Frequently Asked Questions
How is your model different from traditional wine merchants?
The traditional model in the wine trade is to acquire the wine up front which requires working capital that needs to be financed. The wine is then shipped to the destination and warehoused in proximity to where it will be sold. This adds costs for warehousing, labor, utilities and often delivery vans. Finally, much wine is sold in retail stores and that adds additional cost for rental, utilities and retail staff. Modern Wine Club has a radically different model in that we secure time limited allocations from suppliers to offer to our wine club members. That way we avoid working capital. In addition, your orders are picked, packed and labeled with your address by the supplier and then shipped to your door. This way, we avoid the cost of warehousing and retail operations and pass on the cost savings to our wine club members.
Moreover, we leverage the full power of analytical chemistry and data science to train a data model with the individual wine preferences of our wine club members. We do this through a palate survey, by acquiring 200,000+ datapoints from each bottle of wine through analytical chemistry studies and by having our members continuously rate the wines. This allows us to source wines that fit the preferences of our wine club members.
How do you ship the wine?
We ship each bottle of wine protected inside secure wine shippers. The wine cartons are individually labelled with the Singapore address of our wine club members, then put on wooden pallets and string wrapped. The pallets are placed inside a refrigerated “reefer” container with the temperature set to 14 degrees Celsius for the duration of the journey. The reefer container is equipped with a backup power generator in case of loss of power. This is in contrast to much of the wine sold in Singapore. It is unfortunately common practice by many wine shops, supermarket chains, hotels and restaurants to save money by shipping in wine in dry containers leaving it to “cook” during the long ocean journey. This is especially common for wine bottles selling for less than SGD 100 per bottle in Singapore.
When will I get my wine?
We normally ship every two months from the Port of Oakland in California and the passage takes 26 days plus port clearance and last mile delivery in Singapore.
Is there a minimum order quantity?
Retail customers need to order at least 6 bottles of wine in total given the cost of last mile delivery in Singapore. The minimum order per bottle of wine is 3 bottles. For members, we take orders of at least 6 bottles in total without a minimum order per bottle. These orders are processed manually by our back office team.
Where will my wine be delivered?
Our Singapore logistics partner will deliver your wine directly to your door in Singapore with alcohol excise duty and GST having been paid. This is unlike the separate payments typically collected when private individuals import wine into Singapore using leading courier companies.
Do you ship elsewhere than Singapore?
We currently ship directly to all residential addresses in Singapore together with some forwarding of wine to members in Bangkok. We are exploring bringing Modern Wine Club to other markets. Please sign-up here so that we know that you’d like us to come to your city.
Do I have the opportunity to taste the wine before ordering?
We organize regular wine tasting sessions in person as well as over Zoom with tasting kits delivered on the day of wine tasting. Join our mailing list on the home page to get invitations to tasting events.
Why are your prices in USD?
Most of our costs are in USD so this provides a natural hedge against currency fluctuations.
Why do you add USD 22 per bottle handling fee?
Conventional wine retailers have a substantial margin built into the price of the bottles that they sell. Our model is entirely different so we add USD 22 per bottle to cover the charges for Singapore alcohol excise duty, Singapore GST (sales tax), payment gateway processing fees and end-to-end logistics. Our members like the transparency of the price of the wine displayed separately from taxes and logistics. Members get a 3% discount for cash payments for orders processed by our back office team.