Laithwaites Wine Review

Laithwaites Wine Club Review

WINE CLUB OVERVIEW & DETAILS

All-Around Wine Club Rating: 3.8

This wine club is...

#4 Best Quarterly Case Wine Clubs List

Summary

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 for some time we've thought their $12 wine selections really can't be beat for value, especially as prices keep rising at the grocery store. 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.

What We Like

They have one of the best line-ups of introductory offers for wine clubs we've seen.

Improvements

No recommendations for improvement here. We think they're offering a solid wine club.

Limited Time Special Offer

Introductory offer: $69.99 for 15 bottles of wine!

Wine Choices

Red-only and White-only options   Red-only and White-only options   Red-only and White-only options  

Billing Choices

Ongoing

Shipment Choices

Quarterly

Ships to

AZ CA CO CT FL IA ID IL IN LA MA MI MN MO NC ND NE NH NJ NM NV NY OH OR SC TN TX VA WA WI WV WY DC

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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.

Why give away a free corkscrew when you can give away three bottles of wine?! That's what Laithwaites's asked, and so that's what you'll get. Here's the full breakdown:

Introductory Offer Subsequent QUARTERLY Shipments
# Bottles of Wine per shipment 15 bottles 12
Price $69.99 ($4.67 per bottle) $139.99 ($11.67 per bottle)
Shipping Price $19.99 $19.99
Total Price per Shipment $89.98 ($6.00 per bottle) $159.98 ($13.33 per bottle)

After the introductory shipment, you’ll receive a case (12 bottles) of wine every quarter for $139.99 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.

Laithwaites Wine Club Ratings

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.

Quality of Wine -

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.

Price of Wine -

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.

Discount Opportunities -

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.

Customer Service Record -

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 Process -

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).

See the rest of our ratings for the Laithwaites Wine Club

Satisfaction Guarantee -

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."

Convenience -

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.

Personalization -

A personalized wine club used to mean you picked the color of your wine and how often you received your two-bottle selection. For Laithwaites, it still does, and that's all you get.

Uniqueness of the Wine Club -

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.

Wine Education -

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.

Giftworthiness -

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!

The Wine Selection on 10/18/16


Mixed Case of Red and White Wine

Current Mixed Case Selections

Hugely Popular Aussie Red
South Eastern Australia,Australia

The Black Stump Durif Shiraz 2015
Here's devotion: customers call the winery when we run out of this dangerously drinkable Durif-Shiraz, hoping for more. Last vintage, it won international gold – and we're expecting equally great things from the blueberry-spice packed 2015.

2 Bottles

Iconic French Estate’s Opulent White
Pays d'Herault IGP,France

Grande Reserve de Gassac Blanc 2015
Don't miss the multi-medal-winning release of this plush, peach-filled cuvée from the iconic ‘Lafite of the Languedoc’ (Hugh Johnson). Their white Grand Vin sells for $40 – and this exclusive bottling is made in its image.

2 Bottles

Gold-Medal Côtes-du-Rhône Favorite
Cotes du Rhone AOC,France

Le Prince de Courthézon Côtes-du-Rhône 2014
From top Châteauneuf-du-Pape talent Thierry Ferlay, the new vintage of this big Rhône favorite has won a prestigious gold medal in the Gilbert & Gaillard guide (and that's for the third year running!). Full of ripe blackberry, with a wild herb edge.

2 Bottles

Double-Gold Malbec Reserve
Mendoza,Argentina

J Opi Reserve Malbec 2013
Opi Sadler’s rich, barrel-aged Reserve scored a double-gold medal at the China Wine & Spirits Awards and major kudos from Decanter judges: “juicy palate with fine, rich tannins and lovely herb-tinged dark fruits.” A must-try for Malbec lovers.

2 Bottles

Spanish Gran Reserva Rarity
Cataluñya DO,Spain

Las Barracas Gran Reserva Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Spain is the place for patiently matured, affordable reds. And this 2008 rarity (from a top family whose winemaking heritage dates to 1199) shows why. Vanilla-scented with ample mellow fruit, it is an unmissable value.

