I don’t normally tout commercial web sites but these are really worth exploring. I tentatively tried these sites a few months ago and now enthusiastically share them with anyone who is into wine.
What a brilliant way to buy wine. You get daily offerings in your email with detailed descriptions and prices that are more than competitive. With today’s tabbed browsers, you can then quickly do a search for ratings and general price levels. Once you decide to purchase, you use your stored information to buy a certain amount and amazingly, get free shipping on as little as four bottles (sometimes fewer bottles depending on the price).
After three months of use, I can say that the level of customer service and operations is impeccable. Lot 18 ships generally from wineries (update: they are now using local retailers for fulfillment) and WTSO from an East Coast retailer/distributor. The only drawback may be the frequency of emails which can add to your daily clutter but I think that’s a minor nuisance.
Update: Lot 18 has become a more upscale source of food and wine offerings. WTSO has remained the best source for a good variety of fine wines at really low prices. Both still worth joining.