15 online wine stores and wine clubs

15 online wine clubs and shops to buy wine from

Which UK wine clubs and online wine shops make 2017 an exciting year for online wine shopping?

After receiving some comments from fellow readers that they will be happy to browse through a list of online wine merchants and wine clubs, we were working hard to compare and contrast these online wine retailers to find out who offers the best value for you.
Buying wine from the comfort of your own living room is certainly an attractive option. It allows you to read lengthy blurbs, other customers’ reviews and shop without any kind of sales pressure; and with so many websites offering live chat or telephone help alongside a food and wine pairing guide, you should always be able to get just the right wine for your needs, be it from online wine clubs or stores.

However, there’s an overwhelming amount of choice out there, and it can be difficult to figure out who is best to buy from. We’ve collated 15  online wine retailers (many online wine stores also have a high street presence) and outlined the major key advantages you’ll find most useful; who they are, what they do, how much they charge for delivery and what they’ll do if something goes wrong.

Just in time for the end of year festivities, many of these online wine merchants are offering special promotions on mixed cases perfect for the party season.

We hope you’ll find this helpful, but if you have any favourites we’ve omitted, or indeed have any personal insights having bought from any on the list, we’d love to hear your opinions. Also please note that there is no particular order for wine shops as of yet, we will collect your votes first and then re-arrange the list accordingly. Please do let us know your thoughts about your favourite online wine stores and votes by emailing us or twitting to us. Cheers!

15 online wine clubs and wine shops in the UK:

1. Laithwaite’s Wine

Having started life as ‘Bordeaux Direct’ in 1969 and selling only one type of wine, Tony Laithwaite’s company has become the UK’s No.1 home-delivery wine merchant and is the current UK wine merchant of the year. With over 1500 wines to choose from, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets. You’ll find a bottle of 2009 Saint-Estèphe Chateau Tronquoy-Lalande with cigar box, cassis and blueberry aromas for £35 and a 4* rated ‘Party Perfect’ Hungarian Campanula Pinot Grigio at £6.99. Customer reviews and ratings might help or hinder as you get sucked into the time vacuum of reading other people’s thoughts.
Join their wine club and receive 50% off your first case of 12 bottles, with free delivery and two free stemless glasses. All wines come with tasting cards, and future orders have 10% off and can be cancelled at any time.
Delivery:
Standard delivery is £3.95 but if you plan on becoming a Laithwaite’s regular, receive free unlimited deliveries for a £24 annual fee.
Returns:
Often praised for their excellent customer service, they are so confident in their wine buying, they offer an exchange or no-quibble 100% money back guarantee, and will even collect the offending bottle(s).
Promotions:
Check out the Laithwaite’s Bin Ends section for cases of 12 bottles from £77.88 (£6.49/bottle).
Organic selection?
While they do have occasional bottles of organic wines, there isn’t a dedicated organic selection to choose from.
Other notes:
In case you need help choosing which wine goes best with Sunday dinner, call or live chat with their wine advisors seven days a week.

2. Organic Wine Club

It is your ultimate destination when you are really into organic wines – designed to serve just organic wine consumers and dedicate themselves to just organic, biodynamic and natural produce. Wonderful. They do stock a very interesting selection of sulphite-free and low alcohol wines too, most of them are certified organic too! Great selection of delicious wines – why not to try them for yourself?

Delivery:
£8 is their standard delivery charge, which in most cases will get your wines over overnight (provided it was ordered before noon), otherwise in 1 working day – it is really good for  small business. Delivery to mainland UK only.
Returns:
If your wine appears corked or faulty (which can happen due to a production error), they will replace or refund. Good honest service.
Promotions:
2WINE voucher code will get any new customer a £20 off their first wine case (orders over £99). Simple and straightforward. Sign up for their newsletter and get a code for a free delivery too! New2Organic code will give £8 off any order over £50.
Organic selection:
More than 160 organic wines under 1 roof. Do we just need to say that it is the largest independent selection of organic wines by a pure wine retailer? The largest selection of natural wines with no added sulphites.
Other notes:
Wine advisors are very knowledgeable and certified by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) meaning you’ll always get expert opinions from them. Loyalty programme and affiliate programme on offer. Wine tasting events are great but the store is located in Worcester Park (KT4) if you are based closeby?

3. Majestic Wine Warehouse

Founded in 1980, Majestic has nationwide stores and an excellent website to buy from. They recently removed their minimum order quantity and customers can now purchase single bottles, but discounts of at least 10% are available on cases of six or more. They won Great Value Merchant of the Year at the 2015 Sommelier Wine Awards, with 90% of their award winners being under £10.

