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ONLINE BUSINESS

Inc.com's Quick Guide to Wine Online
 

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Now that you can, where should you shop for wine online?

With the help of four experts, Inc.com compiled an overview of three of the top online wine merchants.

Wine.com
Best thing about it
Huge selection: 10,000 domestic and imported wines.

Turn-offs
Hidden shipping costs. Too impartial.

Panel view
"The Sears of online wine shopping, and that's not a slap. For most Americans, nirvana is a place that offers a broad, general, and reliable selection of wines with few barriers to entry." --Blau

What else
Features food and wine pairings. And you can get frequent flyer miles on United Airlines and American Airlines when you buy through Wine.com.

Winetasting.com
Best thing about it
Membership comes with privileges. The Winetasting Network offers information and deals for its members.

Turn-offs
Selection limited to its client wineries. Cumbersome registration process.

Panel view
"They are to be applauded for their impressive client list, but suspect as an unbiased source for wines you may like." --Chambers

What else
Bulk discounts available for multiple bottles or cases of the same wine.

K&L Wine Merchants
Best thing about it
Offers "best selling" list. "Knowledgeable but non-snooty staff members able and willing to share their wine enthusiasm with people at all levels of experience," says Dave Chambers.

Turn-offs
Lacking objective criteria such as alcohol level, body density, acidity. Only delivers to 20 states.

Panel view
"K&L has a nice search functionality and for the French wines, you can look up the region on a map." --Dominguez

What else
Provides information on quantity available before you buy. E-mail notifications of wines you're looking for.

The Panel
Richard Blau: a lawyer at GrayRobinson in Tampa and an expert on the laws that govern the alcohol industry.
Dave Chambers: the founder of Direct Customer Access, a direct marketer for wineries.
Chris Dominguez: vice president of business development at iFilm and a wine aficionado.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2005




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