Tag Archives: Wine.com

Wednesday Birthday week 2018 giveaway: $100 Wine.com gift card

wine.com gift card

The winner is Mike, who picked 333. The winning number was 317 (screenshot to the right).


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 11th anniversary, we’re giving away a $100 Wine.com gift card, good for anything on the site of the world’s largest Internet wine retailer. Thanks to Wine.com, a long-time supporter of the blog and what we do here. This is the third of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the gift card.

Winebits 531: Two wine rants and three-tier reform

three-tier reformThis week’s wine news: Two wine analysts may be even less optimistic about the future of wine than I am, plus Internet retailer Wine.com calls for three-tier system reform

Napa Valley worries: Author James Conaway, who has written three books about California’s most prestigious wine region, is “pessimistic and alarmed about the valley’s state and direction.” That’s the word from Mike Dunne in the Sacramento Bee. Conaway is afraid Napa will morph into a “viticultural Disneyland, vineyards as sideshows, wineries as thrill rides.” “I don’t see any hope,” he told Dunne. “It’s too late for it to become an agricultural Yosemite.” That’s as gloomy a view as I’ve heard, but not surprising given the news out of Napa in the past decade as the region tries to decide how to manage its unprecedented growth. When land costs as much as $1 million an acre, it’s difficult to sustain an agricultural vision.

Boxes, bulk wine, and blends: Or how about a wine business where what we drink is made like juice boxes, and varietal character is as quaint as the blacksmith? Elliott R. Morss, PhD, isn’t quite that alarming, but it’s not far from what he writes to that scenario: “The growth in blends is also notable. It means customers are focusing less on specific grapes and region and trusting more on the bottler. As the blend demand grows, so will the demand for bulk wines. …” The blog article is a little geeky, but the trends that Morss outlines apply to all of us who want our wine to taste like the grape and region it came from.

Three-tier Ecommerce? Wine.com, the largest Internet wine retailer in the U.S., wants to reform the three-tier system to make it 21st century e-commerce friendly. You won’t learn much more that that – if that much – from this very poorly written news release, which combines PR-, wine-, and supply chain-speak to create a language that even I had trouble understanding. The point, though, is that the retailer sees U.S. wine sales declining and wants to do something to make it easier for consumers to buy wine. Says one Wine.com official: “Limiting the market size of your own customers is not a recipe for growth.”

Winebits 517: Big Distributor, Big Wine, Wine.com

Big DisributorThis week’s wine news: Two of the biggest distributors in the country merge, plus Coke considers the wine business and Wine.com adds pick-up

The big get bigger: This spring, the 10 biggest distributors in the U.S. controlled almost three-quarters of the second tier of the U.S. wine business. That means that a handful of companies touched three-quarters of every bottle of wine we drank, adding another layer of bureaucracy and cost to a system that exists nowhere else in the world. Last week, the big got bigger, when No.2 RNDC announced it would merge with No. 3 Breakthru Beverage. That means, since Breakthru bought a smaller company in July, that the top eight companies will control 73.3 percent of the second tier. And, if that’s not enough concentration, the two biggest – Southern Glazer’s and the combined RNDC – will control 55.4 percent of the U.S. wholesale market. How anyone can claim this is beneficial to anyone but the distributors is beyond me. It will reduce competition, never good for consumers, and limit choice. That’s because fewer distributors mean the ones remaining will distribute fewer wines; can someone explain to me how that helps wine drinkers?

Is Coke returning to wine? One of the most famous failures in the wine business is Coca-Cola’s effort in the 1970s. Its brands included Sterling, but the company had little success and got out in 1984. So is Coke ready to try again? The company’s CEO said probably not, but that “Philosophically, I never say never about most things. …” Intriguingly, that company that bottles Coke in Australia is partners with the company that owns Yellow Tail, the best selling imported wine to the U.S., in the beer business.

Let me pick it up: Wine.com, the biggest on-line wine retailer in the U.S., has tripled the number of pickup locations to more than 10,000 across the country. This includes nearly 1,000 in California and more than 500 in New York. If you order from Wine.com, you don’t have to wait for it arrive at your house; you can get it FedEx Office locations, selected Walgreens and Duane Reades, plus some Safeway, Shaws, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer grocery stores.

