Term Report

Recommendations, comments or questions about wine matters

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TonyGoodman
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Term Report

Post by TonyGoodman » Tue 27 Feb 2018 19:21

Driving back from a visit this morning I thought of where I've been and what I've seen over the last six months.

There are two standout performers, both of which have become regular contributors to the bottom shelf of the pantry. Neither have ever disappointed us.


Jonqueres d'Oriolo/Chateau de Corneilla
Easy to access beside the motorway. Staff always happy to see customers walk in the door and always a few customers milling about. I hate walking into an empty store. Parking at the door so its easy to load the car and the wines are well priced. The Cavalcade white is the best I've found to date for seafood, the reds are easy drinking.

Lafage
Beside the motorway on the way back from Canet Plage. Staff who are genuinely pleased to see customers. Park at the door. A great place to take visitors. We particularly love the reds, full stop. All of them. If I was not so work shy I'd ask for a part time job in the cellar or maybe conduct tasting sessions. If forced to name a favorite I'd say its a toss up between the Lea and the Arqueta but they are all good.

I'm a total amateur and this is a personal hobby. I'm happy to put my hand in my pocket for something I like and both seem to have dialed into what I want. I look forward to seeing what else they can do and of course who else is out there.


Tony

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Post by rogb » Tue 27 Feb 2018 19:57

I haven't tried Chateau de Corneilla, but I agree with what you say about Lafage. Two other pluses with them are that they are now also stocked by Carrefour and sell much of their wine, if not all, in screw-capped bottles.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Tue 27 Feb 2018 21:01

rogb wrote:I haven't tried Chateau de Corneilla, but I agree with what you say about Lafage. Two other pluses with them are that they are now also stocked by Carrefour and sell much of their wine, if not all, in screw-capped bottles.
C d C is well worth a visit, young chap there has good English. They have a few other bits and bobs I will try in due course


Yes I saw Lafage has screw caps, another indication they know what we want.

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Post by Santiago » Thu 01 Mar 2018 17:01

I hope the next 6 months will get you a bit further up the ladder.
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Re: Term Report

Post by martyn94 » Thu 01 Mar 2018 17:06

TonyGoodman wrote:Driving back from a visit this morning I thought of where I've been and what I've seen over the last six months.

There are two standout performers, both of which have become regular contributors to the bottom shelf of the pantry. Neither have ever disappointed us.


Jonqueres d'Oriolo/Chateau de Corneilla
Easy to access beside the motorway. Staff always happy to see customers walk in the door and always a few customers milling about. I hate walking into an empty store. Parking at the door so its easy to load the car and the wines are well priced. The Cavalcade white is the best I've found to date for seafood, the reds are easy drinking.

Lafage
Beside the motorway on the way back from Canet Plage. Staff who are genuinely pleased to see customers. Park at the door. A great place to take visitors. We particularly love the reds, full stop. All of them. If I was not so work shy I'd ask for a part time job in the cellar or maybe conduct tasting sessions. If forced to name a favorite I'd say its a toss up between the Lea and the Arqueta but they are all good.

I'm a total amateur and this is a personal hobby. I'm happy to put my hand in my pocket for something I like and both seem to have dialed into what I want. I look forward to seeing what else they can do and of course who else is out there.


Tony
I was interested by the thumbs up for Lafage. My sister buys (and drinks) most of the wine round here, and has a faiblesse for screw-top bottles (she’s a naturalised Australian). She has often bought Lafage (you can also get it at Intermarché in Argèles), though always in perfect moderation. I’ve found it very agreeable, but I’d never dare recommend anything here ( especially from a hypermarket): I have no palate, and I don’t drink enough comparables, and I still smoke (don’t tell me, I know).

I also had Ch de Corneilla years ago, and that was good too, though I confuse it with Cornet et Cie (is that just another name for Abbé Rous, or what?).

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Post by martyn94 » Thu 01 Mar 2018 17:15

Santiago wrote:I hope the next 6 months will get you a bit further up the ladder.
And if not you’ll be off his Xmas card list.

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Re: Term Report

Post by Sus » Thu 01 Mar 2018 17:51

Thanks for the recommendation, I haven't tried either but they are now on the list
TonyGoodman wrote:Driving back from a visit this morning I thought of where I've been and what I've seen over the last six months.

There are two standout performers, both of which have become regular contributors to the bottom shelf of the pantry. Neither have ever disappointed us.


