Look For These Characteristics When Buying Wine Online
There are 5 main factors to consider when tasting a wine for quality: balance, length, intensity, complexity, and typicity. The best wine will score high on all of these measures.
The best online wine stores have detailed reviews and tasting notes that will help you find the best value bottles. Understanding the factors below will help you sift through the flowery language in the reviews and find the most important qualities.
Fine Wine Cellars Is A Retail Wine Shop Featuring Wines From Around The World
Buying wine should be as enjoyable as drinking it. Our philosophy is to carry what we feel are the best wines in each price category and wine region. Having tasted nearly every wine in our shop we can match the right wine to a customers taste and budget, whether you want to spend $10 on a bottle or over $100.
“Wow, it really is a cellar!” We hear it all of the time when a customer descends the stairs leading into the cellar for the first time. The unique layout of our store allows us to keep all of our wine in a below-grade, temperature controlled cellar of a converted 1860s era New England farmhouse.
Proper storage. Peace of mind. Customers can rest assured that a wine purchased from Fine Wine Cellars has not been subjected to the vagaries of temperature changes or exposure to sunlight, which are two variables that can damage or shorten the life of a wine. A consistent temperature of 58-62 degrees Fahrenheit is maintained year-round and there is absolutely no direct sunlight. Every care is taken to ensure our wines remain in the proper environment.
What If My State Doesnt Allow Wine To Be Shipped In
There are several states that dont allow any alcohol to be shipped in. In these cases, youll need to find a retailer in your own state that ships wine and work with their site to find what youre looking for. Wine-Searcher is probably a great way to look for a reliable shipper if you dont know the best retailers in your area. Here is a list ofstate wine shipping regulations to help you determine if you can receive shipments.
Always look for a site with real-time inventory and clear shipping methods. Avoid fly-by-night sites that list ghost inventory and overcharge for shipping.
Do you have a favorite online retailer that helps you find your favorite wines? Let us know in the comments!
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What Are The Types And Styles Of Red Wine
There are hundreds of types of red wine varieties in commercial use, from light and finessed to bold and structured, however, only about 35 varieties contribute to the majority of red wine production. The most grown grape varieties are:
- Tempranillo. Red and black fruit, earth and herbs.
- Syrah. Dark fruit, pepper, spicy and savory.
- Grenache. Ripe red fruit and sexy texture.
- Pinot Noir. Earthy, silky and complex.
- Sangiovese. Red fruit, earthy and herbal.
Portuguese Olive Oils Among The Worlds Best
Our olive oil portfolio is obtained from selected olives of the verdeal, madural, cordovil, cobrancosa, and negrinha varieties. Its mostly produced on small family farms in the second-largest olive oil-producing region in Portugal. The use of olive oil as a food, means of lighting, or a reference product for medicinal and hygiene practices is very old. Currently, Portugal is the seventh largest olive oil producer in the world, and the fourth biggest exporter.
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Vine Arts Wine & Spirits
One of the newest premium wine shops in Calgary, Vine Arts has a selection that feels like each and every bottle was hand-picked and hand-tasted to earn a spot on the shelves. Despite the small size of this store in Victoria Park, it is one of the best for browsing, as every wine is a treasure.
1310 1 St. S.W., 403-290-0700, vinearts.ca
Another recent addition to Calgarys wine scene, Vine Styles has done right in finding interesting and stylish wines from around the world and sorting them into categories that make it easy to find what you are looking for.
1127 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-474-8367, vinestyles.ca
Popular Red Wine Regions
While every U.S. state produces wine, the most famous and popular regions remain those on the west coast:
- Napa Valley. First commercial winery 1861. Cabernet.
- Sonoma County. Since mid-1800s. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet.
- Paso Robles. 1880s. Cabernet, Zinfandel and Rhone varieties.
- Santa Rita Hills. 1971. Pinot Noir.
- Willamette Valley, Oregon. 1965. Pinot Noir.
- Columbia Valley, Washington . 1860s. Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet.
Worldwide, wine destinations abound, with the most venerated in Europe. The last four are popular New World regions.
- Bordeaux, France. As early as 60 BC. Based on Merlot and Cabernet.
- Burgundy, France. From 2nd century AD. Pinot Noir.
- Tuscany, Italy. From 8th century BC. Based on Sangiovese, plus Super Tuscans made with other reds.
- Rioja, Spain. From 11th century BC. Based on Tempranillo.
- Stellenbosch, South Africa. 1680s. Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage.
- Mendoza, Argentina. Late 1800s. Malbec and others.
- Colchagua Valley, Chile. 1870s. Cabernet, Merlot and Carmenere.
- Barossa Valley, Australia. 1842. Shiraz and others.
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Fine Wines For Every Occasion
Fine wine is a popular gift for weddings, anniversaries and during the holidays. Find a bottle from your favorite vintage for the wine lover in your life to add to their collection or enjoy on a special occasion. Complete the gift by pairing a nice bottle of wine with one of our wine accessories to create gift baskets for your family and friends. We also have a selection of pre-arranged gift baskets available on our online store.
