My sister sent me a text message today: “Hooray! My first box of naked wines just arrived at work! I only ordered them yesterday afternoon too! Hooray for wine!” If it’s not obvious by now, I’ve converted her into a “Naked Wines Angel”.
If you live in Australia, whether you realise it or not, odds are you’re buying your beer, wine and spirits from a store that is owned by one of our big duopolies: Coles or Woolworths. BWS, Dan Murphy’s, Vintage Cellars, Liquorland… They are all owned by the two big guns.
So what? Well, have you noticed all the different wines they sell with all the modern, eye-catching labels and quirky names? Things like Amiri, Wahu or Monkey’s Cousin. Take a look on the back of the label, and in teeny-tiny print you might see something like “Produced for James Busby Fine Wines” or “Produced for International Liquor Wholesalers”. Well, thats code for Coles or Woolworths. There have been a number of news stories written on the so-called “Wine Wars” (some of which are now behind a paywall) but here’s one you can read for free. And here’s another.
Hot on the heels of the scandals regarding the duopolies hassling and hurting farmers who supply our milk, fruit, veggies and more – the next lot they are now hitting up is the Aussie Winemakers. Shame.
As far as I’m concerned, Australia makes some of the best wines in the world. A quick review of any global wine competition will tell you that. So, how do we ensure that the money we are spending on our favourite tipple, is going to the winemaker at the cellar door and not to the corporate execs?
Well, there are many wine clubs out there, but from personal experience, as delicious as the wines are, they are also a bit on the pricey side and usually include things like administration fees, minimum spends and minimum orders every so many weeks. Now, unless you are a pretty rich wine snob (which I’m not), this is not ideal.
So, imagine how I felt when late last year I stumbled across a company called “Naked Wines”. They have a really great concept, that has all the perks of a wine club, and none of the disadvantages. Here’s the deal:
- You can buy wines from Nakes Wines as often as you like. No set recurring order. When you buy and how much you buy is entirely up to you.
- The funds from Naked Wines, go straight to new and upcoming wine makers who might not have the start up capital required to market to the big chains (the big guys don’t make it easy). Essentially Naked Wines promises to buy the full batch of wine from the Wine Maker, which they then onsell to us. Maximum wine, for minimum spend – no marketing costs, no excess middle men, no wasted barrells.
- If you want to, you can become a “Naked Wines Angel”. This means that for $10 a week, you contribute to a sort of online savings account for wine. You get special discounted pricing, and every month you are offered a free bottle of wine if you make a case order. You can choose to spend your savings every month, or you can choose to save it up over time. If you decide you no longer want to be an angel, your savings get refunded to you in full when you close your account.
- They have a great online store, as well as a super friendly mobile app.
- They have codes available through various outlets (I’ve gotten some via Feast magazine, and Book Depository online) that offer a $50 credit to your first order. Currently their website has a $30 offer for answering a few simple questions.
- If you don’t like a wine, you can return it and they will refund you.
- Delivery to Sydney CBD is free. Delivery to other cities like Brisbane is $5, and you get it within 1-2 working days.
For someone who loves wine, and also knows the importance of supporting local farmers and producers, this was a no brainer for me. And having a carton of wine waiting for me on my doorstep at the end of a long day is great!
There is pricing for everyone with bottles starting at $6 and going up to about $25. I have been super impressed with the quality, and the savings offered to members is great.
If you would like to know more visit: http://www.nakedwines.com.au/
I also would encourage you to find out more about the duopoly’s hold on the Australian wine and liquor market – via production and sales outlets. Choice have a great free article about it here.
Other pages of interest:
Shop Ethical – Alcohol Retail in Australia
Who Makes My Wine
*For transparency: this is an unpaid article, just sharing the love <3