1 Bottle

4-Star New Zealand Sauvignon
Marlborough,New Zealand

The Jumper Sauvignon Blanc 2015
This acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc is an exclusive release crafted by James Macdonald of Marlborough's renowned Hunter's Wines in stellar 2015. It's a fresh, tropical-fruit-laden Sauvignon from premium Wairau Valley (home to famed Cloudy Bay).

1 Bottle

Top-Vintage California Cabernet
California,USA

Drawbridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Cabernet Sauvignon can be a bit serious, but Drawbridge is a prime California example that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Delivering soft, ripe berry flavors, it’s an easy-drinking red to enjoy solo or to serve with meaty pasta or burgers.

2 Bottles

Juicy Sicilian Stunner
Sicilia IGT,Italy

Peach Stone Bianco 2015
Taste why Sicily is Italy's hottest region with this peachy white. It was crafted at the Barone Monalto estate, which wins BIG awards and is also highly rated by our Italian expert. Bursting with orchard fruit, and refreshingly priced.

1 Bottle

Case of Red Wine Only

Current Red Only Wine Club Selections

Hugely Popular Aussie Red
South Eastern Australia,Australia

The Black Stump Durif Shiraz 2015
Here's devotion: customers call the winery when we run out of this dangerously drinkable Durif-Shiraz, hoping for more. Last vintage, it won international gold – and we're expecting equally great things from the blueberry-spice packed 2015.

2 Bottles

Gold-Medal Côtes-du-Rhône Favorite
Cotes du Rhone AOC,France

Le Prince de Courthézon Côtes-du-Rhône 2014
From top Châteauneuf-du-Pape talent Thierry Ferlay, the new vintage of this big Rhône favorite has won a prestigious gold medal in the Gilbert & Gaillard guide (and that's for the third year running!). Full of ripe blackberry, with a wild herb edge.

1 Bottle

Double-Gold Malbec Reserve
Mendoza,Argentina

J Opi Reserve Malbec 2013
Opi Sadler’s rich, barrel-aged Reserve scored a double-gold medal at the China Wine & Spirits Awards and major kudos from Decanter judges: “juicy palate with fine, rich tannins and lovely herb-tinged dark fruits.” A must-try for Malbec lovers. 2 Bottles

Spanish Gran Reserva Rarity
Cataluñya DO,Spain

Las Barracas Gran Reserva Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Spain is the place for patiently matured, affordable reds. And this 2008 rarity (from a top family whose winemaking heritage dates to 1199) shows why. Vanilla-scented with ample mellow fruit, it is an unmissable value. 2 Bottles

Favorite 'Super Sicilian'
Terre Siciliane IGT,Italy

Saserello 2014
"Everybody's talking about how fantastic today's best Sicilian wines are," (Decanter). And this new vintage of a popular red shows why. Expect mouthfuls of sun-baked dark-fruit flavor, plus spicy black pepper and smooth vanilla. 2 Bottles

90-Point Portuguese 'Best Buy'
Vinho Regional de Lisboa,Portugal

Aluado Alicante Bouschet 2014
This pure Alicante Bouschet (a grape historically revered for its ability to add deep color to Portugal’s top reds) is almost black in the glass, with bewitching, full flavors to match. Rated 90 Points, and a Top 100 Buy for 2015, by Wine Enthusiast. 2 Bottles

Top-Vintage California Cabernet
California,USA

Drawbridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Cabernet Sauvignon can be a bit serious, but Drawbridge is a prime California example that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Delivering soft, ripe berry flavors, it’s an easy-drinking red to enjoy solo or to serve with meaty pasta or burgers. 2 Bottles

Acclaimed California Cabernet
California,USA

Shroud Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Our California expert knows a great Cabernet when she tastes one – and it only took one sip of Douglas Danielak's award-winning, small-batch 2013 to know it was a must-have for our customers. Enjoy its blackberry and oak flavors with a juicy burger. 1 Bottle

