Given the hardships of wine shipping—given the age delivery restrictions in many states—there was much debate about whether Amazon would find it a viable long-term business. For the moment, though, Amazon is sticking with its grape-juice efforts, this week expanding to Texas. That means both shipping Napa Valley wines to Texas from California as well as shipping some Lubbock, Texas-based McPherson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon to San Francisco.
"We want to connect customers with wineries around the country and provide a destination where they can learn about and purchase wines directly from wineries on the platform they trust," said Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace.
Amazon said that its ship-to list of states is now: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. Texas is the fourth state added to the Amazon list since its wine launch in November.
Despite the legal shipping hardships, the very nature of wine makes it a natural pairing with e-commerce. Shoppers in wine stores can look at labels—which they can also do online—and that's about it. Tasting or smelling wines in-store is unheard of, and immediately finding an exact vintage is so much easier online. That said, wine buying is a very personal hobby. For those who are simply looking for a table wine to drink tonight, the multi-day delay of an Amazon shipment may not make sense. And for collectors or wine enthusiasts, the very rare vintages that are worth the wait are unlikely to be in Amazon's stock.
Will it be able to make enough wine sales in that in-the-middle group?
-See this Fort Worth Business Press story
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