Tips for how to buy wine online
- Credit: Archant
Check wine is in stock, seek out star ratings for merchants and don’t be afraid to ask questions
Judging by reports of huge increases in online wine sales, many more wine shoppers are turning to the web. But if you haven’t yet, there’s every reason to try now – not simply because hand-to-bottle shopping may be difficult.
The choice is near limitless and there are lots of temptations, notably free delivery offers. And you’ll be at home to receive them.
A little research is always sensible, especially if you don’t know the company whose wine you want. The invaluable wine-searcher.com has a star rating for merchants it lists, and shows availability and price comparisons.
Check chosen wine is in stock, not coming from outside the UK (long delivery times can be a clue). Understand the returns policy – faulty bottles should be replaced or refunded. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask questions.
Here are some online recommendations.
Support local industry with the English Lockdown Half Dozen mix of sparkling and still whites and rosé (£110, free delivery, hawkinsbros.co.uk). Discover how crisp and stylish whites from hot spots in Portugal can be, with Esporão Monte Velho, totally tempting, full-flavoured and complex (£8.50, free delivery for £30+ spend, finewinestore.co.uk) or Kopke Branco, minerally and elegant (£13, secretbottleshop.co.uk).
I’ve sipped the latter with much pleasure at the vineyard, overlooking the spectacular Douro river. Another place of happy memories is Domaine de Millet in Gascony, where Laurence Dèche is talented successor to her pioneering father Francis – her colombard/ugni blanc and égiodola/cabernet franc rosé are perfect aperitifs (both £10.60, yapp.co.uk).
Back home to end, at enterprising Bolney Wine Estate in Sussex, currently a food as well as wine resource. You can’t buy the fresh produce online, but instead order a tempting canapé kit or two alongside a Cuvée Rosé magnum (£69, free delivery, bolneywineestate.com), a summery, sparkly way to celebrate when lockdown ends.