Jonqueres d'Oriolo/Chateau de Corneilla
Easy to access beside the motorway. Staff always happy to see customers walk in the door and always a few customers milling about. I hate walking into an empty store. Parking at the door so its easy to load the car and the wines are well priced. The Cavalcade white is the best I've found to date for seafood, the reds are easy drinking.

Lafage
Beside the motorway on the way back from Canet Plage. Staff who are genuinely pleased to see customers. Park at the door. A great place to take visitors. We particularly love the reds, full stop. All of them. If I was not so work shy I'd ask for a part time job in the cellar or maybe conduct tasting sessions. If forced to name a favorite I'd say its a toss up between the Lea and the Arqueta but they are all good.

I'm a total amateur and this is a personal hobby. I'm happy to put my hand in my pocket for something I like and both seem to have dialed into what I want. I look forward to seeing what else they can do and of course who else is out there.


Tony
:D

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Post by Santiago » Thu 01 Mar 2018 19:49

I'd recommend many other local producers far more worthy and interesting than these two.

Among the Coops :
Terrassous
Dom Brial
Vignerons des Alberes
Abbé Rous
Chateau Montner

Reasonably Priced Independents:
Domaine Boudau
Domaine des Schistes
Clos des Vins d'Amour
Domaine Trilles
Chateau Montana
Domaine Rossignol

Seriously good value for money:
Eric Laguerre
Domaine Singla
Domaine Vaquer
Domaine de Soulanes
Domaine de Toupie
Domaine Boucabeille
Sol Payré
Mas Christine
Mudigliza
Me

Fabulous wines:
Domaine Gardies
Olivier Pithon
Roc des Anges
Clos des Fees
Domaine Madaloc


The best producers in this region do not sell to the supermarkets because we don't need to.
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Post by martyn94 » Thu 01 Mar 2018 22:44

Santiago wrote:

The best producers in this region do not sell to the supermarkets because we don't need to.
But the best can be the enemy of the good, as the cliché goes. Given a consistently OK supermarket wine and a possibly better one 20 kms away which I have never tasted, I go for the supermarket wine on a day as foul as today. I am glad for you that other people are more exacting, and your advice is very valuable. But it is not my living, nor even my hobby.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Fri 02 Mar 2018 11:19

Santiago wrote:I'd recommend many other local producers far more worthy and interesting than these two.

Among the Coops :
Terrassous
Dom Brial
Vignerons des Alberes
Abbé Rous
Chateau Montner

Reasonably Priced Independents:
Domaine Boudau
Domaine des Schistes
Clos des Vins d'Amour
Domaine Trilles
Chateau Montana
Domaine Rossignol

Seriously good value for money:
Eric Laguerre
Domaine Singla
Domaine Vaquer
Domaine de Soulanes
Domaine de Toupie
Domaine Boucabeille
Sol Payré
Mas Christine
Mudigliza
Me

Fabulous wines:
Domaine Gardies
Olivier Pithon
Roc des Anges
Clos des Fees
Domaine Madaloc


The best producers in this region do not sell to the supermarkets because we don't need to.

But why not put them in the supermarkets or some of the bigger caves? Leclerc nord has a fantastic new cave featuring local efforts so the claim supermarkets are not interested is not quite correct. Are they not prepared to pay an appropriate price? Too greedy? Why deny the neighbours a chance to have access to something wonderful? Are the locals considered too tightfisted? Frightened off by local bully boys? Someone ran over the cat? Don't need the money? If they have a strong local market why bother shipping their wine across the globe, why not let the customers come to them? Some sort of vanity project? Could not be bothered to get out of bed before noon? A cunning piece of reverse psychology marketing? I'm a simple lad, have asked in good faith yet have never received a rational explanation.

Regarding your list I agree some are very very good. I could certainly add many more which Peter Strang rates very highly. I have bought and enjoyed many. Quite a few were asked if they wanted a review and declined. If they want to reconsider their decision to avoid confusion they shoul contact POL as their French is much better than mine.

To recap the basic T&C’s are.

