Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

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Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Jim Grow » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:32 pm

I buy almost all my wine thru the web anymore since I can get FREE shipping thru WineAccess, Last call Wines and WTSO (wines Till Sold Out, thanks Sam for the info). For years I bought most of my wine thru Wine Exchange but with shipping at almost 4$/bottle now, I find it much more attractive to buy on-line. I live out in the sticks 60 mi. from the nearest quality wine store so that is not an option. Where do you all buy the majority of your wine on-line?
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Drew Hall » Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:52 pm

I also use WTSO, Pops wine on occasion, Last Bottle and Chambers Street Wines. I hit many home runs last year with Last Bottle.

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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Dale Williams » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:50 pm

The largest part of my non-auction purchases comes through local (NY) retailers, primarily Chambers St Wines and Grapes the Wine Company. I pay tax but pickup so no shipping. I actually usually order from CSW via website. With Grapes I order exclusively by email (their website prices don't look so great, but if you are on Daniel's email list pricing is VERY sharp). Zachys has high regular pricing, but also sometimes has sharp deals via email list.

I;ve been on the lists for Last Bottle, WTSO, Vitis, and Cinderella (Wine Library). I bought quite a few things, but not much lately, my strict rule of thumb now is "would I have considered buying this at retail?" - if not, really doesn't matter what the deal is, as I have a lot of wine. I really don't need wine just because its a "good deal" (that took some time to sink in).

Actually, from flash sites about only things I've bought in last year or two is bubbly, most of the still wines have just not pushed my buttons, except
from some Coudert and Bachelet at Cindy.

I also sometime purchase from PC (instock only), Pops, Woodland Hills, Winex, Wine Connection, Astor, Envoyer, HDH, etc. I should add that JJBuckley often has pricing (on better stuff) on par with flash sites if you get "private client" guy.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:56 pm

Chambers Street Wines, Crush and Last Bottle cover 95% of my activity.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Rahsaan » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Living in Nyc I don't buy any wine on the internet, but when I'm outside of Nyc that is a different story.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Mark Lipton » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:27 pm

Living in flyover country with few good retailers, I buy from a number of websites: CSW, Crush, Envoyer and Selection Massale. These days, they account for about 90% of my (non-auction) wine purchases.

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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Salil » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:44 pm

CSW, Crush and HDH account for about 95% of my retail spending.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:11 pm

CSW. Used to be CSW and North Berkeley, but (1) we got a local store that has a direct pipeline to NBW, and (2) I tended to find CSW's portfolio more consistently to my liking, with NBW more on the spoofy/trophy side. Not that they don't have some splendid bottles. But now I can get them 5 minutes from home for a markup that's much lower than shipping.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Ryan M » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:55 pm

K and L, Winechateau, Flickinger, occasionally WTSO and Last Bottle. If I have a particular wine in mind, I use wine-searcher to find the lowest price, and buy from whichever site that is.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Tom Troiano » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:21 pm

I have never purchased a single bottle online.

I bought many mature wines from Chicago Wine Company in the 1980s to "start" a cellar but back then it was a paper catalog and I haven't done that in 20 years.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Jim Grow » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:38 pm

I see that Last Bottle has NO free shipping so they will not be high on my list of providers.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Joshua Kates » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:26 pm

I'm with Dale,

I buy less and less from the "flash sale" sites, though I, too, caught the Bachelet at Cindy, and along with champagne and Sancerre, some of the ridiculously cheap Burgundy offerings on WTSO I find hard to resist.

I buy more and more from CSW, but also Flickinger's and Woodland Hills, which often have very good deals, the former especially if you are on their email list. I like Crush's offerings (who wouldn't) but not their shipping charges. (Are they giving you a special rate, Mark?) And, as Dale notes, Zachy's listed prices are almost always too high. Benchmark seems to be competitively priced, and sometimes has good sales, and I have done well, especially on Bordeaux, as a "private client" on JJB.

Finally, like Ryan, I sometimes use Wine-searcher--but a word of warning. I found the de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny (Village) 2008 @ $71 that way from one seller...well, Tribeca Wine Merchants, and jumped on it. 2-3 weeks later, an unheard of amount of time (I had put it on shipping hold) they contacted me and told me it was sold out. I still wonder what happened there.

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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Sam Platt » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:44 pm

WTSO, Sokolin, K&L and JJ Buckley.

I can't find an auction site that ships to Indiana.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Mark Lipton » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:08 am

Sam Platt wrote:WTSO, Sokolin, K&L and JJ Buckley.

I can't find an auction site that ships to Indiana.


HDH does, Sam. I'm proof of that.

