Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Lot 18: New wine sale site from Snooth founder

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 at 5:15 pm in Corkheads.

People in the wine industry are always lamenting the way wine is sold, and how they can better reach consumers who might otherwise never visit their wineries or taste their wines.

According to this Mashable post, Phillip James, the founder of Snooth.com, is answering the call with a new website called Lot 18.

It’s still a bit under the radar, but Lot 18 is basically online private sales. The website will have a team of wine specialists who work with small producers to get their affordable products into the hands of appreciative, thirsty wine geeks.

It’s a great concept, and I’d be interested to see if it improves the way wine is sold, from a commodity to a hand-crafted, living thing. There are a limited number of invitations to preview the site. Check the Mashable link to see if any remain.

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  • Vivian

    I’ve been a member of Lot 18 for several months now and have already purchased quite a bit of wine from them. Their wines are exceptional – not to mention really hard (if not impossible!) to find anywhere else, their savings incredible and they have really good customer service. What’s not to love??

    Lot 18 might just be starting out but, believe me, they are going to dominate the sale of wine online!!

    I’m a Lot 18 customer for life!!

  • SJK

    I’m a new Lot 18 subscriber and I have to say it looks like a complete ripoff. The savings are elusive since the retail prices are fiction. current offer is for a pinot they say can’t be bought anywhere else and isn;t available yet… and, how is it then that they can advertise a retail price of $105… this is looking like a scam. Have you actually looked at the retail prices on their wines and tried to find any of them anywhere?

  • jds

    @SJK

    Yes, I have looked at retail prices and what they have is mostly accurate. Im not sure about the one that isnt available yet, but the rest have been consistently + or – $5 from the retail price.

    Dont dismiss the site right away!

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com/bottomsup/category/corkheads Jessica Yadegaran

    I’ve noticed the same thing – about a +/- $5 at the most.

  • Vivian

    SJK, I hate to disagree with you, but you are all wrong. Like I said, I’ve been purchasing wine from Lot 18 since November. I’ve purchased many, many wines that I have not been able to get anywhere else and at exceptional prices. I don’t just say this off the top of my head, I actually researched the wines before I bought them. What I did was go to the actual winery’s website and I compared their prices for the wines with those of Lot 18. On each occasion, the wines were at least 30% cheaper at Lot 18.

    Obviously, this website is not for everyone, but those of you out there that are serious wine lovers/drinkers will find great values on Lot 18. They have great wines at great prices.

  • JB

    A lot of the wines on Lot18 are available at my local Whole Foods for less than they’re selling for on Lot18. I guess this may be regional since some of you say you can’t find these wines anywhere (which raises a lot of questions about their pricing too) but from my limited experience so far, Lot18 isn’t anything special. Not bad, but not worth scrambling over there for a value purchase.

  • Filipe

    Tks for the ones that say the prices are +-5$, good to know the prices are about the same. the good thing about it will be probably to have access to some wines in one website instead of having to search through wineries and try to guess which wine might be good. that’s what internet is about.

    oh and vivian, if [some?] the prices are really 30% less I would back it up with links to specific wines with price comparisons from more than one source:)

  • John

    I think some you might be confused. I haven’t been a member for that long but most of the discounts are significantly steeper than +/- $5. For example they recently had a deal on two-bottles of Morgan Double L Hat Trick Pinot Noir for $98. The regular bottling of Morgan Double L is roughly $50, which would make only a few dollars discount. But it is the Hat Trick bottling which is roughly $85 per bottle. I will agree that many of the wines they sell were significantly overpriced to begin with, so the discounts only help bring the price back to some sort of reality. However, to claim they only offer a +/-$5 discount is inaccurate.

  • Dave

    Here’s another example:

    I recently purchased a 3-pk of 2006 Ravenswood Todd Vineyard Zinfandel for $69 shipped…or $23/bottle shipped. The only place that has this bottling online (using wine-searcher.com) is selling it for $35/bottle, shipping additional. 3 bottles with shipping totals $125. $69 vs $125?

    If anyone needs an invitation code:
    http://bit.ly/joinLot18

  • Hector

    What a lip off – most of these bottles are only 375ML!!!! That should be the very first item on the web page! I will never buy another thing from them!

  • brunello

    If anyone needs a Lot 18 invitation code, feel free to use the following link:

    http://www.lot18.com/i/Brian196519

  • John

    Lot 18 is for folks who really like wine. Their wines are well-chosen and prices are lower than buying on premises. What more can you ask. Yes, not free but yes, great website for wine.

    http://www.lot18.com/i/aetius

  • Carmen

    If anyone needs a Lot 18 invite code, please feel free to use

    https://www.lot18.com/i/Carmen307441

    Looks like there are some great deals as well as free shipping right now on any US produced wines. Enjoy!

  • Vaclav Nikdo

    The wines are good; I’ve ordered a few times. But you will wait and wait for them to ship. It can takes 2-3 weeks for the wine to even begin shipping!!! and this is without the weather hold. This helps the decision to be a good citizen and to buy locally.

  • threej

    I’ve placed thirteen orders since the end of June through Lot18. The great majority of their offerings have been of good quality. I track price fairly rigorously, and their wines are sometimes available at liquor stores in my region within +/- $2 in my experience. Some wines appear to be exclusive to Lot18, however.

    I do buy more from a local retailer with an excellent selection whose 20% off mixed case prices are hard to beat. An exception is when Lot18 offers discounts (an occasional occurrence). Then, their prices are very good.

    So long as they continue the convenience of online shopping with fair to good pricing and good quality offerings, I will continue to make them a part of my wine buying experience.

  • Keith Rowland

    Support your local wine shops! Don’t buy from these guys. Buy local!!!!

    These guys are trying to cause marketing frenzy by offering wine for an allotted time when they know it will sell out much sooner, trying to create a buyers panic in consumers. Also their stock is many times junk. They sell wine that is going bad or just not sellable in locals stores for customers will return it when bought locally, not when they must ship it..

    It’s sad when marketing trumps integrity.

    Also I bough a 6 bottle sale of a Malbec, I’ve tried two bottles and both were off. The second bottle I shared with a wine professional here in San Francisco, he agreed and suggested I not but online. I think he is right.

    I repeat: “Support your local wine shops! Don’t buy from these guys, buy local”

  • Lance Davenport

    Current LOT18 Invite $10 Credit

    https://www.lot18.com/i/INVITE

  • Harry

    So to me it seems as if there are quite some Lot 18 employees among the people writing comments in here (amd on other websites). Me being a wine producer myself, I suggest to spend more time on the field than wasting it online trying to influence customer perception about your products. Lot 18 is far more ordinary than the self elected wine specialists working for them!

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  • http://www.cadmanfinewines.co.uk Giles Cadman

    Its not a new concept, people have done it for years!