– Where To Buy Wine | My Comprehensive Guide –
One of the most frequent questions I am asked is, “Where do you buy your wine?” This is an incredibly important question and it was about time I put an answer in writing!
Whether you’re a regular wine drinker or a special occasion wine drinker, the question of where to buy your wine can be a tough one, especially if you want great selection paired with great prices. You might be surprised just how much wine prices and breadth of selection can vary.
But fortunately the wine buying landscape has changed for the better and has almost become exciting. With the proliferation of the internet wine retailers, wine flash sales websites and big box wholesale spaces, your options are far more varied than they were merely ten years ago. The following are my favorite options for where to buy wine:
Winecrasher | Their Unique Model Means Even Deeper Discounts – Where To Buy Wine
Want access to the wines from some of the worlds best wineries, at a serious discount? How about from those wineries that are too concerned with their brand image to sell to the usual wine flash sites you’re already familiar with? Enter my latest discovery: Winecrasher.
Unlike the increasingly popular wine flash sales websites out there, Winecrasher has a very unique model that draws inspiration from the Priceline/Hotwire “Crash Pricing” system. The way it works is that Winecrasher reveals all of the relevant details about a wine before you buy (the varietal, the region it’s from, the retail price, rating) except for the actual producers name. Then after you make your purchase, the producer is revealed instantly in your shopping cart.
My first experience trying out Winecrasher for myself was exciting. I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical at first, without knowing who actually produced the wines I was buying. But after scoring an in-demand 95 point Oakville Cabernet from a seriously respectable producer at 21% off of an already reasonable retail price, I was hooked.
Plus, one of the wines I paid merely $15 for was rated 93 points by Parker and coincidentally was a wine I was just recommending to a friend and was thinking about hunting down to review. Needless to say, I was impressed! So after you check out Winecrasher, make sure to let me know about the great wine deals you scored!
Last Bottle | A Well-Connected Napa Based Wine Flash Seller – Where To Buy Wine
Think of Last Bottle as being similar to Wines Til Sold Out, but with a slightly more upscale twist in the wine flash sales department. Based in Napa Valley, the owners of Last Bottle are self-described wine drinkers, collectors and damn fine tasters. They leverage their extensive industry relationships to source all sorts of mouth watering deals, with especially great finds coming out of Napa Valley. The prices are usually quite good, although not always as compelling as WTSO.
What also makes Last Bottle fun is that if you happen to be the lucky guy or gal to purchase the “Last Bottle”, you receive a credit of $50 in your account to use towards future Last Bottle purchases. With that being said, I have purchased a healthy amount of wine from Last Bottle and have yet to purchase the last bottle! Additionally, refrigerated ground shipping is free with a reasonable minimum purchase. I definitely recommend that you check out Last Bottle. To get an account credit just for signing up, click here!
Trader Joe’s | No Longer Just ‘2 Buck Chuck’ – Where To Buy Wine | Wine Flash Sales
Though the ever popular grocer built it’s reputation as a prominent wine retailer by exclusively selling the famously inexpensive Charles Shaw wine brand, there are far more reasons to shop here than just the ‘2 Buck Chuck’. Though the selections still focus on value-oriented offerings, there is a great deal of interesting wine to choose from. If you’re looking for a good wine and you’re on a budget, Trader Joe’s is hard to beat. Check out my Guide to Trader Joe’s Wine Prices with Top Recommended Wines!
Wines Til Sold Out (WTSO) | The Beginning of Wine Flash Sales – Where To Buy Wine
Wines Til Sold Out is one of my favorite places to buy wine. This no-frills online approach to wine buying features one wine at a time, discounted from 30% to 70% off of retail, until it’s sold out. The prices are tough to beat and if you buy the minimum (usually 3 to 4 bottles) there is no shipping cost!
They pioneered the now popular online wine flash sales space and are still leading the pack with a loyal following, tremendous pricing power and first rate customer service. I buy quite a bit of my wine from WTSO and it keeps me drinking well and enjoying wine for less!