Delivery:
Free seven day flexible and friendly delivery from your local store on a case of 6 bottles or more. Click and collect from 214 stores nationwide.
Returns:
A no quibble guarantee allows you to get in touch with your local Majestic store and tell them you didn’t like a wine, and they’ll refund or replace.
Promotions:
Register an account at Majestic Wine using this link, and then download the Majestic App and get £10 off an in-store or online order. A current promotion offers a mixed case with red, white and champagne for £147.91 with a free case of craft beer.
Organic selection:
Majestic has five organic wines in stock from £6.99 as part of a ‘mix of 6 wine’ offer or £9.99 per single bottle.
Other notes:
The staff are friendly, and knowledgeable and everyone you meet at Majestic has been professionally accredited by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) meaning you’ll always get helpful recommendations from them. In addition to your wine order, you’re able to add ice, borrow a chiller bin and free glass loan if you’re catering to a larger crowd.

4. FromVineyardsDirect

The formidable duo behind FromVineyardsDirect is David Campbell who invented France’s best-selling Wine Book, the Guide Hachette des Vins and Esme Johnstone, the founder of Majestic. They offer a small range of wines from France, Italy and Spain, imported from the growers and delivered directly to the customer.

Delivery:
Delivery is included on all cases of 12 and above, with small delivery surcharges if purchasing fewer bottles.
Returns:
Breakages must be shown to the delivery driver and FromVineyardsDirect must be notified at the time of delivery to be eligible for a refund or replacement. There is no mention of corked or unsuitable wines being covered by a refund policy.
Promotions:
A whole section of offers to whet the bargain-hunters palate includes bin ends, mystery mixed cases and limited parcels.
Organic selection:
They offer a nice selection of organic wines starting at £8.95
Other notes:
FromVineyardsDirect has a wine club with the option of choosing the ‘Easy Drinking Case’ or the ‘Dinner Party Case’. Each case has 12 bottles of mixed wines, and costs around £125 to £190, available every two months, or on an ad-hoc basis when required. They also offer help when planning weddings and events.

5. BuyWineOnline

Philip West started Buy Wine Online with only South African wines, and although the website states wines from other countries will be added, they are all from South Africa at the moment. Although the website isn’t as slick as some of the larger wine merchants, if you have a particular penchant for South African wines, it’s certainly a good place to look. Buy Wine Online has a feature where they will help you plan a dinner party and by entering your meal plan, they’ll email you suggestions and links to suitable wines. Possibly a more considered way to pair food and wine than the generators other sites have, as you’re receiving more personal attention.

Delivery:
A minimum order of six bottles is required, with delivery charged at 95p per bottle – which works out at £5.70, or they charge £7.99 per case of 12.
Returns:
Claims should be made within 3 days for anything you wish to return.
Promotions:
Various offers including a case of 12 mixed whites for £99 or buy three bottles of Shiraz and save 10%.
Other notes:
Call for friendly help and advice about any wine or order related matter. BuyWineOnline also has a selection of gift boxes should you be buying a bottle or three as a gift.

6. Australian Wines Online

Australian Wines Online has been trading as Wine Buffs from retail premises in Warrington for 12 years. They bring wines from some of Australia’s most highly regarded winemakers as well as the smaller family run and boutique wineries, allowing the British public to try classic to contemporary Australian styles.

Delivery:
Delivery starts from £10 with no option for free delivery.
Returns:
The website gives no mention of what to do if you receive damaged, broken or unsuitable goods, but there are plenty of ways to contact them including telephone, email and physical address.
Promotions:
A special six bottle mixed case put together to come under the 100 Australian dollars mark means there are three mystery whites and three mystery reds for £42 or try their ‘Six of the Best’ box with some outstanding Australian wines at £140.
Organic Selection:
They have two Australian organic wines in stock, both £11.99.
Other Notes:
Not just Australian wines, they even have some wines from Europe, New Zealand and the USA and offer gift vouchers from £20 to £125, perfect for last minute gifts.

7. Buy Great Wine

Buy Great Wine specialises in wines that can usually only be found in restaurants, aiming for the higher quality wines without the additives permitted in lower grade wines from small, independent producers rarely found for sale in the UK.
A minimum order of six bottles is required, with some wines having a 12 bottle minimum, however, with their 100% money back guarantee on any wines you don’t like, there’s no risk of buying too much of something not to your liking. Lots of information is given about types of wines and grapes, allowing even the wine novice to gain a little knowledge and make an informed decision about the best bottle for the occasion.

Delivery:
Delivery is £9.99 and is reduced to £7.99 for orders over £50, sent in air-filled pillow packs to minimise breakages in transit.
Promotions:
Buy Great Wine has a selection of wines with small discounts on their home page.
Returns:
An online form makes it easy to make a return. Simply enter all the order details and reasons for return (faulty, received the wrong item etc.)
Organic selection:
Only one French and one Greek organic wine in stock, both £12.96.
Other Notes:
A comprehensive food and wine pairing guide gives you all the guidance you need for dinner.

8. Ottolenghi

Although Ottolenghi is not a dedicated wine merchant, there is a concise selection of just under 50 carefully chosen and pretty interesting wines with enticing descriptions. Some perfectly suited as gifts to take along to dinner parties, especially when you also choose some Ottolenghi gourmet treats as an accompaniment.