In Addition To Normal Walk
More than a neighborhood corner store . . . we are a wine merchant and gourmet grocer focused on procuring the finest beverage and food products for our customers. Please stop in to explore our global wine selection, boutique and small batch liquors, local craft and imported beers, locally sourced and specialty groceries, cut-to-order cheese from small farms and dairies around the world, and our freshly prepared delicious deli items! We have just what you seek in a food or beverage adventure, or will help you find it. Come on in and see for yourself what Martha’s Vineyard is all about! We are always at your service!
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Educate Yourself So You Can Find The Best Places To Buy Wine
You want to buy the best wine for the money online, but how? Where can you find great value wine? Which online wine stores deliver quality without big markups?
If youre reading this article, its a safe bet that you have purchased a bottle of wine at some pointperhaps at a restaurant or wine shop, or even at a winery. Its also a safe bet that at some point youve wondered if youll have to take out a second mortgage to support your habit .
Given that the more wine we drink, the more refined our palates become, we have to ask several important questions if we are to be fiscally responsible wine consumers: why is this grape juice so expensive? Who decides what I will pay? And how can I continue drinking delicious, quality, interesting wine without losing my shirt? . To sum it up, you want to find the best wine at the best price. We want to help you with your quest.
Let’s start with the easy part. What are the costs associated with making wine?
Pairing Red Wine With Food
These guidelines will help you make the most of red wine pairing options.
- If a sauce is involved, focus more on that than the protein. For example, considering Coq Au Vin, play off the pancetta, mushrooms and wine with an earthy Pinot Noir.
- Match intensity levels, i.e. a bold red with a bold dish, lighter with lighter. Spice-rubbed lamb kabobs go perfectly with a bold Syrah from Columbia Valley, Washington.
- A highly tannic red pairs well with fatty foods. Dolcetto is amazing with a cheese and charcuterie plate.
- High acid foods call for high acid wines. Ever wonder Barbera and Sangiovese are so ubiquitous in Italy? As high acid wines, both are perfect matches to anything involving tomato sauce.
- Beware of dry red with dessert! Your wine should be sweeter than the treat. Try Tawny Port with dark chocolate for a match made in heaven.
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Acker Merrall & Condit
Blue chips. Top growths. Cult favorites. Whatever top shelf, impress-the-boss, WOW-worthy wine youre looking for, you can find it here.
Not only is Acker, Merrall & Condit the oldest wine merchant in the U.S., they also have access to the finest private collections on the planet because of their venerable reputation as an auction house for fine wines. It certainly isnt the cheapest online retailer out there, but the breadth and scope of their cellar are truly amazing.
Highlander Wine & Spirits
Now with four locations, Highlander has come a long way since its start in the long-gone Highlander Hotel. Most recently, Highlander opened a Seton location by the South Health Campus, servicing the far south end of the city. Bright and open, with a modern design, it has more than 1,500 wines on the shelves, with interesting and pedigree-worthy wines at all price points.
19489 Seton Cres. S.E., 587-296-3546, plus three other locations highlanderwine.com
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Why Buy Wine Online
While the idea of buying wine online may seem daunting, it’s actually a great way to make an educated, rather than impulsive decision. With many online retailers including professional wine ratings or scores, educational resources to read up on, and the ability to compare prices, consumers now have a library of information right from on your computer screen at home. Other bonuses like free shipping options, unique monthly wine clubs, and with access to a greater selection of wines than the local grocery, it’s no wonder that online wine purchases are on the rise.
Get To Know Your Local Wine Shop
Published in the issue ofHoustonia Magazine
Image: Courtesy of Vinology
Its Friday. Work is over. Time to pick up a bottle of wine but from where? Before settling on Two-Buck Chuck , get to know your local wine shop. Below, a few favorites:
Heights Grocer | The Heights
This corner store boasts a heavily curated natural-wine selection, with about 100 labels available most of the time, including a few Texas wines. The owners do tastings on Sundays.
Houston Wine Merchant | Montrose
Since 1984, back when it was called Wines of America, the seller has remained a popular choice for local aficionados. The selection here includes labels from the Texas Hill Country and High Plains. The staff will order you a special bottle, too, so this is the place to come if youre craving more of that awesome Mencia you had last night at Nancys Hustle.
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Chambers Street Wines And Spirits
It’s safe to call Chambers Street Wines an OG of the natural wine movement in the United States, and their selection from small, biodynamic producers from around the world certainly backs up that point. If you’re looking to get deep into lesser-known wines from the Loire Valley, Burgundy, and beyond, this is a must-browse.
Wine House Beer & Spirits
Wine House Beer & Spirits stocks over 150 imported and local wines, all at an affordable price. Whether you fancy Prosecco straight from Italy, or even Snoop Doggs 19 Crimes Cali Red you name it, this wine store sells it! To sweeten the deal, promos and packages like two-for-one or wines plus beers are on standby for your next dinner party, while special wine tastings and events often grace the calendar throughout the year.Where:Order via the website, or visit the store: Jl Raya Kerobokan No. 66, Kerobokan, p. +62 361 737 217, e. Open daily 9am 8pm.
