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Me and my girl wineclubbing, nightclubbing, sealclubbing – come on sing a long!

A cornucopia of wine club literature is currently cascading, uninvited, through the door. Probably because I fall into a particular marketing bracket and appear on, bought in, lists as an alphabetical statistic. Plus, rather ruthlessly, there are only 104 shopping days till Christmas!

“How do you know this” – You may ask. Well, I used to write wine club copy in a former life. I tried to do it with a sense of humour – see below, but found that I could not marry the product of glorified gardening, made by passionate artisans, with a free clock radio.

“….In the cool of the morning, when the dew is still heavy on the earth, and the morning sun is vying for dominance with a large limpid moon, a hardy, yet merry, band of pickers descend on the vineyards to pluck the firm, plump fruits of the vine. These jovial vendangeurs are the eldest sons of generations of handlers of the golden secateurs, who lovingly and carefully tease the ripe berries into their panniers. Once picked, the berries are crushed beneath the delicate feet of former dancers of the Corps de Ballet…..” Alright, you’ve rumbled us! This is straightforward honest to goodness plonk for early drinking, at a not to be missed price.

Still with me?

Now I have nothing against wine clubs per se, but I do take umbrage at misleading and often bogus incentives. These are rife in the UK, and may exist for up to two weeks without legislation. You know the type of thing “Was £9.99, now only £3.99” Like **** it was! Where and when, you may ask, was it ever £9.99? It is £3.99 and tastes accordingly.

My other favourite is “Was £100 for 12 bottles now only £50”. “Save over £50 a case and get a free corkscrew” (bbq, wine glasses, clock radio). Now I know that most people are suckers for a free corkscrew, but come on – where do these wines come from and who makes them? Surprisingly, some do have known provenance and can be traced back to source, although others have rather dubious parentage.

Another ploy is to use a strapline from a famous wine writer, wine maker or vintage report, stating something along the lines of ” 2011 was a great vintage in the Rhone , the wines were sweet and ripe with excellent fruit and longevity”. This may not apply to the wine in your hands, but you are not going to send it back are you?

Despite the guaranteed refund – if it fails to satisfy, you are reluctant to pay the postage and you have already broken the free corkscrew.   And, more importantly you know a bargain when you see one – don’t you?

infografic courtesy of http://www.corksout.com/whats-in-your-bottle