Let me be the first to say that almost nothing beats the convenience, confidence, and quality that shopping at a good local wine shop can offer. By shopping at a local store you can get to know the staff, and perhaps more importantly they can get to know you. They can learn what you like, what you don’t like, and what your budget is and then make insightful recommendations. Plus there is the added community benefit of spending as many of your dollars as possible in a local business.
All of that said, there are simply times when your local shop just isn’t what you need. Maybe they are closed and you are in the mood to find a new bottle, maybe you are looking for something specific or hard to find, or maybe there just simply isn’t a high quality wine store in your neighborhood. Whatever your reason for taking to the web to find your next bottle – I am willing to bet you quickly find that there are 100s of online wine retailers.
This is by no way a comprehensive review – but below are a few of the sites I have found good success with.
www.lastbottlewines.com This has quickly become my favorite sale site. Every time I have ordered wine from them it has arrived quickly and in great condition – and better yet, whether I knew the label before or not every wine I have purchased has been delicious. Last Bottle, through close relationships with winemakers and distributors, gets an allotment of wine and then offers it at a discount until it’s gone.
The one draw back of Last Bottle is that the deals are offered individually so even if you purchase two deals in a row (in the same day) they ship separately.
That said, from excellent california cabernet to hard to find italian reds – Last Bottle Wines offers it all at a great price. Some of the best deals I have gotten recently include:
- 2009 Oakville Terraces Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Grown – normally $110 a bottle, but on sale for $35 a bottle.
- 2010 Cabreo Il Borgo Toscano – normally $50 a bottle, but on sale for $35 a bottle.
www.invino.com While they don’t always offer as big a discount as some of the other sites – they usually have more active sales than most of the sites I have seen. The nice part about having more sales is that it lets you bundle together multiple wines in your shipment – saving you considerably on shipping costs.
If you hit it on just the right day you can find a nice combination of good buys – and sometimes I use it to try new wines they recommend. Some of the best buys I have picked up from invino so far are:
- 2008 Scarpone Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Tribute” – normally $60 a bottle, but on sale from invino for $38.
- 2009 Baxter Anderson Valley Pinot Noir – normally normally $35 a bottle, but on sale from invino for $22.
**invino recently stopped delivering to my home state of NY.
www.CinderellaWine.com is the flash sale site associated with online mega retailer Wine Library Sales. I have used it a few times – while it does not offer more than one flash sale at a time, you can usually find higher quality wines from this site than from some of the others. You can also include any bottles from Wine Library Sales with your shipment to save on shipping.
Some good deals I have found on Cinderella Wine include:
- 2008 Vieille Julienne Chateauneuf du Pape – normally $65 a bottle, but on sale from Cinderella Wine for $40.
- 2012 Foucher Lebrun Sancerre Le Mont – normally $20 a bottle, but on sale from Cinderella Wine for $14.44.
www.thewinespies.com I have not yet ordered a bottle from The Wine Spies but I have noticed that they frequently have good deals. Located in Sonoma, California, The Wine Spies offer one deal per day. Where The Wine Spies set themselves apart is in their careful and detailed reviews of each and every wine they list on their site. When hunting for new wines at bargain prices these detailed reviews can be VERY helpful.
Some deals currently listed on their site include:
- 2007 Petronius Wines Chianti Classico – normally listed at $27 a bottle, but on sale from The Wine Spies for $18.49.
- 2006 William White Wines Nappa Valley Merlot – normally listed at $36 a bottle, but on sale from The Wine Spies for $24.