Top Winemaker’s Aussie Pinot Noir
South Eastern Australia,Australia

Yarrunga Field Special Reserve Pinot Noir 2015
Australia may be best known for its powerhouse reds, but renowned winemaker Sam Trimboli’s hugely popular Yarrunga Field label shows the country can produce fine Pinot, too. You’ll taste the proof in his red-fruited, oak-aged Special Reserve. 1 Bottle

Case of White Wine Only

Current White Only Wine Selections

Classic Italian Pinot Grigio
Venezie IGT,Italy

Vina Baccana Pinot Grigio 2015
There are few whites more popular than Pinot Grigio. For maximum flavor and aromatic impact, we take you to the grape’s spiritual home in northern Italy, where the masterful Alessandro Gallici has a passion for crafting invigorating, aromatic whites.

2 Bottles

Iconic French Estate’s Opulent White
Pays d'Herault IGP,France

Grande Reserve de Gassac Blanc 2015
Don't miss the multi-medal-winning release of this plush, peach-filled cuvée from the iconic ‘Lafite of the Languedoc’ (Hugh Johnson). Their white Grand Vin sells for $40 – and this exclusive bottling is made in its image.

2 Bottles

Burgundy-Style Chardonnay Discovery
Ardèche IGP,France

Bourg Lachamps Chardonnay 2014
According to The Times, The Ardèche is “ideally suited to Chardonnay.” White Burgundy fans have noticed that it’s a top-value alternative, too. Enjoy this stone-fruit-filled, small-batch beauty from the acclaimed Bourg Lachamps.

2 Bottles

Double-Gold Napa Chardonnay
Napa Valley,USA

Raymond Prodigal Collection Napa Chardonnay 2013
Take one of Napa's oldest wineries, add an excellent vintage, plus a star winemaker and what do you get? This delicious, barrel-aged Chardonnay (sporting a coveted, double-gold medal from a top San Francisco show).

1 Bottle

An ‘Outstanding’ Prosecco
Prosecco DOC,Italy

Ca' Bolani Prosecco Edizione Limitata 2015
Rated ‘Silver Outstanding’ at the 2014 International Wine & Spirit Competition (and sporting a long history of gold medals), this single-estate exclusive from Italy’s acclaimed Zonin family is one of our most popular fizzes – with good reason.

2 Bottles

4-Star New Zealand Sauvignon
Marlborough,New Zealand

The Jumper Sauvignon Blanc 2015
This acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc is an exclusive release crafted by James Macdonald of Marlborough's renowned Hunter's Wines in stellar 2015. It's a fresh, tropical-fruit-laden Sauvignon from premium Wairau Valley (home to famed Cloudy Bay).

1 Bottle

89-Point Napa Sauvignon Blanc
Napa Valley,USA

Honig Family Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Napa’s family-run Honig winery is “well-known for their Sauvignon Blancs,” says Robert Parker. Crafted with premium Rutherford grapes, this Wine Spectator-rated example from the talented Kristin Belair is full of ripe citrus and tropical fruit.

1 Bottle

Juicy Sicilian Stunner
Sicilia IGT,Italy

Peach Stone Bianco 2015
Taste why Sicily is Italy's hottest region with this peachy white. It was crafted at the Barone Monalto estate, which wins BIG awards and is also highly rated by our Italian expert. Bursting with orchard fruit, and refreshingly priced.

2 Bottles

Aromatic Argentine Trophy Sensation
Cafayate Valley,Argentina

Amaru Torrontes 2014
Crack open a bottle of this crisp, dry white and you’ll be sipping in the top 1%! You’re looking at one of only 35 wines to win an International Trophy at the 2015 Decanter World Wine Awards – from 15,929 contenders.

2 Bottles

Classic Italian Pinot Grigio
Venezie IGT,Italy

Vina Baccana Pinot Grigio 2015
There are few whites more popular than Pinot Grigio. For maximum flavor and aromatic impact, we take you to the grape’s spiritual home in northern Italy, where the masterful Alessandro Gallici has a passion for crafting invigorating, aromatic whites.

