Archive for the ‘wine’ Category

Wine 52 Beer 52 scam

January 11, 2023

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I was bombarded every other day with junk e-mails from Pasta le Disaster containing freebies, offers, a free book. A sign of the desperation of Paste le Disaster. One of these offers was for free wine, which as with all the other offers, I ignored.

Then, in the week leading up up Christmas, a repeat of the free wine offer.

I clicked through the link, it took me, not to Pasta le Disaster, but to Wine 52. I tried to place an order, website not fit for purpose.

Wine 52 website not fit for purpose, it took an  hour on the phone to place an order. It did not arrive when stated. I then had to chase when it did not arrive the following week. 

When my order was confirmed, it then came through with another offer, free craft beer, as before, only pay postage.

The wine was not what the order confirmed, instead of Puglia, I was sent Mendoza. More hassle, eventually sent wine from Puglia.

Unlike the wine, the beer was not a short delay. It took weeks to arrive, I had to chase at least twice. 

No reputable company that cares about reputation, cares about customer service, uses Evri. 

The wines well packed. Picking out bottles at random, the wine has been excellent.

The beer, a mix of eight bottle and cans, craft beer from Pennsylvania.

Picking out one at random, Haze Charmer hazy pale ale, excellent.

With the wine and and beer, a free magazine. Not yet flipped through the beer magazine Ferment, the wine magazine Glug, excellent (similar to Standart).

Each box, a couple of snacks. Only tried from the Mendoza wine box, pleasant enough.

Looking at TrustPilot, I see my experience is not a one off.  Many one-star complaints of poor service, a scam, difficulty of cancelling subscriptions, unauthorised deductions from bank accounts. The five-star reviews all appear to be fake reviews, all singing from the same hymn sheet.

This one-star review not atypical.

Scamming b@#tards. £32 for 10 beers?? Can’t cancel my order online. Can’t cancel subscription once placed as I had a promotion before christmas. Tried to get through to them to cancel order but couldn’t get through. Finally get through and they tell me I should of canceled days ago?? How can one cancel an order if you can’t do it online and you robbing c*nts won’t answer the phone?.

Another 1* review that the products were close to or past expiry date. The response of Beer 52, that is why cheap. It would appear they are buying up job lots about to be poured down the drain. The J D Wetherspoon businesses model.

My subscription for Wine 52 and Beer 52 cancelled Sunday, with a requirement they have to confirm by midday on Monday.

Monday came and went, no confirmation. Tuesday came and went, no confirmation.

Bank contacted to block Wine 52 and Beer 52. Any attempt to take money from my account will be treated as fraud.

Wednesday a reply. A reply that made no sense.

Hi Keith,

Apologies for the delay in response.

We’re really sorry to hear you’re considering leaving us. I’ve taken a look at your account and I can see that you have £8 credit on your Beer52 account & £10 credit on your Wine52 account that hasn’t been used yet, and which will be lost if you cancel.

This means that your next box of “8 [Manchester] Beers” & “4 [Georgia] Wines” would each only cost £19 £31, respectively, and we’d deliver them directly to your door.

I’ll also add in “The Story of Craft Beer” book by Pete Brown (Valued at £12.99 RRP) completely free of charge!

In the meantime, I’ve set your subscription to cancel before your next payment is due, but hopefully the above will go some way in changing your mind.



How can there be credit on my account? Not unless they have credited the money to me.

A free book, which if I wanted I can get from Amazon for £10-39.

Ten pounds credited to Wine 52. Now only pay £31. Er no. Would only pay £32. How therefore does a credit of ten pounds result in paying £31, ie only one pound off?

Update: Saturday, two more e-mails, to confirm my subscriptions to Wine 52 and Beer 52 had been cancelled.

Wine 52 Delivery

December 20, 2022

When I placed my order Friday afternoon last week (with great difficulty as the website not fit for purpose) for a free case of wine from Wine 52, it clearly stated delivery Saturday.  Speaking on the phone Friday afternoon, I was told the order would be picked up from their depot that evening.

E-mail to Wine 52 last night, Monday and still waiting, no tracking information.

A reply today.

Thanks for getting in touch, and I’m sorry for the delay in responding, it’s a particularly busy time at the moment and we appreciate your patience while we catch up on the backlog of tickets we have.

