A great way to buy real Australian wine directly from real Australian small batch wine makers is through a start-up called Naked Wines. Over 49,000 people are currently crowd-funding Australian wines through Naked Wines at a commitment of $40 per month. These small scale wine buff investors are called the Angels.
The business problem Naked Wines solve is that the Australian wine industry is dominated by the two major supermarkets – Coles and Woolworth. With 77 per cent of the wine industry in those large corporate hands it is extremely difficult for small producers to compete and new entrants to produce good, authentic Australian wine. Real wine. Wine made by real wine makers in small batches.
The idea itself is simple enough: wine lovers (the Angels) commit to letting Naked Wines pull $40 each month from their bank accounts. This money accumulates in their shopping cart to be immediately available for purchasing wine. This money isn’t lost or stolen; it remains their money. The guaranteed $40 monthly cash flow from the 49,000+ Angels is used to help a select group of small wine makers purchase grapes and bring their otherwise unrealised small batch wines to market. Note that only Angels can purchase these limited edition wines.
Naked Wines goes to great effort to hand pick proven winemakers in need of crowd-funding to make their wines. Costs are kept as low as possible on each wine through Cost Plus pricing – cost of grapes, inputs, bottles and bottling PLUS winemaker income, Naked Wines margin and delivery cost. They also cut out the middleman by bringing these wines to market.
Angels are rewarded for this crowd-funding investment through exclusive access to these funded wines, cost savings of 25-50 per cent on all Naked Wines purchases and a free bottle of wine every month that they purchase a Naked Wines carton. There are other benefits to being an Angel that I won’t push here for the sake of brevity.
It’s as simple as that. Angels are people who crowd-fund small Australian wine producers for discounted, limited edition, exclusive wines.
To sign up to be an Angel is a little of a wait. Currently there are around 5,000 people on that waiting list and it takes a bit over a month to get your Angel’s wings. In the meantime, they offer a three bottle Angel in Waiting Welcome Pack when you sign up to become an Angel – it should arrive in your first carton.
And, if you email me, I can provide you with a $50 gift code to redeem towards that first purchase.
I only recently discovered Naked Wines through a $50 redemption inside a Christmas present. Otherwise I’d have naively continued buying unoriginal wine from the local supermarket liquor outlet produced by the same industrial players with the same corporate greed ethos. Instead, I’ve become involved in funding the Australian wine industry and the little producers who make good wine in small batches. And I’m enjoying every affordable glass. And that is surely a big win for everybody.