Lathwaite’s Wine Club Review (formerly Zagat)
We'll be referring to this wine club as Lathwaite's but you may have also heard of Zagat Wine Club - run by the famed restaurant review junket. Lathwaite's did partner with Zagat in this venture for a while but has taken over the club fully. Lathwaite's is a UK-based online wine shop - the largest in the world.
The club has two levels, both of which ship 12 bottles quarterly.
Today we'll take a snapshot of Lathwaite's Wine Club and also go into specifics to help you decide whether or not this is a wine club that will fit your needs.
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4 Seasons Club
Reserved Wine Club
Lathwaite's, the world's largest online retailer of wine, provides members with a case of wine each quarter in members choice of red, white, or mixed.
Aimed at those who know a little more about or are experienced in wine (or up for anything), there are no initial questions about taste preferences when it comes to wine or other flavors. Instead, members are able to provide feedback on wines received thus allowing the club to better curate future shipments. Logging on ahead of time allows members to see what will be in their next shipment and swap out wines they might not like for others they might prefer.
Choices are minimal: members may select either the Four Seasons option or the Reserved. The only other decision is whether shipments will be all white, all red, or mixed. Charged quarterly, members simply need to cancel prior to a shipment in order to end membership and not be charged for that quarter.
What Does Membership Get Me?
- A selection of wines, sent quarterly, in either all white, all red, or mixed.
- Wines that either change to complement the seasons or are considered special.
- Included tasting notes for each wine.
- The first shipment is discounted and contains 15 bottles.
Take Note: While the website makes it look like you can join this club and pay about half of our listed prices, that is only an offer for joining. This review, and the chart above, outline the regular quarterly payments.
Show Me The Money!
Lathwaite's is very clear about their pricing other than the confusion that is likely to occur with a cursory glance of the site - this is because they list their first shipment offer prominently. That said, they don't hide the quarterly information; they are very transparent.
- Shipping is a fair $19.99 for 12 bottles.
- There are no membership or cancellation fees. Cancel before your quarterly box is shipped and you're off the hook.
- There are no hidden fees.
- The per bottle cost is under $20 - a great price point.
What We Love: Both the Four Seasons and Reserve offer great wines at a great price with reasonable shipping!
Detailed Review of Lathwaite's
- The per bottle and shipping costs.
- The ability to swap out wine.
- Low maintenance.
- No hidden costs.
We didn't like
- The possibility of repeat bottles.
- Confusing website.
Summary: Lathwaite's focuses on sending members a selection of wines each quarter. Wines are under $20/bottle and arrive as a case with flat rate shipping and the same cost each month. While the website is a little tricky to understand at first, reading it through twice will give most people a decent enough understanding to decide whether or not it will work for them. Our only real gripe is that it appears Lathwaite's sends only six wines, two bottles of each. We are not fans of this because if you get a bottle you don't like you're out two bottles of wine. We get that wine clubs are a gamble, but wish clubs that send double bottles would offer a half case with unique wines. Recent updates to the site also show 4 unique wines - three bottles of each. No thanks!
Things We Like
Good Prices - WIth a consistent charge each quarter, per bottle costs of under $20 and fair shipping costs, we're more than satisfied with Lathwaite's prices.
Sneak Peek - Members receive notification when the club is putting together boxes and are able to swap wines out for others Lathwaite's has available. This gives more control to the member. While it's great to be exposed to new wines, if you know that you can't deal with oaked Chardonnay and you've got some coming, you can change it up and keep things more to your liking.
Set It And Forget It - Because of the stable pricing and limited options, this is a club you can join and forget about - you don't have to check in and make decisions each month and you don't have to worry that some months will be more expensive than others.
Transparent Pricing - Other than the allure of the first month deals that regularly grace Lathwaite's front page, pricing is exactly the same every month, there are no membership fees, there are no cancellation fees and the website explains pricing clearly once you are sure you're looking at the regular information and not a special offer.
Things We Don't Like
Repeat Bottles - If you've read our wine club reviews you know we don't like repeat bottles. Especially if Lathwaite's is sending three bottles each of four unique wines. It's great to order multiple bottles of a wine you know you love but when you don't know? That can be three bottles of bad wine. Clubs that send multiple bottles of the same wine should consider a smaller shipment of only unique wines.
Confusing Website - Lathwaite's likes feedback and changes the site frequently but we have logged on at times only to be very confused by what we're actually being offered. Be sure to read everything about the club before making big decisions.
This is a decent club for those who know more about their preferences. With repeat bottles it's better to know your preferences on wine so that you can assess whether a swap is necessary. Having a basic understanding of your preferences when it comes to body, acidity, varietal, climate, and regional differences is very helpful with a club like this one. For the more experienced wine drinker who can get on and make swaps, you really can't beat the price on this club!