“ An online wine merchant with the ability to tailor your tastes. „
I think like many people me and my husband had a voucher for wine from this company. We traded in our airmiles and it turned out that 12 bottles of wine would only cost us £6.99 delivery charge, so we thought we would give it a go.
We signed up and paid the charge using a debit card, and we checked everywhere for hidden clauses signing us up to a programme of regular wine orders and could not find any such mention during the sign up process.
The box of wine came and we were very happy with it, especially for £6.99, then after a couple of months the whole experience turned very sour.
My husband received an email saying our next case of wine was on it's way and they hope we enjoy the 12 bottles, and £89.99 + £6.99 delivery would be taken from the card registered with our account. As we did not think we had signed up to this my husband replied and cancelled the account and the order, and they sent an email confirming the account was cancelled.
However a couple of days after this we got home from work and there was a box of 12 bottles of wine on the doorstep!
We thought maybe they had made a mistake, but no such luck. They had indeed taken £96.98 from our account, and charged us for the cancelled wine. I will just add, by this time the card we had used before had expired, but they were still able to take the money, and the bank said that they are allowed to do so, if we had agreed to this with the company, (which we hadn't) and I find highly ridiculous anyway, but that is another story.
After another phone call, they tried to claim that the account was cancelled too late, even though they had confirmed it by email and said we wont receive the wine, they did agree to come and collect the wine and refund the charge though, so we thought that wasn't too bad.
But even this still wasn't the end. We checked our bank for the refund and they had only refunded £89.99, after picking up the wine. So we had no wine and were out £6.99 for thin air, plus all the calls and emails. Now I know £6.99 is a small amount, but it's the principal that bothers me. If they think they can send things out by "accident" and then charge delivery when they agree to a full refund, I personally think it's a disgrace and a terrible way to do business.
This is still ongoing with them now, and I will update this to say whether I get the £6.99 back, but I'm not holding out much hope.
What I will say is that they do answer emails and phone calls, but under the circumstances I don't think that's much of a positive with this company.
I know other people have had positive experiences with this company, but the vouchers that people receive for it are everywhere, so I suspect there are more people that fall into our category, than are happy with their service.
What I will say to anyone considering using this company is be very very careful, we were careful and didn't think we were signing up for anything, and got stung by a company that is obviously very good at trying every trick in the book, and really not caring about the consumer. Unless you are 100% sure you are not signing a contract with them, don't bother.
I will never be using this company again, and certainly wouldn't recommend them, and would in fact warn people about their practices.
Consider yourselves warned.
Ordered 1 case of white wine for £56 delivered - not bad if its any good. The price was the only good thing unfortunately.
a) They use Yodel, you don't find this out until the order is confirmed unless its hidden in the FAQ somewhere. Yodel, in my opinion, are terrible - they are a delivery company that pay their drivers only for SUCCESSFUL deliveries so they have some very unscrupulous business practices to achieve this.
b) They completely discarded my delivery address which was my work premesis, now I have weeks of playing "We failed to deliver your package" or drive 50 miles to the depot.
c) I had another account linked to my email address, my order isn't showing up at all apparently because I now have 2 accounts but can only access one of them.
d) They lie. They said the wine was on it's way back to depot to be reshipped to a different address. This evening I get home to a failed delivery card that only allows me to pick another weekday that I won't be in.
I'll give it a few more days then just get a card refund with my credit card company.
I'm very surprised to see the plethora of negative reviews for this website! I have used them for just over a year and halve ordered from them three times, with minimal fuss.
I had opted for their 'Winebank' plan, whereby you 'save' £20 a month and they reward you with an additional £20 every three months. So, 3 months of wine 'savings' = £80 after they contribute.
This has allowed me to order three very nice crates of wine (personally selected) at what I consider to be a very reasonable price.
I have had one problem with them (my first crate of wine disappeared off the radar for about a week!) That said, it was an address that managed to cause problems for a lot of other courier companies, too.
Reasonable selection (nothing too pricey!)
See reviews from other users/leave your own reviews
Prices not ridiculous
Some very nice boutique wines not seen elsewhere
Is your address even vaguely hard to find? Then fuhgeddabout speedy delivery!
Their tracking system leaves a lot to be desired
I'll add an extra special Pro for their customer service tho, who I have always found to be exemplary. As an example - I ordered a crate of wine for Christmas and was very disappointed to received a corked bottle of St Emilion. I e-mailed on 31/12/2008 to request a refund onto my card (as opposed to an account credit, which is all they normally offer) and this was carried out quickly and without fuss, by a courteous member of staff. Pretty good over the festive period!
Like most people I placed my first order with Virgin wines due to getting a £20 discount off the first order. I've ordered a few times since especially when they've had special offers but I like to shop around. Virgin don't like this and they keep phoning trying to solicit an order. This makes me even more determined not to buy.
