Private wine sale web sites — reviewed

Wine — By KF Louis on May 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm

The newest phenomenon to hit wine retail: limited-time and private sales.  Great wine.  Killer prices.  Limited time only.  Sounds great, right?

As I’ve written several times lately, the weak economy has forced surplus of wine on the market.  One result of this trend is there are many interesting new players on the web contributing to a dizzying discount frenzy.  Proprietors such as Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library believe this phenomenon will be short lived, but many wine dealers are seeing an opportunity to make money and market share.

Like with any online wine retailer, my recommendation is the same:  buy what you already know (have tasted).  Speculating on a half case plus shipping is very expensive if you don’t like it.  That said, I’ve played around with a few of these sites, and not all are created equal.  Here’s my assessment:

Highly Recommended

Cinderella Wine: You might not want to wait until the strike of midnight to snag your fairytale wine deal. Cinderella Wine offers one wine per day, most often the lowest price on the web.  Cinderella Wine is Vaynerchuk latest addition to his porfolio of outlets including  Wine Library. Get on the email list to receive new offering announcements—better hurry, if the pumpkin appears you’ve already missed out.

Recommended with reservations:

The Wine Spies: 24 hour deal–while supplies last. The count-down clock is a nice reminder that the sale is only temporary.  I’m not convinced that the sales are all that great (averaging 30%) off, but tomorrow could have a hidden gem.

WinesTilSoldOut: I’ve mentioned this site in a previous post.  The basic concept: one wine, 30-70% off, available for only 24 hours (midnight-midnight EST) or until sold out. Unlike other sites, the wine of the day gets replaced if the previous deal sells out.  Shipping is advertised as free, but be aware, you have to buy the minimum number of bottles to qualify.  Got to give them props though–you have the option to hold shipping if it’s too hot or cold to ship.

I dunno: (they won’t let me in)

Rue La La: An invitation-only, offering its hand picked members premier-brand, private sales over a limited time.  Unless someone tells me Rue La La is offering deals that I can’t get elsewhere on wines I like, I’ll leave this site alone.

Gilt: Another private sale site, partnered with  Supposedly there was a Krug Grand Cuvee sale yesterday.  But I could not get in to find out for myself.  Like with Rue La La, I must be convinced that they are offering something that I cant get anywhere else, or I won’t be a customer of a private sale site.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott M says:

    Great analysis. I hope you update this and include some of the newer things in the market like Groupon…

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