliberate and one that someone was paid very well to come up with it. I don’t like term “value” as has been said it can mean all sorts of things. I occasionally pay £30+ for a bottle of wine and if I don’t like it then clearly that is not good “value” to me, however if I like it a lot and think it is the equal of many higher priced wines then it might be very good “value”. That of course could apply to wine at any price. It’s all very personal and subjective, and I feel a misstep to go down this route in a marketing campaign.


I’m sure you’re right and that good money had been paid to come up with ‘value’ as the choice of terminology here - but perhaps this is because we all get what this means on an intuitive level, even whilst agreeing that value is a subjective term.

Semantics aside, there is another side to the campaign which is about highlights the values of the Society. So - members before profit, buying with the knowledge that quality should (at least in theory) be there at every price point and so on.

It might be the Society’s way to reassure those of us who cannot afford (or choose not to) pay above, say, a tenner for their bottles, that even wine at the lower price point reflects the Society’s values. At least that’s what I read into the message that goes with this specific campaign.

At a time when the price of everything seems to go up, and some of us may actually find it more difficult to afford more pricy wines - it’s not the worst message I have heard.


If you haven’t already seen it, there’s a fascinating documentary series on that very subject on the BBC iPlayer. Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, is a key player…

…funnily enough the final episode is titled ‘eight people sipping wine in Kettering’


I’m amazed there hasn’t been a value wines thread before now or is this not it

It rings a bell, I must say…! :thinking:

Was part of the series called The Living Dead? I may have dreamt it. Will definitely take a look - thank you for the tip! :+1:

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That’s a separate series from the same filmmaker but many of the themes it touches on are of a similar nature.

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Yes I am sure you are right, and of course the Society’s wide range of own brand wines surely would fall into the value category. I just think it’s a slightly patronising word, but that’s probably just me. I do put a lot of faith in TWS buyers and find the Society’s and Exhibition wines are great and a very good place for anyone to start without them getting caught up in wondering what a value wine is to them.

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Let me attempt a ‘value’ definition or at least as understood by me - and by ‘value’ I assume most people understand it to mean ‘good value’. Not the more arbitrary ‘valued by me’ regardless of what anybody else thinks.

‘Good value’ is when the price is only very slightly more than the intrinsic cost of production + transport/storage costs, for wine which is well made, without faults and tastes pleasant/interesting to the generality of wine consumers. In other words ‘decent wine’ without a big profit margin tacked onto it – and without unnecessary costs attached to its production/delivery such as lavishly gratuitous and extravagant image advertising which champagne has historically been guilty of (and which is why a lot of champagne is not ‘good value’).

Of course, if you are selling ‘decent wine’ for less than its production cost, then that is more than good value, that is a ‘bargain’. :grinning: