Compare The Best Places to Buy Wine Online

February 23, 2015 Blog » Wine News & Entertainment » Compare The Best Places to Buy Wine Online

best-places-buy-wine-onlinebest-places-buy-wine-onlineWhat are the best places to buy wine online? We selected 9 top online wine retailers in the US and compared them based on selection, pricing, quality, features and site experience.

last updated February 23, 2015

Compare The Best Places to Buy Wine Online wine buying online review

Selection: over 10,000 wines
Focus: California, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône and Oregon
Value: Good
Pricing: 66% of wines are over $30

  • largest wine selection available in the US
  • over 2000 wines under $25
  • Sort by clearance, direct buys, organic and wine scores
  • old and rare wines
  • tasting notes
  • auctions
  • wine clubs ( at $20, $30, $50 and $70/mo)
  • personal sommelier service
  • will ship to select storage facilities

Shipping: $13 for 2, $25 for 6 (cross-country Fedex Ground). Many shipping options
Location: Redwood City, CA
Summary: At first look, K&L Wine Merchants has a circa 2001 look, but once you get browsing you begin to realize that it offers more wine than any other online retailer. The selection is clearly curated, even on the low sub-$10 end where it looks like they are very careful to avoid fake relabeled bulk juice wines. One neat search feature is the ‘Direct Buy’ sort which shows wines that K&L Wines import. The site is quick to load and a pleasure to gawk at. review buy wines online

Selection: over 8,500 wines
Focus: US wines
Pricing: most wines under $30
Value: Average

  • Large selection of California, Washington, New York and Oregon wines
  • Mixed Packs of 2, 3, 4 and 6 bottles
  • Sort by food pairing, user rating, professional score
  • 1-cent shipping wines

Shipping: ~$10 per shipment (1–6 bottles)
Location: n/a
Summary: A wine marketplace powered by and fulfilled by wineries, importers and distributors around the US. Because the site welcomes independent wineries that may have little to no distribution otherwise, you’ll see many wines on here that you won’t see on other wine shops. On the one hand, this is really cool because you can be exposed to independent producers. On the other hand, if you’re new to wine and don’t know how to look for quality, it’s hard to be sure that you’re getting the product you want. Be sure to select your state before you start browsing.

winebid ebay of online wine buying

Selection: over 7,500 wines
Focus: fine, rare and collectible wines
Pricing: 82% are over $30
Value: varies

  • ebay-like wine auction
  • Buy it now wines
  • tasting notes
  • Cellar management tools ($30/year)
  • Sell your wine collection

Shipping: market rate
Location: n/a
Summary: WineBid is like the ebay of online wine buying. The site is populated with wines from collector’s cellars and importers/distributors wanting to sell directly to customers. The user experience isn’t flashy but it is fast and easy to navigate. One exciting feature is the ‘Buy it Now’ wines which offer sub-$20 options that are screaming deals. All in all, is designed for experts and no-doubt feels immense and daunting for the novice. Before you dive in, keep in mind that sales are final.

totalwine large selection of cheap wine online

Selection: over 7,500 wines
Focus: Cheap bold red wine
Pricing: 72% are under $30
Value: Average to Good

  • Large selection (1900+) of wines under $10
  • Sort by Ratings
  • Tasting notes available on most wines
  • Cigars, Beer and Accessories
  • Event calendar for classes, tastings in store
  • Local store pick up available in 15 states
  • Shipping to all 50 US states

Shipping: $15 for 2 or 6 bottles (cross-country UPS ground). Many shipping options.
Location: Maryland
Summary: This site is geared toward value-seeking, bold red wine drinkers offering a large selection from California, Washington and Bordeaux. Since the selection is designed for low prices, it does have a large number of average-to-low quality wines which require savvy shopping. Total Wine is the only online wine store that ships to all 50 states. The site user experience does feel a bit clunky with slow page loads but checkout is easy. review buy wine online

Selection: over 7,000 wines
Focus: California and New World wines
Pricing: 45% are under $30
Value: Low

