The Laithwaites Wine club was one of the first 12-bottle case clubs offered up as a way to get your quarterly wine fix at value-focused prices. Over the years we've gone back and forth one whether or not they deliver a good value, but in general we think their $12 selections are stronger for white wine than red. Take advantage of their introductory offer of just $69.99 for a case, but be warned, you are signing up for recurring shipments at a much higher price.
We've received many shipments of wine from Laithwaites over the years, but we continue to hold the club in relatively low esteem. It's perfect for a wine lover who wants an inexpensive selection of International wine delivered to their door every quarter. It's not good a fit for anyone who likes wine that sells above $15 a the grocery store.
Because of the success of the WSJwine club (a Laithwaites brand), many other wine clubs are competing with 12-bottle case clubs priced around $170 per quarter (including shipping costs). Some of them are offering much better quality wine for that price so we know they could, too.
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Laithwaites Wine Club membership costs $149.99 for 12 bottles of wine. Shipping costs extra and is $19.99 per shipment plus sales tax where applicable. The price per bottle, with shipping, is $14.17.
Shipments are sent quarterly.
This shipment of wine was from the TCM Wine Club, which is managed by Laithwaites Wine. It has been a while since we received an actual Laithwaites shipment, but this TCM shipment was VERY similar. You won't get the movie wines with this Laithwaites membership, though. We have also tried some of these wines via the WSJwine Club, also managed by Laithwaites.
Laithwaites is a successful wine club provider that operated in the UK for years before venturing into the US market. They're absolutely huge wine club allows them to source wines from around the world, and then share their great finds with their club members. They also are the "private label" wine club provider for a major US publication's wine club.
Something that really sets Laithwaites wine club apart from the some of the other clubs is their Introductory Offer program. They always discount your first shipment 50%, and they usually offer some additional value. It's fairly obvious that this is a way to entice you to sign up and try their wines, but nonetheless, this does add extra value to the money you spend with them.
Another thing that sets Laithwaites apart from other wine clubs is their unprecedented buying power. You won't find any boutique, small-production, or even medium-production wines in these shipments. You will find many wines not offered by anyone else because Laithwaites has bought up the entire production allotment. You will also find some wines that are available elsewhere, but not at these prices.
|Introductory Offer||Subsequent QUARTERLY Shipments|
|# Bottles of Wine per shipment||11 bottles||12|
|Price||$59.99 ($5.45 per bottle)||$149.99 ($11.67 per bottle)|
|Total Price per Shipment||$79.98 ($7.27 per bottle)||$159.98 ($13.33 per bottle)|
After the introductory shipment, you’ll receive a case (12 bottles) of wine every quarter for $149.99 and $19.99 shipping until you cancel.
When it comes to wine clubs, we like quarterly case-clubs because you save on shipping costs per bottle and it's better for the environment to send out fewer shipments each year.
Something we noticed: the Mixed case appears to be 8 reds and 4 whites—we normally call this "Mostly Red." You can also choose Red-only and White-only if you want.
It might be because of the UK influence, but we've noticed that Laithwaites's wine selections lean toward old-world, a.k.a. European, wines. It seems like the cases are usually 3/4 European and 1/4 the rest of the world.
At WineClubReviews.net we take an objective approach to our star ratings system. Our written reviews are very much subjective, based on our 5+ years of wine club review experience and our own ideas about what good wine and good value mean. The star ratings are based on 11 attributes that we feel define what a wine club should be. Here is how Laithwaites Wine Club stacks up on these traits.
We've been drinking Laithwaites on a regular basis for six years now. We've never been particularly impressed with the quality of their wine. What we are noticing is that over time the wines are getting better and the selection typically represents popular varietals and regions. It's worth noting that with a focus on European wines, we may not be the best judge of Laithwaites's picks—we love our fruit-bomb new-world wines and we like wines that are low on minerality and acid. The bonus factor to the Euro-heavy selection is much lower alcohol levels across the board.
It used to be that Laithwaites (and it's sister clubs: Laithwaites and VirginWine) couldn't be beat on price. These days there are several wine clubs that are competitive in the sub $15 per bottle DELIVERED space. In wine clubs, as in the rest of life, you get what you pay for — if you don't normally buy wines at this price point, don't be shocked if you don't love what you get.
We look at three areas when evaluating the discount opportunities offered by a wine club. Is there an introductory offer to sweeten the deal? Are there discounts available for buying more of wines you loved in your shipments? Are there special discounts only available to members?
The Laithwaites Wine Club has one of the top introductory offers and we expecially they love that one of your premium options is the 3-bottle bonus selection.
Laithwaites does not offer discounts on reorders but you do get access to members-only deals at their wine store.
More than any other wine club, Laithwaites has had the most complaints, and many of them were very angry customers. Some of this can be attributed to aggressive marketing tactics, some of it can be attributed to people not reading the fine print about joining an ongoing wine club and not just getting a shipment of really cheap wine, and some of it is their own fault. The only silver lining here is that the pace of complaints has slowed significantly over time.
Curation is a black box at Laithwaites, but we can see they have some constraints and some trade-secrets to protect. Given the volume that Laithwaites is buying for, we think they're doing an excellent job picking wines that are likely to be crowd pleasers (popular varietals and wine regions).
Note: This rating is our objective analysis of Laithwaites's satisfaction guarantee—not our assessment of whether or not you’re guaranteed to be satisfied with their wines.
A top-notch Satisfaction Guarantee policy earns top ratings here. Anything wrong, including you just didn't like it, they'll refund the bottle.
"How does your money-back guarantee work?
It’s simple. We want you to enjoy every bottle you buy from us. If you are not completely satisfied with any wine, for any reason, just let us know and you’ll be refunded in full."
This is an area where Laithwaites has made great strides over the years. You can now manage your account online, including vacation holds, and you'll get shipping notifications with tracking numbers when the wine goes out for delivery. Note: You still need to call during business hours to cancel your membership.
A personalized wine club used to mean you picked the color of your wine and how often you received your shipments. For Laithwaites Wine, it still does, except you can't really change the frequency of shipments (you can skip shipments if you want).
The Laithwaites Wine Club might not be unique anymore, but they are the club that started the exploding trend of buying wine by the case via a subscription plan.
Like other older wine of the month clubs, Laithwaites sends out a glossy color cards with each shipment of their wine club. It contains detailed tasting notes about each wine, the wineries they come from, the winemakers, and the wine region. They also include food pairing recipes and wine trivia in each issue.
The Laithwaites Wine Club does not make a great gift unless you'll be awesome at remembering to cancel the subscription months later when you've spent what you wanted to spend. We'd really love to see them offer a pre-paid version of their wine club with gift packaging, too!
|Best Deal:||9 Bottles for $39.99|
At WineClubReviews.net we take an objective approach to our star ratings system. Our written reviews are very much subjective, based on our 11+ years of wine club review experience and our own ideas about what good wine and good value mean. The star ratings are based on 11 attributes that we feel define what a wine club should be. Here is how Firstleaf Wine Club stacks up on these traits.
Laithwaites Wine Club