Monday, December 4, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - Wine Insiders, A Wine Scam Or A Wine Blessing - An Early Review

 
   Today I am (temporally) going to be taking a break from wine reviews to do a review on a wine related company named "Wine Insiders" (https://wineinsiders.com/) whose parent company is "Drinks" (http://drinks.com/). Wine Insiders for all intents and purposes appears to be a company that sells small boutique wines that otherwise might not ever have any exposure other then some very small business. They do this by initially giving amazing deals on wine to potential customers in hopes that these customers will join their wine club(s) or purchasing wines on an individual basis. Now having said that I will add that none of this means that there is anything wrong or underhanded with what they are doing, I actually admire the idea and I think the consumer benefits as well by enjoying wines that they never would have the opportunity to enjoy otherwise. They claim that "our expert tasting panel samples well-known and hard to find wines from virtually every wine producing region in the world" and that "only the best, with scores of 93 or above, are accepted". https://www.vivino.com/wineries/cala-de-poeti/wines/rosso-2014) as an awesome 5 star wine and the 2015 Cachil Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon which comes from the Colchagua Valley which by the way was named Wine region of the year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. This wine itself was rated 3.9 by Vivino https://www.vivino.com/wineries/estampa/wines/cabernet-sauvignon-reserva-9999). I will update you as things progress. What I can also at this point tell you so far is that on November 19th at 12:13 PM I ordered the wine and was only charged $32.41 (with tax).
They also claim that they were supposedly founded over 35 years ago although there is nothing that I can find to verify that and I have strong doubts concerning that statement. Now, whether they have been around for 35 years or not is beyond my knowledge but they are here today. What made me look into this company in the first place is their offer of 6 bottles of wine for $4.99 each, A free wood handled Corkscrew, a $50 voucher (which can be used for future orders of $75 or more) and to top it off, free shipping as well. The company promises that there is supposedly no further commitment required and that by accepting their offer you are NOT signing up for any club. At this point I have no reason to doubt that the deal nor that anything they claim isn't legitimate and I think we are a little early into the evaluation process to determine if indeed the deal is on the up and up. What I can tell you is that two of the wines they claim that they will send in their offer is the 2014 Cala de Poeti Rosso which Vino rated

 
   FIRST UPDATE - On the 20th at 8:07 PM I received a notification that my wine was shipped.
  SECOND UPDATE - On the 22nd I had gone to work and Mrs. desert Wine Girl was busy with errands and when she returned home she had missed the delivery.
   THIRD UPDATE - Today is the 23rd my luck was better as I am home and was able to receive the box with my wine in it I also struck up a small conversation with the driver who informed me that he was delivering tons of these boxes.
   FOURTH UPDATE - Today is the 24th and it is 10:30 AM. I have not opened the box yet but have plans to do so later on in the day. I will also create a video out of this whole experience for my YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgCUb3w1n2S_UGU2yYRkFYQ). So far so good folks and although it is early, I have no reason to complain about anything.....so far. One other item of note is that I so far have not received tons of E-mails from the company so they are are not hounding me, at least not as of yet. So that is about all I have for you right now, I will update you as I move along with the opening of the box.
   FIFTH UPDATE - Well today is the 25th of November and I finally opened the box (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3mb5xL19Y4) and as promised I made of video of the entire process. I won't say anymore about this end as I want you to watch the video :)
   SIXTH UPDATE - Today is the 29th of November and I received an E-Mail from Terry who is my "Wine Concierge" and he had an offer of a $50 gift voucher to use on my next order of $50 or more with free shipping. Well how could I turn that down so I took them up on their offer. I clicked on the link and went shopping. I ended up ordering three bottles of wine and all I paid was $5.52, that was all. The one item that I want to point out here is that the wines appear to be priced about the same as other websites prices for these particular wines. In other words on one hand they do not appear to be overpriced for their wines however on the other hand they also do not appear to be priced any better either. I will also tell you that the other day I tasted my first bottle from "Wine Insiders" which was the 2016 Fuerza DeLa Tierra Tempranillo. I won't comment here about the review as it will be a separate article onto itself. I will tell you however that it will immediately follow this one.
   SEVENTH UPDATE - Today is the 1st of December and I received notification that my wine has been shipped.

   EIGHTH UPDATE - Today is December 3rd and I have just tasted (and done a review on) the second bottle of wine from Wine Insiders which is the 2016 Princess Joyeuse. The review on this one is not written up just yet but I will give you a little insider info......this wine set a new standard. Now whether the new standard is for the good or for the bad is something you will have to find out when you read the article.That is all I will say, sorry.
   FINAL UPDATE- Today is December 4th and the wine that I ordered on the 1st is out for delivery. While it is still early into the whole experience of Wine Insiders I can tell you that I am pleasantly surprised and happy. I have received no invoices for strange bills. There have been no notifications that I somehow signed up for any wine clubs that I don't know about nor have there been any unauthorized charges for wine nor anything else that I never ordered or agreed to. I have not even received any E-Mails from companies that I know I never subscribed to. As I have already said, I know that it is early in this whole process but so far I am happy.
   Well, that is all for for this article folks. I promise that I will be following up however on Wine Insiders periodically and you will be seeing my reviews of their wines as they come up. I will leave you with an interesting little bit of information and you may take it as you wish.
  Here is some other information that I discovered while researching Wine Insiders. Prior to acting on the initial offer from Wine Insiders I also received an offer from a company named Heartland & Oak Wine Merchants. The two identical offers struck me as weird and I decided to my some checking on the business. What I found from the Better Business Bureau https://www.bbb.org/losangelessiliconvalley/business-reviews/wines-retail/drinks-in-los-angeles-ca-359422/reviews-and-complaints) page was indeed eye opening. It turns out that Wine Insiders also goes by the name Heartland & Oak Wine Merchants as well as Barclays wine, Drink Holdings LLC as well as Drinks Licensing LLC, Clubhouse Wines, Maggiano's & the Martha Stewart Wine Co. In other words, they are all the same company. Now, this does not mean that there is anything wrong here as there are many company that just go by different names. There were 20 complaints listed in 3 years listed for Heartland & Oak Wine Merchants. I cannot find any complaints under the name of wine Insiders as they do not belong to the company. Here is something else that I found interesting about Wine Insiders (http://clearygull.com/download/pr/Press_Release-Wine_Insiders.pdf).

   I hope you guys enjoyed this informational review of my experience with Wine Insiders as of December 4, 2017. I enjoyed writing it and found it very interesting as well. In my early opinion I believe that Wine Insiders is simply a wine marketing company for very small Wineries who otherwise would never be known and are probably selling their wines thru small boutiques. Be warned however that there are tons of complaints concerning Wine Insiders & Heartland & Oak HOWEVER I am doing my own research (on Wine Insiders) and so far so good.

                                                                                                                 The Desert Wine Guy

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