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Wine Plans

Many years ago, I used to buy many of my wines EP, using Lay & Wheeler and lastly Hungerford Wines (they went bust), thankfully I managed to get all of my wines that I had ordered.

Then I used the Sunday Times Wine Club, Laithwaites, TWS and finally Vivino for wine purchases.
I like Vivino for the good offers and normally free delivery.
However, I now have an inkling for more buying through TWS and I am thinking of subscribing to the Discovery plan to get at least a case every 4 months and subscribe to the Small Wonders cellar plan for £35 per month.

From these two plans, what are your thoughts about the wines you have received?


It sounds from your question that you have been purchasing wines for quite a long time and know a bit more than the average newcomer, so I wonder why you need wines ‘picking’ for you. Save the money each month and then explore the TWS list and order for yourself. Far more fun!


I think sometimes the joy of not cherry-picking your own wines and letting go of control is quite fun. I certainly wouldn’t have picked some of the wines on the plan, but when I got them I was very impressed. My one cavaet would be that the advertised wines are not always met as they are now probably at a price point through wine inflation beyond the plan’s price, which has been quite static.

I have the lower band claret plan and have never heard of the 4 chateaus I have received in a year of doing it and specifically got it as Angludet etc were all touted. However, I’m sure they’ll also be lovely and the same rule of expanding outside your own knowledge happens.

I think the small wonders plan is especially good as it takes in many more regions than the others and it’s a great one to experiment with. I would never have picked the zinfandel and grenache selected for me, but wow they were both zingers and now buy equivalents.

I do the same with a coffee subscription - I love dark roast monsters, but still chose the ‘surprise me’ option so I keep my palate open to anything.

Be interesting to see what you get! :slight_smile:


Perhaps TWS need another logarithm/algorithm/cleverithm thingy that you can punch into that knows all your basic needs and wants in order to send you the ‘perfect case’!

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There is a VCP thread elsewhere that you might be interested in. I have the small wonders plan and posted my wines since I started the plan. I’m generally happy with the mix I’ve had for the monthly outlay

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Thank you for the replies, whilst I can agree with both of the above comments. I think picking my own could mean more of sameness and I would not explore the other wines available.
However, since being involved with the community, I am now looking at other wines for everyday drinking that basically take me out of my comfort zone, but I will probably subscribe to the small wonders plan


Which is why I’ve gone for WWF (starting New Year) 3 a year, it’s easily flexible which is great. And also, why I really like mystery cases, the first idea of what you are getting is during the exploration of it on arrival. :slight_smile:

And in between get my wishlist built up… for the cherrypick order(s).


I do think the best wine plan offered by TWS is the midweek and weekend drinking threads, great way to read a wide range of reviews and select the best, or the most interesting, to order for yourself.


For peace of mind, you can contact member services for past allocation examples to give you an idea of what you’d receive?

I’d say these wines were ‘ready for drinking’ type wines, which is of course no bad thing, but maybe a slightly different reason for buying - the vintage cellars plan is for building a cellar of wines suitable for ageing, it just depends if you want something for 2-3 years time or 10-15 years time depending on which plan you choose. Plus of course, your budget.

I did actually do the WWF french classics, which again, was really nice - Got some interesting Gamay, Chablis, good value claret etc which I would not have chosen and was delighted by it!

I guess all this depends on how prepared you are to handover control to another person of your wines, but in these cases I’ve been very pleased - I just wish they did an individual bottles plan rather than 2 of each as I want maximum variety when it comes to buying, but that may just be me! :slight_smile:

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And that’s where I have the main issue… Mine isn’t terribly large, so as much as I would like a VCP, I can’t afford it, as well as wine for drinking now (which, tbh, is more necessary, imho :slight_smile: ).

I guess all this depends on how prepared you are to handover control to another person of your wines

And I don’t mind too much, because, as you say, selections that you wouldn’t necessarily have picked, which is what I like about occasionally handing over control, and it’s very good that it’s easily amendable, by a couple of clicks, I didn’t know it would be until I joined it, (I thought it might need a telephone call) but I get to see what’ll be next, and can always cancel that delivery, and use that budget to custom pick, if necessary.


I’m on the small wonders plan and enjoying it so far. I have no interest in the main region plans as I buy those ep every year. But this gives me some interesting wines I wouldn’t always pick myself for not very much outlay. Some discussion about that one here:

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Exactly…Managed risk! :rofl:

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