No time to visit a wine shop? Why not buy online from the large number of merchants that now have a Web site?
While there's something perversely satisfying about fondling bottles on shop shelves, many people today never visit their wine merchant, preferring instead to buy through the Internet. You don't get the face-to-face contact, but the relationship can be just as personal.
Buying wine online is a breeze. It's a rare merchant today that doesn't have a Web presence, and even those with physical stores often sell certain wines only through the Internet.
Even before the Internet, there were several wine companies that didn't have shops, selling instead through a mailing list. The Web simply brings such relationships into the electronic age. In addition, most decent terrestrial merchants are now fully geared up for e-commerce.
The best companies offer extensive information on the wines and wineries, and also tailor their emailing so only those interested in certain styles of wines will receive relevant offers. As with any online purchases, often the most successful companies aren't those that have the best range, but which offer the best standards of service.
Many top merchants refuse to ship certain wines in summer, as the heat might damage them.
Can I buy direct from wineries online?
Often, yes, but beware of duty and taxes payable on delivery.