Buying Wine Online – the smart way to shop

For once, the lazy way is the best way

The Online Option

A good friend wrote in and asked why I didn’t mention BWS as a wine retailer. He and his partner buy most of their wine there for reasons of convenience: the BWS is right next to the Woolworths supermarket they buy their groceries from.

The answer is terribly simple: You won’t find good deals at BWS unless they have a 30% off sale on. I told my friend that I do most of my shopping online, and that the BWS website is not searchable and thus not of much use. He wrote back saying ‘neither of us has ever considered the possibility of having wine delivered.’

I suspect there are many other wine lovers out there who haven’t. Instead, they join the big crush in the grog shops before Christmas, Easter, Anzac Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Australia Day. Parking is a hassle, so is shopping in the crowded aisles, getting through the checkout queues, schlepping all the grog to the car and unloading it at home and schlepping it up or down to your place.

It’s not just wine but spirits and beer too, and cases of beer are pretty heavy. How often have you dropped a bottle doing this, and how much time have you wasted?

Expensive Convenience

There are lots of specials in shops like  Vintage Cellars and BWS and Chambers but they’re usually modest discounts off inflated retail prices. That’s why we don’t pay much attention to these places. We’ve left out Liquorland and Cellarbrations for the same reason. Sorry, that’s not quite true: we left out Cellarbrations because of the shocking name.

Just to recap, Woolworths owns Dan Murphys, BWS and Cellarmasters, while Coles owns Vintage Cellars, Liquorland and 1st Choice. More details in Woolworths and Coles, Masters of Wine? And more in Part 2

Retail is a strange business

The two big guys have positioned BWS and Liquorland for the passing trade, for people who’re shopping at the supermarket next door and grab a bottle on the way past. Prices don’t need to be sharp (and rarely are) because convenience is the driver, and these casual shoppers don’t know that they’re being ripped off because they don’t shop around as we do. 

Dan Murphy has much better prices, and so have the other retailers we feature on our site under the THIS WEEK’S BARGAINS drop-down. That said, Coles seems to have tossed in the towel and stopped trying to compete with Dan M. Instead of good deals, Coles has decided to promote Matt Skinner. On the Vintage Cellars side, Coles is buying up liquor licences in suburbs so it looks like VC stores will become your ‘local’ grog shop.

The smart way to shop for wine

I go to Kemenys or Dan Murphys or Winestar or MyCellars on my PC. They all have very good, informative websites and competitive prices. I’m signed up to their mailing lists, and they send me emails on specials and promos and new wines. Kemenys, Winestar and MyCellars list reviews from wine writers (Halliday, Hooke, Stelzer et al) for most wines they sell so you can see what the experts think of them before you buy. Dan Murphys posts notes from its wine panel and user reviews, which is far less useful.

Delivery in metro areas tends to take 2 – 4 days, to homes or business, and can be left at your front door or other place you specify if no one is home. All of the retailers we recommend use local staff to answer phone queries, or to deal with order/shipping problems. Most of them will refund or exchange if you’re not happy with the goods. 



·         Winestar, MyCellars and Kemenys are the fastest (2-3 days for metro delivery)

·         Winestar delivers for free to 97% of Australia, Wineonline delivers for free anywhere but W.A, and MyCellars delivers for free anywhere over $250.

·         1st Choice is the best for Country Australia with a flat fee of $7.95 per case

·         Vintage Cellars is the best option for country residents ordering more than 2 cases

·        Kemenys and Dan Murphys have the most elaborate delivery cost schedules, but both offer free shipment for metro areas on volume buys.


This retailer will deliver cases at no cost to 97% of Australia, making it the most attractive for shipping. The only condition is that you order dozen lots. Non-dozen lots – say 15 bottles – will cost $10 for delivery, 6 bottles will cost $20. Winestar’s heat policy means they will not ship wine during heatwaves. All very simple, details here.

Phone 1300 01 9463

Please note: Winestar does not sell beer or spirits


MyCellars charges $10 per case (dozen or less) but delivers for free on orders over $250. The advertised price online is the price regardless of quantity, so you can order a single bottle or 3 or 6 without penalty. MyCellars has also agreed to wave the freight for BUW$20 subscribers on any quantity to make it even easier to buy a few bottles to try. Please email us at for the promo code.

Please Note: MyCellars sells spirits online but not beer.

Details here.

Phone 0419 774 378


Delivery charges are $10 metro on 1 – 3 cases ($20 for Perth), more for regional and country where charges have various scales. The good news is that delivery cost goes down for multiple cases. The advertised price online is the price regardless of quantity, so you can order a single bottle or 3 or 6 without penalty.