I don't know how many times they'd credit your money back when you say you don't like a wine but I've only done it once and they did give me a credit. I can't help feeling however, that if you push your luck with too many claims they'd cancel your membership. If they don't the rest of us must be subsidising the complainers. They don't actually give your money back either but credit your account to buy more wine.
On the whole their wines are okay but you can't always go by the members reviews as they vary so widely. Some say a particular wine is gorgeous and fruity while someone else will say it's not fit to drink and a waste of money. The quality must be very variable. Their full prices are, I think, expensive compared to the wines you can get in the supermarket or even offlicences such as Oddbins when you buy special offers.
On the whole I don't think I'd recommend them on their normal prices and you also have to pay £5 on top for delivery. If you stick to special offers you can get some good buys.
Lastminute.com treated us to £20 off a case of wine from Virginwine.com, when we booked a holiday. We couldn't refuse the tempting offer, saves having to pack wine in our case when returning from holiday!
I later discovered you don't need to book with lastminute.com to get the offer, if you log on to the site there is a password for £20 off your first order, but that's life isn't it!
Logging onto Virginwines.com a bright home page greets you in purple and red colours mostly. You are asked to log in if you havent done so before, a very easy process my husband even did it! Then each time you log on, it welcomes you back by name! The main part of the homepage is divided into 3 boxes, Rate your Wine, Browse and Mixed Cases. There is a line to click on for Mix yourself a case of wine and down the right side of the page other topics which I will discuss later. On the right of the page there is a box for special deals, Personal recommendations and other information.
At the bottom of the page is Our customer promise. This is amazing in my mind, they state if you dont like the wine you dont pay! Now how many times have you heard that before? I cant help but wonder if it is abused, but the promise is there. So far we have liked the wine, and would buy again so have not needed to try this out. They then answer questions, which I quote.
And what if
* You are out during the day?
We promise - Our drivers will find a safe place to leave your wine; but if it does get stole we will replace it.
*You find it cheaper elsewhere?
We will refund the difference.
*You live somewhere obscure?
We deliver anywhere in the UK including NI, Highlands and Islands for the charge of £4.99.
*You are in a hurry?
We deliver within 7 days, or the delivery is free.
On the how to browse page, you are told that it is grouped in taste styles, rather than grape, vintage or region but if you prefer to use search you can find wines this way. There is a Wine Wizard, by completing two steps it will tell you which style of wine you are likely to enjoy. The questions are simple and you rate from 5 star fantastic to 1 star awful or can put in not tasted yet, whether or not you like, love or dont like a type of wine. Click on update ratings and then show me the wines and you are given a list you should like. If you dont want to do this, then just browse each section. I tended to jump through the sections but will try to give you the relevant details.
SHOW ME THE WINES
If you are in a hurry you can click on Mixed cases. Introductory vouchers cannot be used on these offers. The Mixed starter Red has been reduced at present from £77.87 to £64.99, the White case is also the same price. The Premium Medal winners case is £93 and there are others to choose from.
STYLES OF WINE
Firstly well look at the whites. I really do prefer whites to reds, but having said that I do partake of the odd glass of red! Im sure that comes as no surprise, as we all will have heard of the benefits of drinking red wine! I have checked out the web site today for numbers in each section, but Im sure this will vary with availability.
Oaky Aussie Chardonnay there are 28 different bottles in this section but only 3 in the Classic Chardonnay. The clean crisp whites have 18 bottles ranging from £4.99 to £23.99. Fragrant but dry white has the largest selection of wine with 37 bottles ranging from £5.49 to £14.99. The next type is Kiwi Sauvignon with only 8 bottles from £5.99 to £9.99. There were none in the Classic Sauvignon range today! And one in the Sweet German style at £6.99. I think that tells us something!
Now to the Reds, a really large selection of Classic reds 46 bottles from £6.99 to £27.99 and 30 Full and Fruity Reds ranging from £5.49 to £7.99. There were 50 huge Reds the most expensive being £49.99. There are always short descriptions of each of the wines and this one said a HUGE wine, bigger than Ayers Rock, a monster red, called E & E Black Pepper Shiraz 1999, to be reserved for your best sirloin steak and for very privileged drinking companions. I cant imagine drinking a glass of wine costing over £8 per glass! Call me mean but I must remember if I dont like it Virgin will refund my money ..so may be I will try a bottle for my next BIG MONSTER birthday! Back to the list of styles, we have Lunchtime Reds coming in with 16 bottles ranging from £5.99 to £25.99 and 12 Rioja style at £5.39 to £31.99.Lastly in the reds soft and juicy reds 25 bottles at £4.99 to £22.99.
There is also a section of Champagne, and this was the first time I actually recognised a brand name! 13 bottles varying from £13.99 to £39.99. There were 5 Sparkling wines, 6 Dessert wines and 4 Rose. The last type is Fortified wine and again I recognised good names here, with Sherry, Port and Madeira from only £4.99 to £31.99 for a bottle of Croft Vintage port.