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More Ways To Save Money On Quality Wine
Beyond looking for certain regions for value, you can also get creative with how you buy and consume your wine.
While I urge consumers to be respectful of a restaurants policies on corkage, if buying wine from a restaurant wine list is cost-prohibitive, you may consider going to a BYO restaurant.
Additionally, many consumers are now buying wines online or from wineries through direct-to-consumer programs. Increasingly, online flash sales are popping up as well.
That said, the personalized experienced you get when you shop at a local retailer or have a sommelier assist yourselections at a restaurant is a big part of the experience for many consumers, and rightfully so. If you enjoy this value-added experience, as I often do, then by all means enjoy–and feel good that you know where that money is going!
There are some online wine stores that are doing a good job creating that personal touch. These stores typically have a chat feature. The person on the other end of the chat is a wine expert who is trained to assist you in your search for high-quality wine. The online wine superstore, wine.com offers a live wine expert to help you as you shop.
Bonus Idea: Going Direct
Nowadays, many wineries rely on direct-to-consumer sales to bolster their bottom lines, so they have made arrangements to ship all over the country. While the ability to ship into several states is limited or regulated, its becoming more and more frequent for wineries to employ compliance companies to help them maximize their ability to ship their wines without running afoul of the authorities.
Ordering direct is a great way to build a relationship with smaller producers, and most offer a discount off of retail pricing if you join their wine club, or purchase multiple bottles.
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Astor Wines & Spirits
Walking into one of New York City’s biggest wine and spirits shops feels a lot like taking an Americano to the face as soon as you wake up it can be both overwhelming and overstimulating, which is why its equally well-organized digital storefront can be an especially appealing option, even for locals. I’d recommend getting creative with the many filtering options the site allows for, from organic type to price range to sub-region, and paying especially close attention to the thoughtful staff picks.
Best Boutique Wine Stores In Calgary
For selection and service, Calgarys wine stores are the best in Canada.
For a wine lover in Canada, there is no greater place to be than right here in Calgary. When the privatization of liquor retailing was announced in 1993, no one really knew what to expect. Would there be a liquor store on every corner? Would our cities become slums and wretched hives of scum and villainy? Even worse, would prices go up? What would happen to the selection Albertans enjoyed?
Well, what happened was that relatively affluent Alberta saw a growth in retail liquor stores from a pre-privatization number of 208 stores with 2,200 products listed to more than 1,300 stores across the province in 2015, giving Albertans access to almost 20,000 products. This compared to around 5,000 products in British Columbia and 8,000 in Ontario, where government buyers determine what consumers should have access to.
Alberta stores, by contrast, have the freedom to buy what they think their customers might like. Many boutique shops choose to specialize or focus their efforts on certain regions or styles of wine that set them apart, and most do an excellent job of curating, organizing and displaying wines so that customers can buy exactly what they want.
Though a list like this cant include every great wine shop in Calgary, what follows is a collection of 12 of the best independent stores that wont disappoint in terms of selection and service.
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Willow Park Wines & Spirits
Built before privatization as the flagship store of the Alberta Liquor Control Board , Willow Park continues to impress with one of the largest selections of beer, wine and spirits of any store in Canada, and a recent renovation that gives it a modern, airy feel. If you are looking for it, it is probably here. Willow Park is well-known, too, for its expansive tasting and event schedule, including its charity wine auction in the fall.
10801 Bonaventure Dr. S.E., 403-296-1640, plus two other locations willowpark.net
Our Best Locations For Fine & Rare
With over 200 stores nationwide, each store may have some unique items available at that location only. Browse our top 6 Fine & Rare stores across the country to find that unique, collectable item or contact the Concierge Sales at 8412752 to speak with a dedicated wine consultant for assistance.
Total Wine & More
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Know Shipping Policies And Laws Before Buying
The first thing to know is that some states do not qualify for wine delivery. After the repeal of Prohibition, each state was left to create its own system of alcohol regulations. As a result, some states do not allow out-of-state wineries to ship directly to consumers.
If your intended address qualifies for wine shipments, there are still a couple other challenges to consider. Because it’s alcohol, a signature of someone 21 and over is required. If you work during the day and have your wine shipped to your residence, you’ll need someone of age there to sign and accept it.
Hot temperatures are the death of fine wines, as they can turn to vinegar if left on a delivery truck or outside too long. If you belong to wine clubs, you probably already know this as many clubs won’t ship during the summer months just to avoid the risk.
Sometimes retailers don’t necessarily stock all the wines they list for sale they wait for orders and get the bottles from the fulfillment houses. This can create delays, or finding out the wine you want is not actually available. By picking one of the best online wine retailers, this issue of phantom inventory is far less of a risk.