There’s lots of ways to buy wine on line – Virgin, The Wine Society and of course all the supermarkets, but my preferred on-line wine retailer is Naked Wine and for the past few years, I’ve been one of their 150 000 customers or ‘angels’ as they like to call them.
The way it works is that you subscribe for £20 a month and then become an ‘angel’. The proceeds are then used to crowd fund over a 100 passionate, independent winemakers who don’t have the capital they need. In return, you get to buy the wine direct from the supplier at discounted prices.
They do all the basics really well: nice wines, easy to navigate site, good value, reliable delivery, etc.
However, I really like Naked for 3 key reasons
1. Support For the Underdog
Maybe it’s a very British thing, but it’s great to see individuals do well in this big corporate world. It’s nice to know that in a small way, the £20 you pay is helping someone fulfill their dreams
In December I received a number of emails from various Naked Wine suppliers, explaining their story and outlining how the support they received had helped them grow their business and realize their dreams. Here’s an extract from a French winemaker
‘After just five years I’m now able to produce consistently outstanding wine at great value – with the comfort of being able to try new things, knowing Naked and you guys will back me up’
2. The Playfulness of the Wines
I hate the pretentiousness of the wine world. You can tell that these wines are made by individuals rather than ‘big brands’ as the labels are a bit quirky and some of the names are a bit strange. It’s clear that a lot of love and affection has gone into the creation of them and that the owners are incredibly proud of what they’ve produced.
3. The Interactivity and Transparency
There’s lots of opportunities to rate the wines, give feedback, find out more about the producers and get to know the business. Although it’s purely an online business, you do get the chance to know the brand and the wine makers really well. You also sense that they really listens and that they’re doing their best to create a real community of wine lovers.
It was a brave decision for Naked Wines to enter a crowded market 5 years ago with a new business model and a fresh approach to wine retailing. I hope they continue to go from strength to strength without losing their sense of individuality