Sometimes, buying wine can be tricky. Do you stick with what you know and like but potentially pay over the odds for it? Or, do you rebel and try something a little different but risk disappointment? It’s a conundrum. I decided to rebel and try Naked Wines to see if it could save me some cash and cut the risk of disappointment. Here’s what happened.
What is Naked Wines?
It’s an online platform that invests money in small, independent vineyards. The money the company invests comes from subscribers who join as ‘Angels’. It’s essentially a type of crowdfunding where you get to drink the benefits.
There are currently 120 winemakers on the company’s books, producing more than 400 wines, according to Naked Wines website.
The platform started back in 2008, and it currently has around 350,000 subscribers – one of them being me.
How does it work?
You can become a Naked Wines Angel by subscribing for £20 each month.
There’s no need to buy every month and you’re not committed to buying a particular number of bottles. Instead, you can simply let your subscription money accrue and then spend it when you’re ready, which is what I do.
Delivery is free if you spend over £100 (or £4.99 if you don’t). It’s also next-day delivery as long as you order before 7pm.
You can cancel at any time and any money in your Naked Wines account will be credited back to you.
One of the benefits is that wines are rated according to the percentage of people who would buy them again. And while other people’s taste in wine isn’t always a gauge of whether you’ll like it, it’s nevertheless a good indicator.
Wines you might like are also flagged based on your order history and what you’ve said you’d buy again.
How much can Naked Wines save you?
As an Angel, you can buy wine at discounted (wholesale) prices, which can save you up to 33% on each order. Naked Wines will also regularly throw in freebies, which is a nice touch. It’s also a great way to try different wines without spending extra cash (or risking disappointment).
I signed up to Naked Wines last year. I was tempted by their six bottles for £29.99 offer (which is still available for new customers).
So, has it saved me money on my favourite tipple? Yes, it definitely has, because my favourite glass of vino was actually only available in Austria, but lo and behold, it was stocked by Naked Wines.
A bottle of my favourite (a Grüner Veltliner) on the platform is £9.99 with my subscription (£11.99 otherwise). True, I can buy other Grüner Veltliner wines in the shops for the same price – or even a smidge less – but they’re not quite the same.
Similarly, another favourite I’ve discovered through the platform is a Portuguese wine for £7.99 (£9.99 without a subscription). I’ve seen this particular wine advertised for far less on other websites. However, delivery charges to the UK are more than £10 per bottle, which clearly makes it considerably more expensive.
Is it worth signing up?
For me, yes, it is.
Before signing up to Naked Wines, I’d always been a supermarket wine buyer. Disappointingly though, the wines on offer were always a bit hit and miss. Plus, Austrian wine has only recently started appearing on UK shelves, so there was never any guarantee of finding what I wanted.
Not everyone likes the idea of a subscription model. But, it really works for me because the money’s already there waiting to be spent. Somehow, it feels less painful spending, say, £60 you’ve accrued than parting with £60 as part of your weekly shop.
However, the most important aspect for me is that Naked Wines has saved me from wasting money on average bottles of wine that inevitably end up in a casserole or gravy.
Can a platform like Naked Wines save you money on your favourite tipple? And is it worth it? Well, that really depends on what you like to drink and how much you’re happy to spend.