Online Wine-Buying Tips

We are buying wine online like never before. Winebusiness.com reports that online sales of alcohol are up 234% over the previous year. The wineries are closed, and so are many wine shops. Many of us are sheltering in place and not about to enter stores. The Baby Boomers, in particular, are shopping online to keep safe at home.

online wine buying tips
Fed Ex truck delivering wine to my house

Online wine shopping takes many forms. You can order from a wine shop, a winery, a wine flash sale site, and from supermarkets. Here we go with our online wine shopping tips.

Online Wine-Buying Tips

Shipping costs

Shipping costs vary depending on where you are buying the wine. K&L Wines charged me $12 to deliver a mixed case of wine to my house, 15 miles distance. K&L uses its own shipping service. Wine.com charges $37 to ship a case of wine.

Wineries are all over the map with shipping costs. If they want to sell their wine, they should be offering discounts and no shipping fees. Shop until you find a winery you know that is selling wines at a discount and with no shipping costs.

Flash Wine sites always have shipping included if you buy the correct amount of wine. You can also use services like Instacart to buy wines at grocery stores on their list. Using Instacart will add costs to your wine purchases.

Wine shipments require the buyer to show that they are of drinking age. Ordinarily, you need to show I.D. and then sign for the wine. Not these days! If you look clearly over 21, ask them to sign for you, and they will. My UPS guy knows me and will ring the bell, place the package down, and walk away.

Hot Weather and Wine

High temperatures are not good for wine. If you are getting a shipment from the wine country, the window is closing. Summer is too risky. Most wineries will not ship wine in the Summer. You can still purchase wine, and have them ship it the Fall. You might just get a great deal that way.

The problem with online wine sales

Flash Wine Sales

Flash wine sale Websites have been around since 2011. See our review. The latest and most significant seems to be the Last Bottle out of the Napa Valley. Today’s wine offering is a bottle of Cuvaison Estate Chardonnay for $16. I checked with Wine-Searcher.com for the best price on the wine. Elsewhere the wine is $18 and does not include shipping. So, yes, this is a good deal. However, will you like this bottle of wine? That is the question for anyone buying flash wines. Unless you have tried the wine previously, you may or may not get something you like. Russian Roulette?

We recently received an email from a Dry Creek Valley winery offering a “sampler case of hand-picked premium wines” for $140, with free shipping. The problem with the sale is that they do not indicate the wines. The winery has a great reputation, but am I willing to take a chance when I do not know the vintage nor the varietals of wine in the shipment? Vintage Taster Bruce did try the offer with mixed results. Several of the wines he received are not listed on their Website. When is a wine sale, not really a wine sale?

online wine buying tips
The good old days of the tasting room and buying wine at a winery

If you have visited tasting rooms in the wine country, you’re more than likely being bombarded with emails about wine sales and virtual tastings. Here is where your knowledge and experience with the winery will help you decide whether or not to buy the sale wine. It is also a way of helping out the small wineries survive this period.

Wine-Searcher.com and 1000 Corks are my go-to sources to find the average price of the wine. The Wine-Searcher will also provide the latest ratings of a wine. Now get ready to buy some wine online!

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Comments

  1. Excellent post on the pitfalls of on line shopping. The mention of Bruce highlights one of the problems. I was taken back by the news that the new Cam Hughes wine is still in barrels. That means letting the bottles sit for a month to get over bottle shock.

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