I havent checked the named branded against prices in shops or online so cant say if they are good or not, but again the promise is find it cheaper and we will refund the difference, so you cant lose.
Once you have selected which type of wine you want, you can choose all prices or under a certain figure and the list will appear. You can click for more details, and discover the grape, country, region, vintage etc. Also other customers comments are listed.
By each of the types are little boxes with icons to depict whether its a Dry wine, Elegant, No oak, Pricey, Fruity, Huge, Bubbly etc. which gives you a clue before choosing that type.
There are helpful and often amusing comments about each bottle. For example on a bottle costing £23.99 More the mutts nuts than the dogs teeth, make no bones about it this is a scorcher, its nigh on perfect!
You can choose the number of bottles to add to your basket or ask them to mix you a case. Unusually they can pack 13 bottles in your case. Actually it is simple! Buy a case and youll discover how they do it.
Once you are ready you follow the easy steps which you are taken through to complete the sale, remembering if you have a voucher to redeem it! It remembers your details for Credit card and address etc so need to fill this in the next time you buy from them. They confirm your order quickly and you can check out the Order Tracker to see when it has left the warehouse, and a copy of your exact order.
Standard delivery is £4.99 and is normally within 2 working days. If you live in London, certain postcodes can select within a time band for delivery. Also for a charge of £6.99 if you live within the M25 area you can have a Saturday morning delivery.
We ordered the wine on the Sunday night and it left the warehouse on Monday and was delivered in Scotland on Tuesday morning. I call that excellent service. Included in the case was a book about wine.
This section shows a list of the wines you have bought and allows you add a comment, so you can remember what it was like and if you want to order it again. If you want to try something similar there is a button to click on for other suggestions. You can use this list to buy more wine as well.
JOBS AT VIRGIN
There were two jobs available today! One was for a personal wine advisor based at Norwich and guess what you dont need wine experience! Theyll train you and pay you a salary of £20K. The second was for an Art worker - no salary stated!
This is a free service. A wine advisor will call you at home either day or evening and advise you on your choice of wine, saving you the need to hunt for what you like. I thought this was excellent until I read the job section and discovered they needed no training! But again remembering the no quibble guarantee, if you dont like it, you dont pay!
This section has the details about Virgin wines and the address.
Spoil someone rotten, their words not mine! They will include a personal message and pack it in a special box and the customer promise still applies. Christmas presents easily solved if you want to spend that much! There is also a special box of 3 bottles called a Top drawer Trio costing £29.95.
If you enjoy trying new wines risk free, then there are several wine plans to choose from. If you sign up for this you get four selections a year. The most expensive plan is Globetrotters First Class reduced from £100 to £79.99, each case or if you prefer for a reduced price of £59.99 the Economy Plan or saving 20% there is the Value plan with easy drinking mellow and refreshing wines at only £49.99.
If you are a member of the flying club you will earn extra miles from wine purchases.
We have used other wine suppliers before, the only thing I was worried about with Virgin was I didn't know the names of the wines, as we tend to buy well known products, but if you don't like it you don't pay. So no problem.
Some may argue you can buy cheaper at Tesco or Asda, but some of these wines are excellent value and a lot are award winning too. We pay £15 or £20 for a bottle of wine in a restaurant probably only costing £5 or £8 in a shop, so why not treat yourself occasionally!
As we have already bought two cases using our vouchers, Im not sure where we can store all this wine! And I really fancy another case with the free delivery at the moment.
Ive just thought of the answer Ill need to drink more and have a few parties! Just drop in therell always be a few bottles in the fridge, in the airing cupboard, under the settee, we could play hunt the wine!
It's hard to summarise my experience in one word but if I were forced to do so then I think "woeful" would be the closest I could get. My experience with Virgin Wines from start to (unsatisfactory) finish was a time that I hope will soon fade to a distant bad memory. Perhaps one day I will laugh about it. But I doubt it. What began as a simple and enjoyable process of online wine selection starting turning sour a few days later when 2 bottles that I had ordered (indicated as being the last 2 available) were advised as being out of stock. Nevermind, I'm a practical sort of chap and one brief re-order later and I sat back to await the delivery. And I waited. And waited. At last, progress! "Your wine is on its way" read the e-mail. Perhaps the small print advised exactly where it was on its way to because it didn't get any closer to the delivery address. I sent the first e-mail a few days later. "You haven't waited 24 hours" was the response when I telephoned 22 hours later. But later that day, a reply! "Your wine will be delivered today." Smells like ....victory. Alas. No wine. Next day another phone call (from me of course). "I totally understand your frustration" they said. But not to worry, a resolution was in sight. He would personally ensure that the couriers understood that such a delay was unacceptable. My wine would be with me the next day. Scouts' honour. Next day. Another e-mailed response and a confirmation "Your wine will be with you today". Is that an echo? No wine. And consequently no sale. I cancelled the order then and never did see the mythical wine. I like to think that maybe it broke free and is roaming the countryside, sleeping in barns and travelling by night. I would be more likely to believe that than any promise from Virgin. I did receive an apology from Virgin but I think I&
#39;ll take my chances elsewhere. Maybe it's just a case of sour grapes....
