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A merchant based in Oxford - Individual Wines offer an interesting range of slightly older vintages from across the world. Quantities are small with Richard, the chap behind the enterprise, snapping up little parcels from here and there (auctions from accredited cellars for example) and offering them at, what seems to be, very good prices.

Richard wrote to me a few days ago; he wanted to point out that he believes his prices are "20% below the next cheapest retailer I can find" but also to mention his pre-arrival offers. "As the wines take a while to get to Oxford after purchase I offer "pre arrival" discounts on the basis that people may have to wait a couple of weeks before I can deliver. Consequently I always have offers on. I intend to do a monthly e-mailing to anyone who is interested detailing the latest deals."

This sounds like an ideal way to save even more money; the only concern is the relatively high delivery charge. Most merchants absorb some of the cost (you wouldn't believe how much couriers charge!) and add a mark-up to each bottle to cover the rest. Individual Wines is up-front about the cost at least. Although a one case charge of £11.69 is a touch high perhaps, each subsequent case is just £4.94.

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