Stop buying wine from the supermarket

I used to waste a fair amount of money on buying wine at the various different supermarkets we frequent. I regularly spent way over £10 on bottles that ended up as “Vinegar+” or, at best, “Vinegar+++”. Now and again I’d read the little labels and buy a £20+ bottle.

Every time I was disappointed. I can’t actually think of anything I’ve bought from a supermarket that’s been really good.

So I’ve started buying mixed cases from the likes of:

  • The Wine Society
    Joining fee, but they have a wide variety of wines. I’m a particular fan of their red wine mixed cases. Once I then find a bottle that my wife and I like, we then order a case of it. But, crucially, I don’t think we’ve ever had a rubbish bottle from the Wine Society. Yes we’ve had types that aren’t to our particular taste, that’s fine, but they’ve always been fundamentally good — and even at rates of around £6-8 per bottle.
  • Laithwaites
    During this past Christmas I thought I’d give Laithwaites a go. I logged on and selected a few of their mixed red cases. We’re still going through them at the moment and again, I’m delighted to say I haven’t been frustrated by any of them — but we have found a few highlights that I think we’ll definitely re-order more of.
  • Gerrard Seel
    The boutique wine retailer I came across during a search for a particularly delicious Shiraz I had in Beijing. Gerrard have a good collection of basic mixed cases that we regularly stock up on.

I’m pleased to report good success with the above companies. However I’m keen to explore other possibilities too. So if you’ve any suggestions, please do drop me a note in the comments or by email (

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4 Responses to Stop buying wine from the supermarket

  1. Alexander Preston April 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Ewan, I’ve been following MIR since I saw you on a panel at the Power of One conference in Battersea power station, good stuff. I recommend taking a look at Naked Wines. It’s basically an investment club in independent wine makers. You commit to paying in £20 a month and you get Angel status and get good discounts. The wines featured are produced by skilled wine makers that aren’t big enough or don’t have the desired to play the marketing game or try to get stocked by supermarkets. Most wines are good and some are spectacular. They often do discounts for new members, let me know if interested and I’ll send you an invite.

    • Ewan April 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      Alexander, thank you for the comment!

      Alas, I’m slightly ahead of you. I decided to try out Naked Wines recently and ended up getting a trial case. I have to say I was impressed. I need to write a note about the experience actually!

      • Alexander Preston April 24, 2014 at 10:04 am #

        Ha, brilliant. I must say I was quite surprised that Naked Wines wasn’t on your original list. I am sure you have, but if you haven’t check out their iPad app before your post on the experience!

      • Adam April 7, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

        Ewan – I’ll be interested to hear about your experiences. I had been a member of Naked Wines for over 3 years but cancelled my membership recently as, after careful consideration, in the end I simply didn’t think the wines were consistently good enough. They have a good range of price points and their customer service is excellent, but quality-wise I found the wines were just too hit and miss. I’ve just joined the Wine Society instead and will be interested to see if their wine is of a more consistent quality.

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