Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Corkr.com - a new way of wine on the web

Somehow or other I discovered this site a while back, and I've been watching it with interest. A relatively new venture (they only launched in October 2006) I was initially reluctant to recommend them to anyone - it wasn't that they didn't appear to have good wines on offer - it was just that as a brand new venture they modus operandi could well change, and indeed that has been the case - and to the benefit of their customers.
The initial offering was an interesting concept, everyday they offered one wine for sale, when it was gone it was gone and you could buy between one and three bottles, paying around £4 for delivery. Interestingly it had me hooked, checking every single day I could get near a computer to see what the offering was for the day, and sadly missing out on their "bottle of plonk" days when instead of a new wine, you paid £6 to get a bottle of something they had left over - you never knew what but it was likely to be good and worth a great deal more.
I don't know if they intended to change the way they worked once they got more people to visit their site, and whether this initial phase was just a marketing tool or not, but what I do know is that right now you can pay a flat rate of £5.99 on delivery (others charge for orders less than £x often as much as £15) and can order anything from a single bottle.

You see, they understand that a lot of us want to buy a fine wine, but we may not want a whole case of something we've never tasted, just because Robert Parker tells us it's really good. But equally if you wanted to order cases then that would be fine too.

And you know what, their wine list may be relatively short, but it is very interesting, well priced and most importantly for their offering, always changing. New wines are added all the time, and for geeks like me, they've made it easy to see which are the new ones.

Prices too are competitive, and occasionally exceptional, last week for instance a 1981 Grand Puy Ducasse was selling at half price for around £14 a bottle - that's £14 for a 25 year old classed growth claret. Similarly the list currently shows a 1971 Lafite for change from £100, which whilst I don't know a great deal about the prices these things should fetch seems to me to be wonderful value.

They have also sourced a great range of Canadian wines, and icewines in particular, I can't pass judgement on the wines themselves, but the point is that they've got a range and won't cost the earth to try a bottle - and you only need to try one!

The range is interesting and eclectic, the prices don't seem outrageous, and the minimum order is one bottle with a flat delivery charge - what a wonderful site - we need people like this to be in the wine business - and I for one hope they make a great success of it - they certainly deserve to. I should add by the way, that I have no affiliation to Corkr.com or their owners.

Check them out at www.corkr.com

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