I finally broke down and bought a mixed case from nakedwines.com.
The $100 voucher card (which I received as part of a mass mailing) meant that my total cost per bottle was just over $7. Ridiculously cheap, if the the wines are good, that is.
I chose the “customers’ favorites” case: all were wines that 85%+ of customers had said they would buy again. I did notice, however, that some of the wines had a limited number of reviews. I found many of the written reviews of limited use: “too sour, don’t like” doesn’t really tell me much.
There are a lot of wine clubs these days. What’s different about Naked Wines is that they act a bit like a private equity house by “investing” in independent winemakers.
But instead of owning shares, the “Angels” (see the logo left) get access deeply discounted wine.
I am now number 12,000 on the waiting list to become an Angel. Angels put $40/month (US$480/year) into their “piggy bank”, which can be used to purchase wine.
The mixed case I received had a nice variety of wines: 8 reds, 4 whites; eight different countries (only 4 from USA).
Several of the bottles had “Angel’s Reserve” written on them, or little notes from the winemaker on the back label thanking Naked Wines and the Angels for funding their dreams.
Will I become an Angel? I doubt it. $480 is a lot to commit to if I’m buying wine at US$10-15/btl.
I should say, however, that everything about Naked Wines has been very professional and fun: the website, the e-mails, the speed of delivery.