Trusting WTSO

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Trusting WTSO

Postby Jenise » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:06 pm

I joined this website in the last two weeks. I've only made one purchase so far, but recognized a few of the offers as good deals even though I passed on them. Many are wines I don't know at all, and I haven't bothered to challenge WTSO's claim to MSRP and best web price until today, checking up on a champagne they offered recently. They were offering it for $29 and showed the MSRP and best web price at $80. For a NV. Not that many NV's in that price stratosphere so I checked Wine-Searcher, which showed the wine's price history running $25-$30, and double-checked Cellar Tracker where the community average price on the wine is $29.42.

The wine is a Veuve Doussot Brut Rose. Wine-Searcher only lists one rose which has an additional word in the name something like 'Tessant', and Cellar Tracker alludes to a Burghound review for just one Veuve Doussot brut rose, but whose title includes the word 'Villages' not 'Tessant'. Same wine? Can't be 100% sure but I'd think so since no list of Veuve Doussots I found mentions more than one rose.

Now I realize one always has to do their homework, but presuming they do only make one rose, it's pretty ridiculous of WTSO to use a comparative price almost 3X of reality. Is this typical of what they do?
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:07 pm

They start with MSRP. It makes the deals look better than they often are. That said there have been some gems.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Jim Grow » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:16 pm

I have bought many cases from them and am very satisfied including the rose you mention. Free shipping on a minimal number for bottles is the kicker for me. Their service is first rate.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Sam Platt » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:48 am

I agree with Jim. The prices are quite reasonable and the free shipping is a major benefit. I don't pay much attention to the price comparison or the Newman guy's ratings. The Doussot Rose is a very tasty Champagne for the price. I have been very pleased with WTSO.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:09 am

I dropped off the WTSO list, but that's pretty consistent with all of the flash sites. "Regular price" is MSRP, and "lowest price on WS Pro" is just that, even if lowest price is $60 and last week someone had offered for $35.
My theory on flash sites is to totally ignore everything but the wine and the offered price. If I know I like the wine, and it's a good price, bite. The percent off the MSRP or lowest price on WS are irrelevant.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Sam Platt » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:39 am

At first I only bought the occasional really good wine offered offered at a great price on WTSO. Now I have started purchasing regular drinking stuff, particularly champagne, from them. My total spend with WTSO in 2013 was right at $1800. WTSO accounted for a little over one third of my total wine spend this year.

The cheapest price for a Champagne offered locally is $42. WTSO regularly offers Champagne for less than $30. I buy sub $30 Champagne almost every time I see it offered. I also find good value in white burgs that are not available locally. We have purchased a little bit of everything from WTSO and have only had a couple of real clunkers, both were Bordeaux.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Jenise » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:29 am

Dale Williams wrote:I dropped off the WTSO list, but that's pretty consistent with all of the flash sites. "Regular price" is MSRP, and "lowest price on WS Pro" is just that, even if lowest price is $60 and last week someone had offered for $35.
My theory on flash sites is to totally ignore everything but the wine and the offered price. If I know I like the wine, and it's a good price, bite. The percent off the MSRP or lowest price on WS are irrelevant.


Oh, I get the psychology of it and that almost nothing ever sells for MSRP, I just doubted that the $80 MSRP quoted for this wine had any basis in reality anywhere and was able to almost instantly verify that the "best web price" they mention is a total fabrication. I just wondered, as a new customer, how frequently they embellish to that degree--compared to, say, JJ Buckley, whose "lowest internet price" if they mention one has nearly always turned out to be a good number (I verify before I buy, always).
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Drew Hall » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:00 pm

My theory on flash sites is to totally ignore everything but the wine and the offered price. If I know I like the wine, and it's a good price, bite. The percent off the MSRP or lowest price on WS are irrelevant.


What Dale said.......I've been very happy with my WTSO purchases.

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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Jenise » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:07 pm

Drew, Jim, all: They certainly did well with the one thing I already ordered from them, and a bit again just a little while ago on the Schug chardonnay. (So sue me--I still like California chardonnay. :) )

Another new (to me, at least) site called Last Bottle seems just about identical in philosophy and service--I've purchased from them once. Interesting way to shop--it's almost TOO easy (my problem, not theirs!).
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Richard Fadeley » Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:55 pm

Jenise wrote:Another new (to me, at least) site called Last Bottle seems just about identical in philosophy and service--I've purchased from them once. Interesting way to shop--it's almost TOO easy (my problem, not theirs!).

