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How to find wine online

Trying to figure out how to find a wine locally that you had on your last vacation in wine country?  I get this question all the time and I typically refer people to Wine Searcher.

As a wine consultant, I use Wine Searcher every day, at least 10 times a day.  It is on my internet toolbar I use it so often.  It is a massive database, filled by retailers with wine for sale, from all around the world.  I need to know what the “market visibility” and average retail price is for any wine, before it can be considered for purchase for a client.  My clients are typically looking for wine that is limited in production and not widely available …

Wine Searcher allows me to see what is going on in New Jersey and North Carolina at the same time.  However, Wine Searcher also makes my job more difficult, especially with European imports.  Wine from Europe is often imported into New Jersey on the east coast.  It then has to be trucked across the country to California, where I purchase wine for my clients.  Sometimes the same wine sold in New Jersey will retail for less than what I can purchase it for wholesale.  None the less, Wine Searcher has been become a necessary evil in retail world.  It can be both boon and bogey.  Read more about why in this article in the LA Times: Wine Searcher levels the playing field.

When you are using Wine Searcher to look for a wine, start with a general search and then get more specific.  So, start with the winery or brand name and look for it on a national level.  Then add in the varietal.  Next, narrow your search to your particular state.  Not all retailers list all information about every wine – so if you search for something very specific (such as vintage), you may not find listings, even though the wine is sold in your state.