Wine merchants and supermarkets both have enormous ranges of wines to chose from. Supermarket wines have shelf labels and descriptive bottle labels, but wine merchants win out in terms of product knowledge and service.
Local Wine Merchants
Local wine merchants build their customer base by providing good service. Their staff members are knowledgeable about wine and can give advice. They will advise you on which wines go with particular meals, which will appeal to someone who knows little about wine and can describe the wines much better than a supermarket label can.
Local wine merchants may have tasting evenings, these might even be free. Even if you have to pay though, it will be a fun evening out, where you will learn a lot about wines you might have been wary of trying.
If you become a regular customer of a local wine supplier the staff will come to know your tastes and the wines they recommend will come to match your requirements better than ever.
Developing a relationship with a local specialist wine merchant might get you access to special offers, too. Once the owner is confident of your custom he will be willing to buy in cases of wines you suggest.
Buying your wines from a local wine merchant also supports local employment, the retailer expands, takes on more staff and all these people spend their money locally, boosting the local economy.
Online Wine Warehouses and Merchants
Online wine warehouses and merchants compete on price and range. They have many more customers than a local small town wine merchant; so can carry a massive range of wines from every country.
When Would You Buy From an Online Wine Merchant?
Wine websites usually have a minimum order of six or twelve bottles, often of the same wine. This is perfect if you know the wine you are ordering, but not otherwise. You do not want to end up with a case of a wine you cannot drink.
If you are planning a wedding, or any party, where you want to serve quality wine rather than supermarket wine, then an online wine superstore is an option to consider.
Why Would You Choose an Online Wine Warehouse?
If you are looking for multiple bottles of a particular wine then this is going to be your lowest cost option.
Wine websites compete on price and variety. They have no high street rents to pay, lower staff costs and you pay delivery, so even that is not an extra cost they have to bear.
Which Is The Best Online Wine Merchant?
The best wine websites will allow you to buy mixed cases of wine. Rather than buying twelve bottles the same, you can order any twelve in a case.
Sometimes the wine merchant will offer a pre-selected case of red or white wines, with twelve different wines, or with two bottles each of six different wines. These mixed cases of wine are perfect to allow you to sample a large range of wines, while knowing that you can order a case of any wine that you do like out of the mixed case.