Costco | Big Brands, Costco Prices – Where To Buy Wine | Wine Flash Sales
Costco has become the number one retailer of wine, worldwide, and the reasons become clear after just one visit. With a great selection of highly commercial wines as well as constantly changing under-the-radar gems, Costco has become a favorite when the question of where to buy wine arises. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Costco has a self-imposed restriction on their profit margins (~13%) for each product they sell!
Oh and don’t miss the Kirkland Signature wines either! From a $4 Costco Pinot Grigio to a $1,400 bottle of Chateau Latour, Costco has something for everyone. For more check out my posts on Shopping for Wine at Costco and my Guide to Costco Wine Prices and Top Recommended Wines.
Wine Library/Cinderella Wine | Brick and Mortar & Online Power-Retailer – Where To Buy Wine
If you’ve heard of The Wine Library, it probably has something to do with their affiliation with Gary Vaynerchuck. Gary Vaynerchuck has become somewhat of a social media/branding powerhouse. It was he who transformed his father’s Springfield, NJ liquor store into the mega wine-retailer it is today, in part through his popular Wine Library TV podcasts.
While Gary has moved on to focus his energies on his consulting project VaynerMedia, Wine Library has continued to grow and be a great source for top-flight wine at great prices, like the Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas pictured above. They also have a great website for online shopping as well.
Cinderella Wine is an arm of Wine Library, and is much like WTSO and Last Bottle in that it features one bottle or wine assortment at a time, at a heavily discounted price with free shipping. I have picked up some great finds at incredible prices on the Cinderella Wine website and it is worth following.
– The Following Have Become Fading Stars Amongst My “Where To Buy Wine” Favorites –
Total Wine & More | The Wal-Mart of Wine Stores – Where To Buy Wine | Wine Flash Sales
Total Wine was once one of my absolute favorite places to shop for wine. With literally thousands of different wines to choose from and prices that were tough to beat, I was like a kid in a candy store. They even host weekly wine tastings which are posted on their calendar of events!
Unfortunately however my love of Total Wine has somewhat faded. As they have become increasingly popular and have expanded their “Winery Direct” wine program (where they cut out the middle men), their prices have subsequently increased. I even mentioned to one of the employees that their prices had gone up pretty significantly and he simply agreed with me.
And what I especially don’t like is how they advertise having the best price for a list of popular, highly commercial wines. These bottles are indeed slightly cheaper than much of the competition and are usually the bottles with a price ending in *7, yet the majority of their selections are not on this list and aren’t always priced so competitively. And those wines with the least competitive prices seem to be most recommended by the staff.
And on that note… I often go by the recommendations of those working in a wine shop. They usually know their selections pretty well and have tasted through them prior to selling them. Having said that, several of the bottles that have been recommended to me were very disappointing and if I had gone with my own instinct and buying experience I would have been much happier!
Wine.Woot! | Woot Is No Longer Such a Hoot! – Where To Buy Wine | Wine Flash Sales
Wine.Woot was another online favorite for quite some time. They used to offer great wine selections at pretty unbeatable pricing, and shipping was never more than $5! Another big Wine Woot advantage is that most of the wines you buy are shipped directly from the winery’s cellars, meaning that the provenance is excellent and you can rest assured that your wine hasn’t been sitting in a dusty corner for years at a wine shop!
Unfortunately since being acquired by Amazon, the quality of the deals and the pricing has become considerably less exciting. By all means don’t give up on Wine Woot entirely, but be mindful that some significant corporate changes have taken place at this famously quirky outpost.
Wine Shopper | Wine.com’s Answer to the Flash Sale Website – Where To Buy Wine
Wine Shopper features a daily assortment of wines that Wine.com is discounting and offering with free shipping when your order totals $99. Offerings range from inexpensive table wine options to high end wines from prestigious producers.