Mailbag Monday: Buying Wine Online?

Dear Alleigh:
I saw Groupon for an online wine store and wanted to buy it, but didn’t because I wasn’t sure how safe it was to order wine online.  Do you ever order wine online?

The short answer to this is absolutely!  I love ordering wine online because it gives me access to wines on my wish list, even if I’m not able to find them in one of my local wine stores.  I know that not all states allow wine shipments to individuals, and while I sometimes encounter difficulties, I can usually make the purchases I want.

There is, however, a caveat to my advocacy of online wine buying—I don’t usually do it in the summer.  Having a bottle or six riding around all-day in the back of an un-air-conditioned delivery truck can be a recipe for disaster.  So, I tend to focus on wines that I can buy locally during the hottest months.

That said, some wine stores and wine clubs will allow you to buy online during the summer, but then wait for cooling fall shipping temperatures to send the wine out into the world.  I’m a particular fan of this because it allows me to take advantage of online sales, but not have to worry about trying to time my pushing of the “purchase” button with an August “cold” snap.

So, if you’re thinking about buying from an online store but have been a little gun-shy, definitely give it a try.  Price-wise it isn’t always worth it because shipping wine can get very expensive, so it is worth doing a little comparison shopping.  However, it definitely opens up the world of wine because it means you’re no longer limited to what you can find in your local wine store.


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