Now that’s service! – KandL Wines

I think this is what blogs were made for – reporting experiences and word of mouth things. So I’m going to relay a story and I hope every wine retailer makes a note of it (hell, every retailer should make a note of it).

I shop online for wine all the time and have done so for years. One of the many advantages to living in CA. K&L Wines, a retailer based in California, has a great selection and often when I use or I get results from K&L because they’re pricing is spot on as well – usually among the most competitive.

Recently I was restocking some of my classic party wines – Sokol Blosser “Evolution 9” and (dark chocolate fans listen up and take note) Justin “Obtuse” Port. We’re going to have visitor during the holidays and these are both reasonably priced crowd pleasers. I ordered a dozen bottles and used a shipping option that they offered that wasn’t FedEx or UPS. It was “Golden State Overnight”. It was cheaper than FedEx ground or UPS and, as the name implies, “overnight” deliver no less. This is great news b/c if there is a downside to online wine retailing its the shipping (whom ever figures out the scheme to make shipping free or very cheap will make a boat load of money on volumes…just from ME!!!).

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Wine Clubs need differentiation!

I had an appreciation for BottleNotes and their use of social networking to enhance the “wine club” concept.  Something I just recieved makes their innovation even more important.

Apparently, has created a wine club.  It has all the standard acutriments – three levels of prices, newsletters, wine reviews, and a trinket shop.  What does this mean?  Well, basically, it means that wine clubs are the first “commodity” in a world where things change every year.  By “commodity” I mean it has so little value that it can be completely outsourced and/or “re-labeled” and still have exactly the same value as any other brand.  Think “bottled water”.  It comes from different sources but, and you would know this if you ever watch “The Apprentice” as saw “Trump Water”, the difference is the brand behind the commodity.  In this case, the Wine Club has been reduced to a cookie-cutter operation that Forbes is marketing to its readers (no doubt the demographics of which match quite closely to wine drinkers) and it has no differentiation.

A while back I did a survey online to determine the value of a wine club.  Turns out, most people join them for the discounts more than anything else.  One commenter at the time mentioned that its way more valuable to find a real-life wine shop owner, with an understanding of wine to help you experiement.  I think you can do the same with a reliable magazine (Wine Spectator is considered the devil but at least they can give you some pointers with the tasting ratings).  Either way, I haven’t seen any real value in a wine club unless you’re a winery trying to help your fans get access to your wines.  This wine club from (powered by WineExpress no less) simply proves that I’m right…

Get to know your corner wine shop owner and Enjoy the Wine Life!

Interesting goings on in the World of Wine

Yes, I’m a loser, a slacker, a complete tool for not updating my beloved blog for so long.  I had good reason – new job with a big company that required quite a bit of care and feeding b/c I had to launch a major initiative 3 months after walking in the door.  “A dream for some, a nightmare to others…” (if you can name where I got that quote you are a bigger tool than I am and you’ve played too many mid-evil RPGs).

Anyway, lots has been going on in the wine world.  So I’ll kick back, relax, and blog over a glass of wine. 

Let me apologize for my absence and see if I can summarize some of my favorite additions to The Wine Life in during my LOA…

Continue reading “Interesting goings on in the World of Wine”