You are right, it is almost too easy, and the main reason that I don't recommend buying wine on line.
That said, WTSO seems to me to be a straight-up bunch and a lot (but not all) of their wines are good values, include shipping, and are tax free (this is a perk that should and will end, hopefully soon, in fairness to all).
If you have ever wondered about returns, etc., they are overly accommodating. For the first time I had a bad shipment, called them, and they immediately credited my account, no questions asked.
I am in South Carolina and appreciate the selections that they offer. I mainly buy Burgundy and some Bdx from them.
But, as others have said, you can't put much stock in their "Best Web" pricing. Caveat emptor!
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Alex Judge » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:01 pm

Personally after making a number of WTSO purchases, I've found that often the wines that are discounted the least (i.e. 30-45% off or less) are actually the best deals you're going to get. Often for a number of wines that are heavily discounted (60-70%+) there is a good reason that there's such a high discount - because the quality of the product simply does not remotely live up to the original price. I've found that some of these heavy discounts you'll see at your generic discount liquor outlet (i.e. Total Wine, Joe Canal's, or whatever) with pretty similar prices (and also marked as big discounts), so from WTSO you're not really getting much of a deal.

I've found that the white burgs that I've gotten from have generally been clunkers (namely a Chablis and a Macon Villages), although I'm sure if you stick to a big name producer (i.e. Louis Jadot, Louis Latour) it should be a safe bet.

In my experience some of the best buys have been Spanish reds (even if there's a pretty big discount, as for whites I've run into a couple of pretty crummy Rias Baixas which I usually love) and Italian reds (super tuscan and vino nobile). New Zealand also seems to be a pretty safe bet, and I would venture Australia would be, too (especially Clarendon) although I can't actually speak to that myself.

Ultimately, in general I've found reds to be safer than whites (also had a great california zin, a great santa barbera rhone blend, a pretty good paso robles syrah, and a bordeaux that was fairly passable for the price). As for rose, I've only gotten one and it was really not so great although personally I'm not a big rose fan. As for sparkling wines I can't really comment.

This is, of course, purely my personal experience and if you've experienced differently please let me know!

P.S. my first post - yay!
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Sam Platt » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:44 pm

Welcome Alex. I would generally agree with your comments on WTSO, though I have not had too many clunkers. The other real benefit to me is the ability to purchase wines from WTSO that I simply cannot get locally. I can purchase these wines through WTSO and have them delivered to Indiana with no shipping charge. Many other suppliers either do not ship to Indiana or charge very high shipping rates.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Alex Judge » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:04 pm

Definitely a fair point! The wine stores of NY/NJ do tend to be fairly well stocked :)

P.S.

Has anybody tried anything from Mockingbird Hill? I keep seeing their wines (such as an oakville cab) on WSTO but unsure of what to make of the prices
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Jenise » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:16 pm

Alex, welcome to WLDG, and thanks for insights. I get what you mean about the steep discounts. Some wine got dumped, big-time--I tend to see those, especially when you see multiple grape varieties from one producer around, and think the winery must have gone out of business. A recent example was a bunch of venerable, long-time Napa producer T-Vine wines--cab, syrah and zinfandel, offered on Last Bottle which works just like WTSO. I bought the zin, thinking I'd use them in an upcoming zin tasting, but made the mistake of trying a bottle. It's a very claret style zin with major tannins--and now I'm going to keep them all for myself. Should have stepped up for the cab, too, but I didn't!
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby David B » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:48 pm

I just found Last Bottle myself and joined. I also joined WTSO. I have been a wine access purchaser only last year.

Does anyone who follows the industry rank the 3?

Wine Access
Last Bottle
WTSO

Which one is largest? Most wines shipped?

Which one has best deals? Most consistent best deals?

Sounds like this forum is more a WTSO crowd.

I have since found on google Last Bottle does over 1 million dollars a month in wine...that's pretty big...
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby James Dietz » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:29 pm

David B wrote:I just found Last Bottle myself and joined. I also joined WTSO. I have been a wine access purchaser only last year.

Does anyone who follows the industry rank the 3?

Wine Access
Last Bottle
WTSO

Which one is largest? Most wines shipped?

Which one has best deals? Most consistent best deals?

Sounds like this forum is more a WTSO crowd.

I have since found on google Last Bottle does over 1 million dollars a month in wine...that's pretty big...


Garagiste might be even bigger.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby David B » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:37 pm

James Dietz wrote:[
Garagiste might be even bigger.


Thanks I just added that one too....That site is a trip...No online ordering. Just reply to the email...yeah send it....probably why they are successful....Guy sounds like an ex-hippie..lol..

I think Last Bottle has the cleanest graphics. Real simple holding the bottle with the case pic and real quick writeup. Wine Access goes on and on.