  • Free shipping membership for $49/yr
  • Chat with an expert
  • Sort by reviewer, rating, flavor profile, charitable wines, etc
  • Advanced wine search
  • Daily Deal site
  • Wine Club options
  • Large accessories selection
  • Blog with educational topics and bottle sales links
  • Tasting notes, vintage rating comparisons and flavor profiles on nearly all wines
  • Shipping: $15 for 2 bottles, $22 for 6 (cross-country UPS ground). Many shipping options.
    Location: San Francisco
    Summary: This site is fun to explore because of all the different ways to sort, search and explore wines. The selection is geared toward the bolder fruit-loving palate with tons of California, US and New World wines from Australia, Argentina and Chile. Below $15, the US wine selection should generally be avoided. After texting several people who offer guidance on the ‘Chat with an Expert’ pop-up, we confirmed that they are indeed knowledgeable and work on-site in San Francisco. The checkout is easy and tells you when the order will ship (e.g. ‘will ship today if you order in the next 1 hour’). The only unfortunate thing about was that the prices seemed high for what you get, particularly in the sub-$20 realm. wine buying site online

    Selection: over 3,000 wines
    Focus: Napa and Burgundy
    Pricing: 50% are under $30
    Value: Very Good

    • Tasting notes on most wines
    • Sort by Reviewer, Free-Shipping wines, 90+ wines
    • Fun wine sales-geared blog
    • Daily Deal site
    • WineLibraryTV
    • – 1000 episodes (2006–2011)

    Location: New Jersey
    Shipping: $15 for 2 bottles, $22 for 6 (cross-country UPS ground). Many shipping options.
    Summary: Overall, site has a great selection of still wines priced over $15. There are also many high end wines over $30 that were very low priced for what they were. Below $15, the US wine selection should generally be avoided. We did, however, spot several sub-$15 gems from other regions like Portugal, Greece, Germany, Argentina, South Africa and Australia. The shopping and browsing experience is easy and logical with many ways to sort. At the shipping screen, the site even had a ‘poor weather warning’ indicating that they would hold shipments for free until it was safe to ship. in NYC buying wine online

    Selection: over 1,500 wines
    Focus: Affordable French and Italian wines
    Pricing: over 50% are under $30
    Value: Average

    • Additional 10% Off when you buy a case
    • Tasting notes on most wines
    • Educational notes on wine varieties and regions

    Location: New York
    Shipping: ~$20 for cross-country UPS ground shipping. Free for first time orders over $100.
    Summary: A fun selection of unique and affordable European wines along with a few New World wine choices. The user experience is a little overwhelming with several drop down menus requiring that you really know what region/varietal you want. Of course, if you know what you want, you might enjoy this. However, if your search returns more than 100 results they are truncated to just 100 wines, which is annoying if you like to browse. Checkout experience is good and offers a shipping calculator but only ground as a shipping option.

    chambersstwines ecclectic unique european wines online

    Selection: over 1,200 wines
    Focus: Old world wines
    Pricing: most wines are over $30
    Value: Average to Low

    • Large selection of Biodynamic, Natural and Organic wines
    • off-the-beat German, Austrian French and Italian selection
    • Every wine is curated

    Location: New York
    Shipping Cost: Free UPS ground shipping for our $70 wine order
    Summary: The wine selection on this site is very unique and clearly on the trending side of what people like in New York City. Wines tend to be expensive but the expense affords exceptional wines that have clearly been vetted by the staff. The online user experience is somewhat frustrating because the Advanced Search feature has limited options that don’t seem geared for regular wine consumers (e.g. you could search by distributor). Checkout was easy but does require an account and payment information before showing shipping options.

    high end fine italian and french wine online

    Selection: about 1,200 wines
    Focus: high-end Italian wine
    Pricing: most wines are over $100
    Value: Average

    • Accessories, glassware, wine boxes and misc. antique corkscrews
    • A ‘daily deal’ of super premium wine
    • high end Italian wine clubs prices from $99–280/mo
    • Cellar management services, Wine Investment Portfolio Management
    • A personable blog

    Location: New York
    Summary: High end Italian wines offered at moderately fair values. Wine selection is small but is clearly curated by people who care and who are in-the-know. The user experience is not fun, because of difficultly finding and sorting wines.


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    By Madeline Puckette
    I'm a certified sommelier and creator of the NYT Bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Find me out there in the wine world @WineFolly