Another Way to Buy Wine Online – Flash Sale Wine Retailers: My Review of Wines ‘Til Sold Out (WTSO)
There are so many ways to buy wine online.
You can purchase wine online directly from a winery, through a winery’s wine club, through an independent-curated wine club, or from your neighborhood wine store with curbside delivery.
But have you experimented with buying wine online through a flash sale wine retailer?
What is a Flash Sale Wine Retailer?
So, a flash sale wine retailer is an online wine retailer that offers deeply-discounted wine deals for a limited time, typically for as short as 24-48 hours.
These online retailers contract with wine producers to offer deeply-discounted wines at 25%-50% off normal retail prices.
Why would a winery want to offer deeply-discounted deals to flash sale wine retailers?
Well imagine harvest season is approaching and you’re a winery that needs to make space for your newest vintage, and you want to reduce your inventory quickly.
If you could sell your excess inventory in 24-48 hours at a deep discount and still make a healthy profit, would you do it (especially given how the three-tier wine distribution system in the U.S. inflates the cost of wine for end consumers)?
Yes, is the answer for many wineries which is why flash sale wine retailers exist.
Wines ‘Til Sold Out
Wines ‘Til Sold Out (WTSO) is one of the oldest and largest flash sale wine retailers that has been around since the early 2000s.
They invited me to sample some of the wines available through their website.
Because I haven’t purchased wine through a flash sale wine retailer in a good while, I was eager to check out the wines that are currently being made available through one of these major online retailers.
After all, the test of a good flash sale wine retailer isn’t just its ability to source deals – it’s its ability to source good deals on quality wines.
To find out the current wine deals WTSO has up for offer, you can either visit their website or sign up to receive emails with their latest wine deals.
WTSO asked what type of wines I enjoyed, and I shared my current interest in the Loire (France), Piedmont (Italy) and of course syrah.
Here are the wines I received and links to my in-depth review of each wine:
- Brick & Mortar, Syrah 2017, West Block, Sonoma Coast, California (Wine Casual, 90 Points)
- Giordano, Barolo DOCG 2014, Piedmont, Italy (Wine Casual, 90 Points)
- Domaine de La Paleine, Saumur-Champigny 2015, Loire, France (Wine Casual, 92 Points)
- Domaine Pré Baron, Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Loire, France (Wine Casual, 93 Points)
The Wine & Verdict
So how were the wines, and were they a good deal?
Because I’m a wine enthusiast, I always start with the wine.
The wine was on point.
I was particularly impressed with the Loire sauvignon blanc which really harkened back to the old world.
And the cabernet franc and Barolo were both good as well.
The wines were largely expressive of their terroir, which is not something that you always find.
Now, were the wines a good deal?
All the wines were 35%-50% off comparable U.S. retail prices I could find through my online research.
So, you can find quality wine at attractive prices through WTSO.
If you’re the type of wine buyer who tends to look for bargains when you visit the wine store, flash sale wine retailers are your online equivalent to accessing the end-of-bin savings you can often find IRL, but at deeper-discounted prices.
Plus, purchasing wine online gives you access to a larger selection of wine than you can find in any one wine store.
Buying wine from a flash sale wine retailer can be a fun, wild-card way to supplement in-person wine buying.
Update: October 24, 2020
I sampled another flight of WTSO wines and below are links to the reviews:
- Charles Bailly, Crémant de Bourgogne Brut, Burgundy, France (Wine Casual, 86 Points)
- Domaine Des Bateliers, Cahors 2009, France (Wine Casual, 92 Points)
- Vallado, Touriga Nacional 2017, Douro, Portugal (Wine Casual, 93 Points)
- Pascal et Alain Lorieux, Agnès Sorel St. Nicolas de Bourgueil 2018, Loire, France (Wine Casual, 94 Points)