Buying from online UK wine merchant Wine Direct means that customers can choose from a selection of the UK’s best premium wines, either in a combination of single or mixed cases. Based in offices and warehouses in East Sussex and owned by former international hotelier Peter Rehberg and former multinational executive Andrew Birtley, Wine Direct serves both the UK and international markets. Customers can be sure of selecting and buying wines that have been rated and critiqued by some of the world’s top wine critics, and with the wealth of information given concerning the various wines as found in the ‘Wine and Food’ and ‘Wine Companion’ sections, the idea is that the customer can experiment with a diversity of wines from world wide destinations and make an informed choice which enhances their enjoyment of the wine drinking experience. What set’s Wine Direct apart from other online wine retailers is that there really is a plethora of wines available through Wine Direct, backed as this is by its searchable database of over 30,000 wines.
Range of Products
The impressive selection of wines from Wine Direct includes all the classical favourites of Shiraz Cabernet, Rioja, Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir for the reds and Sauvignon Blanc, oak-aged Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling and Grenache for some refreshing whites, not forgetting dessert wines, sparklers and Champagnes. There are several offers to enjoy, including the Bin Ends deal where prices are dropped on stock that is running low and to help clear the cellars for new wines, as well as seasonal offers on selected wines for 12 bottles. Wines Direct also offers the discerning wine lover a choice of wine books suitable for the wine novice and the connoisseur alike. Customers can also send the perfect gift with a voucher for the value of £25, £50 or £100. Customers can enjoy the WineClub gift voucher comprising 4 cases of wine delivered quarterly, that makes an ideal gift for personal or corporate use which is presented on fine card and inscribed with your own message. Customers can chose from 4 main clubs – Best Buy, Dinner Party, Sommelier and Connoisseur – all priced individually and all including the benefits of full case membership. A unique redemption code is printed on the voucher which the gift recipient enters in the Redeem Coupon box at the ‘checkout.’ All vouchers are valid for two years from the date of issue. With its wide ranging price scale, there’s something to suit all budgets here. All prices are in £ Pound Sterling and include UK VAT.
Minimum Orders and Purchasing
The focus at Wine Direct is the advantage of buying in bulk to sample the best wines at the best possible price, where orders are welcomed for a minimum of 6 bottles. WineDirect wine club offers its members an ideal way to explore some of the world’s wonderful wines at competitive prices. Membership brings with it a free copy of the 6th edition of the World Atlas of Wines by Janis Robinson and Hugh Johnson with every WineClub Purchase (worth £35.00), free delivery and a copy of Decanter or Wine Spectator magazine with each case. All major card types are accepted, with payments to WineDirect secured by Protx, the UK’s leading independent processing company, with the site being regularly updated with the latest secure server encryption technology.
Delivery Times and Costs
Standard delivery charges costs £7 for 1 case of 6 bottles and £7.95 for a single case of 12 bottles to be delivered, with subsequent cases on orders placed before 1pm costing £6.95 per delivery. Delivery is throughout the UK, with deliveries to Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, Northern Ireland, the Shetlands and Orkneys costing an additional £12.00 and delivery to the Channel Islands costing £15 besides the standard delivery charge. Next day delivery before 12 noon is guaranteed for an additional cost of £25 in addition to the standard charge. Standard delivery takes approximately 24–48 hours, providing ordered items are in stock and deliveries usually arrive between 9am and 5.30pm. Returned wines are refunded 100% if returned within 28 days of purchase.
Style and Usability of site
Wine Direct is a clear, colourful and easy to navigate site with headings and accompanying photos arranged appropriately so that the new comer doesn’t feel swamped with the wealth of information presented. A great ‘at-a-glance’ web page with simple yet precise headings easily reached at the click of a mouse, with the choice of wines being categorised by style, price, grape variety or country.