Since most of us don’t reside anywhere near the top of wine food chain, at some point we intersect with the distribution system.
Depending on where you live, of course, it can be anything from a piddling annoyance to a grander, weightier matter that transcends irritation. Distributors in the three-tier system are one of those unique love ‘em or hate ‘em institutions.
If you live in a state where they rule with absolute power, they can be the 12,000-pound bull elephant hogging the couch in front of your flat screen TV right before kickoff.
Most consumers would like to be able to order and buy their wines just like we can now order and buy most goods – from a chair in front of your computer, a simple point-and-click maneuver that lets you shop the world via the Internet while resting on your seat.
In many states you can already do this and have the wine delivered to your front porch the next day. But in many states you can’t, which is why Amazon’s intent to sell wine could have broad ramifications.
I know enough about wine distribution to know that there are many obstacles and pros and cons with direct shipping. Yet wineries are learning about Amazon’s plans and how that system might work.
I also know many of you either work in the wine business, and have your views and insights, or you’re like me, you work at making the wine business successful by buying its products.
What does the Amazon wine play look like to you? Will it break the log-jam and open up distribution channels in restricted states? Will the wines offered be mass-produced, grocery store kinds of wines, or will the Harlans of the world end up on-line?
John Wilen — Texas — September 12, 2008 5:51pm ET
Brad Kanipe — Atlanta — September 12, 2008 6:43pm ET
Daniel Grotto — September 12, 2008 7:27pm ET
Farhana Haque — Queens, NY — September 12, 2008 9:15pm ET
Eugene Kim — Houston, TX — September 12, 2008 10:48pm ET
John Shuey — Carrollton, TX — September 13, 2008 11:06am ET
John Poggemeyer — Cleveland, OH — September 13, 2008 11:10am ET
Gary Cohn — Cardiff by the Sea, Calif. — September 13, 2008 2:02pm ET
Michael Wigley — Long Lake, MN — September 13, 2008 5:17pm ET
Walter Egge — Hemet, CA — September 14, 2008 12:01pm ET
John Wilen — Texas — September 15, 2008 11:14am ET
Sandy Fitzgerald — Centennial, CO — September 15, 2008 11:46am ET
Ken Koonce — Dallas, Texas — September 15, 2008 1:50pm ET
Gabriel Enning — Sweden — September 16, 2008 10:07am ET
Richard Hawkins — Akron, Ohio — September 16, 2008 10:53pm ET
Kasey A Carpenter — Fort Worth, Texas — September 16, 2008 11:34pm ET
Gabriel Enning — Sweden — September 17, 2008 4:05am ET
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