This was an easy list to write! I buy wine online for my job, over $100K worth every year for the Wine School of Philadelphia and the National Wine School. Here are the best places to buy wine online.
Top 5 Online Wine Shops
So here’s my list of wine shops that sell great wine and will ship to most addresses in the US.
Astor Wine & Spirits
Address: 399 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003
This is a great shop to buy wine online: If you are looking for the exciting and rare, this is the spot to shop. It’s very well-curated, and their “Staff Picks” are worthwhile, which is remarkable that it took me years to realize these recommendations were legit.
Often, there are wines here that don’t exist anywhere else in America, which makes sense: they are the wine shop in Manhattan. Want an excellent single-vineyard red wine from Mexico with an illustration of a Lucha libre’s buttocks on the back label? They got you covered. Want a few wines from the Canary Islands or some rare Georgian wines? Maybe you want wine from some of the best small wineries in Sonoma? They got you.
Pro tip: you can often get a 10% discount and free shipping for orders over $100 if you search hard enough.
Saratoga Wine Exchange
Address: 43 Round Lake Rd Suite #3, Ballston Lake, NY 12019
A current favorite here at the Wine School of Philadelphia and nationally at the National Wine School. The site is easy to navigate, has excellent pricing, and the inventory is deep and highly nuanced. Many of our online students have to buy wine online, and this is the shop we currently recommend.
Address: 586 Morris Ave, Springfield Township, NJ 07081
When you googled “buy wine online” for a decade, this was the first, second, and third result. This shop launched Gary Vaynerchuk into internet stardom. Since that time, they’ve had ups and downs, but they have earned their right to be on this list.
They offer great pricing on wine, most often the best available anywhere, which has been their calling card for a decade now. They recently expanded their shipping to almost all states, so getting wine isn’t a problem. They specialize in fine wines from well-known regions, so you should buy from WL if Barolo or Margaux is your jamb. Their search features are excellent, especially if you look for wines in a particular price category or point rating. Want a 92-point Grenache for $15? That will be easy to find.
Protip: If you buy a lot of wine online, you should sign up for their Library Pass program. It offers free shipping on most wines for a yearly subscription of $100. This allows for buying a few bottles at a time.
Wines Till Sold Out
Address: 1001 Route 73 South, Pennsauken, NJ 08110.
If you buy wine online, you must check out this site at least once a week. Born from a local Jersey wine shop named Roger Wilco, this online retailer grew to become one of the biggest online wine shops in the country.
Their business model –selling a small selection of wines at deep discounts– was not an original idea (the concept was the foundation of the Chairman’s Selection program across the river in Pennvyanvia), but they perfected it. Every day there is one featured wine for sale on the front page and a few other “Last Chance” bottles on the back page. Along with the substantial discounts, they offer free shipping with a minimum purchase of four bottles.
Protip: The discounts are real. But caveat emptor applies. Most of the wines they offer are insanely good, but there is always some dirt in a goldmine. So do a quick bit of online research before making any sizable purchase.
Address: 334 Boylston St Boston, MA
When you are buying wine online and want it delivered the same day, you need Drizly. Who doesn’t love the idea of getting wine delivered to your doorstep?
The geeks in Boston loved their booze so much that by 2016 they had two competing local services –Drizly and Buttery– when the rest of the country had none. Even L.A. had to wait another year before getting their Grey Goose delivered. Those two Beantown booze barons eventually merged into Drizly. While there are many other vendors in this space now, only Drizly can claim national reach.
Protip: This company offers amazing convenience, but there is a cost. What’s on offer here are national brands: you won’t find exotically beautiful wines or discount pricing. However, if you need your booze, and you need it now–I’m not one to judge– then this is your spot.
Why Many Sites Promote Wine.com
I did my due diligence, though. I spent a few hours reading the “Best Online Wine Shops” lists that the extensive wine sites have already published. A lot of lists had Wine.com as their top pick. That online wine shop is decent, but they also run a referral program (you can get paid for promoting them). So I took those recommendations with a grain of salt, and I suggest you do.
Why Many Wine Writers Love K&L
Many articles also recommended buying wine online from shops like K&L. They are a great wine store, but they don’t offer delivery to many places, especially not Philadelphia, where I live.
That leads me to believe that many of these articles were written by Californians for Californians. In addition, some lists smacked of self-congratulatory elitism. For example, Bon Appetit has a list that only features wine shops that offer natural or orange wines. That’s awesome, but most of those wines are super-expensive, don’t ship nationally, and taste like vinegar.
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