The internet commerce industry is growing in all areas, and wine retailers are no exception. Small, local wineries often provide an online store that makes their wines available throughout the world, which can be critical to their success as they may not have a wide distribution stream. However, there are some important factors to remember before you purchase that chardonnay you tasted on a wine tour through the mountains or the delicious burgundy your brother offered you while visiting for a family function.
Every state has their own liquor distribution laws so it is important to know not only the laws of your state regarding the shipping of alcohol to you, but also whether the state where the winery is located allows them to ship outside of their state. Even different counties within states can have specific laws about shipping. If the site specifically says they cannot deliver to your state, call them directly to be sure as laws regarding wine shipping can change.
Read the Fine Print
Be sure to read the fine print on the website before ordering. Some online sites say they can substitute a different wine if what you purchase is under a certain price. If you do not want a substitution, be sure to let them know. In addition, be sure to check you are ordering the size bottle you want. Some sites do not make it clear, and it can be easy to order magnums or half-bottles when you want a different size. Check to see if the site requires a minimum order and look for information on shipping before you complete your shopping cart. You don’t want to spend time putting together an order only to find you are either under the minimum or the shipping costs are too high.
It is important to remember that most carriers require that anyone who accepts a wine deliver be 21 or older, so you want to be sure you are at home when the wine is delivered. Some require you to pick the shipment up in person and present identification with instructions that failure to do so means the shipment was undeliverable. In addition, you should ask that the wine not be shipped if the weather in your area is extremely warm or extremely cold as this can wreak havoc on bottles of wine. Consider paying for expedited delivery if the forecast is for extreme fluctuations in temperature. Some wineries include insurance automatically in the shipping costs, but you may be able to request the wine be shipped without it to save a little money. However, insurance costs are usually fairly low, so it is often worth the extra cost to prevent receiving a broken bottle of your favorite wine.
One of the best ways to keep up with the happenings at your favorite wineries, sign up for online newsletters. These are often full of information about events at the winery as well as new wines they company is developing, Many times, newsletter recipients are given advanced-purchase options for new wines as they are released. Buying wine online is an excellent way to build your wine cellar with unique, unusual wines that are sometimes only available in small, local areas. By following a few tips and suggestions, your online wine buying purchases should go smoothly and you will be enjoying that bottle in no time.