The task of buying great wines used to be something of a hit and miss affair, particularly to those who were new to the hobby. A lot of tasting and listening to word of mouth would be required if you were to discover vintages that were to your liking, which could result in a lot of wasted money if you weren’t especially careful when making your choices.
A lack of information is the main culprit for this, especially for those who lived far away from the main winemaking centres of the world. However, the advent of the internet changes all of that. Instead of having to rely on sources that could often prove to be unreliable, the internet has provided all of us with a wealth of information on practically any subject that we might choose to learn more about.
Wine buyers have benefited enormously from this in a number of different ways, which include all of the below.
Exposure to New Producers
One of the great joys of drinking wines, regardless of what era you may be most familiar with, is discovering a producer that you have never heard of and finding that the wines they make are absolutely amazing. Again, before the advent of the internet this was something of a trial and error process. You also had the issue of many smaller producers not being able to get their products out to wider audiences due to only having narrow distribution channels.
The internet has changed all of that and now any producer is capable of creating a simple website that will allow people to find out more about them, their philosophies and what the wines that they create are all about. Furthermore, the internet also provides such producers with a range of opportunities in regards to forming relationships with suppliers, restaurants and anybody else who may have need of their services, resulting in more exposure for the unsung heroes, a lot more variety for customers and the continued growth of the wine industry as a whole.
The costs of operating a dedicated establishment to sell wine to consumers should not be underestimated. While traditional brick and mortar wine shops are by no means a thing of the past, with many still enjoying the experience of visiting such stores and sampling the many delights that are on display, the cost of maintaining these shops will always have an effect on the sale price of the wine itself. Furthermore, bars, restaurants and other establishments will also place mark-ups on their wines that are dependent on their operating costs and the money charged by their own suppliers.
This issue of cost is another area where the internet has resulted in massive improvements for those who wish to further explore wine. With many online suppliers having relationships with producers, allowing them to buy in bulk at lower costs, coupled with the fact that a virtual “premises” is much cheaper to operate than a physical one, wine lovers are now able to gain access to vintages that may not have previously fallen into their price ranges. In short, the internet has allowed for a new breed of wine merchants to arise that are able to save money in a number of ways, with much of these savings being passed onto the consumer.
For many, the act of leaving the house to find a specialist supplier that could expose you to new wines that are not available in the average supermarket requires a lot of time and effort. In the modern world, these are valuable commodities that must be divided properly in order to get the most out of life, so anything that allows for time to be saved and less effort to be made should be considered to be a boon for the industry.
Again, the internet has the answer. Ordering a bottle of wine from one of the many online merchants around, such as Xtrawine, is as simple as clicking through a couple of pages on a website and providing your purchase and delivery details. Then, all you need to do is sit back and relax until your bottle is delivered directly to your doorstep. Not only is this great for those who do not have the time required to locate specialist shops and visit them, but it is also a massive positive for the differently abled who may find that making such excursions proves to be too difficult for them.
Access To Opinions
The internet, at its core, is a massive hub of information. The introduction of things like social media, online review sites and forums have allowed for more people than ever to provide this information and offer their own insights into the virtues, or lack thereof, of the many products that they consume.
Again, this is extremely advantageous to wine buyers, especially those who are new and have yet to develop their own opinions about various vintages, producers and types of wine. Now, we all have access to a wealth of information about practically any type of wine we may wish to purchase, all at the touch of a button. Newspapers and other publications regularly make their wine reviews available online and there are millions of people around the world who are keen to make their voices heard in regards to the wine that they produce. These are valuable resources to those who are considering making purchases.
The Final Word
Despite the detail that we have gone into here, this only scratches the surface of the many benefits of buying wine over the internet has to offer to the consumer. In addition to the wealth of information, the variety and the better pricing, the web also allows those within the industry to detect new trends and open up new markets, such as those in China and India. In short, it is quite obvious to say that the internet is here to stay in the modern wine culture and it is responsible for a boom period the likes of which we have not seen at any point in history.