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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Amazon's wine shop opens

Amazon has wanted to get back in the wine sales business since a previous failed attempt several years ago.

Previous post on Amazon. 

The store is up and running with mostly from California and Washington state wines. There are quite a few small producers. When I first looked there were about 500 wines. Within a short time the list grew substantially so more is being added as I write this. There are many thousands of more wines available from around the world on external sites meaning Amazon just directs you to another online store.

The prices are standard winery retail so if the wines are available elsewhere you can probably find them cheaper. I put together a test order of three bottles each from two different California wineries with a CA shipping address and the shipping cost was only $20 and that's pretty cheap. I expect if I ordered the wines directly from the two wineries I'd probably pay about $50 total for the shipping.

I did another order for one bottle each from three different CA wineries and the total shipping was $30. I would pay more than that if I'd bought each bottle separately from each of the three wineries--at least $45.

Currently Amazon can ship to a dozen states. More will be added as they get licensing.

There are annoyances with Amazon as you get hit up to buy lots of other stuff and after you visit your cart you can't get directly back to shopping for wine again. The main wine shop page says the store is still in beta test phase. They also promise their standard 3-5 business days shipping, but I don't know how these small wineries can process the orders and ship them out that quickly.

So is it worth using the Amazon store to buy wines? I'd say if you're buying a few bottles from multiple small producers then yes. If you want to buy in larger quantities from a single winery then search for a better price online plus check the winery's web site to find the best deal.

It's good to have another choice for buying and trying new wines.