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What advice would you give new Society members?


Most of us taking part here in this ‘test phase’ are reasonably long-standing members of The Society and experienced in matters of ordering, Members’ Reserves, tastings, finding member reviews of wines, and so on.

However, this community will hopefully become one of the first places that new members joining in future will turn to read about the Society, what wines to try and to get advice on any issues they may have on making the most of their membership.

We will shortly be encouraging some brand new members to test the community with us, and I wanted to prepare the site with some information that would be useful for them - and I need your help.

If you were to think back to when you first joined, compared with what you know now, what is the piece of advice you wish had been given then that would have made your life easier?

What piece of advice would you pass on to new members?

In my case it would probably be to check out the Wine Without Fuss options earlier. I kept putting it off, and buying interesting looking cases individually instead, but occasionally finding myself without decent wine at home on a weeknight and wishing I had a magic fairy-godmother that had sent me cases to stock the shelves in the interim.

I will put your suggestions together in a “FAQ” format at some stage in the next few days and weeks, and post new questions to the same area so more experienced members might proffer their wisdom and we can build up the list.

Things I wish I had known - a message to new Society members

There are two key things that are huge factors for me when I’m buying from the Society. Firstly, I have a lot of confidence in the views of my fellow members, and always look at the Member Reviews. I visit the site every day and look out for enthusiastic reviews of wines I’ve not tried. I value the Press Reviews too, but generally find the Member Reviews more useful.

The other useful function is the Wish List. If I know I want a wine it goes straight into the basket - there’s always an order on the go - but if I’m interested but not sure it goes in the Wish List. I’ll use that as a backup list and top up orders with things I’ve stashed in there.

With so many wines to choose from, you’ve got to have a system!


A very good point - there is a view that these are not high profile enough, so I hope we can make even more of these in future.

You could always start on Page 1 of the list and work through in order :slight_smile:


I agree, members views do it for me.
Better the ones that say something, just giving a star rating is less useful.
I would advise on not being afraid to comment, you don’t have to be an expert to say why you did or didn’t like a wine.
As far as professional tasters notes, for the most part I ignore them.
Harsh, do I hear you say? Well how often do they give a wine a bad or indifferent comment? Never, in my experience! Maybe they think if they do, then they will not be asked to review in future?
The ONLY way that they will attain credibility in my little world is when they say that they didn’t like something and tell us why. And for the professional reviewers who attest that a £10 wine is just short of Petrus standard are just inviting a P45 through their letterbox!
I will be honest and say that there are some styles of wine and some grape varieties that I would be utterly delighted to never encounter again. We, as human beings are all unique, we cannot all like and dislike the same things. Personally, I can dislike a wine but appreciate that it is well made but I still wouldn’t wish it to darken my vinous door as long as I had a breath in me.


40 years ago this Christmas, my father gave me the best present ever, membership of the Wine Society. I had little money and nowhere to store wine. I started by buying mixed dozens, one case at a time, always including something I knew and rather more from the unknown parts of the list. As I didn’t know any other members my age, I recruited friends who enjoyed wine and we tasted together. So my advice is twofold: experiment with new wines, and find out what others think of them. With the Community and reviews that’s a lot easier now!


Great advice, especially over the holidays since we have more chances to get together. I enjoy trying something new with guests (friends I trust) - there’s always a thrill in discovering something they didn’t know about before. There’s a few friends who still talk about how they now drink “that wine” that I helped introduce them to.