Top Online Wine Retailers Compete Over Memorial Weekend: Winners and Also-Rans


For online wine sellers, Memorial Weekend is like the first stage of the Triple Crown, with Fathers Day and July 4th to follow.

And as the long Memorial Weekend was unfolding, there was a lot of hyping and prancing around before the race began.

The dust is now settling leaving a couple of questions.

Which websites were better at it than others?

Which ones made a serious effort to offer new wines and attractive prices?

While everyone else was at the beach, tweeting, or walking the dog over the long weekend, we were following the major wine sites to identify the real winners.

Here are the top 3 Memorial weekend wine studs:

According to handicapper Jimmy the Grape, this was the pre-event favorite. After an early technical glitch out of the gate, this site hit its stride and by the final turn, it never looked back to emerge as the top choice.

The usual offerings were greatly expanded and the discounts ranged from 25% to 70%.

It augmented its outstanding roster of under the radar wines from the West Coast  with wines from Meyer Family, Goosecross, Ravenswood and Talisman Pinot Noir,

Imports were led by a super French Rose and 2013 Meursault Rouge, Pierre Matrot, Cote d’Or,  $19.99.



A real longshot, wiredforwines was a strong finisher with an impressive array of white wines and sparkling wines. Especially liked the 2016 Toutigeac Bordeaux Blanc at $13.99 and a 2016 Rioja for $12.97. Nicely priced Sancerre and Rias Baixas are tempting deals. For high-end fare, hard to beat the

2016 Arnot-Roberts Watson Chardonnay, Napa Valley.

Owned by self-proclaimed foodies operating of New Jersey, this site has come to life recently. Best on imported wines. Look for good deals in the Under $20 category and check out its Most Popular sellers.

  1. (Photo finish too close to call)

Sure, the spy thing is silly for wine though it works (for now) for Trump.This remains a go-to site if you love Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Sonoma County. But it manages to pick up a hidden gem or two from Napa. Recent offering of the Secret Rows Sauvignon Blanc for $14.99 confirms this is a much-improved site for high quality wines at lovely prices.

This may seem surprising but this site recently shows exceptional versatility with good deals on McLaren Vale Grenache, a Paso Robles Syrah at 50% off and Phelps Chardonnay.


One of the oldest online wine sellers, the California Wine Club was a sentimental favorite viewed as a real workhorse. But while others were saying “Stock up here and Save,” this club was letting the super deals speak for themselves. Specializing in small, family owned California wineries, it stretched Memorial Day offers through June 16 and offered a huge list of wines at 25% below the already discounted prices.

By adding $1 case shipping, it came from way back in the pack to finish a strong third. The following are our favorite wines to stock up now and save big:

  • 2016 Castoro Cellars Estate Viognier, Paso Robles $9.00
  • 2012 Zaca Mesa Z Cuvee, Santa Ynez, $12.75
  • 2013 Bien Nacido Vineyards Syrah, Santa Maria Valley $40
  • 2014 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir, Rincon Vyd, $32.
  • 2015 Talley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, $34

The rest of the pack: showed well and made a late move with a deeply discounted Steltzner Cabernet and a Howell Mountain Merlot. But why so many heavy reds weighing it down as June approaches? And it really needs to tamp down the batshit hype and maybe not associate every wine somehow with a winemaker who once made a 100 point wine. Or say every wine is rated over 95 points by somebody

Solid for discounted Italian and Spanish wines. From Chianti Classico to the Super Tuscans, this site beats most others for both selection and discounted prices. But otherwise limited offerings from other prime regions.

Enjoyed a decent weekend with specials on imported Roses. Good discounts and shipping options.

Rapidly improving but did not break away from the pack this week. Best for CA wines from limited production wineries. But also featured several first-rate French wines from Burgundy and Southern Rhone over the weekend.

Added hard to find wines such as the Scribe Pinot Noir,Tor Chardonnay and  Vermillion from Keplinger.

Not all wines are discounted, this is more like a specialty online wine shop.  

Proved itself once again as the site for stocking up on cases of quality wines to enjoy on an everyday basis. The list of wines under $20 set the stage this weekend.

Totally eccentric, with often brilliant selection of imports, this site devoted the weekend to offers of “mystery” wines. They were inexpensive, but seemed like a silly waste of time.

This very complete and reliable site with decent discounts didn’t come up with anything unusual or exciting other than adding a 10% discount

A Real Blowout Wine Sale

The Offer:


“Sale ends June 15, 2018. Use promo code BLOWOUT to take an extra 25% off already discounted prices on selected wines. Prices listed online are per bottle. Half, full and/or mixed cases all ship via ground for $1 to most states. Final order must be in increments of 6 or 12 bottles.”

5 reasons why we like this deal

A 25% discount on top of any pre-existing discount.