WTSO offers seems real good. Now I have 4 places to choose from. My wallet is in trouble with all these offers.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby MikeH » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:00 am

Of the "discounters," I have purchased from WTSO, Last Bottle, and WineAccess. Also get emails from Garagiste. Most of my online purchases are with WTSO. Garagiste didn't seem to have a free shipping option and the cost from Pacific NW (I think) to Cincy was pretty high. WTSO seems to have far more offers than Last Bottle or WineAccess....also a lot of Italian wines which were underrepresented in my cellar. I think most of my Italians nowadays are from WTSO.

One test I usually do when evaluating an offer from one of these vendors is to look at CellarTracker, see what the average purchase price of the wine has been and what the community thinks of the wine.

WineAccess has an interesting feature....if your purchase isn't shipping immediately, you can browse their web site and add other wines to your shipment.

WTSO also has an app for one's smartphone....makes buying even easier!

Beyond the discounters, have also purchased from Chicago Wine Company, MacArthur Beverages, and Chambers Street Wines. As Sam Platt said, these vendors give me an opportunity to acquire wines that are not available in Ohio.
Cheers!
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Dale Williams » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:48 am

As far as flash sites, I unsubscribed from WTSO. I got some good deals, but too many emails (though I appreciated wine was in subject)- just not enough that were of interest to me (too many JNewman 92s for made-up-name CaliCabs). I get Last Bottle, but haven't bought yet (some interesting stuff- I think Vieux Donjon recently? - but hasn't filled my needs). The only flash sites I've bought from in last 6 months are Vitis (more Eurocentric, and when it's Cali it can be Mayacamas or someone I know and like) and Cinderella (Wine Library)

But I'm lucky to be local to a lot of serious retailers for the stuff I like. Probably Chambers St and Grapes get more of my business than anyone, but I also have Zachys, Wine Cellarage, Pops, PJs, Astor, Crush, Wine Connection, Garnet, etc.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby MikeH » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:39 am

Dale Williams wrote:As far as flash sites, I unsubscribed from WTSO. I got some good deals, but too many emails (though I appreciated wine was in subject)- just not enough that were of interest to me (too many JNewman 92s for made-up-name CaliCabs). I get Last Bottle, but haven't bought yet (some interesting stuff- I think Vieux Donjon recently? - but hasn't filled my needs). The only flash sites I've bought from in last 6 months are Vitis (more Eurocentric, and when it's Cali it can be Mayacamas or someone I know and like) and Cinderella (Wine Library)

But I'm lucky to be local to a lot of serious retailers for the stuff I like. Probably Chambers St and Grapes get more of my business than anyone, but I also have Zachys, Wine Cellarage, Pops, PJs, Astor, Crush, Wine Connection, Garnet, etc.


Dale, you are correct about the Vieux Donjon. Last Bottle recently had the 08 for $36 with free shipping on 3 or more.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby Jenise » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:09 pm

Dale Williams wrote:As far as flash sites, I unsubscribed from WTSO. I got some good deals, but too many emails (though I appreciated wine was in subject)- just not enough that were of interest to me (too many JNewman 92s for made-up-name CaliCabs). I get Last Bottle, but haven't bought yet (some interesting stuff- I think Vieux Donjon recently? - but hasn't filled my needs).


In answer to David B, Dale just mentioned one of the reasons I haven't bought more from WTSO though I seem to get about 2-3 offers per day from them, a lot of the wines aren't real wines (that is, wines that were ever offered at actual retail) which I might add makes the bogusness of the prices claimed even more bogus. By comparison, I only hear from Last Bottle every couple of days, but the wines have all been verifiably "real".

Garagiste makes it's living on Jon Rimmerman's verbosity. He's a random-hype-generator of the first order. And though he does sell some legitimately interesting wines that deserve his praise, most of us have found too many didn't live up to the gab. Garagiste has more ex-customers than any site I know.
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Re: Trusting WTSO

Postby David B » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:47 pm

Jenise wrote:
Dale Williams wrote:Garagiste makes it's living on Jon Rimmerman's verbosity. He's a random-hype-generator of the first order. And though he does sell some legitimately interesting wines that deserve his praise, most of us have found too many didn't live up to the gab. Garagiste has more ex-customers than any site I know.


Lol...yeah I lasted 2 days with garagiste...not for me. I am in Connecticut also so that freight is a long ways. I am not feeling WTSO either. Just not grabbing onto their wines. So I think I will unsubscribe from them also.

I really like last bottle so see doing business with them in future. They seem to work with a lot of the vendors wine access does.

I just got a case from wine access which I am pretty happy so far.

http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?i ... dcfa2051cb

Lot of good reviews. Parker gave it 90 Wine entusiaist - 91. Got it for 24 a bottle. Its 35 out on the market and haven't seen anything lower except for this PA wine control board which I cant find it on there.

Think I might just buy 6 bottles of a wine in future and not the case qty.
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