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Aug 7, 2006 06:34 PM

Where should I buy wine online?

Can anyone recommend a good online wine retailer who will sell me wine in Pennsylvania? I have purchased from and was relatively happy with them, until they shipped my wine on a 100 degree plus day despite assurances that they would hold shipments because of excessive heat. I guess I'd just like to try someone else now.

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  1. hello, when I've shopped online I saw good selections and prices in a couple of NJ places,winelibrary for example; didn't use any because I'm on the opposite coast, making both shipping costs and transit time prohibitive. Use the wine search sites (wine-searcher, winezap,wineaccess <.com >) for specific wines you're interested in that your local places lack, look at the sources relatively close with competitive prices, and take your inquiries from there. In general, places that do a significant business in premium stuff have to take the temp issue seriously if they expect to keep customers. Sorry if this is obvious stuff you've done already. cheers

    1. hello, I'd be remiss not to mention my regular retailer, He just moved to a larger temp-controlled facility and would be able to delay shipping.

      Minuses, his distance from you [Healdsburg,CA, where 3 major Sonoma Co. wine appellations (Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, Russian River) conjoin and premium Napa Co wineries are 30-40 min. away], and the size of his small family operated business limiting what he can competitively price, given that the big box outlets can get huge discounts from importers/distributors. Pluses, his many years in the biz, fun and caring personal integrity/qualities give him contacts with many small CA producers that don't sell to big outlets, and distributors/importers of a wide array of imports as well; his full disclosure of tasting notes, often his own and/or major pub's like the advocate and spectator,often with other info about the origins and winemaker. Most of his business is via his e-mail newsletter, and the prices of the wines featured thereon are very competitive.

      I initially thought of NJ because of my own bias to minimizing distance and time, and I pick up from Roots directly, had to realize most of his volume is web-based. If you like CA small producer wines, and shipping to PA is legalized, definitely get on his e-mail list; he makes 1-2 offers per week, fun and informative to read, absolutely no spam or ads attached. cheers

      1. My recommendation may also be moot, as it involves the "Other Coast," as well, and I do not know the legalities of shipping to PA/USA. However, K & L Wines ( does ship to me in AZ and will hold all shipments in the Summer (which in AZ seems to be about 10 months long). Their two brick-n-mortar stores are in California at San Francisco and Redwood City. Their prices are fair and their selecitons extensive. Bdx. is one of their specialties, but they handle international stock and cover US wines very well.

        You just have to factor in the shipping costs, shipping time and any legal issues.

        My first choice would be to go with a good company closer to your location - one that understands the possible problems with shipping damage.

        Good luck,

        1. Hi

          Im in PA and I use Wine Library and never had a problem
          with shipping, always excellent service. Good store to visit too, very knowledgeable staff. They're located in Springfield New Jersey

          1. Thank you for all of the suggestions -- yes, I am looking for an east-coast supplier. I will try winelibrary -- I thought wineexpress was perfect since they were in NY and I was happy with their prices and selection -- but I was really displeased with my last order.

            Does anyone have any information on Zachy's? That was another option I was going to try.

            2 Replies
            1. re: DanielleM

              I buy often from Zachys. I don't know know if they ship to PA, but I know, very well that they've held on to my orders during extremely hot weather - and I live in NYC.

              Their prices are expensive, but when they have a sale, especially on recent vintages of Bordeaux and Burgundy, as well as recent and older Barolos and Brunellos, that's when I load up as their prices can be so much lower than anywhere else in the country (using professional version). Plus, my impression (and many others that I know that buy from them) is that they have very good storage as their wines are always in excellent provenance.

              Zachys can be expensive (I'd suggest that you buy only when they have a sale), but has one of the best selection in the country.

              By the way, I also buy quite often from winelibary. I hope this is just an aberration, but my last order was shipped in the middle of the heatwave last week. I tracked it with their order tracking email and saw that it was held up overnight by the carrier/shipper before it was delivered to me. I had a few of the bottles with some guests and they're fine, but I plan to remind them about it on my next order.

              1. re: RCC

                Zachy's has always shipped to PA.