Sorry, just couldn?t resist the title! I?ve always been partial to a drop of wine but until a year ago I pretty much consumed the cheapest wines possible. If it was on offer in Tesco as ?two for a fiver? it was mine. Then a work colleague introduced me to Virgin Wines with a £20 discount off my first order?more about this later. I ordered a ?summer? case of 6 red and 6 white wines, for under £50, which were promptly delivered ? and consumed. WHAT?S GOOD ABOUT IT? While the standard price of a bottle of wine is above the £5 mark, there are some pretty good, and frequent, special offers any where from bulk buys, through to free bottles of champagne. The irony is that since buying wines from Virgin it seems I can no longer palate the cheapo wine from Tesco and have, in a way, been forced into spending more money. Anyway the wine is good. I?m no seasoned wine taster so I cannot elaborate on this any more?m aybe soon, though. With every order of wine comes a tasting guide to help you score the wine. By logging these details back on the Virgin Wines web site additional wines you may like are recommended to you ?a la Amazon (people who liked this wine also liked?). Apparently, I?m a big lover of the Rioja Style according to the tastefully titled ?spit or swallow? guide. DELIVERY This is the part that has really impressed me to date. Firstly, my main gripe about ordering on-line is that people always deliver when you?re at work. Because of this I usually get items delivered to my workplace?but having a crate of wine delivered to the office seems a bit cheeky, and I?m not giving Virgin free advertising! Virgin, however, let you make arrangements to have you parcel left in a secure place when you?re out (e.g. in your porch, shed, under a garden bench) In addition, if the wine is stolen you get a refund, and if it?s not delivered within (Rich quickly checks on the web site?) 7 da
ys delivery is free. Nice. If you?re lucky (unlucky in my experience!) enough to live inside the M25 deliveries can be made on the same day if you order before 6pm. Unfortunately if you live outside the UK, you?ll be looking for an alternative Wine supplier! CUSTOMER SERVICE Bloody fantastic, well done. Nuff said. THE WEB SITE The site performs all the necessary functions of an e-commerce site, with the added benefit of some basic personalisation. Like Amazon it is possible to store your credit card details on-line so you don?t have to keep digging your wallet (or purse) out. The only odd element to this personalisation is that if you return to the web site and want to ?log-in? then you have to go to the registration page first ?not really that intuitive. SPECIAL OFFERS Just about every competition and loyalty site is giving away £20 offers off your first Virgin Wines order, but once you?re a customer the offers keep coming. After my first crate I received an invitation to join the World Tour and receive my first case for half price (£35 for 12 bottles of wine!!). What is the World Tour? Ever quarter Virgin send you a special collection of wines from one country ? this month?s was Italy. You also have the option of declining that quarter?s case if you don?t like the look of it ? or you?re a bit skint. YOU WANT MORE? Those who are more knowledgeable about their wines might find the basic search facility on the site quite limiting since customers are forced to search for wines via their own categorisation. This includes nice titles such as: - Oaky Aussie Chardonnay Style - Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc Style - Sancerre Style - Chablis Style - Sweet German Style Whites - Rioja Style - Lunchtime Reds - Glugging Wines In addition, wines can only then be assorted by price. Each wine features a
brief description and customer comments, plus details of the grape, region and country of origin. Nevertheless, if you look closely and squint, you?ll notice a link off to the ?Advanced Search? which allows the customer to search the inventory by the a wider array of criteria: - Grape - Price - Country - Region - Great with (Seafood, picnic etc..) My favourite touch here is that you select special types of wine from Kosher, Vegetarian and Organic ? Surely all wines are Vegetarian? The site is really focussed at introducing customers to a better class of wine and is really a stepping-stone to connoisseur level. For those with knowledge if wine there is additional information in the ?Wine Zone? that features in-depth reviews of guest wines and star regions. The Wine Zone is also available as a regular e-mail in either plain text or HTML (for those that MUST have the pretty pictures!) All I need now is a bigger wine rack!
