I invariably choose my wines either from the Society’s list or the website: I am wondering whether wines bought via WWF are sufficiently interesting to warrant a trial. Does anyone have an opinion?
From my initial case of ‘French classics’ the wines certainly were ‘without fuss’ but I thought the case was very hit and miss. i received interesting reds but 3 very neutral, frankly ‘bland’ whites.
In fact I cancelled the 2nd case due this month as i didn’t want to risk being landed with 6 bottles or more of stuff I wasn’t bothered about - The wines in question being a…
- Provence Vermentino (very neutral)
- a bordeaux sauvignon (very standard)
- a chablis (a bit better)
…but in contrast to the reds of a fantastic loire gamay, a crozes hermitage and a listrac medoc it seemed like whoever selected that case gave up after the reds.
So in future I’ll probably just pick odd bottles for myself. I originally chose this to get some interesting stuff that I wouldn’t usually pick and considering the whites that were left out from France, especially Alsace, other value semillon/sauvignon bordeaux, value macon, interesting regional varietals, Loire white etc I was pretty disappointed.
I’m normally a great cheerleader of TWS in this sort of thing but in this particular case (pardon the pun) it left me a bit cold.
I get the worldwide wonders case and normally get a good variety of wine with few disappointments.
It’s generally a mix between new and old world wines and have had quite a few gems I would never otherwise buy.
I don’t think ‘Wines without Fuss’ is intended for people like us who are interested enough in wines to take part in this Community.
If you’re interested enough to discuss wines then it’s no fuss - rather a pleasure - to choose wines from the huge choice offered by TWS.
The quarterly list is temptation enough, but the real cellar busters are the monthly envelopes packed full of features and one offs.
I’m afraid I will have to take issue with that statement
The community is for ALL members, just as WWF is. There are some members who know what they like, or are maybe risk-takers willing to gamble on exciting new wines they’ve never tried. But there are also those who want to be guided and introduced to wines in a safer fashion and who might want to simply enjoy the convivial experience.
There is room for both - in The Society and in the community. In fact, having both is what we are all about because we all benefit from the variety, the reliability and the potential of being able to drink, and talk about, a range of wines that satisfy thousands of individuals at any given moment.
There! I’ve done my evangelising for the morning!
I do feel strongly that this is not just another “wine experts’ forum” but something much broader and inclusive, and relevant to the whole membership, so want to make sure that is clear. If anyone thinks this could be done better - I’m always open to suggestions.
In answer to @MontyChap’s original question, I would say “it depends”.
How knowledgeable are you about wines and your own preferences? If you are, then maybe you don’t need this as a way to experiment with the list (though it can be a handy rack-filler if you forget to place your order).
On the other hand, it might be worth trying for a while just to see if the ‘pot luck’ approach helps you to find suitable regions, grapes or producers to explore further. You could always switch to a Vintage Cellar Plan instead if you wanted to focus on higher-end wines.
Hope that helps
I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above, @robert_mcintosh! And I really hope everyone feels welcome here.
And to add my own little opinion about WWF, I do agree it depends exactly what you’re looking for, however one plan I think is universally appealing is the Discovery case. There are some really cool, quirky wines I wouldn’t necessarily think to try, but not only that there are some verrrrry mouthwatering food matches in the notes which I think helps you really make the most of enjoying the wine!
(Full disclosure, I only know this because I help proofread the WWF notes - but double full disclosure: every time I do so I sneakily keep a copy so I can use all the foodie suggestions! )
Thanks to you all for the comments: I will continue to search the list, I think, but will know what to say to friends who may wish to join. I do wish the List was alphabetical - particularly the New World. There was a time when some sort of tabbed index was available to aid rapid searches when a bit arid.
Is it possible that what the above comments show is that there is room for another category in the WWF fuss plans? “Oddballs”, “Wildcards” etc? Tbh, I felt that 2 of the wines selected in the French classics case weren’t exactly classics at all, certainly not in comparison to the alternatives I mentioned before.
If another category isn’t the answer, what about a more intelligent way of matching the wine selection that TWS staff chooses and the TWS member is looking for. Is it possible to take into account past purchases, build a profile of wine tastes - None of this is revolutionary stuff and means the continuity of the plan is maintained and the satisfaction of the customer goes up.
Is there some algorithm or way of classifying what a member wants? Or even get them to proactively record their choices - E.g. what frequency do they want medium bodied, tannic reds vs. lighter, high acid reds and create a selection for the customer tastes? So when the TWS staff are choosing the wines they actually choose a wider selection which is then matched to the profile of the customer e.g. 3 reds and 3 whites are chosen from a potential 15-20. Of course if a customer has no preference then it is left to the discretion of the staff entirely.
I’m going to push for a “Society’s Community Recommended” Case where WE make a selection of our favourites
We did an internal tasting the other day just of wines that had been tagged in social media by members and they were fantastic!
Favourite songs about wine
Now that is a case we can all get behind!!
I was not in anyway suggesting the community is for wine experts, or should be.
What I am suggesting is that all of the thousands of TWS members, those few that take part in this community are most likely not to see buying wine as a ‘fuss’.
Perhaps its the word ‘fuss’ that’s the problem for me.
My late father used WWF for some years and it gave him pleasure as he enjoyed trying wines that were new to him.
I discounted it at first as I wouldn’t want any new world wines but it has become much more flexible and can now cater for odd people like me! However, I still prefer to buy what I want when I want and especially when I know my cellar stocks are getting low.