Monday, July 26, 2010

Wine Lovers Reap Benefits From Excess Inventory, Closeout Sales

A precipitous drop in demand for wines priced more than $40 means that thousands of wineries have millions of cases of expensive wine that they are unable to sell. The wines can't just sit around because they must be moved out of the warehouses to make way for the next vintage. Wine lovers are now able to benefit through a growing number of wine websites specializing in deep discounts and flash sales.

Among these discounters are: Wine Woot!, Wines 'til Sold Out, Wine Spies, Cinderella Wine, Wine Heist, Vinfolio Flash Sales, Cellar Thief, Winery Insider, Wineshopper and Vinobest.

When I read about this on another blog, I checked out a few and the deals are pretty impressive. You typically have to "join" at no cost by creating an account and password. You then receive e-mails once or twice a week offering large discounts but for a very short period of time.

Wine Shopper is an example. I received an e-mail on Thursday for a sale that ended the following Tuesday. Being offered was an organic, single vineyard Columbia Valley Riesling by Pacific Rim. It lists for $32 and was on sale for $17.49. Also being offered was Hogue 2006 Genesis Syrah for only $7.99 (regularly $16). The Genesis is sold in lots of 3 only. If you bought only one bottle of the Pacific Rim Riesling, however, the shipping was $12.45. I assume the shipping becomes more reasonable as your quantities increase. I noticed that one of their special offerings, a Barossa Valley Estate 2003 E & E Black Pepper Shiraz, quickly sold out. Wine Shopper is a spin-off venture of

Winery Insider is another flash sale site that I checked out. It offers "the world's best wine at insider prices." Its wines are really interesting and some of their sales are just 24 hours. Their most recent offering was a special case sale from Viansa Winery in Sonoma County. You could purchase cases of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Vernaccia or Arneis for only $99. These last two wines are unusual Italian grapes. The Vernaccia usually sells for $300 a case while the others sell for $240. Winery Insider also had a recent sale of "cult" Pinot Noirs. This is a site to watch for the rare and unusual.

Another discount site is Wines 'til Sold Out. Their most recent deal was Iron Horse Vineyards Green Valley Russian River Valley Estate Chardonnay 2006 for $14.99 (versus the retail of $29.99). One nice feature is they offer free shipping when you buy the minimum quantity. In this case it was four bottles, but it is never more than six.

There is a sense of excitement in nabbing a bargain and then tearing open the shipping carton to view the newly arrived booty. That being said, there are great deals at your local wine shop too -- plus you are supporting local business.
Photo by Peter Kaminsky
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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post - another little known fact, The Wine Spies has relatives in the Toledo area (both currently living as well as relatives who attended UT - Go Rockets), something I can guarantee is not the case with the others.


Agent White
The Wine Spies
(I could tell you my real name but then I'd have to, well, you know...)

Dave Nershi, CSW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Nershi, CSW said...

Apparently there are spies among us! I just checked out and it looks like an interesting and fun site. Thanks for the note. The local connection should give you a leg up with our readers. Good luck with your mission!