Talking Wine – August 2015

Everyone seems obsessed with buying online these days and I can see the advantages. However I recently spent a fair amount with a well known clothes company, found half the stuff I bought did not fit, sent them back but had to cover my own postage which cost a staggering £17! All a bit of a hassle and I would have been better off by going to one of their shops and talking to a real person, trying the clothes on and making an informed judgement.

However with my online purchase came a wine voucher (apparently worth a staggering £50). This amount is of course the discounted amount off a £104 case meaning that I could have bought a case of 12 bottles of wine for £54.00 – £4.50 a bottle. Well, that is great value and is, of course, to lure you in, collect your data and the excuse to bombard you with constant offers and deals. Friends have done this and they receive a real mix of wines some of which they enjoy and others which are generally poor. They cannot realistically send them back as, having come in single bottles, there are no wines of the same to return. Even if there were they probably would not bother as arranging collection and redelivery during a working day presents its own problems. I lose count of the number of times we have had to fight our way to the local post office collection point to secure a parcel that could safely have been left somewhere or with neighbours.

Which brings me to my point!! It would be more wise to build a relationship with a local wine company – whichever one that might be! You just need to have the confidence to talk openly about your needs. Is it everyday wine you are after or is it necessary to produce a better wine for a special occasion? Do you prefer dry and fruity or rich and oaky?

All these questions need to be asked and advice taken – trust needs to be built but ultimately this puts you in a much stronger position than buying loosely through some cheap marketing gimmick that lands on your doorstep.

It seems that the apparent mystery of wine frightens people, yet wine is very simple and need not be at all complex. Forget the Internet, forget the huge wine supermarkets but instead support local companies and deal with real people selling real wine who actually care that your purchase fulfils their needs!