I won't review a wine unless specifically asked. I do this for my enjoyment, I get paid nothing, expect nothing in return. It’s a hobby guys not a career. For clarity part of the process is the wine is gratis. It is prima facie unequivocal evidence of a request for a review, it creates a contract. If a producer thinks a two hour round trip for a 6 euro bottle of wine is a cunning scam on my part, damaging my car and my back driving along rutted goat tracks as the vineyard could not be bothered maintaining it my message is just keep banging the rocks together. You’ll never get the fire lit its just a way to stop you interrupting the grown ups.

I will never write anything negative, full stop. It will never happen. No ambushes, if the wine is used to clean the silver that will never appear in print. People can PM me if they wish for an explanation but that will always remain a private conversation.

I express myself as I see fit, if you want to read about licking wet stones, windows and heavens knows what else you need to look elsewhere. If a cultural or sporting ref confuses you ask an adult to explain it to you or buy a book.


To the many people who have sent me complimentary PM’s, approached me in the street offering support or contacted POL with civilised comments and rational criticism I thank you profusely. You keep me going.


LOL Next year I'll try a new hobby, something non contentious. World peace? Convincing the French to make english the official first language or to use their indicators? Convince Trump to hand back Virginia to the UK gratis?

Salut all

Tony
Last edited by TonyGoodman on Fri 02 Mar 2018 11:59, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Fri 02 Mar 2018 11:49

martyn94 wrote:
Santiago wrote:

The best producers in this region do not sell to the supermarkets because we don't need to.
But the best can be the enemy of the good, as the cliché goes. Given a consistently OK supermarket wine and a possibly better one 20 kms away which I have never tasted, I go for the supermarket wine on a day as foul as today. I am glad for you that other people are more exacting, and your advice is very valuable. But it is not my living, nor even my hobby.

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien- Voltaitre.

Totally agree and its nice to chat with someone with a classical education. My profile is very similar to you except I set myself a challenge and thought I'd try bogging it on the net like the youngsters do. See if it will go viril.

We must catch up and swap notes one day over a something suitable.

Cheers

Tony

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Post by Santiago » Fri 02 Mar 2018 12:11

Leclerc at Polygon Nord is an exception. They have a dedicated wine section with some of the region's top wines plus a serious selection from Burgundy and Loire, quite unlike any other supermarket in the 66.

The supermarkets aren't necessaily averse to stocking the better wines of the region, they just can't be bothered. From my experience the problem is that the supermarkets don't really care about the wines they stock. For them it's more about covering the price brackets and conforming to their packaging and delivery standards. Roussillon is seen as a region of cheap wine, so they buy the cheap ones. They also like wine brands who do plenty of local advertising, because that helps their sales. So Dom Brial, Lafage, Cazes, Mas Amiel and Vignerons Catalans are the most popular because they spend the most on advertising.

The big coops and negociants have strong links with the supermarket buyers. Those buyers generally can't be bothered to deal with individual producers. The same applies to most of the mid-to-low priced restaurants in the region.

Also, the region is poor. Most people have a very small budget when it comes to wine. Even though we are a wine region, there is no history of wine appreciation like you would find in Bordeaux, Burgundy or the Rhone. Locals may be proud of their wine but they don't necessaily appreciate it.

Finally, there is no advice available in a supermarket to persuade a customer to spend an extra € or two on a particular wine. In a caviste there is. Therefore a cheap wine with a nice label and a medal sticker will do much better in a supermarket than it would in a merchant.

Wine is not a generic commodity like other products. There is a much bigger difference in taste and price between wines than between beers or potatoes or cans of tomatoes.

So all those factors mean that the wine market is quite divided between supermarkets and specialist shops. I don't think any other consumable is so divided but nor is any other consumable so diverse.
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Post by Webdoc » Fri 02 Mar 2018 17:12

Isn't volume an issue here too? To go to the faff of adding a wine to their inventory a supermarket would presumably want more than just several dozen cases, which goes against the quality-over-quantity producers.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Fri 02 Mar 2018 19:34

Webdoc wrote:Isn't volume an issue here too? To go to the faff of adding a wine to their inventory a supermarket would presumably want more than just several dozen cases, which goes against the quality-over-quantity producers.
Good point, maybe someone can advise whether they only deal in minimal quantity.

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Post by Santiago » Sat 03 Mar 2018 00:21

Webdoc wrote:Isn't volume an issue here too? To go to the faff of adding a wine to their inventory a supermarket would presumably want more than just several dozen cases, which goes against the quality-over-quantity producers.
No. The smaller local producers could all provide the volume if the supermarkets could sell it. Supermarkets sell far less wine over 10€ a bottle than the cavistes do. I had my wine in Pollestres Intermarché through a friend of a friend. La Part des Anges can sell in a month what they sold in a year.

