Many of us who have spent a bunch of time on this board have fallen prey to the temptation to buy the wines that everyone loves. Every time a mailer hits, there’s a multi-page thread on how great the wines are, how much everyone loves them, and how everyone can’t wait to buy multiple cases.
I thought I would start a thread for people who are trying not to buy.
Nothing against Rhys or Kevin. The wines are great. But I’m trying to cut back generally, and they’re awfully expensive. I have 2.5 weeks to hold out, but I’m worried about having a moment of weakness. Anyone with me?
We are trying to get finances in order to build a house and consequently, I am having to skip most wines this time around. It is really hard for two reasons in addition to my general wine addiction. First, we got married in 2013, so many of the wines are our wedding year wines. I will have to try and backfill later I suppose. Second, I hate the “penalty” that you receive for skipping a release. I am not sure which lists I will get kicked off of because of skipping (not worried about lower allocations because I can never afford to max buy), but I hope that it isnt too many.
I hear ya. You simply cannot buy everything and have to allocate within your budget and to what wines you need and drink. It makes no sense to load on on Cali pinot if you still want to buy Barolo, for example. I like Rhys too, but simply cannot mindlessly and endlessly buy from each and every offer they have, which is about 3x/year. Other wineries have 2x release schedules and I’ve trimmed those too. Doesn’t matter if I like the wines or not, I don’t want them to take over the cellar!
It’s a case by case basis, but most lists don’t kick you off or greatly reduce your allocation for missing one release (though of course, the size of your allocation will usually go up or down to some degree based on how much you’ve been buying for how long). I’m pretty sure Rhys has a stated policy, something like that you need to order once every year or two years to stay on.
If you’re not sure and you’re anxious about it, I’ve always been successful just emailing the winery and saying “hey, I have to pass on this club shipment / offering, but I love the wines and I plan to keep being a customer.” Every time I’ve done that, I’ve gotten a very pleasant response saying it’s no problem.
There are a few exceptions out there. You probably can’t miss a SQN or Screaming Eagle order and stay on the list. But I think most of the wineries we talk about here are going to be entirely cool about you passing here and there.
I am skipping almost everything this time around, Rhys, Carlisle, Rivers Marie, and probably 1 or 2 more where I didn’t even let myself look closely at the email. Just have too much sitting in storage at the moment. Later edit - in case it wasn’t obvious, there are all wineries that I like very much, I just have a surplus at the moment.
Same here. I love and respect most of these wineries, so I don’t really want to go onto WB and announce that I’m not buying from them (not because anyone gives a crap about my opinion, but it just seems to carry some negative implication about producers that isn’t at all intended), but I am passing on probably half of my usual suspects this spring just because I have too much wine right now.
Do not feel bad about saving your money! We all have limits, they are just different for each of us. There will always be more wine of high quality when you are ready. I gave myself a limit of 2 grand for winter wine buys to cover this year and have spent $900 already and the Berserker day has not arrived and I have Turley to get thru. something will have to give but I will hold tight to my spending budget. Wine never tastes as good when you are worried about finances.
I’m on the same page as Doug. I feel like a cliché in the sense that when I first got into wine 8-10 years ago, I was in love with everything California. Got on the boards, signed up for every mailer under the sun, bought way too many bottles from those mailers, and ended up with 1000 bottles of Cali wines within a small vintage window and were all very similar. Couple that with a palate shift, and I was in trouble.
I ended up selling off a ton of my CA wines. I still have too many domestic wines for my taste, but there are a few I just can’t pass up. But for the most part it’s been pretty liberating to be able to holdout. I think of the cases of Carlisle, Bedrock, Rivers-Marie, Rhys, etc showing up and it’s overwhelming even now. Looking back I wish I’d purchased fewer wines, drank them, and kept a better balance from the get go. Not knocking the above wines one bit and I’d probably be happy buying 3 bottles per release, total.
I’ve been able to manage the lists I want to stay on by just applying some moderation in how much I buy from each. There is no shame in buying just a few bottles when your total allocation is much larger than that. Sure, the producers would be happy if you bought more, but they are also happy to have loyal customers, and they have to understand it’s a competitive world, there are lots of choices, and most people have budgets to live within.
For me this is about cellar balance. Yes, it’s good to control spend (!!), but I have too much of certain things. I need a little more diversity in the cellar, so some old stalwarts are going to go by the wayside. Overall bottle count and spend will drop as well, because I will end up with smaller allocations, and the price of the more “diverse” stuff is lower.