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Why should I want a 'best seller'?


Not for the first time, a promotion email from TWS is pushing wines because they are best sellers, in this case:

" our bestselling winter bottles".

Why should any member consider this an incentive to buy? Tell me what the wine is like, maybe what some reviewers have said, perhaps what other wines it is similar to which I have bought. But I don’t buy wines because other people whom I don’t know buy them. Also in today’s emails, Majestic is telling me about new Riojas because I have bought these in the past: this makes much more sense.


Trying desperately hard to think of a good answer to that question, but the more I think the more elusive a convincing reply seems. No, can’t come up with any good reason.


I find that marketing is a damned if you do / damned if you don’t profession

There is a (basic level of) logic that states because you are a member you too will like these because lots of other members do - this of course takes out personal taste but simply goes to the lowest common denominator and applies statistics on numbers of purchasers

You then have increasing levels of targeting through country, region, appellation or can go down the grape route.

This follows all the way to the apex of the hierarchy is - ‘you have previously purchased x producer …here are their new wines’

but…they (TWS) don’t know you liked any of the previous wines you purchased but what they do know is lots of members have purchased these wines (again can’t say they liked - unless its repeat business and you make an assumption you wouldn’t buy something you don’t like twice!)

what I love about email is - it has minimal cost to TWS and there is a delete button


Very basic level…we would end up with about a dozen wines on the list taking that to extremes…


But isn’t there a degree of comfort in being in the mainstream? I’m not for a moment arguing for lowest common denominator wine but just that for many wine is a distress purchase commodity. Many Society members might be more than happy with safety in numbers.


Conversely, if you put wines on that list that are not actually ‘best sellers’ (let’s put the notion of fraud aside for a second), will the fact make them ‘best sellers’ in the future?


Receiving a mailing of best selling wines is at the very least informative. What an individual decides to do in response to this information will differ depending on their tastes and circumstances. Some will be reassured in making a purchase they might otherwise be unsure of making. Others will have their own preferences confirmed or be surprised at something they don’t much care for being a best seller. Some will ignore it because on principle they don’t want to follow the herd. And some will be downright offended at a perception of being told what to buy.

Ain’t we a wonderful, complicated bunch of people! On World Kindness Day lets live and let live :slightly_smiling_face:


I doubt that people on this forum, who all take a keen interest in their wine are the sort who care about “best sellers”. Others less engaged or earlier in their journey into wine may find it more interesting.

Horses for courses.


The Wine Society has thousands of members most of whom are not on the Community. So the WS needs to appeal to those members who maybe dont buy very often. I they keep on marketing in a particular way must mean that it works otherwise wtey would not waste our money.


That approach alone doesn’t scale. A selection (i.e. there are more I left out) from the first page of emails recieved from Majestic.

“As a fan of White Burgundy you‘ll know that Puligny-Montrachet is one of the most sought after – and expensive – regions in the world.”

“We saved this one for fans of the finest Rioja just ahead of Christmas. It’s La Rioja Alta’s ‘904’ Gran Reserva.”

“We know you love refined Chardonnay, so don’t miss this tiny parcel of Grand Cru rivalling 93-point Chardonnay.” [Dog Point Chardonnay]

“We know you love fine French Chardonnay so we’re thrilled to tell you that for ONE WEEK, Louis Latour Grand Ardèche Chardonnay is just £9.99 when you Mix Six.”

“If you like creamy whites, It doesn’t come much more indulgent than the 91% ‘Buy It Again’ rated Bread & Butter Chardonnay. We think you’ll love it.”

“When it comes to refined Rhône reds, you know a thing or two. So, we’re telling you first that we have less than 265 cases of Domaine des Capes Gigondas”

“We know you like the finest New World Shiraz. So, you have to hear about this bargain.” [Mollydooker The Boxer]

“As a fan of the acclaimed Chapoutier wines, we have some good, and some bad news.” [La Belle Ruche]

“As a fan of Sauvignon, you’ll love this single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from former ‘International White Winemaker of the Year’ Matt Thompson.” [Nikau Point]

“As a lover of refined Pinot Noir we had to tell you about this rare red, made to exacting Burgundian standards.” [Domaine de la Métairie d’Alon]

“As a fan of Rosé, you need no convincing that gentle-hued Provence pink is a year-round tonic too good to be reserved for sunny days.” [M de Minuty]

“You love Porta 6, so we’d hate you to miss this brilliant price!”

“You’re in the know on Grüner Veltliner, which Jancis Robinson MW called the grape “no fine wine enthusiast can afford to ignore” .”

I have bought new world Shiraz once, rose twice, Porta 6 once (my FIL loves it), Gruner once, chapoutier once (see Porta 6)…

@SPmember, did you get the email entitled “Cellar treasures available in tiny quantities”?


The Majestic emails to me do seem targeted at wines or regions which I have bought. TWS emails actually put me off, particularly the incessant ones about their ‘wine without fuss’. To quote something from Father Ted, some of us LIKE the fuss: that is why we joined TWS.


Totally agree, I certainly find this list one of the least interesting promotions.

Perhaps TWS could put a list of the top ten (or some other number) selling wines on the website. This could be over a quarter or a year and would be similar to financial platforms who often list which are the top shares their customers have been buying and selling. Then if anyone wanted to follow the herd they would just have to check the latest list.

I much prefer one that is country specific and brings to my notice some wines that I hadn’t thought about when perusing the list as the mailshot allows more space for a fuller description.

What I most like in a TWS mailshot is when there are promotional prices on some of the wines.


This Community, in a sense, is a vehicle for ‘best sellers’ - inasmuch as we influence each other with the wines that we bought and liked. I can’t remember how many new wines I discovered in this way - but I’m also selective in what I follow, and have developed my own tastes. I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive (or some such expression!).


Like this?


Interesting. I’ve never had an email about that from TWS.

I’m interested, genuinely whether you got the email about fine wine in tiny quantities and if you did, what you thought of that one.

If not, it’s here.


Fine wine email: no, not if it was in the last couple of months (although I think someone mentioned it here).


Completely agree. there will be a large quantity of members who don’t buy very often, and maybe don’t know as much about wine as many of the contributors here, but nevertheless trust TWS to offer them a case that is varied and good value for money that they will enjoy (within a broad category). Best seller cases and wines without fuss are well-suited to these members.

Not everyone likes the fuss, but this goes back to TWS targeting their communications a bit better in some circumstances.


Yeah, I think oldintheway has nailed it. It’s precisely what turns us geeks off that turns most members on.

Having said that, I’ve been buying geeky stuff for years and yet I still get the wine without fuss stuff, even though it should be abundantly clear that I like the “fuss”. Similarly I rarely get specific communications that I would like to receive.


they have been looking at targeting for sometime now…this from February

@Laura … is there any update on this project ? as you can see from this thread people would love the ability to set their marketing preferences


I think it was part of an overhaul of the web platform - September next year, or have i got that completely wrong?