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Monday, August 15, 2016

Five Years of Naked Wines

Naked Wines, founded in 2011, is a UK-based wine retailer unlike any other. Some see it as the devil or a cult; mostly it seems to be a highly successful Internet-based "winery."

What's so different?

It's all about the Internet. There's no brick-and-mortar. Well, there is, but it's not owned by them.

It's crowd-funded wine making. You and thousands of others give them $40/month. They use the money to allow wine makers to do their thing without a huge investment.

Why is it good for wine makers? Starting up and running a winery is a huge expense. You need to be rich, know some rich people, or have a huge bank debt. Naked Wines funds these endeavors for individual wine makers--some new, some established.

Why is it good for the customers? Access to tons of wines usually at reasonable prices.

So the whole idea of starting up a wine production business, buying grapes, making wine, then selling it to a wholesalers is pretty much non-existent. This gets some people upset because it's so different.

There's a lot of marketing. Not that established wineries don't spend a lot on marketing with slick magazine ads or winning gold medals (yes, medals and points are for advertising). Naked Wine customers are called "angels" and their "happiness" is what's important. You are "making a difference." There's lots of online comradery among angels sharing their wine stories. They say you are paying wholesale prices, but how do you really know that? They would love for you to become a Naked Angel. With a title like that who wouldn't want to be one!

Naked Wines was recently purchased by Majestic, a more traditional UK wine retailer.

And my apologies to those who saw the word Naked in the title and came here looking for Scarlett Johansson or something   :)