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Will Lyons's recommendation in the Sunday Times

I often find Will Lyons’s recommendations in the Sunday Times interesting. Today he recommends a 2020 Adega de Colares Chao Rijo Branco from the Wine Society. Unfortunately it isn’t listed! Perhaps he has enjoyed a pre-listings taste of this Portuguese white wine. I wonder when it will appear on the list/online?

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Could be out of stock, because I’m pretty sure I’ve already had it (unless it was an earlier vintage).

I don’t think this is the first time this has happened. It will probably appear as a ‘Wine Champion’ next month.

And at a tasting by a WS presenter for our local club last night, one of the wines was unavailable, but he said it was being kept back to be a Champion. This type of manipulation rather undermines the idea that they start from scratch with new tasting to identify the Champions, as well as being rather annoying if you just want to order a particular wine.

The champions tastings took place a little while ago. However, if something is in short supply it won’t be made available for sale until the Champions promotion is launched or then there would be complaints at announcing something a ‘champion’ but having none available to sell.


Seems rather to beg the question if something is in short supply and perhaps likely to sell out why bother making it a champion? You can only sell each bottle once anyway. Maybe I’m missing something though.

(Shows as in stock now curiously - oops, no it doesn’t.)

Isn’t the idea of the Champion tasting to be blind so that the wines are picked on merit, do we want this sort of thing to be manipulated based on stock availability? There is also the possible to securing more stock, I’m sure buyers look at the champions list and see if they can increase stock where they think it may sell out quickly.


Wasn’t there a press tasting a few weeks ago? Assume the articles are partly written in advance so it could become available soon.

I don’t see a problem in a wine being held back to ensure a reasonable stock for the promotion, once it’s been identified as a Champion.

Well, I suppose I’m thinking the idea of the Champions is sales led. If it’s just for the sake of identifying the best wines then it shouldnt really matter if they are still available or not. I don’t know what the idea is actually; there are more questions than answers (Johnny Nash!). But either stock is being manipulated, or sales availability is being manipulated.

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Why would they be the only two options? Nothing needs to be manipulated here.

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“… at a tasting by a WS presenter for our local club last night, one of the wines was unavailable, but he said it was being kept back to be a Champion …”

If the word manipulated is troublesome call it something else. Sales availability is being “managed”?

Or just being kept until the Champions Promotion. I really don’t see what the problem is if that’s the case.


Maybe not much else is happening and people are clutching at straws to complain about something.


Holding a wine back causes two obvious problems:

  1. Someone might want to drink the wine now.
  2. It is impossible to rely on the accuracy of the website for what is in stock.

No, these are not world -shattering problems, but they are relevant to a company selling wine.

Holding back young wines to sell when they are mature has a reasonable, wine-related, justification. Holding ready-to-drink wines back purely for marketing does not.

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Your second point about the accuracy of the website just feels like another attempt to find something to complain about. Please show me the evidence, there is a difference between a few orders going wrong for low stock wines rather than the majority of sales made through the site.

Nonsense, often products are held back by merchants to fit in with their campaigns/plans or because they could be waiting for other products before launching at the same time. You can’t always time a press tasting to coincide with a specific campaign. My son wants to watch the new Minions movie now, it’s not being released for 2 weeks, that’s not acceptable! It was ready over a year ago but COVID stopped them releasing it, how dare they not just release it immediate because my son wants to watch it now!


Really interesting to read your thoughts on this - I have asked about this and will let you know what I hear back!

Thanks @Kelly. That’s a remarkably good piece of timing!

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So it appears that the Adega de Colares Chao Rijo Branco Lisboa 2020 has indeed sold out unfortunately! We are expecting to receive the new vintage this week and it will be on sale in our upcoming 1874 magazine.


Damn those customers who insist on manipulating stock levels by actually buying the wine! Whatever next :wink: