Is your state among the many that now allow wine shipments to come direct to your door? As a New York resident who enjoys California wine, I was almost unconsolable when my favorite online source closed up shop earlier this year. Could Lot18 Wine be just what I was looking for? This free, universal iOS app is an offshoot of the popular website of the same name. Lot18 Wine looks to be for wine what Gilt is to shopping; namely a service that offers a limited amount of a quality product at a modest discount.
While discount rates vary, the average markdown on Lot18 was around 30 percent, which is enough to generate a reasonable savings on wine over the long-term. While I haven’t ordered any wine from Lot18 (yet), the iPad app offered a clean UI that was enjoyable to use.
Website regulars will feel at home using the iPad version of Lot18 because the two offer the same merchandise and a similar experience. Although the wine club subscription is only available through the website.
In order to purchase anything from Lot18 the user needs to sign up for an account with the service, and be 21 years of age. Users who have registered on another platform can simply sign in.
Lot18 Claims to curate their offerings, so users can assume someone knowledgeable selected which wines to sell. The site also offers a money-back guarantee.
Upon opening the app for the first time, Lot18 requests to track the user’s location. This helps ensure the user only sees orders which she can purchase legally in her state of residence. When I switched my location from New York to Utah the app informed me that I couldn’t purchase any wine, but highlighted a set of Schott Zwiesel wineglasses that were permissible to order.
The app’s UI is basic and intuitive with a few small exceptions. There is a pull down menu at the top that seems like it should divide the selections into categories such as “Staffpicks,” “Wine,” “Select,” and “Mobile.” Staffpicks appeared identical to the full list, while mobile was completely empty. I would have preferred to search by region, to separate white from red and to automatically see the newest deals first, or have the option to sort the deals. While none of these aspects of the interface prevented me from using the app, it did make the experience a bit clunkier than it needed to be. For what it’s worth the website has these filters, but they don’t seem to work either.
Download Lot18 Wine for the iPad for free from the App Store.
What I liked: Lot18 sends users notifications when new wines arrive, which means I didn’t have to remember to check it regularly. The app tracks a user’s order whether placed on the iPad, iPhone, or computer.
What I didn’t like: Aside from the convoluted interface, it’s also unclear when a particular offer will expire.
To buy or not to buy: Lot18 is free to download, but (obviously) the wine isn’t. Most offerings ranged in price from $50 to $120 plus shipping for 3 to 6 bottles of wine. Wine drinkers who love return to the same favorites again and again my not benefit from Lot18 as much as curious oenophiles who are always hunting for something different.
- App Name: Lot18 Wine
- Version Reviewed: 1.5.3
- Category: Food & Drink
- Developer: L18 Holdings
- Price: Free