And now there's a move in the U.S. Congress to ban direct sales of alcohol. So much for free enterprise.
But many people who really like wine, and who buy everything from socks to computers online, are not inclined to have wine shipped to them. Maybe they don't trust their judgment without seeing the bottle in front of them or having the store clerk's recommendation.
Every Night at Midnight a New Bargain is Announced
If this is you, you're missing out on some astonishing bargains. And the great thing is you are often given every wine rating the bottle has achieved. Our rule is generally: Less than $10, but a rating higher than 87 (and often higher than 90).
We've purchased wine from lots of Internet merchants, but our latest favorite is Wines Till Sold Out, http://www.tillsoldout.com, which posts a new bargain every night at midnight. It runs until it's sold out or until midnight the next night, whichever comes first. If the wine sells out, then it posts a new wine bargain. But always a new offering at midnight.
The typical price cut is somewhere between 40 percent and 60 percent.There are only two minor catches: only one wine is offered at a time; and they don't have a customer service department. Part of the bargain price is low overhead.
On the plus side is that in addition to the bargain price, shipping is free on any purchase of four or more bottles.
The typical price cut is somewhere between 40 percent and 60 percent. So, we often buy $20 bottles for $10 — and pay no shipping. And four bottles at a time is a great way to try lots of different wines. The bottles arrive about two or three days later via FedEx or UPS in a well-packed box.
Today, for example WTSO offered a $22 Chianti Classico that was rated 91 by Wine Spectator magazine for $15, a 32 percent price break. It also offered up a Chateau La Tour Carnet Grand Cru Classe Haut-Medoc Bordeaux Blend 2006 for $15, a 44 percent drop in price. The wine was rated 91 by famous wine-rater Robert Parker.
Signing Up is Easy; Buying is a Two-Click Experience
Sunday's are a busy day (everybody is on the Internet), so WTSO also offered a $28 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon for $14 and a 90-rated Spanish Tempranillo for $19.
All you have to do to qualify is to sign up for the daily emails that notify you of the bargains and give them a credit card number and your address (the first time you buy). When you buy, it's a two click experience that takes seconds. Two days later you're enjoying an incredible wine bargain.
We've never had a bit of a problem with WTSO's service. And our wine rack is the better for it. We're tasting and enjoying wines that we'd never have purchased or even found in our local wine store.