I can't resist a good offer: so when I got a £20 voucher for Virgin Wines it had to be used... The homepage is really user-friendly and shows very large, bright links to several ways to choose a case of wine: 1. Choose a standard case from the sets available, all of which are around £65 or more: this section shows a large bright label representing the link to each case, explaining the type of wine contained (eg all white, all red, New World selection, champagne etc). 2. Browse through all the wines available (which are grouped together so you know what type of wine each one is) and choose 13 bottles you fancy: there is a list of wine types down the left hand side (eg French, New world, dessert wine, rioja style, champagne etc) and on clicking on one of these types you are presented with the details of all the bottles available of that type. There is also a drop-down menu at the top allowing you to choose the price range you want so you're not wading through lots of wines you can't afford. 3. Use the wine wizard. This is great: it asks all sorts of questions about styles of wine you like to drink and churns out a list of wines that you'll probably like, which you can then choose from. Alternatively, it will offer to mix you a case from this selection so you can just try them all with minimum effort. When browsing, the selection of wine is pretty good, although I had expected perhaps a larger selection. On clicking on a particular wine type, the list of wine appears with a thumbnail photo of each bottle and a short review alongside. Clicking on the picture will give a more detailed description and a bigger picture. The descriptions are really Jilly Gooden-esque: "This is brimming with chocolate & black cherries" or "Peaches and cream in a glass". To be honest a lot of it didn't mean much to me: I don't pretend to be a connoisseur, I just know what I like! It made them sound de
licious though. On clicking on the 'add to case' type button, a little window appears with the contents of the case. Each time you add wine to your case, this window flashes up quickly with the new details. However, you can't remove items from the case using this window; you have to click the 'go to your basket' button in it which will show you your case in the main window, where you can mess about with the case contents to your heart's content. The case can actually take 13 bottles, although I think you can just choose 12 if you don't want the extra one. The checkout is straightforward: once the case is chosen, all the sums are added up quickly, postage added and you're away! There's the option of entering a voucher code which I did with no problems. Before going to the page where your card details are entered, if you are a second (or more!) time buyer then you have to enter your password. If you've forgotten it then they'll delete your card details from your account and send you a new password which I think is a good touch. Once the checkout is completed, it gives a nice colourful confimation page to print if you want to, but the confirmation email arrives within minutes. A lot of the offers on individual bottles are pretty good - I picked some really good wines for about £4 each. Postage costs £4.99 for a case. When my wine arrived it was fairly punctual (if I account for the bank holiday weekend between the order and the delivery it took about three working days) and it was all packed well with nothing broken. They even sent a voucher for Figleaves.com - how can I complain? The only drawback is that you always have to buy a case, never a few individual bottles. Better get drinking then! I shall update this when I've finished all my wines and I'll recommend a few if they're nice. ADDENDUM: I just visited it again and it's changed the homepage. Now that I have bought w
ines, I can rate them and order more of the same; this large bright link has replaced the wine wizard, although there a small link to one side with the option of re-doing my wine wizard. Nice touch I think!
If you love wine like my family and I do then this is the Number 1 site for you. Virginwine.com offer a range of around 1700 bottles of wine whether you love champange, rose, red or white wines. There is a difference in price depending on your tastes of wine, and the location of where it is produced. I choose a 12 mixed bottled box of red and white wines for about £55. I thought that I would choose one that they recommend in which I did. This was the best decision I have made. * How do they decide on the mixed cases? * Well firstly, virgin wines ask for your opinions in relation to the wine that you have choosen as well as looking at which wines sell the best and working along side wine experts who then recommend the selection of wine for your tastes. You can choose a variety of mixed boxes to your preference of dry, medium, sweet wines or even a mixture of all. There is only one small negative aspect which is that they only sell the wines by the case of 12 bottles or more. Even with this, it can be turned into a positive feature that virgin offer, and that is only because other wine merchants dont sell mixed cases so you do not have to buy 12 bottles of the same wine. You can however buy the same wine by the case if you wish. The average priced bottle is about £5.49, however the standard of wine is magnificant. * The web site and how to order * The virgin wine site looks upto date and has the virgin imadge look with the redish colouring. The web site itself is clear, spacious and easy to navigate with big tabs across the top of each screen to take you various parts of the site. These tabs are my home page, recommendations for me, mixed cases, my cellar, wine zone magazine, my shopping basket and gifts. The site is personalised to your needs and your can personalise it further more if your wish, which then makes the whole site seem very friendly, and less formal. The site has a very secure area when you pay for
your goods over the net, but if you do not feel happy with the transactions over the web, then you can place your order over the phone. * How does it know what you like? * As when I stated in the first section that virgin wines work in relation to your likes and dislike, well this is the area where I will explain how that happens. There are numerious ways on this site in which helps you select that perfect case of wine whether you are an novie or experienced wine drinker. The first stage is the wine wizard and this works by asking you a series of questions about the types of wines you like and dislike. Once this is done, the system mixes you three different cases which goes by the experts, feedback and sales as previously stated. The first is a play it safe case full of the types of wines you have indicated that you like. The second option is a try something a little different. This is a mixture of wines you already like and wines that are a little different to what you might have tried before. The third case is a wildcard if you fancy trying things you would never have thought of drinking. I choose the first option as I have not heard of some of the wines (plus it was the cheapest option). Once completed and tasted the wines, Virgin then will recommend wines they reckon you may like which is based on the original answers given. You will be shown in the my recommendations tab each time you enter the site the new wines that you may like to try. The wine wizard can be improved by use of another feature, which is the ratings section. You get a rating card when you recieve your purchase anyway so you know what to get and what not the next time you order from the site. These ratings will also give a clearer indictation on which wines should be reccommended to you. which leads me onto the next bit quite nicely. You can then click on my cellar tab and you will find listed all the wines y
