Flash sales are not for everyone, but if you like fast-paced action and are adventurous, then there are several sites that you should know about.
Although you have to make decisions quickly and could get burned, the offsetting advantage of flash sales is that you do not have to spend hours going over hundreds of choices.
Lastbottlewines.com is a favorite of mine for several reasons, one of which is that it is kind of zany and fun to follow.
Rating: **** 1/2
Based upon the flash sale model, http://www.lastbottlewines.com is headquartered in Napa Valley and has been gaining momentum and clients since its humble beginning in 2011. Its Three partners (Cory Wagner, Stefan Blicker and Brent Pierce) are young-ish with good connections in the wine world.
Each day, one wine is offered, and the site gives you 3 prices: the current retail price, best web price of the day, and their buy it now price. Discounts vary with each wine, but are usually deep. If your order is too late, you get an empty wine case image with its not so subtle snooze you lose message.
Most of the wines are from California, but recently they have expanded their scope and are coming up with many wines from France and elsewhere.Two finds in April were great deals in Cotes du Rhone reds. Sometimes a magnum or double magnum of wine pops up. A double magnum of Grgich Hill Cab was the star of a Leap Year mini-marathon. That was preceded by an excellent Bordeaux from the Fronsac appellation and an exciting 2012 Spanish red from Elias Mora.
Earlier, Zinfandel lovers pounced upon an offering of 2011 Elyse, Napa Valley, Morisoli Vineyard for $16.00. The site also recently featured a 2013 Luna Merlot for $13, a super Russian River Syrah, the 2011 Martinelli for $22, an Oregon Pinot Noir, the 2011 Et Fille, and somehow the guys wrangled some of Sterling Vineyards’ 50th Anniversary Red. And talk about creativity, they found the Rangeland “Mistletoe” Red, a blend of Paso Robles Cab and Syrah, to offer at Christmas.
Suffice it to say, you never know what’s coming next from these guys and, well, that makes you wait for the net offering, doesn’t it? Last Bottle makes no effort to disguise its appeal to an audience that grew up on social media. The comments are obviously aimed at millennials with an overuse of CAPS, preponderance of buzz words from awesome, bang, boom, wow, and “killer Vintage” or killer wine” along with more exclamation marks and 3 dots than your English teacher ever thought possible in one paragraph.
However, I like the fact that they don’t rely too much on reviewers’ point scores, reinforcing the feeling that they know what they are doing. Some people may not be comfortable without reviews from the pros or their peers. But you will still enjoy the sheer enthusiasm conveyed here and the fact that these folks enjoy what they are doing. Nothing wrong with having fun while you make a buck, is there?
Seeming to enjoy surprises, lastbottlewiness.com broke the daily pattern and offered 6 attractive wines on Black Friday.They also has fun with several Leap Day offerings on February 29th. And no surprise, there was an April Fool prank. There will likely be other surprises in the months ahead to keep you guessing. You can download their app to keep informed.
Last bottle shipped about 1 million bottles in 2015 or close to 300 cases a day. Local buyers in Napa and Sonoma enjoy free shipping, and that is as cool as the refrigerated delivery van they use.
lastbottlewines.com is an emerging KILLER online wine seller. (BOOM! I nailed it!!!!)
Pros: Shipping is free for 4 bottles or more. Good discounts. Checkout is simple and clean. Delivery was on time. Free local deliveries.
Cons: Wines are offered at different times of the day so you have to be on alert and some disappear quickly. Styrofoam shippers, really?