Quintessentially Wine, the New Bespoke Wine Service, Proves a Huge Hit as High Street Retailers Struggle with Discounted Prices and a Fall in Trade

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Since its launch in November 2005, Quintessentially Wine, the new bespoke wine club from Quintessentially, the world’s leading private members’ club, has proved a resounding success, promoting a highly personalised and individually tailored wine service with an honest pricing policy.

Following a hugely triumphant first Christmas, where major single orders ranged up to £11,000, and average orders came to £16.00 a bottle (not including Champagne), Quintessentially Wine provided a much needed personal and expert service – a service widely missing on the high street.

Unlike many high street retailers, Quintessentially Wine is focused on the quality high-end wines only, with its wine list hand-picked by the UK’S leading wine expert Matthew Jukes. Whether it’s choosing a bottle for £9.00 or a rare vintage for £90.00, a customer of Quintessentially Wine can be assured that they are only being offered the best that's available at those price points.

Chris Orr, Managing Director of Quintessentially Wine says, “When you look at how the high street wine stores are struggling, especially with the recent demise of the likes of Unwins, it is encouraging that we’ve had such a positive response to our service. I believe it shows that there are a range of customers out there who are very focused on quality, but require the appropriate level of service to go with it."

In the pre-Christmas period, despite having heavy demand, Quintessentially Wine managed to satisfy 100% of its customer orders and has seen high levels of repeat custom in January - despite not taking part in the ubiquitous January “sales.”

Orr believes that as the big high street stores continue to struggle in the face of deep-discounting from supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, there are more opportunities for wine companies that recognize the UK is increasingly becoming a service oriented society.

“Customers expectations are getting higher and higher and unless wine retailers meet those expectations they will find it difficult to snap out of the discount style of selling wine,” explains Orr. “At Quintessentially Wine we have an ‘honest’ pricing policy, which is that we see no reason to mark up a bottle from £9.00 to £11.00, just so we can give a customer an imaginary discount. We’d rather price it fairly at £9.00 and be straight with our customers all year round. So far, we’ve found they’ve been incredibly positive in their response and I think this shows that there are better ways of selling wine than simply discount.”

“It’s also important to remember that despite people being willing to pay good money for wine, it is still quite an intimidating subject,” says Matthew Jukes, Quintessentially Wine’s expert and buyer. “That intimidation and nervousness can be compounded if you’re incredibly successful in all other parts of your life, but don’t have an in depth knowledge of wine. Part of what we do is reassuring Quintessentially Wine customers that it’s not only worth spending good money on wine, but also making sure they’re buying the right wines. So you could be spending £18.00 on a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but we’ve got a South African Sauvignon Blanc, Iona, which is just £12.00 and beats most Kiwi versions at the higher prices, hands down. Spending more doesn’t mean you don’t want great value for your money – at any level.”

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Clementine Brown
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