Dropping off wine lists and it feels........good!!

I made it one of my 2018 New Year’s resolutions to drop off some lists and add some German wines to my cellar…Mostly trying to spend less money on less bottles and improving my variety of wines for my palate and also upgrade on the quality of wines. Some of them are hard to do and some were easy. Kosta Browne was easy, Carlisle and Abreu were not. I love Abreu but a mandatory 3 pack at $1600+ to stay on the list was just too tough for me right now to purchase. Really tough to let it go but I feel better about it now seeing the wine for sell from wine shops for one bottle at the same price as club price. I was on 36 mailing lists at one point and am now down to 18 !! More will come as I decide what to keep and not to keep

Dropped or dropping at next mailer officially:

KB, Sojourn, Alban, Daou, Seven Stones, Justin, Ridge, Stone the Crows, Bedrock, Abreu, Carlisle, Ancillary, Myriad, Jaffurs, Ojai, Montelena, AO.

I love a lot of these wines but sometimes I can find them at the same price online and not have to buy a minimum number of wines. When I get the offers I almost feel guilty that I have to keep purchasing to stay on the list and puts a strain on my financial situation and it has cost my wallet greatly the last few years. I almost had this pressure to keep up with all the offers coming in :slight_smile:

Wine lists I am staying on for the foreseeable future:

WS, Epoch, Marcassin, Rhys, Rivers-Marie, VHR, Tensley, Cirq, QC, Piper, Schrader, Blankiet, EMH, Corison,

Wine lists I am on the fence:

Law, Aubert, Corra

Wine lists I am still waiting:

SE, Saxum, SQN, Cayuse, Macdonald, Andremily

So if you are waiting on any of those lists that I dropped or dropping you get to move up one spot!! By the way I just ordered 10 different bottles of German wines to see what my palate likes…so far 2018 resolutions are in full swing!!

Who else is dropping lists? How do you feel about it?

Wow, that’s a lot of lists. I am on 6 (Maybach, Bedrock, R-M, Quivet, Myriad & Mending Wall). Dropped a few over the past couple years. I am only on the SQN waiting list and even then, I think its relatively easy to source on the secondary for a light markup.

I dont like to feel pressured with the “buy or get dropped” model, and pick up bottles on the secondary market when needed.

When you have multiples of a similar style or region, that is where I start to make my cuts and I have made a few. I now have:
2 Zin producers.
2 Rhones
1 Pinot
2 Cab
2-3 that make a variety of things. If anything, I will cut another Zin producer, but I am happy now.

I dropped a few last year. The only one that hurt was Andremily. I loved the 2012 both at release and with a few years on it, but subsequent vintages were brutish and huge for my shifting palate.

I’m still on a dozen lists, but I only buy 3 bottles/year from most of them. Exceptions are Carlisle and Bedrock - they standout as true values to me. As you noted, it really helps to decide what is really important to you instead of buying everything that comes along. Cheers!

I’m surprised that you’re dropping KB but keeping Cirq. When Cirq jacked their price per bottle up $25 with the 2013 vintage, I dropped them like a bad habit.

Thank you , Joe, for including EMH in your list of “keeps.” My heart stops when I see these threads…and then it leaps when I am on the keep list!

This is a very, very competitive business. Yeah, I know, business is by definition “competitive.” I have been in newspaper/advertising, footwear distribution, footwear importing, hi-tech, and a bit of small business/software consulting. And this. This competition is keen. But competition makes us all better, I think, and it makes us work harder. I like to sell wine because it keeps me alive and paying bills! But on the personal side, the relationships I make through this extraordinary business are what satisfy most.