ou have ordered from them and you can go in and rate them and type some comments which you may have filled out on your rating card. This service is great if you are like me who drinks a lot of wine and forgets which one I liked and buys the one I did not like. As long as you keep the rating card which is send to you in delivery of wine, you can go and type in your thoughts in your own leisure rather than wait until you forget. With this, you can build yourself a very good little wine reference page of your likes and dislikes, whilst trying to think of an excuse to tell people that you are not the alcholic they think you are. In addition to the highly recommended wines for your persoanl case, Virgin offer a good range of ready-mixed cases for which they give a little description but is great for not knowing what you are really going to be drinking. You can really be suprised, but also the cases are designed for the type of year and is a great idea in which they may be suited for. The latest mixed cases include a Christams survival kit case and a 2001 Wines of the Year case which is highly recommended to buy. My first case was the Summer Survival Case back in August and only cost me £33.99 for the case of 12 mixed bottles. The wines that I received were; 2 x Campo Viejo Crianza 1998 - reccommended as a best buy, 2 x Redwood Trail Pinot Noir 98/99 - Wine zone approved, 2 x Blackridge Chardonnay 1999, 2 x Vina Porta Merlot 1999, 2 x Vina Porta Chardonnay 1999, and 2 x Anubis Tempranillo 1999. These wines were from, Argentina, Austrailia, Chile, Spain and the USA. Whatever you decide to buy (if anything), the ordering process is very simple and the ordering process is shown along the left hand side of the page, so you can see where you are in the ordering process and how many steps are left. I was introduced to the site only a few months ago when I noticed an offer link
to virgin wines with a £20 off your first order voucher. So I took up the offer. The service is very efficient and all the cases I've ordered have arrived within 3 days and by Parcel Force to prevent damage to the goods in transit. If you are not in to thke the delivery, they will leave the case somewhere where you stated on the order over the internet whether it is round the back of your house or with your next door neighbour If you dont like the wine that they recommend, then they also guarantee the wine a full refund and if you do not like it you will not pay anything, unless you have already paid for it upfront. The delivery charge if outside London is £4.99 for unlimited cases, but is well worth it for a fast express delivery of outstanding value of wine. If you live inside the M25, then you maybe able to get the wine in the evening for an extra £2 charge.
If you like wine - you'll love this site. Virgin Wine have over 1700 bottles of wine on offer (apparantly) and these range from Australian whites for less than a fiver to premium champagnes for about £50. The only drawback (if it is one) is that they only sell in full cases (ie 12 bottles) however, unlike other wine merchants, these can be mixed cases so you don't have to buy 12 bottles of the same wine (unless you want to of course). The site looks very trendy and has the typical "Virgin" brand look. It's clear, uncluttered and easy to navigate with big tabs across the top of each screen to take you to "My Home Page", "Recommendations for Me", "Mixed Cases", "My Cellar""Wine Zone Magazine", "My Shopping Basket" and "Gifts". These personalised tabs make the whole site seem very friendly and as if it's there just for you. There are several really good ideas on this site to help you select that perfect case of wine. The first is the "Wine Wizard", this works by asking, you a series of questions about the types of wines you like and dislike once done the system mixes you three different cases. The first is a "play it safe" case full of the types of wines you have indicated that you like, no surprises here. The second is a "try something a little different" a mixture of wines you already like and wines that are a little different to what you might have tried before but still in the same ballpark. The third case is a "wildcard" if you fancy trying things you would never have thought of drinking. Once completed the wines that Virgin reckon you'll like, based on these answers, will be shown in "My Recommendations" each time you enter the site. The Wine Wizard can be improved by use of another feature, the ratings section. Click on "My Cellar" and you'll find listed
all the wines you've ever ordered from them (that cn be quite scary actually) and, if you remember, you can go in and rate them and type some comments. This is great if you're like me and forever thinking, "this wine is fab, must remember it next time I'm buying a bottle". As long as you go type in your thoughts straight away you can build yourself a very good little wine reference page of your likes & dislikes. In addition to the recommendations for your persoanl case, Virgin have a good range of ready-mixed cases for which they give a little description and an idea of the situation they may be suited for, recent cases include a "Christams Survival Kit" case and a "2001 Wines of the Year". Alternatively you can just browse through the site randomly and pick out a case of wine for yourself. Whatever you decide to buy, the ordering process is very simple and the steps in the process are shown along the left hand side of the screen so you can see where you are in the process and how many steps are left. You can also order wine as a gift for someone and Virgin will deliver it to them with a personal message from you - very handy for Christmas (particularly if you'll be visiting the recipient over Christmas and so will get to taste the wine you bought!) I was introduced to the site last year when I opened a Virgin One account and was given a voucher for a discount on a case of wine - it was the first of many I've bought. The service is very efficient and all the cases I've ordered have arrived within 3 days - even just before Christmas. They will leave the case outside your house or in a secure place of your choosing and guarantee that if it's nicked off your doorstep they will replace it foc. They also guarantee the wine and if you don't like it you don't pay. This actually is true. I received a bottle in a case a few months back which, when I tast
ed it, was horrible. My hubby actually thought it was alright but to me it tasted synthetic. I e-mailed Virgin and said that it had eben recommended by the "Wine Wizard" but I didn't like it. Without any quibbles they immediately credited my account with the cost of that bottle. An additional feature (for which you have to pay a small subscription) is their wine club. I joined this last year as I got a year's subscription free with my One Account but I'll definitely be renewing the subscription. As a member you get special offers, news about new wines and (most importantly) a 13th bottle free with every case ordered. I'd recommend the site unreservedly to anyone who loves wine and anyone who wants to learn to love it.
