Today the amateur is spoiled for choice when it comes to buying a bottle or a case of wine. In the field or among the various existing networks, review their advantages and disadvantages.
Directly to the domain
This is of course the most user-friendly solution, but not the easiest. At the winemaker, you can often taste before buying, this is even the main advantage. But now, the best producers no longer have wine to sell on the property, and the most speculative vintages are often reserved, on allocations, years in advance. For others, however, traveling to the estate allows you to establish contact, to put a face on a label, and for a product as human and cultural as wine, that is priceless. In addition, nothing requires you to come every year, you can also have it delivered by phone or by email.
At the wine merchant
This solution corresponds to the urban enthusiast, who does not have time to move around the vineyards and who often does not have an adequate cellar in the basement of his building. The wine merchant provides good advice, as long as he is not tied hand and foot with a central purchasing agency that dictates his references. However, once you have established contact. You will want to return to see it to discover its seasonal offers, or even. For the larger ones, to be among the privileged few who can acquire bottles in ultra-limited editions. Note, some wine merchants offer valuable services (temperature bottles, delivery, late opening hours).
In mass distribution
Everyone knows the principle of supermarkets: a wide choice but no advice. Hence the interest in following wine guides or specialized magazines, but most of the time the references on the shelves do not appear. Faced with such a thicket, the most playful will go fishing, targeting several cuvées in their taste profile and their budget to fill the Caddy. Some downtown retailers now have recognized qualitative approaches, such as Monoprix, so everything is not to be thrown away, far from it.
During wine fairs
A prerogative of large-scale retailers, wine fairs have become the annual event for amateurs. In the fall mainly, the spring fairs never having really made its mark, the offers overlap, between promotional discounts soon prohibited by law (such as a bottle purchased, a bottle offered) and real good quality finds. The prices are often very attractive, but as often the volumes are limited. It is, therefore, necessary to be among the first to seize the good deals. A sure way to build up a cellar bottom.
In a wine salon
Sales fairs directly from the producer to the individual are multiplying and it is sometimes difficult to sort out. Of course, these are operations of a commercial nature for the organizer, so not all of them practice a rigorous selection upstream. Between genuine barkers and real good winegrowers, it is not always easy to distinguish them, and, here again, reading reference guides or magazines will be of great help to you. Afterward, you are free to come and taste and judge for yourself. Most of these events, however, like the salons of independent winegrowers across France, contain real nuggets. A good opportunity, also, to supply his cellar.
This marketing method was born in Bordeaux nearly forty years ago, and curiously has never seriously spread outside. The operation consists of buying wine still in barrels, one to three years before bottling. With prices becoming more and more unpredictable and speculation that has taken hold of certain vintages and vintages, the purchase of futures is now to be reserved for wines that you really want to have in your cellar, and of which the quantities available are limited. For others, there will always be time to acquire them later on in the market.
During an auction
Although open to everyone, auctions are a channel that is unknown to the general public. The idea is to acquire second-hand wines that professionals and individuals alike wish to put back on the market. If we don’t only find great vintages there, far from it, we often find old vintages that have reached maturity, anniversary years, rare bottles, and this at all price levels! As an auction house functions like a real marketplace, we can just as easily come across nuggets at friendly prices. As on undrinkable wines that some collectors will want to acquire at all costs. Always keep a cool head!
On the Internet
The evolution of distribution methods, internet sales in itself did not invent anything. But on the other hand, increased the number of players. This medium has now almost replaced the paper of the old mail-order sale. But ultimately the reflexes remain the same: buy good wine at an attractive price, and above all be correctly delivered. Because it could happen, in the past, that certain sites not very serious, even fraudulent, do not honor their commitments.