www.wine.com

Type: Mega-site
Size: over 10,000 wines
Focus: all major wine regions
Specialties: Best for Ca wines; wines under $20
Shipping: Varies; $49 annual for free shipping
Discounts:  20%-50%

Pros: wide selection
Cons: too many "experts" popping up

Rating: 41/2 stars


If flash sales aren’t for you because, say, you have a job, family, and a life, then a site offering everything under the sun might be more in line with your needs and schedule.

So let's look at one of the biggest and oldest. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in San Francisco, wine.com comes with an enormous number of wines (10,000),  an easy to navigate website, and “expert advice” popups if you care to chat with an expert. 

The list of wines at wine.com is seemingly endless and makes you feel you are back at BevMo or trying to walk through a huge maze disguised as a wine warehouse. But then as you explore the "New Arrivals" and click on the various groups sorted by price categories and other filters, this site is so well organized that it begins to win you over.

One direct way to search for good values is to click on the Top Rated Wines (90 point +)  under $20 where you’ll find the Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone for $9.99, the Zuccardi Malbec for $13.99 and a fantastic 2013 GMS Roussillon from Domaine Lafarge at $14.99.

If you love Bordeaux, then here you can look over 152 Bordeaux under $50, including the Downton Abbey Red and White Duo. I’m guessing those wines are cute at best.

But don't pass by another list which has over 4,000 wines offered under $20. This is an excellent source of bargains which may have passed under the radar because no published critical reviews exist at the time.

Finally, and I told you this site is hard to leave, click on the “Clearance Sale” button and prepare for some pleasant surprises.

This clearance sale is not your typical garage sale of over-the-hill or hard to move stuff; the recent list included a 2012 Trefethen Merlot, 2013 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir, 2013 Landmark Pinot Noir, and several d'Arenberg Shiraz from 2010. Two good value Bordeaux, 2008 Lafon Rochet and 2012 Ch. Fonplegarde stood out on this list.

Prices for these clearance items are discounted from 10% on up to 30% or more.

Whenreviews are available, wine.com cites ratings from the usual publications, but there are also ratings and notes under the WW abbreviation. That stands for Wilfred Wong who was with BevMo for years but who, more importantly, is one of the most meticulous wine tasters and judges around.

Don't fixate on the numerical score; read his notes carefully.

After experimenting with a special site for daily deals, wineshopper.com, the parent company decided in mid-August, 2016, to make it part of wine.com.

Today, wine.com features a tempting shipping deal. For $49, you can  become a member and enjoy free shipping for a year. That's free for one bottle or as many as you care to buy.

That membership, known as a Stewardship, is ideal if you buy wines every month or so.