When I first heard that Amazon was going to start selling wine, I thought, “Great. Just what I need. One click wine buying through Amazon Prime.” It sounded pretty dangerous for someone like me who sometimes takes breaks in my writing day by poking around Amazon.


The Amazon Wine site is now in Beta, and it turns out, it’s not so dangerous for me. First of all, it doesn’t ship to New Jersey yet. Also, it’s not part of Amazon Prime. I couldn’t “one click” my way to wine delivered at my doorstep, free of shipping charges, even if they did ship to NJ. In fact, many of the wines on the site require several clicks to get to because Amazon isn’t actually selling them. It only links to the winery’s website, and there don’t seem to be any specials or discounts for Amazon customers.


Some of the wines, however, do seem to ship from Amazon, and it’s easy to find those if you check the box in the side bar that says “exclude offers from external sites.” Once you do that, those who live in the states that Amazon will deliver to (CA, DC, FL, IA, ID, IL, NE, NV, OR, WA, WY as well as DC) might have some luck finding some new wines that they can have shipped to their house at a decent shipping price. Amazon will ship up to six bottles of a specific wine for $9.99. The shipping costs for wine are often so high that it makes you have to really want that specific wine to justify the cost. But, at $9.99 for six bottles, if you find a wine you really like, that’s a bargain shipping price.


You can search by specialty categories like organic, gluten-free, vegan or fair-trade. There isn’t a wide variety of choices in these categories yet, but I’m sure if the site does well, those choices will increases.


You all know that I’m a loud supporter of my local New Jersey wines, but I don’t buy local wines exclusively. I buy wines from all over the country, and I try to focus my buying on wines created by sustainable methods. Once Amazon Wine has been around for a while and its consumer-generated reviews have had enough time to give wines reliable ratings, I might try it out if they add New Jersey to the state’s they ship to.


Or, I may join Wine.com’s Steward-Ship program. While looking for some information on Amazon Wine, I saw on Mashable that Wine.com is starting its own shipping program in response to the threat that Amazon will pose, and it’s a great deal. For $49 a year, you get unlimited standard shipping on every wine order. You can even get a trial of the program for free for one month. Right before the holidays. This could be the danger that I originally thought Amazon’s Wine program could be. Ahhhhhhhh. I live for this type of danger.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

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