Newest Review: ... I am not a 4 seasons member. Freebies and 'loyalty benefits': In the third year of buying from Laithwaites I joined their ... more
Mail order wine service at its best
Member Name: R8IT
Advantages: Quality wine, good price, excellent service
Disadvantages: options to make up your own case
Laithwaites sell mainly wine but you can also buy some spirits, champagne and some beer, but they are better known for the wine delivery. The website www.laithwaites.co.uk is pretty straightforward to navigate and you have several search options available to find the wine you want, each wine comes with notes on the taste, the region, drink before date, alcohol percentage, and style.
The home page shows the latest offers and these change on a monthly basis, if you've never used them before you can normally get a very good deal on the introductory case. They also have a four seasons wine service in which you select the type of wine you like red/white or mixed and then select how often you want wine every 2 or 3 months and they automatically send you a case of 12 bottles, you can choose not to accept a case but this is down to you, they automatically take payment from your account.
If you buy online then you do have a delivery charge to pay which is £6.99 and if you want to specify a day then the delivery is from £8.99. You can leave instructions if you're not in where you want the wine leaving. Laithwaites also have a number of shops and wine can be bought from them saving the delivery, they also have the same offers and give discounts in the shops. You can also purchase gift vouchers from them if you wanted to give a wine gift but didn't know what type of wine someone likes.
Is the wine expensive? It's difficult to price compare with supermarket, yes you can get cheaper wine at supermarkets but the quality is not as good. Laithwaites wine is more exclusive to them so you won't tend to see the same wine at the supermarket, the quality of wine is very good and guaranteed by them. A basic standard case of 12 bottles is usually about £69.99 add in the delivery at £6.99 is £76.98 about £6.42 a bottle. An average bottle of wine at the supermarket is around the same price. You can sometimes find voucher codes online giving £20 off the first order which makes it a very good deal for the quality of the wine, but this is first order only.
Delivery is within 5 days and I've never had any issues here, you can specify where you want the wine leaving if you're not in, but I've always been in for deliveries. You can have wine delivered to a separate address if you want.
Other wine shops such as Oddbins offer a delivery service this isn't free unless you spend over £100, and prices are comparable to Laithwaites. I have never tried another wine mail order company so cannot comment on the quality. Waitrose wine also offer a nice selection of wine and delivery is free, but the wine is not any cheaper for similar quality. On a downside unlike the likes of some of the other wine delivery companies and supermarkets you cannot make up your own mixed case on Laithwaites, so either have to purchase 12 bottles of the same wine or take up one of the mixed cases. Occasionally they have 3 bottle deals, and you can buy 2-4 bottles under the gifts section. You can also get a few different cases of half bottle sizes at around £35-£45 for 12 half bottles.
Service is excellent and I have never had any issues on this aspect. They guarantee all the wine and should you have any problems they are quick to resolve, and refund or replace any wine. I did have a case of wine with a few bottles which had gone off, I didn't notice this for several months after my purchase as the initial bottles had been ok, I phoned Laithwaites, and spoke to 1 person (not passed around or one of those press 1 for this 2 for that) he apologised and offered me a full refund or credit, so the service cannot be faulted.
Summary: Excellent service from Laithwaites for wine delivery