Saturday, June 4, 2011

Plonk Wine Merchants Review

Plonk Logo

PLONK is the British or Australian slang term for inexpensive wine.   As intended, it has a somewhat negative connotation, but Plonk Wine Merchants could surely change all that!  I had not heard of Plonk until I was asked by TV top Ten if I would like to do a review.  I looked at the site, and thought it was definitely worth sharing on my blog.

Plonk Wine Merchants is an online wine shop that specializes in unusual wines, and is designed to bring a personalized shopping experience right to your home.  By eliminating the physical storefront, they are able to keep the price per bottle below $30, with most in the $20 and below range.

I was a little bit skeptical about shopping for wine through a website.  There are many things to consider.  One of the first was, if these are unknown labels, how will I know what I want?  Well, the way the site is set up is a quite brilliant.  The homepage has a map of the world, and you start by choosing a region that you like.  I was sent this bottle of Spanish Wine.

Lagar de Costa Albarino

To learn more about it, I found Spain on the map and clicked on it. I was brought to the page with all of the Spanish offerings. Then I browsed through the list and found my wine, and clicked on the details button. This opened an entire page of information. There is a description, food pairing suggestions, similar wines, a link to a short but sweet video review, too.

Here’s what I learned about this bottle:
Lagar de Costa is a small family owned winery that's been growing exceptional old vines Albariño for three generations in the village of Castrelo, in Rías Baixas. This elegant, limited production gem is packed with clean citrus flavors, minerals, and briny notes of seaspray that marry beautifully with fresh seafood.

It is sold for $24.00, with a 10% discount for anyone who joins the Plonk Wine Club. The wine club offers it’s members special customizable shipments each month, exclusive online events, the 10% discount, and access to “Rare Hidden Gems”. If you enjoy discount wine clubs, you will want to check this out.

My next thoughts were, what about shipping, and how do they prevent minors from ordering?  I was very impressed to see this label on the box: 

Plonk Shipping Label

I was even more impressed that the FedEx driver refused to let my son sign, and made him come get me.  Now look at the very well designed packaging. 

Plonk Packaging

The bottle fits perfectly in its place, and another identical piece is placed on top of it to keep it from moving in transit.  The only way damage could come to this is if it were crushed somehow.

To shop the site, you could do it as  I described, by region, or by searching using keyword, type, or price.  They also have an option which will allow you to search only their natural (organic/biodynamic) selections.

To find out more about Plonk Wine Merchants you can “like” them on Facebook, follow with Twitter, or sign up for their mailing list by entering your email address from the home page.

Here is how they describe themselves:
Plonk Wine Merchants is the ultimate online destination for artisanal, obscure, and altogether great cheap wine. Plonk Wine Merchants brings you an expertly curated collection of incredible premium quality wine from around the globe at extremely affordable prices. All wines in this store are priced strictly at $30 or below and offer an outstanding bang for the buck. In addition, many of the bargain wines you'll find here are organic, biodynamic, or rare "diamonds in the rough" made from lesser-known grapes, and are virtually impossible to find in other retail outlets. Plonk Wine Merchants is the brainchild of Etty Lewensztain, a curly-haired, food and wine obsessed Los Angeles native who is certified by the esteemed Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the American Sommelier Association.

The store has been designed to translate a personalized brick and mortar shopping experience to the digital space, and to that end, you will find an interactive video review on every single wine we sell so you can get a live preview as to what’s in the bottle.

Plonk Wine Merchants is here to act as your personal wine consultant! Please contact us via phone or email for wine recommendations, food and wine pairing suggestions for your upcoming dinner party, or to get answers to any general wine questions you might have.

Plonk Wine Merchants also offers Gift Certificates, which may interest you if you know a wine enthusiast and you are looking for a special gift.

I think it’s a great idea, a great site, and another great way to save a few dollars.  (Which is always welcomed in this economy!)

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**Plonk Wine Merchants in conjunction with TV Top Ten did provide this bottle of wine so that  I could write an informed and honest blogged review about their website and service.  I was not paid to write this post and my opinions are genuine.

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