I am sorry to hear you had a bit of trouble placing this order in starting these subscriptions on the 16th but I am happy to see you managed in the end and thanks for this feedback on this. 

As you can imagine it is a bit of a busy time at the moment at the warehouse and they are doing the best to get these out. I can see they already have tracking numbers ready for Evri once they reach the Evri depot. If you do not have a tracking update on 24/12/22 please let me know (however it is likely these boxes will be with Evri super soon).

I am happy they are on their way to you now.

If I can help with anything else please let me know. Have a great rest of your week!

Why state something when ordering knowing it not to be true?

Note delivery by Evri, the worst courier in the country. Why wait until Christmas Eve to report if no tracking update (note tracking not delivery).

Lunchtime a knock at the door, ring of doorbell. Driver had driven off before could answer the door.

When I placed my order it clearly stated Puglia. The confirmation stated Puglia.  Delivered today, Mendoza.

Packing excellent, as can see when open the box. Compressed card around the neck and top of the bottles, another one further down the bottles. Exact fit for the bottles and the box, stops them rattling around. And of course can then be disposed of on the compost heap or the recycling bin.

In addition to three bottles of wine (a case of wine is six), a couple of snacks (a neat touch) and a magazine Glug which looks well produced.

And the craft beer I ordered? No idea.

Crate of free wine

December 16, 2022

Yep, a scam but let’s start at the beginning.

Pasta le Disaster, peddlers of at best mediocre pasta. Claim to be a small business, nope, UK brand of the largest Italian food conglomerate.

Christmas is coming and in the spirit of yuletide, our compagnos at Wine52 are offering you a free case of Argentinian wines. All you need to do is cover the postage costs of £8.95, and you’ll get three beautiful Mendoza wines delivered right to your door.

Wine52 is the fastest-growing wine club in the UK for a reason. Join them on their global wine tour and try a different region each and every month. So far their members have enjoyed wine from Bordeaux, Puglia, Hungary, Sicily, Rhône valley and many more.

A measure of their desperation, for several weeks bombarded with e-mails with offers, free book, free case of wine.

The free case of wine a scam. Three bottles of wine is not a case. A case is six bottles. Pay for the postage, the wine free. This is where the scam kicks in. Pay the postage, hand over credit card details and have signed up for thirty quids worth of wine every month.

I’d rather go and choose my own wine. No say in what is sent.

That was a few weeks ago.

The same offer again today. Clicks through to an offer at Wine 52.

Let’s see what happens.

Website not fit for purpose.

Called a number in Scotland.

An hour on the phone. Eventually manage to place an order.

Cowboy couriers used. Evri or Yodel. No company that cares about customer service uses these cowboys.

I made it clear, this will be my first and last order.

Website then offers me the same offer only now for craft beer, Beer 52 (same company, different name). In for a penny, in for a pound.

And the wine?

Choice of red, or white or mixed. Nothing on what the wine is.

The original offer was for wine from Argentina. Now it is Puglia, southern Italy.

Wintry day at Guildford farmers market

December 4, 2012

Guildford farmers market

Guildford farmers market

The grass was wet this morning, no frost. Whether it had been frosty, raining or heavy dew, I do not know.

Walking along the River Wey, it had dropped a couple of feet or more compared with a week ago.

I looked in Debenhams. Only turkey, no roast pork, which is what I was looking forward to.

Blocking access to the dropped curb as cross Quarry Street is a large A-board. It has been there every day since mid-October. Guildford know about it, Surrey know about it, but worthless jobsworth at Surrey would rather sit on their backsides and wait until a frail elderly person trips over it and fractures a few bones. Card Aid should be prosecuted for wilful highway obstruction.

An interesting stall of wood carvings, new to the market. The guy, Matthew Crabb, had come up from Somerset. He had a couple of folders of his work. Amazing wood carvings, often entire trees in situ. I suggested he may wish to contact Godalming Museum as they may be interested in exhibiting his work. I also suggested take a trip downstream along the River Wey as there are some wood carvings.

Off the Celtic baker, a loaf, a blueberry flapjack, and I thought I would try a couple of his mince pies.

A stall sells pies of various kinds. They are very good. Last month I got a pasty. I settled down looking forward to it for my tea, only to find I had left it on the stall. I told the lady, and she said help yourself to another one.

