Shopping for wine on the Internet is a lot different than shopping for wine at a brick and mortar wine shop; Wine, after all, isn't like a book or CD.
Holding a bottle, inspecting its label, you just can't replicate that experience inside a browser window. The fact is that even though it is not the same as being at a wine shop in person, buying wine online has many advantages.
The ability to do comparison shopping is unbeatable. With search engines like Wine-searcher.com and of course Google, you no longer have to go to the wine; the wine will come to you. Cross referencing the latest wine reviews and scores and top recommendations is delightfully easy, and particularly enjoyable when you can do it at home in your bathrobe on a Saturday morning.
The ability to buy wine online from wine merchants who sell via a website is a good example of how the Internet can be of great benefit to both the wine merchants and the consumer who decides they want to buy wine online.
All online web merchants are not created equal. Certain things separate the top wine merchant’s websites from the second tier wine retailers. Ease of use and good customer service are critical and so is price. But at the end of the day, what really counts is variety and availability. There are many wine merchant websites to choose from, ranging from huge, super sites to tiny, quirky specialists, these e-merchants can procure great wines in top condition.
Buying wine online also allows the wine aficionado to search out that rare or obscure item that would have likely not have ever been found by physically looking in traditional wine shops. The world of wine buying has truly been revolutionised by online wine merchants. The online wine buyer has at their disposal thousands and thousands of bottles of whatever type and vintage they may prefer, and often at bargain prices. With the advent of online wine selling, dealers have been forced to adjust their prices now that comparison shopping is so easy.
Like with any online purchase, the person who chooses to buy wine online needs to exercise a reasonable amount of caution; there are unscrupulous online wine merchants out there. The majority of online wine merchant’s websites are legitimate, honest dealers, but there is always the small percentage that is out to dupe the unwary wine buyer. A little research into the history of a particular online wine merchant is a prudent measure, and fairly easy to accomplish; do a search on any of the major search engines for the merchant in question, and usually if there have been issues in the past there will be plenty of people who have posted complaints or warnings in newsgroups, blogs, and wine forums.
Overall, online wine merchants provide the internet wine buyer a tremendous opportunity to get a wide selection of great wines at bargain prices.