Discounted prices based on real suggested retail prices.

Real wineries, not private labels or made-up marketing brands.

Established wineries, not unknowns. From Davis Estate to Zaca Mesa.

$1 shipping for half or full case orders. This is the clincher.

More about this club:

One of the oldest online wine sellers, the California Wine Club specializes in small, family owned California wineries. By small, we mean case production in the hundreds.  It sprinkles in a few imports and Northwest wines.

The majority of the wines are from the Central Coast region of Monterey, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. Sonoma and Lodi/ Clarksburg are also well-represented.

The background information is refreshingly direct and toned-down. If you are annoyed by the hype and often outrageous comments common to so many wine websites, the California Wine Club is a breath of fresh air.

Or maybe it just takes a more professional approach.

Of the two dozen or more good deals that caught my eye,  I’ve selected my top 6 picks to give you an idea of the range.

The prices are my estimates. And yes,  a Talley Pinot and Chardonnay in the low $30s are real deals.

2016 Castoro Cellars Estate Viognier, Paso Robles $9.00

2016 Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc, East Side Vyd $12.00

2012 Zaca Mesa Z Cuvee, Santa Ynez, $12.75

2013 Bien Nacido Vineyards Syrah, Santa Maria Valley $40

2014 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir, Rincon Vyd, $32.

2015 Talley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, $34


For more wonderful suggestions visit:

A Dozen High Quality, Highly Discounted Wines Under $20

 Looking for truly outstanding wines under $20, wines that you can enjoy on a daily basis without compromising your standards?

Not to worry: we got big news for you.

This week, has gone all out to offer wines for under $20 that have been rated 90 points or more. If you act fast, you may be able to enjoy a special one cent fee for shipping a case or some other promo.

This website is ideal for one stop shopping. However, not all the wines are as good as they sound and not all are discounted. It is a long laundry list with over 900 wines.

However, we are happy to make your life easier by slogging through the list and highlighting the best of the best.

And we are happy to share a few buying tips to make the process less bewildering.

First, after going to “Wines Under $20” on, click on the sort by “Savings” feature to find the biggest discounts.

Our rule of thumb is buy wines online that are at least 20% below average retail. Otherwise, you might be better off at a supermarket or a Wal-Mart or Costco.

A good way to check prices, if you are concerned, is to go to which is the best for showing average prices.

Also, try to obtain a special shipping price. Without it, you can end up paying $35 or more to ship a case. That likely wipes out any discounts.

What wines are most likely to deliver in the under $20 category?

Start with Argentinian Malbec, a no-brainer, but you still can get burned with a lightweight style. For instance, I’ve been disappointed recently by the Norton Malbec. Dont overlook Cabernets and red blends from Argentina.

Otherwise, for Cabernet, consider those from Australia and places like Paso Robles and Lake County before automatically thinking Chilean. Washington’s Columbia Valley Cabs can be fabulous deals. It is possible to find tasty and on point Bordeaux, especially from 2015.

For white wines, check out those from Russian River, New Zealand of course, and also Pinot Gris from Oregon and Gruner Veltliner from  Austria.

Finding quality, discounted Chardonnay is a real challenge. Of the 86 listed on, only two appealed to me, the MacRostie and Terlato Family.

If you want wines with those tiny bubbles, Gloria Ferrer is still reliable but see our selection of Alsatian sparkling wine, surprisingly rich and delicious.

As for vintages, go with 2015 for wines from France, Italy, and Spain. Avoid those from 2011 and 2013.

Dont forget old favorites, tried and true places. For instance a 2015 Moulin-a-Vent, Cotes de Rhone, or Bordeaux Medoc can come through as super deals.

A word about point scores and critics.  Honestly, a wine rated 92 is not better than one rated 90.  Rating wine has become a silly game not to be taken too literally.

With these things in mind, we have cherry picked the lengthy list of under $20 wines offered by

All of our top wines are sold for at least 20% below retail.

Our list is a mix of whites and reds, and one sparkler to enjoy this Spring. These are wines to buy and enjoy.

Our Recommended top 12 Under $20 wines from

  • 2012 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Red, Columbia Valley $7.98
  • 2016 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ  $10.99
  • 2015 Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia $11.98
  • 2015 Torres 5G Garnacha, Spain $12.98
  • 2014  Antinori Villa Toscana  $14.98
  • 2016 Domane Wachau Gruner Veltliner, Austria $14.99
  • 2014 Vinacious Raconteur Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Australia $15.99
  • 2014 Terlato Family Chardonnay, Russian River, $14.99
  • 2016 High Valley Zinfandel, Lake County  $16.99
  • NV Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut $18.99
  • 2014 Vina Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles Estate $19.99
  • 2013 Seven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley $19.99