Off a Game stall (game as in pheasants not computers) four of his sausages. Very expensive, a pound per kilo (or maybe more) than Gloucester Old Spot (a rare breed pig) from Waitrose. A pity he is restricted to fancy highly spiced foreign sausages. But, last least like the butcher on North Street on the Friday street market, everything is loose. Pre-packed on a farmers market goes against everything a farmers market stands for.

As does serving hot food in McBurger boxes. This is totally unacceptable and there is no excuse for doing so, as there are alternatives on the market that are recyclable. Polystyrene goes to either landfill or incineration. Food for Thought in Covent Garden uses recyclable containers, as does Iydea in North Laine in Brighton.

I was pleased to see Kai Jansen back in the High Street playing his guitar. The last time I saw him was in Alton, and that was a year ago at least. We had a chat about bandcamp. I said it was a must for his music, he gets as good deal, as do the fans who wish to listen to, share and download his music, and it gets him known to a much wider audience than playing in Guildford High Street.

I was pleased to see the stalls selling wine and beer are now back to their usual pitches, not as November farmers market. They have to periodically move because only twelve markets are licensed, thus have to then do an additional licence. Whilst it is no problem in terms of setting up a stall, it is a problem in terms of lost business for people used to finding stall in a specific location.

By no means the fault of the market organiser. This is people who licence the market playing the fool. It is not as though we have drunken scum on the street in contrast to the problems caused by the large bars on Bridge Street on a Friday and Saturday night to which the same licensing fools turn a blind eye even though it turns Guildford town centre into a no-go area as it is ok if Big Business is making money. It is only the Street Angels who are keeping the lid on.

I was pleased to see different stalls trade between themselves. Maybe take this further, a distribution system with produce from all the suppliers. Worth thinking about.

I want to scream when I see stall holders with a cup of coffee from Costa in their hands. If they want us to support small producers, then they should do the same. Go up the High Street to Tunsgate. Go into Tunsgate, walk to the end, and there on the left, just before Ben’s Records, is Gluton & Glee, from where you can get real coffee.

Always support indie coffee shops, not chains like Costa or Starbucks (who dodge tax).

It was a very cold day, with a very cold wind blowing. If I stopped at any stall for more than a few minutes, I felt very cold. I felt sorry for those running the stalls.

Too cold to hang about on the street. I walked back down the High Street to take lunch at Debenhams. A big mistake. I should have gone to the Thai restaurant top of the High Street in Jeffies Passage or carried on over the Bridge and to the Keystone behind St Nicolas Church. No turkey left, only a scraggly bit of chicken, vegetables cold, tables not cleared and dirty.

I decided to hop on a bus to Godalming and have tea and cake in Cafe Mila. Had I been a minute earlier or people at the bus stop I would have caught the bus that sailed past. I did not fancy waiting 15 minutes in the cold for the next bus (and that is assuming on time).

I retraced my steps, back over the bridge. I was going to ask in Starbucks, was it true, their appalling working condition, but it was very busy. What is wrong with people, do they not care Starbucks dodges tax, serves lousy coffee?

I looked in Waterstone’s. One solitary copy of NeverSeconds.

Then walk to the station and catch a train.

Guildford holds a farmers market in the High Street on the first Tuesday of the month. The next farmers market will be February 2013.

Guildford farmers market has a facebook page, but if you work at the council you are not allowed to look at it. You are not allowed to look at this blog either.

Wines of Cyprus | Status 99

June 18, 2012

Wines of Cyprus | Status 99

Wines of Cyprus | Status 99

My lovely Russian friend Lena and I had decided we would dine at Nicolas Tavern.

Earlier in the evening we had walked along the coast to a farm, where we picked up two honeydew melons, courtesy of the farmer.

We were tired and hungry, but at least after a shower were feeling refreshed.

We had decided on kleftico, a traditional Greek-Cypriot dish, lamb cooked slowly slowly for many hours in a wood-fired clay oven. We had sampled kleftico the week before when we had a drink at Nicolas Tavern.

The wine was therefore red. Lena wanted sweet. I said no. We compromised on medium dry.

I called the head waiter over: Your best medium dry red please.

He brought over Status 99. Lena tried and said it was good.

But no kleftico, they had run out. We settled on fish. I had sea bream (at least I think that is what it was). I am not sure what Lena had.

