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Nov 9, 2012 03:17 PM

Wine @

Speaking of getting advise from your neighborhood joint...

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  1. Be afraid, be *very* afraid.

    1. Had it sort from highest to lowest price . . . check it out!!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

        No matter how lofty the idea, people will always find a porno twist.

      2. No. I had never considered such.


        5 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          You can do much better dealing with the merchants directly. That said, I seldom buy wine from anyone except the winery anymore, so I couldn't care less that MD is not on the list of available states to buy wine from Amazon.

          1. re: dinwiddie

            So, uh -- how often do you travel to Europe? ;^)

            1. re: zin1953

              Every other year or so. But for that I still think it is better to deal directly with reputable merchants with whom I have a relationship instead of Amazon. There are some excellent sources here in DC (McArthur's, Schnider's, or Calvert/Woodley) where I can get what I want if I'm buying something from Europe or Australia.

              That said, I personally prefer to deal with smaller, more focused retailers because what Amazon carries is not anything special or rare, which is my focus these days.

              Besides, if you note that Amazon is mainly providing through external providers, most of whom I already get e-mails from.

              1. re: dinwiddie

                Well, if you're going to give me a **serious** reply (the European comment was, after all, a joke) . . .

                It wasn't a matter of buying direct from the producer versus Amazon (from which I personally would never purchase wine), but why

                >>> I seldom buy wine from anyone except the winery anymore <<<

                U.S. wineries are generally THE most expensive place from which to buy wine. You almost always pay full retail, and once you move beyond the realm of "mailing list only" wines, you are generally paying too much. European producers, on the other hand, often sell their wines for less than full retail, so buying direct there makes sense.

                Then again, in your most immediate post, you wrote

                >>> I personally prefer to deal with smaller, more focused retailers . . . <<<

                So, do you buy direct, or buy from smaller, more focused retailers? ;^)

                1. re: zin1953

                  Actually a bit of both. If you have been watching the few tasting notes I post on this forum, you will note that I tend to drink wines that are made in small production. These are wines that I cannot get from any source except by allocation for the most part, especially here on the east coast. And many of these wines sell for a premium on the secondary market or on the rare occasions that they are in a retail store. Thus the price I that I pay to the winery is less than what it would cost me to get the wines otherwise, if I could find them at all. In addition, because I have been on the allocation lists for some of the wineries for over ten years, I get a fairly substantial discount off the normal price. For example, I was recently offered a 2006 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast PN at a well regarded restaurant/wine bar here in DC for $300. When I asked why such an extreme markup I was informed that they had been forced to buy the wine on the secondary market for $170. I paid $42.

                  When I want something specific, say a 2005 Château Smith Haut Lafitte to choose a recent purchase, I go to one of the better wine shops here in DC to get it.

        2. Most of it links to is okay to buy from, but not buy from through Amazon?

          9 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            Actually most of what I'd be interested in buying links through stores like Sherry-Lehmann, JJ Buckley, etc. Places I already work with.

            1. re: dinwiddie

              but not everybody is focusing on special or rare, as you said you are...a lot of people are just looking for good stuff to drink.

              1. re: sunshine842

                I agree, but in that case, it is much easier to just deal with a reputable local wine shop than have to have someone at home to sign for the wine when it arrives. That way you get the benefit of expertise and a discussion of what you like. Plus you can drink it that night.

                1. re: dinwiddie

                  I've never bought a bottle of wine online -- but the continued operations of -- and the appeal of their profitability to lead them to forge a partnership with amazon -- certainly would indicate that *somebody* does...actually a lot of somebodies on a very regular, and very profitable basis.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    There is no doubt that does a big business. And if there was something I really wanted there, and I couldn't get through my other sources, I might buy it there.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I am one of those many somebody's and have never had a problem except as Dinwiddie suggests, being at home for signed delivery. In my case, I buy at wine shops for immediate drinking, at wineries for longer term holding, and online for stretching my wings. I feel buying online gives me a chance to try things and not have to blame anyone but me for any bad choices. When I walk into a wine shop, I don't feel comfortable just browsing. I can do that online easier and then take what I have learned back to the shop. But that is just me.

                2. re: dinwiddie

                  I sell to Buckley and K &L, etc. all the time. All of the older and rarer wines comes from private collectors that are selling their stock. I was recently on another forum where someone said they "would never buy a wine from a big corporate org like amazon"...funny. I wonder *where* they think that these specialty shops *get* the wine from???? Do they think the individual wineries are retailing their library wines??? Pretty darn funny.

                3. re: sunshine842

                  You're right, there's no difference.
                  In fact, I'm looking forward to the day when the US will have only two big corporations: the Corporation of the East, and the Corporation of the West.
                  And also, to the day when both will merge into one.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    One of my first thoughts was shipping and temperature considerations. Are they prepared to hold your order for a month, two, six, until conditions are at least somewhat acceptable?

                  2. What, pray tell, would be your recourse if you ended up with a flawed bottle? :-o

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Dornfelder

                      Not trying to play devil's advocate here, but:
                      What's your recourse to a flawed internet date?

                        1. re: sedimental

                          Actually, that is not always the case. I got a flawed bottle from BP Wine. It had come from a collection they bought. I sent it back and they refunded my money.

                          1. re: dinwiddie

                            Sure. Some exceptions apply, but I was speaking in general and by industry standards for fine wines.

                            Sometimes if it is an obvious storage issue that they probably should have picked up on but didn't, some places will refund or credit your account,but there typically is a short window from purchase to opening, and many miss that window. This is where details of the bottle conditions listed are important for both buyer and seller.

                            It also helps if you are a good customer with them too. Most will not refund for corked or "non obvious" flaws and they say so on their websites. They will also typically state that they have the right to refuse to sell to anyone. There are actually people that are outraged that they just can't return( for a full refund) corked wines or wines they don't like. Those accounts are canceled pretty fast.

                            1. re: sedimental

                              I agree, which is why I deal with those who have good policies. Of course I helps that I have been dealing with them for a while.

                              Years ago a winery that I buy from had a problem with wines being spoiled (I believe it was the 2002 vintage, but I'm not sure). The reaction, let us know if any of the bottles you bought were bad and we will refund your money, or preferably give you a credit against future purchases. They continued to do so and take your word for it through the '07 vintage, and I would imagine, continue to do so if I opened one now and it was off for any reason other than it was over the hill.