2 Bottles

Last Updated: 10/21/16

Jessyca Frederick
Laithwaites Wine

Things to know

Limited Time Special Offer
Introductory offer: $69.99 for 15 bottles of wine!

  • Shipping is extra
  • Introductory Offer: 12 world-class wines + Deluxe Corkscrew for $69.99
  • 100% money-back guarantee

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Comment from David Counselman at 2016-07-05 15:31:12
I shopped with Laithwaites Wine from 2009 to 2014, receiving a total of 33 cases in that time span, and I was satisfied. However, near the end of 2014, I received an email from them for a promotional case of Spanish wines. I clicked the link in the email, decided to purchase the case, and did so. When the case arrived, 6 of the 12 wines were wrong. I called and was told that the contents of this case varied depending on the warehouse that shipped it (which was not mentioned during the purchase itself; and furthermore, I was able to confirm that the warehouse did make a mistake when they shipped it), and I was offered a $20 credit or to return the case for a refund. I was practically offended at the notion that $20 would offset the fact that HALF my case was incorrect. I also actually wanted the original case, so returning the case, just to reorder it again after returning it (hoping to get the right wines) did not make sense to me either. Of the 6 bottles I should have gotten and did not, I did eventually receive 2 - this was my compensation for the situation. I ended up placing another order for the other 4 bottles that I wanted, as they were my main reason for purchasing the other case in the first place. After talking about my situation on another review website at the time, I was contacted by a customer service supervisor who said he was sorry I had a bad experience and asked "just exactly what I wanted from them." I said what I would have wanted was to get the wines I ordered and when I didn't, for them to admit their error and make me feel like a valued customer by correcting the issue. I explained that sending me the wines I should have gotten (which they admitted they definitely had in stock) and asking me to return the wines that I did not order would have made total logical sense. He said he saw I ended up ordering the other wines so he was happy I got them (as if the fact that I had to pay for them again myself did not matter) and said I would surely enjoy them. He also said, as if to somehow compensate me for the bad experience, I would be contacted by a wine specialist that would give me individualized attention for selecting wines in the future - this never happened, not that I cared at that point. For what it is worth, I was also reminded every time I talked with somebody that they have a wonderful policy that allows me to be refunded completely for any wines I do not like. It was almost like they were telling me "we cannot fix your order, but we can't stop you from saying you did not like half of your case to get a refund on half of it." This bothered me immensely - I do not want to lie about not liking a wine or it being bad. I just want to get the wines that I ordered and paid for. Besides, even getting a refund for half the case "because I did not like the wines" would not compensate me for the fact that I paid for shipping for a full 12-bottle case, so the refunds would not cover half the case, if you include shipping. This situation left me so angry that, after getting 50-60 bottles of wine a year from them on average, I have not ordered wine from them in about 19 months and I may never again.

I describe my experience above just to justify my concluding comments that:
1) Laithwaites Wine has a good wine selection, many of which are really good, and the wines are relatively fairly priced... it's not a bad place to get wines overall.
2) As with any company, they will make mistakes. A respectable company would admit their mistakes and go out of their way to make the negative situation up to their customers. Laithwaites Wine is not one of those respectable companies.
3) In MY case, apologies were forced and generic; I was never offered adequate compensation for my troubles; I was never even offered to receive the wines I had originally ordered (I had to buy them again myself and pay twice to get them once); when a customer service supervisor contacted me and was aware that I had to buy them again just to receive them, he did not care that I lost money - he just said he was glad I finally got the wines I wanted. He also threw in a "well just exactly what do you want?"

My final advice to anybody is: if you're in a roulette kind of mood and want to pay a "semi-decent" price for some decent wines that may or may not be what you expect to receive, don't hesitate to try Laithwaites Wine. Just be aware that if/when they make a mistake with your order, you are going to be out of luck. You will have to do business with them being fully aware of that - perhaps just plan to go ahead and ask for a refund on some of your wines, since that is apparently the ONLY action they are interested in as a way to act like they care about their customers. At the end of the day, I find that there are easier ways to get decent wines these days from places that have far better customer service.

 

Laithwaites Wine

Laithwaites Wine Club