Yeah KB only offered me 3 bottles of RRV Pinot. With shipping it was something like $240. I can pick up 2 Cirq’s for a few dollars more and I prefer their pinot way more than KB’s

Merrill, I love the wine (and a fair price) that pretty much sums up why I want to keep buying the wine :slight_smile:. I love Abreu wine, just tough to force a 3 pack of $550 per bottle wine. ( I get it, if they can get that price so be it) If I had the option to buy one bottle at a time I would in a heartbeat :slight_smile:

So discussions on minimum orders, maximum orders, and bundling is an interesting one. What, to me, becomes a tie-breaker is the cost to process, package and ship a single bottle. Even when my customer is paying for it, it is not very cost effective. I guess if you are paying $350/bottle or something for a single bottle, or if the winery is charging that, then the rest is superfluous. But for me, I have to charge $23-25 to move a single bottle, whereas I can move 3 bottles for $25-30. For a $75-100 bottle of wine, the 3 bottles feels better.

I’ve been trying to do fewer lists also, largely because, like many on this board, the amount of wine I now possess easily exceeds what I might ever drink. For some lists, like Rhys, Sandlands, or Myriad, I just have amassed too much. In other cases, Liquid Farm or Ceritas, which I like a lot, I nevertheless find I want to continue trying other sources. More of a fairweather list follower these days–1 or 2 and done–than a faithful follower.

@ Joe Raymond: It seems like you’re at the spot where everyone eventually gets if they taste enough variety and collect for long enough. You’re realizing you want (dare I say it) more balance in your cellar. A few years back I decided I wanted to have a cellar where no producer accounted for more than 5% of my cellar and my top single varietal (Pinot Noir) accounted for no more than 25% of my cellar. Having reached that I’d say I’m largely happy with what I have and how things are looking. I remember the time when I shifted from wanting more in the cellar to wanting more quality and fewer bottles too. Being on a wine list challenges both of my goals…but I’m on two and I share one with a close friend and that seems to work for me. Thank you for sharing where you’re at…I think a lot of people will find them there sooner than some may think. I too love German Rieslings…and I hope you get to stock up on some great affordable bottles…because the $25 Kabinett is one hell of a value play for folks that love Riesling AND like to age them.

I’m waiting to read that someone dropped off the direct purchase lists from DRC, Roulot, Allemand, Leflaive and Jamet :wink:

Why would anyone? There’s no judgment or punishment for flipping those! [stirthepothal.gif]

Joe, I think you’ll find that you won’t be dropped from most of those lists for not purchasing. I bet you will continue to get offers from them for years to come.

Same here. Trying to back fill vintages (birth years) concentrate more on rhone / Germany while keeping my domestic to special wines (MacDonald, Piper, EMH, Cayuse). Skipping KB, Carlisle, D&R and R-M pinot this year but likely back next. Haven’t bought Sojourn or Betz in a few years. Might also have to skip on LF as well.

My goal is a total yearly purchase of 3-4 cases.

I agree - I personally think the 3-bottle minimum is fine and I bet it works for most people. What I don’t like is a 6-bottle minimum with excessive shipping charges tacked onto that (e.g. Aubert - loved the wine, but not the business practices). I like to purchase from a lot of different producers. Cheers!

Regarding dropping off and still getting offered wine. Last year I did not buy my KB for the frist time. I was getting allocated 3 bottles of RRV and 3 of SC but no SLH or Chard. This year I get an offer that says I can only wish list and am not guaranteed but I can wish list a case each of RRV, SC and Chard! Something tells me I’d get it all if I asked for it pileon

Dropped off from all but 2 mailing lists last 2016. Just staying on SQN and Scarecrow. Dropped out from about 9 lists.

Currently on:

Hammell Wine Alliance
William Mary Wine Co

Have dropped:
Hundred Acre

Waiting on:
Sine Qua Non

Ideally will reduce further moving forward by 1 or 2.

Dropping off lists left and right. Makes me sad to do so. Then it’s liberating. I don’t really like to drink most of the cult cabs, have skepticism about age ability of most domestic pinots and syrah, and have too much wine just in general, and it’s getting too expensive dive to maintain. If I knew what would appreciate and what I could sell for a profit later, it would justify the investment, but for stuff I want to drink, only a handful of lists still pass muster.