It really is all about price and advertising. People who buy wines form supermarkets can fool themsleves all they like about being discerning customers but they simply aren't. It's exactly the same as buying clothes at the supermarket. You can convince yourself that you look good in them but the sniggers from those looking at you say otherwise.
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Post by TonyGoodman » Sat 03 Mar 2018 16:03

Santiago wrote:
Webdoc wrote:Isn't volume an issue here too? To go to the faff of adding a wine to their inventory a supermarket would presumably want more than just several dozen cases, which goes against the quality-over-quantity producers.
No. The smaller local producers could all provide the volume if the supermarkets could sell it. Supermarkets sell far less wine over 10€ a bottle than the cavistes do. I had my wine in Pollestres Intermarché through a friend of a friend. La Part des Anges can sell in a month what they sold in a year.

It really is all about price and advertising. People who buy wines form supermarkets can fool themsleves all they like about being discerning customers but they simply aren't. It's exactly the same as buying clothes at the supermarket. You can convince yourself that you look good in them but the sniggers from those looking at you say otherwise.

Except M&S. of course. they have provided me with vital support when and where its been needed for many years. Apart from that I totally agree, clever marketing fronted by convincing imagery. Jag driving floppy haired public school boys and twin set maids, spicy latin lasses and tropical sunsets convinced me and my fellow consumers to buy mediocre plonk for an embarrassing number of years. I'm absolutely convinced if I make just a bit more effort I can drink better for the same price or less. For the time and resource poor, as a gratis service to my fellowman I'm prepared to do the research they can't while I'm here in the PO and POL indulge me with space for my humble jottings.


I am beholding to no-one, not employed by one of the various wine rags or mags floating around. I don't have a hypen in my name. The bottom line for those increasing number of people who have taken on board the concept is if I suggest a wine is worthwhile it means I drank it, all of it not just took a sip and then poured the rest on the Hydrangea. If I say its good it means I like it. its that simple. If I say nothing don't go near it, I've reviewed plenty of decent wines go with one of those. they are all good. I think that's the reason some sections of the local industry are getting their non M&S knickers increasingly twisted. I've broken it down to the simplest test, do I like it or not? Eventually I'll have a list of wines for all occasions which I'll be happy to share. What readers do with the list is up to them. As I have explained more than twice to the plodding thickies in the trade I've no interest in promotional materiel, no interest in hidden agendas. I can't be bribed, bullied, harassed, threatened with losing my job FFS nor impressed with their social status. The only control they have is they can refuse to ask me for a review and I have the same right to refuse to undertake a review. I make no judgement on why vineyards don't want a totally free no obligation review.

Just so its clear once more for those at the back, pull yours hands out of you pockets, leave it alone and listen. There is no requirement for you to take take advertising space in POL if that's your fear. Thankfully for you there are a core of decent advertisers who line up four times a year to fund the magasine so you have access to a free platform and Kate has underwritten any shortfall for 12 years as a service to residents and potential residents as she loves the area. In return she gets a continuous flow of drivel from window lickers and tight fisted envious tyre kickers claiming she has wealth beyond imagination. Trust me on this, I've seen extreme wealth at a distance, she ain't even close. She does not get chauffeured about in a gold plated Bentley, does not have a private jet nor a hoverplane. She has not been named in the Panama papers. However for these reasons producers decline to get involved which is their right of course then spend their evening bellyache to me in PMs about how unfair life the universe and the number 42 is to them personally. Talk about entitlement issues, makes Ozmandias look like a part time rag and bone man. TBH I'm quite grateful they are not interested, demand has skyrocketed, I've had to restrict the number of reviews and the number of wines per reviews to manage the waiting list and my waistline.

I make no claim to controlling the market place, I don't guarantee or are even interested if my reviews generate an instant strong long lasting rise in market activity. Some producers seem to confuse me with the small blue pills their wives slip into their Saturday evening apero. More in hope than expectation I expect.

Plenty of decent earnest winemakers have taken this on board and their reviews have been published. While they are humble jottings from an amateur they are honestly arrived at. You can trust them, buy the wine. The next batch have now gone to the printers, some pleasant surprises actually. Get a free copy when you can.

