Questions and Answers:Many people consider the local liquor store or high end wine dealer the only option for buying wine. Today, purchasing wine or wine related products online provide more options than ever before. How does the online wine market work versus the conventional retailer? InfoFAQ has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions when purchasing wine and wine related products online.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wine Online
When shopping for wine on the Internet there are many options a person may choose from. It can depend on if they are on a budget, or if they want a certain wine. Here are a few questions that come up.
HOW MUCH OF WHAT I PAY IS FOR THE WINE ITSELF?most of the cost on a bottle of wine are fixed, including packaging (corks, labels, capsule, carton,bottle-32cents) bottling (8cents) and distribution (26cents). The government takes 44% of the cost of the wine in tax and duty. The rest goes on the retailer's margin (approximately 30%) So the more you pay for a bottle of wine, the more is going on actual wine.
WHAT MAKES ONE WINE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ANOTHER?how the wine is produced (hand-picking), use of oak etc. adds to the cost) The origin of the wine (some vineyards are very small and unique-this can push up the price because of supply and demand) demand for specific grape varieties (syrah is twice the cost of chardonnay as less of it is available but demand is high) The most crucial factor in a wine's pricing is the level of demand- if a producer can sell his wine 10 times over (like many top burgundy and California producers) then he is in a position to command a premium price for his product.
HOW DO I SPOT A QUANTITY WINE?At the simplest level, there are two main indicators of quality: Balance and length; i.e. the component parts of the wine all complement each other and the flavor of the wine persists once it has been swallowed. Price alone is not an indicator of quality.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE VINTAGE?Improved wine-making technology means disastrous vintages are now relatively uncommon. More often, one simply encounters different styles of vintage; for example, in bordeaux, 1997 is a lighter, forward vintage in comparison with 1996 or 1995 in marginal climates, vintage variation is more prominent and is a good indicator of style.
WHICH WINE DO I CHOOSE?The best wines to choose are those that other people do not rate such as "red Loires (chinon, Nicholas de Bourgueil, red Sancerre), such as Costieres de Nimes, Faugeres, Pic St Louop, most of Spain is unknown apart from Rioja, such as rueda, Ribera del Duero, Navarra, also wines from Portugal and Italy. Also look to Chile and Argentina (before it's prices catch up with Chile). Alsace provides some delicious food wines and cooler climate Western Australia offers wines with subtlety and consistency.
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF FROM BEING SCAMMED IN A WINE SALE?
Protect yourself from fraud by looking out for suspicious activity on any Wine auction web site. Most auction sites work hard to keep fraudulent sellers from posting lots., but your vigilance is required to ensure your sale stays "fraud free"
1. Always check a sellers feedback. The more transactions with positive feedbacks, the better the seller. If a seller has few transactions or has negative feedbacks be wary.
2. If a seller has fewer than 10 positive feedbacks the city, state and zip code that they registered with will be posted on the lot form.. If the seller asks you to send payment to an address that does not match that city, state and zip, you should ask for an explanation.
3. Look for changes in the seller's behavior- have they recently started selling again after selling nothing for a year? have the lots they are selling dramatically increased in quantity or value?
4. Avoid paying by wire transfer for lots offered by sellers with no or few feedbacks. If you can. pay by credit card because many card offer insurance or reimbursement for transactions over $50 dollars.
5. Lots that are too good to be true often are. Be wary when the price is far below a wine's average price.
Consumer Safety and Information
WWTG - www.ita.doc.gov
World Wine Trade Group.
Grape Wine Labels - www.ttb.gov
What You Should Know About Grape Wine Labels.
Wine Shipment - www.ftc.gov
Sales of wine to consumers.
DRS - www.ct.gov
Direct Shipment of Wine to Connecticut Consumers.
WA State Liquor Control Board - liq.wa.gov
Direct Shipping Law Changes.
Visit our Credit Card Fraud section for useful information.