I work for ntl (now dont go blaming me - lve told you all before l have to pay the bills somehow otherwise Purdy the cat wouldnt get fed!) and as part of an associate deal the company have negoiated with Virgin Wines, free membership subsrciption to Virgin Wines WineClub for 1 year. Usually costing 20 pounds - so l joined - why not its free. I have received a membership card and no. and look forward to newsletters, and the 13th bottle of vino free with every order (excluding special offers) So sitting in work and l receive an email from those lovely people at Virgin Wines - 50% the Everyday Drinking Case of wine - reduced from #64.99 to #32.99 for 12 bottles. Quick calculation this works out at #2.92 a bottle. Im intrigued now. The wines seem to be all good quality vino - Lindlemans, Rosemount, Penfolds - all reputable brand names that lve heard of. The wines Merlots, Shiraz's a Chardony or two - excellent. Im sold so l trot off and do the deal. I was so pleased with myself and the bargin l had just got - l told a few colleagues (who read thoroughly, unlike me l skim read!) - so they are all very interested too and trot of to check out the web site. I then get called over - "Heather did you read this information properly?" Me - "Sort of why" "Cos you dim wit they do not deliver in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland." Bugger. So l go to the web site with my order no and send a few emails to their help desks - customer service and the delivery help line. I received contrasting emails. Dave in Delivery said - ok technical fault on our behalf your order should not have gone through but as it has as a good will gesture we will deliver it for you. Julian in Customer Services said - sorry madam we do not deliver to Northern Ireland. Where do l stand???? I emailed Julian in Customer Services asking for clarification and 10 minutes later Julian himself rang me and apologised for the contrastin
g info and said Dave the Delivery guy was right - l will be getting my booze. BIG SMILE!!! I then received an email on Friday saying the booze had been dispatched and to expected it within a day or so - its going to be a good week next week!! SO - Virgin Customer Service - absolutely spot on! What about the actual web site l hear you cry? The site itself is really funky - purples and reds. It easy to navigate about and informative. If you are unsure of what suits you - take the wine wizard test and they'll help you pick a case of what suits - their wine range is huge so there has to be something to suit all. Prices range from #2.99 to about #50. They do not deliver single bottles - only cases of twelve. You can mix your own, get virgin to mix a case for you, order 12 of one type or try the set cases they have already mixed. You are given an account and everything is stored on it so if you come across a wine that you absolutely adore - they keep it on record so you can reorder time and time again. Also a useful function is your order track status - you can check if your order has left the warehouse or not. Id absolutely recommend this site to any wine lover (only if you live on mainland UK !) its great. The only down side is they do not deliver to us second rate citizens in NI or Rep of Ireland (except for me!!) and this is disappointing. Check them out on www.virginwines.co.uk
I had a little extra bonus when I orderd 36 bottles from virginwines.com... I got them for free! I had about 40,000 Virgin Atlantic Qualiflyer miles, and 30,000 Amex Points - These can be redeemed for wine-vouchers at VirginWines.co.uk. >>> The site Easy to navigate, it is divided into 6 main headings. * My Home Page: This is just a starting page which allows you to quickly link to the most popular pages within their site, including access to "Your Account" * Recommendation for Me: Based either on wines you have bought and rated, or based on answering their "Wine Wizard" questions, they will volunteer wines which you will like. As with most of the site, you get to choose the price bracket of the bottles you want to see. Users can comment briefly on wines, and apply a 1 to 5 Star rating, much like DooYoo. * Mixed cases: This offers a selection of... mixed cases - There's a good selection of different types of case (Summer wines, Wines of the World, Easy Drinking, Bin-End etc...) * My Cellar: A list of the wines you've bought and/or rated on the site for easy reference and re-ordering. * Wine Zone Magazine: The title says it all. Articles about wine, written by the VirginWines.com staff. * My Basket: Another obvious one... You also gain access to past orders and order status here. >>> The service Excellent. I must confess that on my very first order for 3 cases, one case went missing. It was never found, and some of the wine I'd previously ordered was now out of stock. At my request, they quickly refunded the value of the case, and postage for a new order... No problems. In fact, by then I had a £10 discount voucher, so ended up benefiting from the exchange. Delivery is £4.95 for any size order, and is courier based. Couriers will (if requested in your order) drop cases with a neighbour, at the back of the house etc... Nice'n'Easy,
