This was an easy list to write! I buy around $80K worth of wine a year for the wine school, not me. So I know who really delivers, in the most literal sense.
Table of contents
The Big Two?
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 big wine sites 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, too.
Why Many Wine Writers Love K&L
Many articles also recommended 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 a lot 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 featured 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.
Top Sites to Buy Wine Online
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
Why this wine shop is awesome: If you are looking for the interesting and rare, this is the spot to shop. It’s very well-curated, and their “Staff Picks” are worthwhile, which is so remarkable rare 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 awesome 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 maybe 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.
Address: 586 Morris Ave, Springfield Township, NJ 07081
Why this wine shop is awesome: This wine shop that launched Gary Vaynerchuk into internet stardom. They’ve had ups and downs since that time, but they have earned their right to be on this list over the past two years. They offer really 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 if Barolo or Margaux is your jamb, you should buy from WL. Their search features are excellent, especially if you look for wines in a certain 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.
Why this wine shop is awesome: 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 –sell a small selection of wines a 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
Why this wine shop is awesome: Who doesn’t love the idea of getting booze delivered to your doorstep? Apparently, 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 they could get 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.