Two Best Bets for Cyber Wine Deals


Two wine sellers broke out of the gates quickly on Cyber Monday.

Probably no coincidence that both learned on the job and fine-tuned their skills with Flash Sales.

Opening today with a magnum of Bernardus Santa Lucia Pinot Noir for $34, plans to focus its Cyber Monday run on magnums.

Magnums? Sounds like they planned ahead,

Look for more good to great deals on magnums, the perfect size for entertaining over the holidays.

Also eyes should be on another favorite,  It out-performed right through to late Sunday with a terrific deals on a 2013 Barolo. And this website was a thing of beauty to watch over Black Friday.

These are the two best bets.

Most other sites are trotting out old and tired nags and trying to disguise them as last-minute deals.

70% off a loser? No thanks

Last chance?  Right, until next time.

Cyber Monday Tips for the Savvy Wine Shopper

In the online wine world, the tempo is typically fast-paced as most push for quick reactions under the threat of selling out soon. The flash sales sites habitually push for a rapid ”Add to my cart” response, but others play the same uptempo game.

Most emphasize their miniscule allocations and spectacular one-time only price. Then there are the special case only deals and clearance sales with their limited inventory adding to the charged tempo.

Built upon a rapid response pace, what is emerging in online wine selling is kind of an anything goes attitude. They don’t want to give you sufficient time to think, to make a decision based upon what they are saying.

And what they are saying often tends to be misinformation and associations that are not logical.

Many descriptions and background narratives for the wines on sale often stray way beyond normal and often come across as frenzied hype. Are they trying too hard to close the deal?

You can judge for yourself on Monday.

Here are common sales pitches that fall into the trying way too hard to hype an over priced wine.

#1 The 100 point Reference to Winemaker and Vintage

The wine is “Made by a 100 point winemaker.” Or by someone who apprenticed with a 100 point winemaker. Add “legendary winemaker” and “icon” as well.

And not to forget the references to the “greatest vintage ever.” A few vintages have been rated 100 points.

The faulty logic is that it is the wine that earned 100 points from some person, well regarded or otherwise. NOT the winemaker.  And that wine has nothing to do with the one presently on sale.

A personal example is that I once got a hole in one, a perfect shot. Haven’t had one since and my current game is, well, not perfect.

And vintage assessments, rating are only to be taken as general guidelines, not quality guarantees. Humans make wines and humans are prone to make mistakes. Even under the best conditions.

#2 The Expanding Neighborhood

Next is the faulty neighborhood association, as in this Cabernet was made from a  “Superbly mature and well-drained Cabernet Sauvignon site on rocky, east-side of Oakville District AVA, next door to Screaming Eagle.” Or next door to Harlan Estate, Montelena, Silver Oak or Petrus.

Problem with this is that the neighboring property could be a swamp or more likely not a duplicate from The Truman Show.  I once owned a home flanked by two one-percenters. Each of them drove Porsches. I drove a Prius and mowed my own lawn. But we were neighbors.

#3 Huge Discounts of 50-70%

Huge savings, heavily discounted prices. While 50, even 70% off retail seems like a can’t miss deal, beware.

Obviously, some of these are being dumped for a reason, usually getting too old. Or from someone, producer, wholesaler, retailer, who needs some cash to stay in business.

However, It is not unusual for some wines to be made only for online sales. Known as private labels in the industry, there are many custom made wines sold online.

These are the majority of wines from big sites like, and The site can declare the wine’s retail price is $150 and then offer it at whatever low price looks good. The wine is said to be exclusive which may also mean it was custom made from somebody’s leftover wine.

However, you should get at least 20% off retail to make buying online worthwhile.

To verify full retail prices, I use It tracks prices at retail around the globe and also at various wine auctions.

Also, go to the producer’s website, if there is one, to find the real retail price.

A few recent examples of false logic and misinformation :

“With World Class Winemakers like: Helen Turley and Merry Edwards, one could say B.R. Cohn is one of the Most Influential Producers in History!”