particularly as Virgin take responsibility for the safety of your delivery, and send a confirmation email when they think you should have your order. It is worth noting that wines are classified either as "Selected" or not. If a wine is not on their selected list, the service degrades (longer delivery, less guarantees), but their selected list is long, so this hasn't proven a problem for me. >>> The cost Can't go wrong... They offer wines at typical shop-prices, in cases of 12 (self-select or pre-selected) with a refund the difference offer if you find the same thing cheaper elsewhere. Cases vary in price from £50 to £80 (or more!) but if you are careful, there are offers to be had which can save you between £10 and £20, or if you collect a certain airline's points, you can save more! A good way to save yet more is by selecting their bin-end cases, where they select a number of low-stock items, and clear them out by selling them cheap. >>> Overall I love it! ***Hic!*** And if you care to try them out, drop me a private email for your first saving of £££s on their site.
About two weeks ago I signed up for something which gave me a £20 virgin wine voucher, £20 me thinks thats is a lot of cash. So I donder on over to the site, I must say first impressions I was impressed. Looked at the mixed cases but being on the poor side decided to see just how cheap I could get 12 bottles of wine for. So I mixed my own case of two different types of red, at £2.99 a bottle, then add delivery charge and take off the £20 from voucher = one case for £20 pound. I put my order in on the Thurs, and as I was going to be away at the weekend I asked them to put a note through the door and I would pick the wine up. I returned home on sunday to find my case had been left at the front door of my flat. There are 5 other flats in the block so could easily have been nicked. Now I know Virgin will replace if it gets stolen, but why unnecessarily increase they changes of having the wine stolen? I emailed them and told them, and I got a prompt reply telling me they were investigating and thanks for telling them. I think it was the delivery man being lazy not a fault on virgin wines. The order came within 2 days, i was very impressed, and the wine is nice enough at £1.40 a bottle. I like the way you can rate the wines you have bought so that you dont forget which ones were awful and avoid buying them again. Also the wine wizard recommends wine based on your liking disliking of other wine. Its actaully quite good the wizard. After your first order you recieve some vouchers for your next order. I think I will try and finish the 1st 12 but I will definatly not hesitate to order from them again. One thing though I wish they would deliver in cases of 6 as 12 bottles is alot.
This is an update on my earlier comment (as promised). The first 12 bottles have now been finished and in terms of taste I was pleasantly surprised. As one of the people commented said "you get what you pay for". Well yes that is true but all the bottles were quite drinkable and some were quite good quality, all were certainly worth what I paid for them. I have just ordered my second crate and as I described below I got £10 off just for rating the wines and it appears I will get another £10 off the next crate as well. I have ordered similar wines again and the cost came to £42 (inc p&p).Again the wine was deliverd within 48 hours of me ordering it. I have as part of the order confirmation received another £20 voucher to pass onto a new member, so if anybody is interested just say so in any comments you make and I will email the voucher to you. You do get slightly bombarded with emails from them but you can always delete them or ask to be removed from their mailing list if you get fed up. If anybody does order some wine please let me know what you think I have just joined Virgiwines .com. I was tempted by their present offer of a free bottle of champagne (worth approx £17) with any case of 12 bottles that you order. I was a bit sceptical because usually in this sort of offer the wines that you can choose from cost an arm and a leg. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I logged onto the site to find wines selling at about £3 as well as a lot more. Iwas able to select a case for about £40 inc of p&p. This compares very reasonably with other companies I,ve tried such as the wine corporation and chateau on-line. The web site has a huge variety of choice and if you don't know what you are doing then there is a wine wizard to help you. There is a facility to let the delivery company know where to leave your wine if you are out
, and if it is stolen Virgin guarantee to replace it free of charge. Delivery was promised within a few days and two days later the delivery company phoned up to enquire exactly where the house was, as we live in a small village lacking road names. Delivery occured the next day, and together with the box of 12 was the champagne that was promised. Every wine that was on the site was rated by the customers and the comments were not always complimentary, but generally they said that the wines were good value. If I comment on the wines I have received then I will get £10 of my next order. I havent tasted them yet, perhaps I will update my comment in a few weeks time.