Holiday wine trends 2017

holiday wine trends 2017We’re willing to spend more money for holiday wine in 2017, but don’t try fobbing us off with overpriced crap

We’re willing to spend more money for holiday wine in 2017, but – and am I the only one surprised by this? – we don’t want to overpay. And, in as good a bit of news as I can imagine for holiday wine trends 2017, the younger among us are willing to buy something that isn’t chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon.

“Consumers are ahead of producers in terms of quality, and they catch up to the idea of quality pretty quickly,” says Michael Warner, who owns Dcanter, a wine shop in Washington, D.C. “They’re willing to try something else, something different, but only if the price and quality is right.”

In fact, these younger wine drinkers are fussy about quality and price, and they aren’t willing to be fobbed off on something they consider inferior wine just because it’s different. Which is why I think this is such good news. They want wines from regions and made with grapes that their parents and grandparents aren’t interested in, and that includes wine from eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the southern Hemisphere.

How prevalent is this attitude? Michael Osborn at Wine.com, the largest Internet wine retailer in the country, says the site now sells wine made from almost 100 varietals. This is much larger than just a few years ago, and includes grapes like albarino, which no one has paid much attention to until the past couple of years. What makes the Wine.com numbers even more relevant? Its customers aren’t as old as the traditional U.S. wine drinker – two-thirds are younger than 50.

Several other trends after talking to a variety of retailers about holiday wine 2017:

• The most popular price this holiday season? The range from $15 to $25, as consumers don’t mind spending money to buy a better bottle of wine. The catch, though, is that they will only pay if it’s a better bottle. We’re not trading up just to trade up.

• Rose remains popular, with sales continuing to increase everywhere, including Wine.com. So do pinot noir and sweet red blends.

• Champage is regaining some of its popularity, but Prosecco – the Italian sparkler that’s about one-third the price and a little sweeter – remains the best-selling bubbly category in the country.

• One reason younger wine drinkers opt for non-traditional wines is value. Customers at New Orleans’ Pearl Wine Co. love a South African cinsault blend, says owner Leora Madden, because it offers so much more value than the $12 price. At Dcanter, says Warner, someone who wants to buy a red Bordeaux will leave with a red from the much less known and much less pricey Cahors region.

Wednesday Birthday Week giveaway: $100 Wine.com gift card

wine.com gift card

And the winner is: Rafael Chelles Barroso, who selected 123; the winning number was 136 (screen shot to the left). Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway: the six Reidels — two Vinum sparkling glasses and four O red wine glassescourtesy of Banfi Wines.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 10th anniversary, we’re giving away a $100 Wine.com gift card, good for anything on the site of the world’s largest Internet wine retailer. Thanks to Wine.com, a long-time supporter of the blog and what we do here. This is the third of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the gift card.

Thursday Birthday Week giveaway: $100 NakedWines.com gift certificate

$100 NakedWines.com gift certificateAnd the winner is: Lincoln Stuart Farnum, who selected 666; the winning number was 689 random4(screen shot to the right) — and it was damn close for all the prizes. The second- and third- place winners are long-time blog visitor Burnsey, who has been around here as long as I have, I think (713) and Patty Collins (657). Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway, the final one for Birthday Week, is the VinGardeValise Petite, the ultimate wine bottle suitcase, plus a copy of the cheap wine book.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s ninth anniversary, we’re giving away a $100 gift certificate from NakedWines.com, plus a $100 voucher for a $160 order for the second and third place finishers.. Thanks to NakedWines.com for joining us for the Birthday Week fun this year. This is the the fourth of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the gift certificate, and the the two entries closest after that get the voucher.

Wednesday Birthday Week giveaway: $100 Wine.com gift card

wine.com gift card

 

random3And the winner is: Fritz Reese, who selected 729; the winning number was 757 (screen shot to the left). Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway is a $100 gift certificate from NakedWines.com, plus a $100 voucher for a $160 order for the second- and third-place finishers.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s ninth anniversary, we’re giving away a $100 Wine.com gift card, good for anything on the site of the world’s largest Internet wine retailer. Thanks to Wine.com, a long-time supporter of what we do here, for their gift again this year. This is the the third of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the gift card.