Wine Store Reviews
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Wine Store Reviews
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Wired for Wine is a wine retailer that offers a wonderful selection of individual wines to purchase. The varieties they list are highly acclaimed wines that are offered at deep discounts to their customers. They choose these wines carefully and sell each until the supply is gone, and then find the next wine variety to offer.
The website of Wired For Wine is very easy to use. Along the top of the page is a list of different wine categories you can choose from, including Reds, Whites, Sparkling, and Just Launched. Under each of these categories are dozens of wines that you can browse through. Clicking on an individual wine within these categories brings you a page of detailed information about the wine. This information includes a detailed description about the wine, the awards won by that particular wine, and reviews for that wine from such publications as Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits Magazine. This is great information that adds confidence to your wine selection.
For each wine, you can see its regular price, as well as Wired for Wine's discount sale price. Wired for Wine also offers free shipping options if you're buying more than one bottle of wine. Furthermore, Wired for Wine provides a Best Price Guarantee, where they will match the price for any wine if you can find a lower price offered on any U.S. website. That's a great offer that is a testament to the low prices they provide.
In addition to wine, Wired for Wine offers other options you may be interested in. In their Spirits section, for instance, you can find a listing of select Bourbon, Whiskey, and Tequila - each with detailed reviews, awards, and low discount prices. In their Accessories area, you can find decanters, wine glasses, corkscrews, and more. If you're looking to buy wine as a gift for someone, Wired for Wine has a unique Gift Ideas area where they've pre-selected items that they feel would make excellent gifts for a wine enthusiast.
The return policy at Wired for Wine is excellent as well - in fact, it's the best we've seen. You can return anything you purchase within 30 days for any reason. They'll even pay for the return shipping, as long as the wine is not more than 10 years old and as long as the bottle has not been opened.
Whether you're shopping for wine for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, Wired for Wine provides a great list of award-winning wines at prices among the lowest you'll find anywhere. Combined with free shipping options and a terrific return policy, Wired for Wine delivers great value for your money. If you're looking for a good bottle of wine, Wired for Wine should be your first stop. They've earned our highest rating.
Wine offers a huge variety of wines to choose from. They also provide some customer friendly policies that make it nice to shop at this website. However, we found the shopping experience to be a little messy at times.
To navigate the huge selection, customers may select the Wine Shop drop down tab and then further sort by price, type, style, region, publication and more. Customers will find literally thousands of wine options from around the globe. When results appear customers are asked to slowly sort one by one to peruse the options. Unfortunately, this is not a fast process unless the customer knows exactly what they are looking for and type the name in within the search bar.
As far as pricing goes, our sample comparison found the prices to be slightly higher than some of the other companies reviewed.
Wine also offers an affordable and flexible wine club for those want to begin receiving wine selections on a regular basis.
Wine also stands behind their deliveries and works with customers that have a problem with their order. They offer a 1-800 number and customers service assistance Monday through Friday.
While the website lacked the neatness and organization necessary for a selection of this size, we were impressed with the amount of choices they offer. We also liked some of the low price shipping for first time shoppers the Steward Ship option if someone plans on making regular purchases throughout the year. Wine has it's perks but keep an eye on the per bottle costs.
Naked Wines is a wine club that offers discount wines to its members, whom they call "angels". This monthly fee for a discount is a common feature of many wine clubs we have reviewed, but Naked Wines brings a different angle to the wine membership idea by using the membership fees to directly fund independent wine makers, who then offer their product back to Naked Wines at a deep discount which club members are able to enjoy. The way the "angel" membership works is, members pay $40 a month that goes into the "Naked Piggybank". Naked Wines then uses this pool of money to invest directly in over 100 independent winemakers who supply their product back to the club where members enjoy an advertised 40%-60% off retail.
Naked Wines claims this direct investment approach allows them to offer lower prices than other wine clubs, since they directly fund the wine makers themselves, avoiding marketing, sales and other costs. This unique structure functions like a crowd-sourcing program with members funding the winemakers, so that the membership fee feels more like an investment in independent wine makers with a personal return of excellent wine. This is an attractive idea for both the winemakers and prospective members.
The Naked Wines website is attractive and easy to navigate. The home page is divided into three sections that highlight the main features of Naked Wines, which are getting access to world class wines, receiving a deep discount on wines made by independent wine makers, and supporting wine makers through the company's group funding concept. Clicking on any of these sections brings to you pages describing the various features of the site, and if visiting the site for the first time a pop up window will appear offering a $50 voucher for use on any online order.
When we went to apply for an angel membership, however, the angel program was currently closed in order to "keep the number of angels manageable". (More than 100k members were registered at the time of this writing) We were offered an additional voucher for $60 if we joined the waiting list which they said was currently around 31 days. Along with the $50 first time voucher this could be used to get a total of $110 in free wine. There is a link to a page to cash in the vouchers using a code, and then the discount is applied against the order total at checkout. The vouchers can only be applied to orders of more than $160. Additionally, the vouchers are not available in all states dependent on state liquor laws. For example in Massachusetts Naked Wines offers a 20% discount instead.
Overall we really love Naked Wines for its wine community feel. Wine lovers can have a lot of fun here, access excellent wines for good discounts, and support local winemakers as well. However the voucher system seems a little spotty and we didn't love the idea of having to wait a month or more to get access to the discounts of being a member.
Wine Insiders is a nice little business started by wine purveyor John Davis as an alternative to expensive, large store wine offerings. Wine Insiders is a new business, but has been running since 1983 under the name "A Taste of California". Wine Insiders has a panel of 5 wine experts who sample over 2000 bottles a year with the goal of being very selective and only providing the best tasting wines to their customers.
The Wine Insiders website is easy enough to navigate, if a little unremarkable. The main page features some special offers such as 1 cent delivery on a purchase of 12 bottles, or other savings that can be gained from joining a wine club through Wine Insiders. There is a link to a contact page that provides a 24 hour toll free customer service number, as well as an address and e-mail for the business. There is an "Insiders Info" section that contains a nice selection of resources such as a frequently asked questions section, recipes, wine trivia, and even how to plan your own wine tasting. It's a nice little touch to provide some of these extras, in addition to just selecting and selling the wine.
Down the left side of the main page you can select wines by type or price. Due to Wine Insiders beginnings as A Taste of California, the selection is 100% California wines. The problem is, however, the selection is very small. We counted only 36 total bottles available on the website. This selection is far smaller than most of the other online wine retailers we have reviewed. The stated goal of Wine Insiders is to be selective and only offer superior wines, but we would hope they would expand their selection somewhat as they grow their business. The prices range from $9.99-$24.99 so Wine Insiders offers only reasonably affordable selections.
After selecting the wine you are interested in you get a page with the profile for that wine describing in detail the history and characteristics of the wine. The descriptions of the wines are quite detailed, and in some cases there are reviews from consumers to help customers make decisions on which wine may be right for them. Also on this page is the price per bottle, or case, and an option to add the wine to the online shopping cart. It's a simple process to add the wines to the shopping cart, go to check out, and process the order.
Like most wine retailers, Wine Insiders offers a wine club. When you join the club you get 15 bottles for $89.99, a savings over $140 over retail. This is a good value, competitive with other wine clubs, but with only 18 reds and 18 whites to choose from, if you stay in the club for any length of time you'll likely be receiving the same wines over and over.
Shipping is not too bad at $9.95 for 11 bottles or fewer, and there is an offer for 1 cent shipping if you purchase 12 bottles or more. That is a very good deal and compares favorably to some of the wine websites that offer free shipping when buying in volume.
Wine Insiders is a decent option for anyone looking for a nice, well-reviewed California wine, selected by knowledgeable wine experts. However we could only give it a middle of the road rating due to the very limited selection of wines.
Wines that Rock brand themselves as "The Official Wine of Rock and Roll" and they certainly do seem to be very different from most other wine retailers. The main page is very modern in appearance, is clearly musically inspired and has a very hip, young feel.
On the main page, fashioned to look like an electric guitar amplifier, is the explanation of the unique niche that Wines That Rock is trying to fill. This organization makes their own wine and each type they make is inspired by a specific rock and roll artist. The focus seems to be on classic rock - there is a wine for The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Police, and even a Woodstock wine.
"Rockstar winemaker" Mark Beaman describes their process of listening to rock music and using each artist as inspiration to formulate new tastes of wine. He insists it isn't just about slapping a label with popular rock and roll art on a bottle of wine, but more about matching the body and flavor of the wine to the music. For each wine there is a profile explaining exactly how they made each wine and how each of the musical themes relates to how they constructed the wine.