In capital cities, you can get 2 cases of wine and a case of beer delivered for $10. In Wagga Wagga it’ll cost you $18, in Port Douglas $32. In capital cities, delivery for 4 cases or more is free, elsewhere there’s a nominal charge for the 4th case and up. Details here .

Wine Direct

‘ was born out of an unrelenting, perhaps even unnerving desire to provide top-notch wines to individuals and businesses alike, with service comparable to that of Andy Roddick and convenience usually only encountered at all you can eat buffets. We enjoy one of the highest retention rates in the country (in this context, that’s a good thing) – an annual 92%, testimony to the high level of satisfaction our customers experience with us.’

We’ve found these guys helpful and easy to deal with. Freight is free on orders of a dozen or more, and $7.50 for a smaller quantity. Prices don’t seem to remain the same, however. Details HERE

Phone 1800 649 463

Wine Online

A new arrival based in Melbourne, these guys will ship mixed dozens anywhere except Western Australia. They also have a really interesting selection of wines. Their prices are competitive but it pays to get on their mailing list because they run 3-day specials at 15% off about once every 4-6 weeks. Check out the selection.

Phone: 1300 WINEONLINE or 1300 946 366 5463

Phone 138881

Dan Murphy

Delivery charges are $7 per case metro, $12 regional and $19 country. Will deliver 6 bottles of wine at those rates, so you don’t have to buy a full dozen (full discount applies for 6 bottles). Metro freight is free for orders over $300. Details here.

Please note: deliveries may arrive in several batches from different Dan M shops at different times (they don’t seem to have a central warehouse). There’s no extra charge for this, but it can be a nuisance.

Call 1300 72 33 88 with any questions

1st Choice Liquor

1st Choice charges an Australia-wide flat fee of $7.95 per case (up to 12 bottles). In other words, you just can order six, which is where the maximum discount kicks in. The only exclusions are areas classified by the Australian Government as ‘dry zones’, or Australian islands that are located in International Waters. Details here.

A word of warning: The website says delivery takes 5-10 business days to most areas and 12 business days for isolated areas. In my experience it can take almost 2 weeks (in Sydney metro), so these guys can be slow.

Phone 1300 30 88 33

Vintage Cellars

Here it’s $17.90 (yes) for delivery of any order Australia-wide. The only exclusions are areas classified by the Australian Government as ‘dry zones’, or Australian islands that are located in International Waters (same as 1st Choice since they’re both owned by Coles).

This then looks like the best deal after Winestar and 1st Choice for those of you living in the country, and moves ahead of the latter once you order more than 2 cases because of the flat fee charged by Vintage Cellars. Details here

Call 1300 366 084 with questions, or email


ALDI only ships to the eastersn states at present.m These are the advertised charges.

$7.00 Metro Per Case

$12.00 Regional Per Case

$19.00 Country Per Case

Free Metro Delivery for orders over $300 (excludes beer and RTD’s). 


We can’t list all major retailers here, or all the wineries that sell wine online, so please check their websites for details.

    • Julian Breheny

      It might be worth noting that while many online stores (Winestar, MyCellars, Boccaccio etc) will deliver via Australia Post to a PO Box, Kemeny’s don’t, which is why I rarely use them.

      I’m not sure about the others.

      Langton’s, the wine auction house, is another good place to buy online, as I’ve recently discovered. It’s really more of a site for collectors, but, as mentioned in some of the articles about Grange, you can also pick up more recently released wine at fairly keen prices. Delivery, however, at $16.50 a case is pretty expensive in my opinion.

      • briard13

        Thanks for the tip on Langtons, Julian, I’ll check it out. I suspect the only retailers that deliver to PO boxes are those who use AusPOst, and most of the bigger guys don’t. Last shipment via AusPost cost me $15 for a six-pack from Brisbane. Not so good either.

      • Jules

        Great blog by the way. Your posts on the wine industry and the personalities are eminently readable, even if I do find the new website to be a little confusing when trying to find your latest posts.

      • briard13

        Thanks for that, mate. The content kind of got away from me a bit I have to admit. I list the latest posts under that heading on the right column of the home page, but Yes I need to revise a few things when I get a chance.

    • Monica Scott

      i am shifting my state in one to another place and here i take a party of wine around you really its a fantastic.

      buy wine online

    • Monica Scott

      hello nearly a week am shifted a new city and here i have no ideas for shipping mall etc now i will see this post and i ma happy please give some information how to use this online shopping.

      buy wine online

    • Tina

      Those are some great sites to buy wine. I now buy wine online after reading this article . The best thing I ever did

    • Kim

      buy-wines-online-save-money is not is Australia, Tina.
      Monica, this site is designed for people on the move …