Josh: no special rates from Crush, but I consolidate my purchases and, in the past few years, have frequently picked them up on site when in NYC.

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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Jenise » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:28 pm

Dale Williams wrote: I really don't need wine just because its a "good deal" (that took some time to sink in).


I feel your pain! It took me YEARS to comes to terms with the fact that the good deals weren't going to stop and I didn't have to reward every good offer by partaking if they weren't wines I'd have sought out in the first place.

These days, I am pretty strictly a west coast buyer. Too weird and expensive to ship across the country, so rely primarily on K&L and JJ Buckley. As well, I have pretty solid in-state connections. Through one friend I can get wines from a certain distributor at cost, and through another, any wine available in WA state distribution channels at wholesale plus 10%. Also, still buy previously owned wines on WineBid. Have never purchased from a flash site: have registered with a few, but I've never seen any offer so compelling I bit.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Sam Platt » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:43 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:HDH does, Sam. I'm proof of that.

Thanks Mark. I have to admit that I was unaware of Hart Davis Hart. I will give them a try.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Drew Hall » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:20 pm

Jim Grow wrote:I see that Last Bottle has NO free shipping so they will not be high on my list of providers.


They ship free if you purchase the stated amount for free shipping.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:29 pm

It's crazy, but most of my online buying is from the West Coast. I'll place an order with Chambers St. and Crush here in NY on occasion, and usually pick it up to save on shipping costs, but it's a heck of a lot easier to order and have shipped, so I deal with places that charge fair shipping fees. I'm very particular about the places I buy from, so I don't jump on any of these sales, and do quite a bit of business with a guy in Southern California who runs a small business selling many of Kermit Lynch imports, as well as other Burgundies. He does not have a website so I order via email. Other than him, from California, I like Woodland Hills, K & L, Wine Exchange, and Rare Wine Co. Premier Cru can be frustrating, but I've gotten some terrific deals from them, and I just don't buy anything I'm in a hurry to receive.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:53 pm

For those of you who do most of your wine purchasing online, I'm curious as to why you choose online rather than from retail shops. Is it due to lack of good retail wine shops in your area? Lack of selection or high prices at local retail shops?
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:29 pm

Joy - for me, it's all of the above. Local shops are more liquor stores selling wine, and what they have are the massed produced wines that are not of interest. At this time, I am mostly buying Burgundy and Barolo, both current releases and backfilling. My interests are not served by my local merchants, and I wish they were.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Ryan M » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:51 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:For those of you who do most of your wine purchasing online, I'm curious as to why you choose online rather than from retail shops. Is it due to lack of good retail wine shops in your area? Lack of selection or high prices at local retail shops?


I estimate that I only buy 15% of my wine online, and that for building the cellar and for special tastings.

Since we're on the subject, what wine shops can you recommend in Omaha?
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:18 pm

Ryan M wrote:
Joy Lindholm wrote:For those of you who do most of your wine purchasing online, I'm curious as to why you choose online rather than from retail shops. Is it due to lack of good retail wine shops in your area? Lack of selection or high prices at local retail shops?


I estimate that I only buy 15% of my wine online, and that for building the cellar and for special tastings.

Since we're on the subject, what wine shops can you recommend in Omaha?


Sadly, not many. :( The selection in Omaha is quite dismal, but there are a couple of shops that are good about working with you and ordering things you can't find. The Winery is one of them. Also, Spirit World is ok - but I mostly like them for their boutique spirits and single malt selection, rather than for wine. Avoid Brix like the plague, unless you are hunting for mass-produced, overpriced domestic wines. :twisted: I would really love to open up a boutique wine shop that specializes in small production, naturally made, grower-producer wines that no one else sells in our market....if only a wad of cash or an investor were to be found...
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Jenise » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:00 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:For those of you who do most of your wine purchasing online, I'm curious as to why you choose online rather than from retail shops. Is it due to lack of good retail wine shops in your area? Lack of selection or high prices at local retail shops?


Much like Diane. Although I have some great local options that most people don't have as detailed in my first response, variety in the areas I'm especially interested in is something of an issue. I do love looking at/handling bottles in person, though, and making the serendipitous discovery that online buying tends to negate, so even at normal prices the retail adventure of the type I used to enjoy when I lived in Los Angeles is something I definitely miss.
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Re: Who are your favorite web wine-buying sites?

Postby Sam Platt » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:24 pm

Ryan M wrote:I estimate that I only buy 15% of my wine online, and that for building the cellar and for special tastings.

Same here. Less than 20% of my wine purchases are online. Almost all of my online buys are for the cellar or special occasions. Though I have been buying same daily drinker stuff from WTSO recently.
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