Online Merchants

Here’s a short list of independent merchants who deliver for free or next to nothing (some of these guys will ship your beer and spirits as well).

Which wine merchants can you trust?

winedirect-web-logoWe get a lot of mail from subscribers who ask us about various online merchants. We prefer to buy from real wine merchants who live and breathe wine, who have real shopfronts and have added an online business to keep up with the times and make them more competitive.

1. Favourite merchants: range, prices, shipping, service, websites

Kemenys Sydney – $10 per case, free for 4 cases or more. Beer is an option here.

Winedirect Adelaide – free freight to most places. Selected range of South Australian wines

MyCellars Adelaide – free freight for BWU$20 subscribers on any qty. also free over $250

Winestar Melbourne. Huge range, free freight to 97% of Australia

ddWinelistaustralia Melbourne – huge range, free shipping on orders over $250

Winesellersdirect owned by the same family, free shipping for a dozen or more

Different Drop Sydney – ‘Awesome, unique, Australian wine.’ Freight $9 Flat, Free over $150

United Cellars – prices not as competitive as some but there’s a huge range of imported wine.

Vintage Direct – Nicks Melbourne, free shipping on dozens to most of OZ

Dan Murphys website works well, delivery cost varies by location; order can arrive in lots.

For more details on freight costs and options, see Buying Wine Online – the smart way to shop

2. Merchants we support with reservations

Wineselectors – good feedback, good operation, prices aren’t the most competitive

Sixty Darling Street – great range, good prices, no functional website, complaints about slow delivery

Annandale/Cremorne/Northbridge Cellars  interesting range of imported wines, expensive

Chambers Cellars   – only competitive when they have a 30% off sales on

Porters Liquor – franchise with no functional website, prices are not competitive

Vinomofo – far too many ‘black market’ deals (disguised labels), and lots of  obscure labels.

3. Online merchants we tend to avoid & why

Please share your experiences with online merchants so we can fine-tune our recommendations –

Get Wines Direct – they lie, cheat and sell past its use-buy date, but have some happy customers.

Cellarmasters – they sell lots of ‘hollow logs’, Buyers Own Brands (BOBs) from virtual wineries. Owned by Woolworths.

Cracka – these guys drive us nuts. We spend a lot of time scouring the web for the best price on certain wines. Every search we launch drags up 4 – 6 listings from Cracka, which is annoying enough, but 4 out 5 times they don’t have the wine and offer you a substitute.

Winemarket – They claim to be independent but are owned by Woolworths. They ship from a warehouse in the Barossa, which is probably the same warehouse Cellarmasters uses.

Winedeals – looks like yet another proxy for Woolworths. Every link goes to Winemarket or Dan M’s. – these guy sell everything from wine to toys for babies. Owned by Graysonline.

Graysonline – they sell everything too. We’ve found good deals here from time to time, and they’re OK to deal with, but clearly they don’t care what they sell you. What’s more, their prices aren’t that sharp unless it’s a run-out/end-of-the-line deal.

Discount Wines – owned by Cannedamber in Canberra. The website gives us an instant headache.

Laithwaite’s Wine People – Laithwaite’s is a reputable UK merchant, but feedback on the local op has been patchy. Like some of the others in this group, they sell brands we don’t know or BOBs.

Myer and David Jones and other retailers clubs – these tend to sell mostly special labels or BOBs (Buyers Own Brands) made for them by the bigger wineries or by Cellarmasters/ Woolworths.

4. National Grocery chains: not easy to deal with

Dan Murphy’s, Ist Choice and ALDI all have online shopping facilities, and they all create problems for us: their state by state specials and local specials and online vs in-shop specials cause confusion and frustration for our subscribers who live across Australia. Almost as annoying is that the vintages shown on their websites don’t match with the vintages in stores.

ALDI doesn’t play these games but often their online offerings are out of synch with the stock in the stores. If you buy online only, that won’t be a problem.

For details on freight rates and related issues, please check Buying Wine Online – the smart way to shop

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