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your "go to" online store for wine?

Does anyone have that "go to" online store for wine? My area in San Diego is rather lacking in stores that specialize in wine (without overcharging me) or i just end up at Bevmo/cost plus.

From my searches i've found sellers that sell online to be cheaper on the average than in store costs (i have yet to purchase).

are there benefits to going in store (other than employee experience)?

And what's the best place for you to get great priced wine online =)

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  1. http://www.klwines.com/ has great wines at fair prices and http://www.thewineclub.com/ has really good prices on quality wines. i also search the web for sites that have free shipping...

    i've also had good experiences with http://www.whwc.com/

    all of the above are located in california, which helps with shipping...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Husky

      I second K&L. They constitute about 95% of my online wine purchases. Because I am most often doing Bdx., I just e-mail Ralph Sands, and he handles my account.

      I do not know the others, but suspect that Husky is right-on with the recs.

      Hunt

    2. You probably know this already, but to find good deals nothing beats

      http://www.wine-searcher.com (the paid version)

      Best $29.95 a year investment I can possibly think of...

      1. not sure what you mean by "overcharging" but San Deigo has lots of options for wine buying. that said, wine exchange, wine club and hi time, all in orange county, are failrly priced. if you get up that way they are all very easy to get to. I have ordered on line from wine ex and it worked fine. bear in mind that you still have to pay shipping costs, so make sure that it is a good deal before placing your order. that 29.95 at wine searcher could be a couple of bottles of wine down the drain.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ibstatguy

          are you saying wine searcher is not a good idea?

          btw thanks for the suggestions so far =) i keep buying my wines from wine.woot haha its killing my wallet ><

          1. re: clayfu

            wine searcher can very helpful in 2 ways, you can use it to find and buy a wine not otherwise available to you and you can use it to get an idea of what the range of prices is for a wine that you want. for people with no or very limited options in terms of wine retailing, it might be an excellent option. go to wine exchange's web page and sign up for their monthly newsletter and you will also get their email alerts on specific sales, etc. in san diego, try san diego wine company (sign up for their newsletter as well) and watch for deals at wine bank, wine sellar, grape connection, etc.

            1. re: ibstatguy

              super helpful! thanks everyone =)

              1. re: clayfu

                clayfu - in your "area" there is a german wine importer/retailer on Morena, Truly Fine Wines, up near Costco (which isn't a bad place itself). The owner, Damon, is a very friendly guy. i've also heard about a new wine shop more towards the southern end of Morena. check out the wine column in the SD Reader as well.

        2. It all depends upon the TYPE of wines you're interested in buying. But I would recommend either of these California-based stores before suggesting either BevMo or Cost Plus . . .

          K&L Wine Merchants -- http://www.klwines.com/

          Wine Exchange -- http://www.winex.com/

          3 Replies
          1. re: zin1953

            i'm actually thinking of joining the K&L wine merchants wine club, just to give myself a chance to try a couple of bottles of wine a month without having to select it (cause i'm a noob!)

            anyone have any thoughts on that?

            1. re: clayfu

              The K&L Best Buy wine club is a great way to learn about a lot of different wines (and not too hard on the wallet). A number of years ago when I first got into wine I joined that club in order to learn what I did and didn't like. After a couple years I had a pretty good idea of my taste. Definitely worthwhile from an educational perspective, and you will probably discover a good "house wine" for parties in the process!

              1. re: farmersdaughter

                thanks =) just what i was looking for!

          2. For a retailer not too far from you, I have had very good luck with the wine shop on the main-drag in La Jolla. Yeah, I know that La Jolla is the "high rent district," but that shop has done very right by me. I only wish that I could find the name right now - will post it, if I do. The young dude, who owns it, has shipped a bunch of rare CA wines to me in AZ, and the price has been under anything that I could find here.

            Sorry, that I do not have the name right now,
            Hunt

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              jeez Hunt, a Zonie telling us in SD where to buy our wines! ;-) if you can track down the name of the place, I'd be interested in checking it out. just what I need, another place where I can buy wine...That said, I can recommend several places in SD for you to check out this summer when you are here for the beach weather and/or the track.

              1. re: ibstatguy

                It is/was Wine Time, 7474 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037, (858) 551-7565.

                The young man who owns/owned it, is from PHX and his dad still lives here. They were invited to join our chapter of the International Wine & Food Society, but I have not seen either since an earlier event. One of the things that I am not clear on, is whether the son is still involved, or if he sold the business. Since he was looking to join our chapter, I got the impression that he had moved back to AZ, but do not recall the details. Anyway, on a trip up the Coast, we stopped in, out of curiosity. I really liked the selections, which were a bit ecclectic and the prices were not "La Jolla" prices, at least not to me. We struck up a conversation, and I mentioned a few allocated wines, that I was having trouble getting. He jotted down the names, and called in a week with about 90% of the wines I'd mentioned. He began shipping them to his father, who delivered all to me. All prices were ~$5 less/btl., than I could buy them in AZ, if I could have found them - none were available, and no one here was really interested in trying to track them down. All were from small wineries, and probably were afterthoughts in our distributors' portfolios, so no interest.

                The shop was a combo small supermarket/warehouse and not at all "tony," as most shops of any kind seem to be in LJ. Really nice, laid back, but with a nice selection and fair prices. I hope that the shop is still the same, as it's been 4 years, since we were last in LJ with any tiime to spend.

                Good luck,
                Hunt

                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  I'll see if I can find out anything about it and will report back. Regards,

                2. re: ibstatguy

                  Please share the recs. We are the only two Zonies, who do not have a place in/near SD, but are there on business quite a bit. Sometimes, it's for a one-day meeting, but we try to stretch it over a weekend and throw in Torrey Pines, or Rancho Del Mar CC. Sometimes, I get lucky and can golf the 4-Seasons, Steele Canyon, and a few other spots. As we really enjoy the dining in SD, we'll usually do a few restaurants, but do not do it often enough to have really built up a long list of favs. I usually head to the S. Cal Board to see what's new, hot and good. Thanks to all the S. Cal 'Hounds, as they've never steered me wrong.

                  Hunt

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    if you want to combine some golf, food and wine, play golf at the Del Mar Grand in Carmel Valley then have dinner at Addison (there have been comments about it on Chowhound; I've been in 4 times with no disappointments). Or at least stop in at the bar and have some great wines by the glass (heck, they pour Krug by the glass!). Given the nature of where it sounds that you stay when over here, you might want to check out the wine selections at Wine Sellar & Brasserie in Mira Mesa, east of La Jolla. The Brasserie used to be one of the best restaurants in town but it has been surpassed by others in recent years. The Wine Sellar has great wines and while at the upper end of pricing, they frequently have sales or other specials. Not far from Wine Sellar is San Diego Wine Co. and, while they tend to specialize in moving high volumes of low cost wines, they do get a few very good wines at very good prices (over the weekend, just had a btl of Ken Wright pinot, Guadalupe Vyd that i bought there). You can go on line to sign up for their monthly newlsetter. Very close and to the east of Aviara is Wine Street; again, perhaps not the most competitive of prices but they do get some very good wines. Hope this might be of some help to you.

                    1. re: ibstatguy

                      Thanks for the recs. I just did a Permalink for future travels.

                      Hunt