Thanks for reading, I'll go now its time for my nap.

Cheers

Tony
Last edited by TonyGoodman on Sat 03 Mar 2018 17:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by martyn94 » Sat 03 Mar 2018 17:09

TonyGoodman wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
Santiago wrote:

The best producers in this region do not sell to the supermarkets because we don't need to.
But the best can be the enemy of the good, as the cliché goes. Given a consistently OK supermarket wine and a possibly better one 20 kms away which I have never tasted, I go for the supermarket wine on a day as foul as today. I am glad for you that other people are more exacting, and your advice is very valuable. But it is not my living, nor even my hobby.

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien- Voltaitre.

Totally agree and its nice to chat with someone with a classical education. My profile is very similar to you except I set myself a challenge and thought I'd try bogging it on the net like the youngsters do. See if it will go viril.

We must catch up and swap notes one day over a something suitable.

Cheers

Tony
If you can bog it, it must be pretty viril.

But who’s this Voltaire bloke?

He invented the self sealing stem bolt. This was a little mnemonic he made at the time due to issues regarding installing a manually sealing stem bolt alongside a self sealing stem bolt. Leroy merlin for example have a lot of problems with returns apparently when people mix the two. The original latin is better as it rhymes. Bonorum hostis optimum

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Post by Webdoc » Sat 03 Mar 2018 19:09

Talking of supermarket wine, I was surprised to be told by a pal who's a director of Waitrose that in the UK the profit on a bottle of wine is usually 30-35%. I had imagined that, in the competitive market, it was much less. I would have guessed at 15%.

That's why I like to buy from The Wine Society (www.thewinesociety.com) where the "profit" is minimal as we're all shareholders in the business (a la John Lewis model).

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Post by TonyGoodman » Sat 03 Mar 2018 19:21

Webdoc wrote:Talking of supermarket wine, I was surprised to be told by a pal who's a director of Waitrose that in the UK the profit on a bottle of wine is usually 30-35%. I had imagined that, in the competitive market, it was much less. I would have guessed at 15%.

That's why I like to buy from The Wine Society (www.thewinesociety.com) where the "profit" is minimal as we're all shareholders in the business (a la John Lewis model).

Ouch, 35% after costs? Love Waitrose but that seems a bit excessive. Love the wine soc, its a reliable and a great source of xmas presents especially as we have o/s family.

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Post by jethro » Sat 03 Mar 2018 22:39

I'm awfully confused. There appear to be two Mas C(h)ristines very near each other. The big modern facility at Traverse de St. André appears to be without an h, and the one with h is nearer Collioure. Can anyone clear up which is which ? The one near Collioure appears to be the better of the two, but what do I know ? And doesn't the similarity of name lead to idiots like me making mistaken judgements ? And shouldn't the websites and Facebook also clear this up ?
an' the wun' cried Mary.

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Post by Anthea & Tim » Sun 04 Mar 2018 09:48

In response to Jethro.

The Mas Cristine vineyards are at Collioure but their winery (for the last 3-4 years) is in the new building at Traverse de St. André.

Mas Cristine is part of Tramontane Wines www.tramontanewines.com

The only mention of Mas Christine wine I could find was: either sold by Surrey Wine Cellar and the "h" appears to be a typo as the picture shows a Mas Cristine bottle or in some old guides/blogs; perhaps it used to have a "h" or the typo was perpetuated.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 05 Mar 2018 11:06

Webdoc wrote:Talking of supermarket wine, I was surprised to be told by a pal who's a director of Waitrose that in the UK the profit on a bottle of wine is usually 30-35%. I had imagined that, in the competitive market, it was much less. I would have guessed at 15%.

That's why I like to buy from The Wine Society (www.thewinesociety.com) where the "profit" is minimal as we're all shareholders in the business (a la John Lewis model).
Let’s all compare our Wine Society shareholder numbers and see who has bragging rights. Not an atrocious investment either: a share now costs £40, and I think I paid around £30. The only small downside is that you have to die to cash it in.