For starters we had the most delicious chicken soup, served in enormous bowls, a meal in itself.

For desert strawberries and cream. I would have preferred strawberries with Greek yoghurt, much nicer. On Mykonos I used to have for breakfast at a lovely taverna raspberries and strawberries and Greek yoghurt.

Cypriot strawberries are not as nice as English strawberries. Lena added not as nice as Russian either.

Status 99, a full-bodied red wine, not exactly the ideal choice for fish, we should have had white wine, but we did not know there was no kleftico when we ordered. Fish needs a lighter wine. A full-bodies red like Status 99 ideal for a heavy meat dish like kleftico.

Nevertheless we enjoyed Status 99, an excellent choice, even if it did not quite match the main dish of fish.

Why Status 99? A question I asked Nicolas the next day. The name is from the village, Statos Ayios Fotios. Why 99? Not known.

Status 99 comes from a family vineyard Kolios Winery, high on the hills outside Paphos. The vineyards are owned by the Kolios family, planted by their grandparents on the slopes high above Paphos.

Like many of the wines at Nicolas Tavern, Status 99 comes from a family vineyard, quality wines to go with the quality food.

I asked Lena did she enjoy the wine? She replied yes. When we left I ordered another bottle for her to take home.

Nicolas Tavern is a traditional Greek-Cypriot taverna in Protaras. The restaurant to eat in Protaras. The only one with a traditional wood-fired clay oven. Kleftico to die for!

Organic wine in eco-friendly tetra paks?

July 28, 2010

These words do not sit easily on my tongue, organic wine tetra paks, eco-friendly tetra paks. They are uneasy bedfellows, an oxymoron at the very least.

My lovely friend Sian and I were on an Alice day out. We were in Guildford for a performance of Alice in Court at the Guildhall and whilst in Guildford we looked at the Lewis Carroll exhibits in Guildford House and the Guildford Museum. All part of Curiouser and Curiouser, a programme of walks, talks and events to celebrate the life and legacy of Lewis Carroll who lived in Guildford.

We ended up at Jamie’s Italian. Well to be exact, we ended up drinking outside the Old Ford in North Camp. Let us say we dined that evening at Jamie’s Italian.

Whilst we were ordering, Sian drew my attention to an item on the menu that had caught her eye. Organic house wine in eco-friendly tetra paks which the waiter would be happy to decant at our table.

The mind boggles. To say the least we were baffled.

House wine is usually ordered in bulk and served in a carafe, or comes in bottles with no label. What self-respecting wine producer would put his wine, organic wine at that, in tetra paks? Wine in cartoons is the rubbish you take to parties when you do not wish to take a decent bottle, and this was tetra paks. Tetra paks are more or less impossible to recycle due to their composite laminar construction. Or were these special biodegradable tetra paks that we had not seen or heard of? But then the wine would be intended to be drunk very young, as the pak would disintegrate.

We were intrigued. We called over our waiter and said we wished to know more. He did not know, and went to speak to his manager. He did not know either. He brought over a tetra pak of organic wine. As far as we could see this was an ordinary tetra pak. There was nothing on the pak to indicate otherwise, though it did say it could be recycled.

A message was sent to Jamie Oliver, but we got no reply whilst we were eating and I have heard nothing from him since. Maybe he will write a comment!

A question I should have asked but didn’t was what does the restaurant do with the empty tetra paks, do they go in a general waste stream or are they recycled? I can guess what the answer would have been (and maybe I will pop back and ask) but it would have been interesting to hear what they had to say.

We then had fun devising a Monty Python comedy sketch.

Waiter turns up with a tetra pak in his hand. Is this to Sir’s liking? He then, with hand behind back, carefully decants the wine from a tetra pak.

It goes without saying that we declined the offer of organic house wine decanted from a tetra pak.

Wines from Cyprus

May 27, 2010

Wines from Cyprus

Wines from Cyprus

I enjoyed drinking the Alina at the weekend sitting in my garden with my lovely friend Sian. The Alina we found to be a very pleasant dry white wine.

Cyprus wines

May 25, 2010

Cyprus wines

Cyprus wines

Cyprus wines courtesy of Nicolas Tavern and Sunrise Beach Hotel in Protaras.

%d bloggers like this: