Just a few years ago, when you wanted a great bottle of vino, your only option would have been to visit your local grocery store or beverage warehouse. Now, many of us buy wine online when it’s time to restock our collection.
The shift to internet sales has been slowly trending over time, but the global pandemic of 2020 accelerated it into overdrive. During that year, the e-commerce wine industry experienced tremendous growth, increasing by a rate of 553% over the year before. While that momentum has slowed some, online wine sales still represent 68% of the market’s dollar share.
Today, we’re sharing how to buy wine online and what to look for before you check out.
Understand Your State Laws
Shopping for wine online might seem simple enough. You enter your search term into Google and choose the top-rated results, right? Not quite!
Different states have different laws when it comes to shipping and receiving wine. Some states prohibit the shipment of wine altogether, while others allow it but with certain restrictions. It’s important to understand your state’s laws before making any purchases online. For example, some states require that the purchaser be present at the time of delivery and show proof of age. Others may require a permit or license to receive shipments of alcohol.
Additionally, some online retailers may not ship to certain states due to these restrictions. It’s important to check with the retailer before purchasing to ensure they can legally ship to your state. By understanding your state’s laws and researching online retailers that comply with those laws, you can safely and legally enjoy the convenience of shopping for wine online.
Wondering where to buy wine online? There are a few different options. The three main ones include:
- Direct from the winery
- Via an online wine store
- Part of a wine club
State-by-State Wine Shipment Laws
To date, 45 states now allow licensed wineries to ship directly from their location to online shoppers. The states that do not allow this option include:
If you live in one of these states, it’s best to work with your local retailers to find your next bottle. Even if your state is one of the 45, it’s still helpful to understand the rules and red tape. Some states, like Ohio and New Jersey, place a cap on which wineries can offer direct shipments, only allowing those that produce fewer than 250,000 gallons per year to participate in the program.
The wine shipment laws in your state will also affect which sites you can purchase from. Many states don’t allow you to buy from an out-of-state retailer, which limits your options. The intricacies can get complicated, so check out this interactive map for a state-by-state overview.
Online Stores and Wine Clubs
If it’s variety and a diverse selection you’re looking for, then an online wine store may be your best bet. If you want to take the guesswork out of buying wine online and get your favorites delivered to your doorstep, you can also consider joining an online wine club!
With our Levo Wine Club, you can choose from a number of delivery options designed around your schedule and preferences. These include:
- Three bottles, delivered twice a year
- Six bottles, delivered twice a year
- Twelve bottles, delivered twice a year (the Levo Wine Case Club)
Narrow Your Preferences
One of the great things about the internet is the instant access to an endless supply of options. One simple Google search can return thousands of pages of results. While this is often helpful, it can be exhausting when you’re looking for a bottle of wine. That’s why one of our top wine-buying tips is to narrow down your options! Start by thinking about the kinds of grape varieties you prefer and those you don’t. In addition to customizing your search this way, you can also filter by region, brand, or even tasting notes. Once you find a site you prefer, you’ll know exactly which options to search for, which can save you a ton of time.
Did you know that 84% of people now consider online reviews as helpful and important as personal recommendations from friends and family members? If you’re torn between a few different online wine choices, take the time to read the brand’s reviews. Do past buyers mention the incredible taste and quality? What about fast shipping time and excellent customer service? While everyone’s online wine-buying experience will be unique, it helps to hear what others have experienced when trying to determine how your journey may go.
Learn the Process
Most winemakers are transparent about their wine-making processes and will proudly share high-level details on their websites. Reading this information can give you a better understanding of the work and dedication that goes into each bottle. When you purchase a bottle from Levo Wine, you can read our About Page to learn more about how and why we do what we do. We work with Central Cost farmers to ensure the highest-quality grapes are grown in the most coveted plots across California. To maintain quality control, we also craft our wine in micro-lots located in Tin City, Paso Robles. When it’s time to bottle, we only select the best barrels from our cellar, maintaining complete quality control.
If the winery or wine store you’re researching doesn’t include an overview of how their process works and what they do, try to find a winery or store that will. Knowing where your wine is coming from is important to ensure taste, purity, and quality.
Check Shipping Timelines
The last thing you want is to order a few bottles of wine for your next gathering only to find that it’s going to be delivered a few days after the event. Before you click “Purchase, ” be sure to read the delivery and shipment information carefully. Most brands will offer you the option to expedite shipping if required, typically with an added cost.
Buy Wine Online Today
Now that you know more about buying wine online, are you ready to add a few bottles to your home collection? At Levo Wine, we’re here to make the process easy and enjoyable.
In addition to joining our Wine Club, we also recommend checking out our selections and buying directly from our shop! Click here to see all of our products, including our featured bottles, current releases, member exclusives, and more!