Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Wine in a Box

I've always been a big fan of purchasing items online. It's convenient, fast and less expensive in most instances than purchasing from a brick-and-mortar store.

As a wine lover, I recently decided to try purchasing wine online. As a resident of Connecticut, it was previously illegal to purchase wine from outside Connecticut and have it shipped to me. However, this all changed on July 15, 2005 when New York Governor George Pataki and Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell each signed legislation making their states the 28th and 29th to allow interstate, direct-to-consumer wine shipments. Connecticut and New York were the first two states to correct discriminatory laws ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 16. (www.freethegrapes.org)

I decided to try WineLibrary based on positive experiences from forum participants on WineSpectator. The selection was very good, and likewise the prices. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a valid coupon for free shipping (one code expired at the end of July) but even with insurance (against breakage) and shipping charges included, the price was still cheaper than the local store. After placing the order, I immediately received an copy of the order in my e-mail and was informed that I would receive "final confirmation" within 48 hours. 48 hours came and went and still no "final confirmation." I sent them an email which was responded to overnight and was informed that due to a system upgrade, my order was delayed but that I would receive the wine in 2-3 days. 2-3 days came and went and still no wine. Another e-mail from me, this time, requesting a tracking number. I received a reply the next day and was informed that the wine had just shipped (no ETA or tracking number). I received the wine in two days. From order to delivery it took 10 days. Not too bad. The wine was nicely packed in a box with heavy Styrofoam (picture above) with no damage whatsoever. Overall, I'm happy with the service and would gladly do business again.

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