Buying wine online

I’m thinking of starting to buy wine online. The Island Shop has a very limited selection and since the lockdown restrictions I’ve decided to limit my trips to Lerwick to every 10 weeks or so. So online buying makes sense, I think!

Obviously I can only buy from sources that deliver to the back end of beyond, so that limits my choice.

A few that DO deliver here are

Virgin Wines

Any experiences of the above outlets – good or bad?

Other recommendations welcome.

Laithwaites are very good Paul - I’ve been buying from them for about 20 years with no complaints whatsoever.

I usually steer clear of their bargain mixed cases tho - if you decide roughly what you want in a mixed case from the menu, they will always do a deal on the cost if you call them.


Big fan of getting wine delivered.

Laithwaites is OK, but I found they got boring quickly.

I used to enjoy visiting Majestic, but never tried their online service.

Can I put a shout in for my local wine merchant’s wine club? They deliver to ZE for a surcharge. They have started using UPS now but they used to deliver to me using their own van.

They allow me to customise my 12 bottles - I get 10 white/2 red. £125 bi-monthly. Always interesting choices and comes with a booklet with really good descriptions of the winemaker and wine.


I use Virgin but only buy a couple of cases a year - no issues with delivery or quality though they really bombard your email with offers which is a pain.

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That looks interesting, I would love to support an independent business rather than a chain, but £35 a pop delivery surcharge to ZE is a bit steep.

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Yeah, boo to economies of scale. :confused:

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If you want fine wines, the best way to buy them is on Laithwaites “en primeur” scheme. This is where you buy the most recent vintages before they’re bottled, then after bottling they keep them in their bonded warehouse for a nominal annual fee. When they are delivered to you , say a couple of years later, you pay the VAT and delivery.

I usually treat myself to a mixed case of claret or Burgundy most years by this method. There’s a lot of choice price wise on the en primeur schemes, but to give you a example, I bought a mixed case (12) of 2014 Burgundy early in 2015 and paid £20 - £25 a bottle. I had it delivered last year and it’s drinking superbly now. Those bottles are now costing £50 - £80 a piece.


You could play around to minimise it, e.g. go for the quarterly club but order 2x, for example.

This is the wrong ratio of red/white (should be 12:0)

Bi monthly as in twice a month or every other month?

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I’m not really in the market for fine wines. Just something drinkable in the £10-£15 bracket.

That’s a possibilty, I’ll take another look.

Every other month.

I agree, was just thinking the same about Laithwaites, and Virgin Wines for that matter.

We sometimes buy from BBR, and also through their en-primeur scheme.

Bookmarked. Normally buy 90% of what we drink on trips to France. But for obvious reasons mah stocks is low :sob:

The Sunday Times Wine Club used to be good when I was drinking. Check it out.
And there is always the Scottish Fruit wines :nerd_face:

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All details in here. They record previous selections so if you find a particular favourite you can re-order.
Discover the Weavers Wine Club (

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Any excuse.

I used to swear by Laithwaites. Their selection and customer service was really good. Right up until about a year and a half ago.
I received a call from their sales team and the person offered me an exclusive deal that I’d already received in the mail out. I brought this to her attention and her sarcastic reply was, “Well, if you don’t want it then somebody else will !” Whereby she hung up on me.
I complained and got sent a voucher. All fine.
Then she called again the next month, offering me a deal which had expired. I thought this was a good thing so accepted. As it was being processed I tried to use my voucher and she said that the offer was no longer open to me. Complaint. Another voucher was sent my way.
Don’t believe their 100% satisfaction guarantee either.
Over a period of six months, I had accumulated 7 vouchers for bad customer service. Each was worth £20. I bought 2 dozen bottles using the vouchers plus a few quid.
I then cancelled my membership and joined Virgin, as Virgin wines (same company) offer a better customer experience.


We use Virgin for quaffers. We have also used Naked Wines in the past. Some of the Virgin offers are very good. Their customer service and delivery has been absolutely excellent for years. We cancelled Naked because we started to receive too many duff bottles of wine and their customer service wasn’t up to snuff.

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When ordering fine wines, don’t forget to also consider Belgian chocolates


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