Apart from the wine (which I agree is generally excellent) their own-brand spirits and fortified wines.are pretty good. And it’s worth the price of membership just for their own-brand Chambéry vermouth, which I can’t recall seeing elsewhere for decades. They also did an own-brand Chambéryzette (with wild-strawberry juice) but apparently no longer do. If you ever see it, fall on it - the perfect summer drink.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 05 Mar 2018 11:20

TonyGoodman wrote: spicy latin lasses
I like manzanilla: the label on “La Gitanaâ€￾ has a spicy Andalusian lass on it, but it is still decent wine, and staggering value, though I think I prefer La Guita. But surprisingly hard to find even in (our part of) Spain. Does anyone know of an outlet in La Jonquera or points south?
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Post by Webdoc » Mon 05 Mar 2018 11:33

martyn94 wrote:Let’s all compare our Wine Society shareholder numbers and see who has bragging rights.
96822 - a member for over 40 years.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Mon 05 Mar 2018 12:09

Webdoc wrote:
martyn94 wrote:Let’s all compare our Wine Society shareholder numbers and see who has bragging rights.
96822 - a member for over 40 years.
well done, we are absolute novices at around 25 yrs. Its a great organisation well worth getting involved.

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Post by Santiago » Mon 05 Mar 2018 14:28

martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote: spicy latin lasses
I like manzanilla: the label on “La Gitanaâ€￾ has a spicy Andalusian lass on it, but it is still decent wine, and staggering value, though I think I prefer La Guita. But surprisingly hard to find even in (our part of) Spain. Does anyone know of an outlet in La Jonquera or points south?
I've bought it from Wine Palace and from Escudero I think. I agree, one of the wine world's bargains, if you like salty fino sherry.
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Post by martyn94 » Tue 06 Mar 2018 14:56

TonyGoodman wrote:
Webdoc wrote:
martyn94 wrote:Let’s all compare our Wine Society shareholder numbers and see who has bragging rights.
96822 - a member for over 40 years.
well done, we are absolute novices at around 25 yrs. Its a great organisation well worth getting involved.
I’m somewhere in the middle, though more at Tony’s end. My bumf is all up in Normandy, and to be truthful I haven’t bought from them for ages. I am very rarely in the UK in a car, and don’t much fancy a trek to Stevenage.

Has anybody had them ship stuff here? How do the costs turn out?

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Post by martyn94 » Tue 06 Mar 2018 20:12

TonyGoodman wrote:
Webdoc wrote:Talking of supermarket wine, I was surprised to be told by a pal who's a director of Waitrose that in the UK the profit on a bottle of wine is usually 30-35%. I had imagined that, in the competitive market, it was much less. I would have guessed at 15%.

That's why I like to buy from The Wine Society (www.thewinesociety.com) where the "profit" is minimal as we're all shareholders in the business (a la John Lewis model).

Ouch, 35% after costs? Love Waitrose but that seems a bit excessive. Love the wine soc, its a reliable and a great source of xmas presents especially as we have o/s family.
But how could they do all the promotions if they didn’t make that sort of margin the rest of the time?

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Post by Allan » Wed 07 Mar 2018 04:55

Webdoc wrote:Talking of supermarket wine, I was surprised to be told by a pal who's a director of Waitrose that in the UK the profit on a bottle of wine is usually 30-35%. I had imagined that, in the competitive market, it was much less. I would have guessed at 15%.
I have a favourite Spanish Wine, Bodegas Chivite and have always bought it from Waitrose. They don’t always have it but when they do, it is substantially less expensive than I have ever found it in Spain or France.

Similarly, Pernand Vergelesses is less expensive from Waitrose than in Burgundy.

If they do make a hefty margin then I would suggest that it is because they buy well rather than charge extortionately.

TonyGoodman
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Post by TonyGoodman » Wed 07 Mar 2018 08:32

Allan wrote:
Webdoc wrote:Talking of supermarket wine, I was surprised to be told by a pal who's a director of Waitrose that in the UK the profit on a bottle of wine is usually 30-35%. I had imagined that, in the competitive market, it was much less. I would have guessed at 15%.
I have a favourite Spanish Wine, Bodegas Chivite and have always bought it from Waitrose. They don’t always have it but when they do, it is substantially less expensive than I have ever found it in Spain or France.

Similarly, Pernand Vergelesses is less expensive from Waitrose than in Burgundy.

If they do make a hefty margin then I would suggest that it is because they buy well rather than charge extortionately.

That has some logic as when asked smaller producers explain supermarkets can be quite tough to deal with. So tough many choose not to sell to them which supports Santiago's thread that smaller producers marketing strategy is to develop a pool of clients and focus on supplying them.

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