Reviewing Online Wine Experiences
Updated: Feb 23
The wine business is evolving from simply relying on vineyard visits and on-site purchases to a new virtual hybrid experience. Online communities—not just Yahyn's community—are rapidly growing and discussing what the future of the industry will look like. As a consumer, you have the unique opportunity to choose what direction it all goes in. So, drink it in!
We'll be covering our favorite online wine experiences for whatever mood you're in. As always, we do recommend that you nail down your palate before diving into any of these choices below to limit any potential disappointment attached to a crummy wine purchase.
We’ve broken this article into your level of patience, so bear with us!
Yahyn Sommelier Tip: Partaking in a virtual wine tasting with your significant other? A great idea is to see how you match up and see what bottle is perfect for both of you by taking our Palate Analysis Survey or talking to one of our sommeliers.
Picture this. You’re sitting on your leather couch and petting your dog when you catch a movie scene where someone is drinking a glass of wine. You think to yourself, that looks delicious. What do you do?
Well, you could just hop in your car and go down to the local store. If that’s your solution, then you can stop reading this article. And why are you reading an article on alternative ways to buy wine online?
Or you could have it delivered to you through a wine delivery service.
There are so many choices when looking for a bottle of wine. It all comes down to your level of patience. Many companies work no differently than 1-800-Flowers. You select what you want from a local liquor store, and then they go pick it up and deliver it to you. Problem is that many times they offer substitutions because their online inventory isn't up to date. You're left with a false feeling of gratification when the bottle shows up and it just doesn't check those boxes for you.
I need a bottle right now:
If you have a little more time to spare, the best option that we recommend for you is an order processed and delivered by the vineyard. Nowadays, most vineyards allow direct online purchases either directly through them or through a marketplace. So if you know the vineyard that you want to buy a bottle or two from, see if they do that. Or you can use a Yahyn community marketplace that allows you to order from different vineyards who also happen fulfill your orders. The latter is a smaller processing fee and you're directly supporting the vineyard instead of a big-box distributor. We find this to be the best process for the vineyards and our community.
I can wait a few days:
Some vineyards are simply really big, wildly known and have better distribution methods, they can afford to send cases to several distributors. That’s when a storage delivery service can really benefit them. In those cases, you can buy a bottle of wine online through a wine delivery service that stores their own inventory from their selection of vineyards. They tend to have their own packaging, and you'll pay a little bit more.
Choosing a wine takes time. We get it! Sometimes the simplest solution is to just have someone do the picking for you. That’s when a great wine club comes into play.
Wine clubs are popping up everywhere these days. They are catering to every niche wine drinker imaginable. Why? Because people enjoy a regular present, neatly packaged, on their doorstop every month or so. They don’t want to think about their next bottle. They want to have someone else do the decision making. It's exciting to receive a new bottle every month or so.
You can lose the personal connection that goes hand and hand with buying a bottle. Many of these services have a sommelier on board for the recommendations. Others might opt to just send you any bottle that they have partnerships with and have agreed to send out. Do your own research and find out what varieties they specialize in, other people’s reviews, and how much it’ll cost you. Do the math and figure out if you’re really getting a deal.
Wine club choices:
Virtual Wine Tastings
Virtual wine tastings are great events to get to know a particular vineyard and their founders. They are also perfect ways to celebrate a birthday. These experiences can range from $85 per person to $400+ based on the amount of people, length, and quality of wines.
Seeking a virtual wine tasting experience? How do they work? Well, you purchase a tasting and then they ship you the various kinds of wines for your future virtual event. At that point, a representative of the vineyard hops on camera and walks everyone through the experience, explaining the various wine varieties and story of the vineyard.
Rare Vintage Wines
A guest arrives and you're looking to impress them. You enter the catacombs of your basement storage and dust off a wine bottle. Sometimes we feel like Indiana Jones hunters seeking our next bottle, but instead of protecting it in a museum it's stockpiled in cold storage in our wine cellar.
If you're more of a thrill-seeker hunting the depths of the internet to find that perfect bottle of vintage, we've got you covered! Here are a few online marketplaces that'll scratch that itch, whether it's an addiction or hobby.
Yahyn Sommelier Tip: Looking to find a bottle of wine that you want to store and age yourself for years to come, or perhaps to celebrate your first born's 21st birthday? Talk to our of our Yahyn sommeliers and ask what wines would be best to make the investment in!