There is No Such Thing as a Free Wine
Dear Ontario WineAligners,
“For the cost of a good bottle of wine we’ll help you discover hundreds of great ones”
We’re moving forward with some important changes to better deliver great wine recommendations to your inbox and smartphone. As of the September 17th VINTAGES release, we are broadening the benefits for paid members and lowering the premium membership cost to $35, and introducing the option to pay $9.95 for a three-month period, so that you can trial it for less.
Non-paying members will now have access to our New Releases, top recommendations and top-pick lists, but not until 30 days after publication.
We’ve expanded paid member benefits as well with immediate access to:
• Latest scores and reviews of all wines
• Top Recommendations in our VINTAGES Buyers’ Guides
• VINTAGES New Releases section containing all wines in the release
• John Szabo’s First-In-Line report
• Release top-pick lists: Lawrason’s Take, John’s Smart Buys, etc.
• Our popular “If I Could Only Buy One Wine” feature
Paid members now get first crack at tickets for our wine events before they go on general sale and quickly sell out.
And there are more benefits. We’ve invested into a newly launched mobile website, iPhone app and Android app to make using WineAlign on your smartphone very convenient. Users can now quickly and easily have the country’s finest palates at your fingertips while shopping at the LCBO, visiting a winery or choosing a wine from a restaurant list.
Since launching WineAlign in 2008 we have grown to become Canada’s largest wine website. We now have over 100,000 registered users from Canada and are expecting one million unique Canadian visitors to our website in 2016. We have been successful, and are grateful for your continued support. We’ve achieved this success by remaining committed to objectivity and journalistic integrity, and by creating high-quality, original wine content and publishing thousands of wine reviews annually on the website.
To do so we employ twelve of Canada’s top palates – peer-respected, full-time, independent critics who we believe are best in the country. Our system ensures that wines are reviewed fairly, accurately and objectively; consensus is more robust than individual ratings. Perhaps most importantly, our multi-reviewer approach provides you with different perspectives to help “align” your buying decisions.
As we hope you appreciate, this approach costs money. When we launched WineAlign back in 2008 we invited the majority of visitors to use the site for free, counting on the bulk of our revenue to be generated from advertising. That model worked, up to a point. But now, eight years on it’s an entirely different digital landscape, and we face the same pressures as publishers, digital and print, all over the world. The advertising models of the past don’t work today; our new economic model reflects these realities.
These changes mean that we can continue to be an independent publishing company offering a professional and objective service for you, our readers. We sincerely hope you think that’s worth something. At $35/year – the cost of one fine wine – we’ll put you in front of dozens, if not hundreds of great wines, before they sell out. For non-paying members, all of our VINTAGES features are now available after a 30-day period.
If you would like to discuss our new plans in greater detail, please reach out to us. We remain aligned, in wine, with you.
Become a paid member and drink better wine.