“ Purchase your favourite wine here. A large variety to choose from. „
I'm a wine lover - not a wine buff, so I wouldn't have considered joining a wine club until I saw the "Wine By The Case" flashing up when I went to order my Tesco groceries online. You can buy wine with your groceries of course, but the "special offers" shouted at me so I thought I'd have a look!
The website is easy to navigate around, and like the regular grocery website, the best offers are advertised on the home page. You can filter your choices to types of wine, country of production, grape variety, and price - and most importantly - those special offers!
Once you have filtered your results you can scan through them quickly to find the best value - the price per case is clear, and the % of discount, along with your savings, is shown. Particularly useful are customer ratings! You just make your selection and go through the checkout, adding any vouchers or discount codes.
Like groceries, it will also have your favourites stored. There are also online exclusives available.
I tend to always buy offers - South African or Spanish Reds, and for whites, ABC (anything but Chardonnay) and under £5! If your selection is not available a similar wine will be suggested. I don't go near the Fine Wines; I'm afraid it would be wasted on me!
Obviously there are a lot of Tesco own brand wines available, and because you have plenty of honest reviews you can be confident that you are getting value and quality. This is especially helpful for reds and sparkling wines - the Tesco finest range is really good on the whole, but I trust the reviews so there are some own label wines I steer clear of.
On average, I spend about £25 on my choice of white and £35 on my choice of red.
The Wine Club magazine is good for seasonal suggestions (i.e. Christmas or BBQ season) and also gives you plenty of detail about mixed cases. It's good to browse through for food & recipe suggestions that go with the wine, but on the whole, I'll make most of my choices through the website. You usually get a nice voucher with the mailer too!
If your order is over £50 it is free - usually the two cases cover this for me. If your order is under £50 it is £6. You can get it in an allocated time slot from the Tesco delivery van, but you have to sign for it, or have it by courier Next Day delivery (actually on average this is 2-3 days) and no signature is required.
Great choice of wine, delivered to your door, excellent prices and Club card vouchers too.
Sometimes when I add e-coupons or vouchers they don't show up once you have checked out. Unlike a grocery order you can't go back in and try to add them again, so I have had to phone customer service and get them to put my vouchers on. This is annoying and time-consuming, although the agents are always polite and helpful. A few times when I really had difficulties I've been given another voucher as compensation.
Another nuisance is that often the courier doesn't read the delivery instructions: I live in a rural area with just a handful of (honest) neighbours so always ask for the box just to be left at my back door. Recently my orders have been left with neighbours, and although I understand the courier wants to be sure the order is safe, it's a bit of a hassle trekking over to them - and wrestling my wine off them lol!
Overall a good service, easy to use and plenty of value/quality wines to choose from.
It's just a pity they don't take back the empties!
After reading a tip on Money Saving Expert, I decided to follow the advice of signing up for all the 'clubs' that Tesco offer. Already a member of the Baby & Toddler Club, the missus had been receiving money-off coupons & other special offers for some time, so we knew kind of what to expect from the Food & Wine Clubs.
A few weeks after signing up to the Wine Club (a simple process which can be done online after logging in to your Clubcard account), we received a 'Wine List' & various coupons through the post in our first club mailing.
The Wine List is quite a hefty little catalogue, & details all the wines on sale at Tesco. The wines are seperated into champagnes / sparkling wine / rose, aswell as sections dedicated to each country of origin - France / Italy / Germany / USA etc. Spirits, beer & cider are also covered in addition to wine. There is plenty of info for each wine such as alcohol content / units / awards / price etc, all presented in easy to read tabular form. Recommendations of wines which complement dishes such as fish, chicken, pasta etc are also given at the back.
I'm far from being a wine expert, so this little book is very handy & made for an interesting read. Well worth joining the club for in my opinion. Vouchers linked to my Clubcard ranged from bonus points on bottles of wine, to money off purchases of several bottles of wine, to a coupon which gave entry into a competition to win a wine tasting weekend in Italy.
Wines can be ordered online & delivered the same way as your Tesco groceries, or can be bought in store, with a purchase of 6 bottles or more warranting a 5% discount when using your Clubcard. I doubt we'll ever order wines online, as it's not worth paying the delivery charge, & although prices are good, they usuallly pertain to cases of wine - an amount I wouldn't normally consider purchasing in one go. I have since received free delivery codes via e-mail, so if you buy a certain amount of wine, then this would definitely be for you.
All in all, well worth joining, even if you're just a casual wine drinker like myself.
For more info see www.tesco.com.
What is Tesco Wine Club?
Tesco wine club are the online drinks branch of the supermarket. You have to purchase a minimum of twelve bottles to shop.
Their selection of wine is much wider than in store. Though the range is still largely dominated by supermarket brands, you can find some interesting stuff if you look hard enough. The number of spirits and other drinks on offer is disappointingly small, however. Not perhaps the best place to restock the cocktail cabinet, then!
The website is straightforward to use, with wine indexed under broad regions. However, the search facility isn't that great - I found that it didn't always pull up bottles that I knew were on sale. Be prepared to spend some time browsing the site to find the best deals, too.
This varies wildly from bottle to bottle. Some wines have full details with tasting notes and suggested food matches, others don't even list the year of vintage, which is a bit of a joke. Tesco definitely need to standardize this across the site! Don't expect to get the kind of detail you'd find on a specialist website, like Berry Bros and Rudd here! There isn't even the kind of help with choosing that newcomers to wine will get from a place like Virgin wine. The lack of guidance is a shame, as Tesco could easily afford to pay someone to write decent content for them.
Pricing is very competitive generally, and the website has regular sales and special offers, where bottles are often sold at even fiercer prices. For instance, I got a case of 6 mixed bottles of Loosen Riesling (ranging from the cheap Loosen L up to some more expensive bottles) for £35 - a massive saving of around £30-£40 on the shelf price, had I bought them separately from a wine shop.
However, whether you can actually get your hands on any of these "special deals" is another matter. Tesco only offer a certain relatively small number of cases at these discounts, and their order system is non-live. This means that you can place an order for a wine, thinking that you've got a bargain, and then find that nothing arrives because it's actually sold out. You won't get any warning about this either - no phone call or email to alert you to a problem. This is a big disadvantage if you really need to rely on someone to deliver for a special occasion or a party. For instance, I purchased some Penfolds Bin 28 in the run-up to Christmas, only to find that nothing showed up on delivery day, leading to a frantic rush to my local wine store to get a replacement. When I rang up about this, I was just told that this "was the way the system worked". No points for a personalized service, then!
Delivery is via the same vans that drop off the weekly Tesco shop. Though transport is pretty bad for any wine, I do wonder if bottles shipped around in this way don't suffer even worse treatment than those sent by courier!
Look out for money-saving vouchers on coupon clipping websites or in mailings sent with your Clubcard. You should be able to find codes to give you free delivery and/or money off your order!
There are some bargains to be had here, but a cranky, old-fashioned ordering system, poor customer service and a disorganized website let Tesco wine down.
Purchase your favourite wine here. A large variety to choose from.