The ABCs of Buying Wine

Four strategies to get the wines you want

The ABCs of Buying Wine
(Nathan Hackett)
From the Feb 29, 2020, issue

A wine lover could easily spend a lifetime exploring what the the wine world has to offer. So who wants to waste time and energy trying just to find the bottles—time that would be better spent enjoying them! We understand. Wine Spectator editors are asked time and again: “Where can I buy that great wine you wrote about recently?” In this issue, we give some answers.

Fortunately, these days there is more than one route to obtaining the wines you desire. In addition to the timeless method of plumbing your local wineshop, there are myriad online retailers whose wares are literally at your fingertips. Wineries themselves are no longer at the far end of the distribution chain but have opened their doors to tasting room sales and direct-to-consumer transactions. And auction houses are curating both precious finds and more mainstream wines of impeccable provenance. 

The first step to bagging the wines you want is to ask yourself what wines you seek. The answer to this basic question will guide your buying strategy and in some cases provide you several avenues to explore. In the following pages, we detail four sources to consider when wine shopping, discuss the strengths of each and explain how best to navigate them. And at the end of the story, we’ve included some results and reader feedback from our recent online poll “How Do You Buy Wine?”

We hope you’ll be inspired to explore new opportunities and be rewarded with the satisfaction of a successful hunt—and, of course, delicious wines.

Ready, Set, Sip!

More ABCs of Buying Wine

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Retail: Shelf Esteem

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Online: Cyber Cellar

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Wineries: Direct Access

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Auctions: Paddles Up

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Reader Survey: How We Buy

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How To Auctions Collecting Direct Shipping ABCs of Buying Wine

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