This would all seem a little gimmicky if it wasn't for the reviews of the wines themselves. Several of the wines offered by Wines That Rock have received very high marks from popular wine industry reviewers like Wine & Spirits and Wine Enthusiast, and several have won awards. If we go by the reviews posted on the site it appears that they have actually created some quality products with this rather unique process.
There is a social section with links to most of the popular social media sites such as Facebook and twitter. Also, under the wine making section there are links explaining in great detail their commitment to sustainable farming, green packaging and energy, and their carbon neutral wine making process. This fits in with the younger, progressive rock and roll theme and goes to prove what they say on the main page that "Wines That Rock is not your grandfather's wine".
Wines That Rock has a wine club you can join like most other online wine retailers. It is typical of other wine clubs except Wines That Rock wine club includes a free subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. A clever little touch for the Rock inspired wine makers.
The shipping page discusses restrictions for shipping wine to various states, but does not mention a price. We researched more and discovered that this is because standard ground shipping is free for any order from Wines that Rock. This is a big plus over other wine retailers we reviewed who charge as much as $30 a case for shipping.
With only their own creations to offer, the selection at Wines That Rock is clearly a lot smaller than some of the other large discount wine online retailers. You won't find your favorite, familiar brands nor any deep discounts on fine wines. What you will find is a very unique product aimed at a specific demographic. For what it is, Wines That Rock appears to be a unique, musically inspired wine making company with a dedication to the environment and a taste for fun.
Wine surprise is a website focused on offering customers "boutique wines at closeout prices." The main page of the website has sort of a mission statement at the top, explaining their focus on bringing small batch fine wines to the public at the guaranteed lowest prices.
The body of the main page contains a section for weekly specials, highlighted some current discounted wines. The brands are listed clearly and for each bottle they show what you would expect to pay retail and then their rock bottom price. Along the left hand side you can select which types of wine you want to browse, choosing by color, grape, region, price or category.
When you make a selection a short explanation of the type of wine you chose appears at the top of the list. (i.e. what a Merlot is vs. a Pinot Noir for example) The selection for each variety is quite large and you see the same pricing information for each bottle as above with the retail price and your discounted price. From what we could see, in many places the discounts were very good indeed, often coming in well under half of the original suggested retail price.
A nice feature of Wine Surprise is the detail for each product you find when you finally get down to choosing a wine. By clicking the link for any of the products you see a detail page for that product that includes a long description of the wine itself, the vineyard that produces it, the process and casks they use to make it and all kinds of other details about each particular wine. This page also includes rankings, scores and reviews of each wine by various reputable wine critics like Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator, as well as any customer reviews, and allows you to submit a review of your own if you choose to do so as well. We really liked all of the detail you could find about each wine, particularly considering that these are all lesser known boutique brands that most people may not be familiar with.
There is an option to join the Wine Surprise wine club, something common to many other online wine retailers, however at the time of this writing the link said the wine club was "coming soon" so we weren't able to review this against other wine clubs. Also the contact page does not include a telephone number, only the option to send an e-mail template with your question or concern. This made us a little wary of how easy it might be for customers to have complaints addressed by Wine Surprise.
If boutique wine is your thing, Wine Surprise might be a great choice for you. The offer a large selection of lesser known wines and what appears to be very competitive prices. However with questionable customer service options and an incomplete website, we can't rank Wine Surprise any higher at this time.
The popularity of wine seems to just continue to grow. Wine enthusiasts and occasional drinkers alike are often looking for new and delicious varieties of affordable wines to taste. However, spending hours at a local liquor store is generally not a great use of your time. That's why many people are now turning to online shopping for their wines because of the time savings, selection and price.
Online wine retailers provide the convenience of finding a new and exciting wine when it best meets your schedule. Many wine drinkers can find their favorite wines at a better price online than the local grocery or liquor store. Either way, shopping for wine online has many perks.
For online wine shoppers, it's good to know which wine companies provide the best shopping experience and affordable, high quality wines. When shopping online for wine, you should be sure to look for the following characteristics:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Wine Stores available today. We hope these reviews help you find your next bottle of wine right away!
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