Really, in history? No, you truly can’t just say that because it isn’t true. Neither works there now and haven’t set foot there in years, maybe decades. And what means “influential”?

“No other vintage has more 100 point Napa wines than 2015.”

One might ask, “So what?” More wineries now and more critics. Some writer just awarded 27 Napa wines from 2015 a perfect score.

And here is a over the top example of winemaker hype, vintage hype, and tenuous neighborhood claim all in one:

“It all started in 1996…hinging on the mastery of 100pt Philippe Melka. After 16 years of crafting world-class small lot mountain Cabernet Carlo Di Ruocco hung up his hat. 2012 marks the end of a Legend! Ardente Winery, located at 1500 feet on the rocky volcanic slopes of Atlas Peak neighbors the famed Pahlmeyer Estate. From a classic vintage.”

What a jumble of non-sequiturs and irrelevant info. Why did he hang up his hat?

For more tips and to see which sites offer the best wine deals, go to

Best Black Friday Wine Deal

12 bottles, ready to drink wine for $99, shippng is free

Each pack contains 1 bottle of each of the following:

  • 2014 St Mary’s Bells And Whistles Red Field Blend 
  • 2017 Clark Estate Upper Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 
  • 2016 Marquis D’aqueria Tavel Rose
  • 2014 Westerly Chardonnay Santa Ynez 
  • LC Villa Prosecco Millesimato Extra Dry
  • 2017 Curtis Nova Pinot Grigio 
  • 2016 Mairena Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • 2012 Vinas Viejas De Paniza 
  • 2017 Chateau Bas Pierres Du Sud Coteaux D’aix En Provence Rose 
  • 2015 Herdade De Calda Porta Da Calada Tinto 
  • 2017 Riviera Terre Siciliane Pinot Grigio
  • 2017 Dandelion Wonderland Of The Eden Valley Riesling 
  • No dogs here! All good to excellent quality.
  • Versatile and great tour of the wine world.

Think Rhone Style Wines this Holiday

Worry no more about which wines to serve with typical holiday fare and your fussy  family.

Sure, you’ll have to deal with your family, but

Your wine selection problems will be solved with these two whites and 2 reds from

Includes 1 bottle each of the following Thanksgiving classics:

  • 2013 Syrah “Le Pousseur”
  • 2011 Le Cigare Volant Réserve “en bonbonne”
  • 2016 Vin Gris de Cigare Réserve
  • 2015 Le Cigare Blanc

The price is very good:

$109 Four-pack

(Regularly $149)

More info should you want to join:

Wine Club Member price: $92.65

Go to

Best Wines for Thanksgiving?

Want to try something different and be a little adventurous this year?

Forget about the fruity Chardonnay and the wimpy Pinot Grigio. Neither goes well with the stuffed bird. And don’t drag out your favorite full-bodied reds as the easy out.

This year, if you want to be creative with your wine choices, we found the perfect solution online.

And if you act before November 12th, shipping direct to your door is free.

King Estate, an Oregon pioneer, is offering a terrific three-bottle package of limited production, highly versatile wines that will please everyone and make you look like you spent days researching the subject.

Yes, the solution is three wines to take you and your guests through the entire feast.

King Estate Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are highly rated and stand at the top of their class. 

The dry Estate Gewurztraminer will surprise and please everyone and spark conversation about its pronunciation.

Check out this 3 bottle Thanksgiving package at  or call 1-800-884-4441

Go to for more buying wines online tips

Wine Sale Alert

Best Fall Sale this Week

With free shipping on select wines is one to check out.

Act fast because a few sold out within hours.

Still available is an excellent Chardonnay: 2014 Cuvaison Estate Carneros, $15.99

And an excellent red: 2014 Chateau Hoyot Reserve Cotes de Bordeaux, $13.99

Another super Chardonnay with free shipping on 4: 2014 Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay, $16.99

Learn more about wtso at