A great meal is made even more memorable with a great bottle of wine – a bold Cabernet Sauvignon for that perfectly cooked steak, a great bottle of Shiraz to go with those sweet and spicy barbecued ribs, a beautiful Pinot Noir to enhance an earthy dish of mushroom risotto, a luscious, buttery Chardonnay for that grilled salmon, or a nice Gewürztraminer to tame a spicy Asian dish.
But where can you find that unique bottle of wine that will complement your meal? Or maybe you just want to try something new? If you can find a local wine merchant with great customer service and selection, shop them frequently and build a relationship with them. They will soon offer you suggestions and you will be the first to know when something new and wonderful comes into the store. If you’re not lucky enough to have a great wine shop nearby, however, consider buying wine online. Online wine stores are great places to find boutique wines (small production wineries), as well as a larger selection of more popular wines from around the world. You will also typically have lots of information given to you on the wines sold as well as customer reviews (a great tool to weigh against the advice of the shop owner).
Here is a list of my favorite online wine stores, in no particular order. They have some incredible wines for sale and excellent customer service.
• Plonk Wine Merchants
Plonk Wine is a fantastically vibrant wine seller that has only been around a few years but is creating quite a stir with its selection of cheaply priced rare and artisanal wines. “The world’s best wine under $30” is their motto.
Besides a very interesting selection of bottles, Plonk Wine Merchants offers very enticing monthly wine clubs including a red wine club, a white wine club, and an international/seasonal wine club, which make the perfect gift for wine enthusiasts and novices alike.
While certainly not carrying the largest selection around, each bottle is carefully selected by owner and founder Etty Lewensztain (certified by the esteemed Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and the American Sommelier Association). A cool feature of their website is the video review accompanying every single wine listed.
• Uncorked Ventures
If you love American wines, give Uncorked Ventures a try! Uncorked Ventures provides its customers with the best wines from California, Washington, and Oregon. A great majority of these wines come from small artisan producers whose wines are not widely available
• Cellars Wine Club
The Cellars Wine Club is full of sophistication and class. A very fine company with a thoughtful assortment of wine. Their wine-the-month clubs are quite extraordinary and a delightful way for both novices and connoisseurs to try new wines.
They have a great assortment of monthly clubs to please every palate – single bottle wine club, high end single bottle wine, premium wine club, red trio wine club, platinum wine club, sweet wine club, champagne wine club, cellars wine club, international wine club, west coast wine club, 90+ wine club, quarterly case wine club and half case wine club.
• Mora’s Fine Wines & Spirits
Hundreds of reasonably priced wines from around the world. You will also find a variety of whiskeys, gins, vodkas, tequilas, and other spirits.
• Windsor Wine
Looking for wines direct from the vintner? Windsor Wine has a selection of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sparkling. Created in the 1950’s by wine legend Rodney Strong, Windsor has a long history of award winning wine.
Vitis is a very interesting site for wine lovers. I definitely recommend checking them out. Only one wine is offered at a time to members. However, it is a rare, small-batch (micro-produced) wine that has been tasted and recommended by the folks at Vitis (which includes 2 masters of wine). Discover fantastic wines that will make your friends impressed while saving big bucks.
Huge selection of wines from around the world in a great range of prices. You can find some very interesting choices here. Low shipping prices.