Delivery:
Free delivery for orders over £50
Returns:
Contact Ottolenghi within 24 hours of receipt and return unwanted goods (at your own expense) within seven days for a refund. If, however, your goods arrive damaged they will arrange a refund or replacement.
Promotions:
5% off if you buy 6-11 bottles of the same wine and 10% off if you buy 12 bottles of the same wine.
Organic selection:
Three organic wines for sale, and some organic foodstuffs too. The Baccabianca from a husband and wife producer team using organically-grown Cortese grapes sounds especially appealing and is £23.
Other notes:
Follow some of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes on the website, and wash down with a bottle of wine, chosen by reading their well-written blurbs.

9. Good Wine Online

As the name suggests, they only want to sell good wines – tested by the two owners themselves who want to sell superior quality and, therefore, have one of the UK’s largest selections of award winning wines. Tasting notes haven’t been copied from the bottle, but written by the Good Wine Online team who want to give you an honest feel. Lots of helpful information throughout the website means you can spend some time reading wine related articles.

They don’t have a minimum order but an inexpensive bottle plus delivery isn’t economical, so stretching to 12 bottles or more is the best way to get a good deal. Their website is somewhat non user friendly, but it did not prevent us from ordering a case. We hope they can work on the technology part of their business further and offer a more seamless customer experience.

Delivery:
£8.99 standard delivery or free for orders over £250.
Returns:
A full refund is offered if the wine is faulty or arrives broken. They don’t offer a refund in the case of the wine being not to your liking, and will only offer refunds on wine reported as faulty if it’s returned immediately for evaluation.
Promotions:
They have a ‘South African Gold’ case of six award-winning wines, all unique to Good Wine Online in the UK and a definite treat for Christmas, at £115.
Organic selection:
One of the few sites with a dedicated organic and sulphite free section, making it easy for consumers to buy appealing pre-mixed cases.

10. Rude Wines

Rude Wines was established by two wine enthusiasts who wanted to do away with the wine snobbery and complicated tasting notes aspect of wine buying and simply offer a quality yet down to earth service to like-minded customers. With around 200 wines in stock, and preferring small producers to big brands, they are always seeking undiscovered gems and as such are one of the UK’s few stockists of Peruvian wines. Minimum order is a 12 bottle mixed case.

Delivery:
They currently offer free delivery on all orders. Yet again please note their min order of 12 bottles!
Returns:
A robust cancellation and returns policy means they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Unopened bottles can be returned up to 14 days after date of delivery, and you don’t have to pay for any wines you don’t like.
Promotions:
Rude Wines has a VIP club costing £99 per quarter entitling you to an almost exhaustive list of free delivery on every order, 25% off any order, a 12 bottle case from a different region every three months, invitations to wine tasting events, your own wine advisor and wine tasting folder. Alternatively, try their six bottle Intro Case for £50.45 and receive two Dartington crystal glasses and three months free VIP membership. The perfect solution to see you through the party season is a mixed case of 12 bottles, two champagne flutes and a free bottle of bubbly for £76.99 delivered.
Organic Selection:
Three organic wines in stock, all around £20.
Other notes:
A team of dedicated wine advisors with a century of wine experience between them ensure you get a personal, bespoke service. If you need to know how to serve wines, the best foods to have with them and the winemakers they work with, they are eager to help by phone or email. The wines are of higher price segment though.

11. Vinissimus

Founded in 2005, Vinissimus has grown into a site selling more than 4500 mainly Spanish wines and boasts sales of more than 2 million bottles to customers throughout Europe. A big selection ensures they span a big price range, and you are able to choose wines based on the Parker rating.

Delivery:
Vinissimus charges £13.60 for 6 bottles and this increases with your order quantity. Be prepared to pay up to £24 for a case of 12 bottles. They don’t offer any free delivery but do offer a small shipping discount when you spend more than €300 per order.
Returns:
In the case of wine being corked or is in any way defective, they ask that you return the bottle at your own expense, and if they consider it imperfect will include a replacement with your next order. If you have purchased several bottles of a wine not to your liking, they will accept a return (at your expense) on the unopened bottles minus a restocking fee. Breakages in transit will be dealt with at no cost to the customer. It is a major disadvantage of buying wines from abroad – in case something goes wrong you will bear the costs and sometimes can be with no wine at all. Complicated procedures and dependency on a quality shipping company makes it a bit nerve-wracking, yet we have ordered from them and so far no issues there.
Promotions:
No promotions section, but currently a nice selection of wine gift ideas and hampers.
Organic Selection:
They sell a wide range of organic wines, yet there is no search function, so when you are searching for a particular grape or region, you need to spot those green leafy symbols near a wine title – they will be organic. Similarly, a moon sign will indicate a biodynamic wine.
Other notes:
Club Vinissimus has free enrolment and for slightly less than £72, you’ll receive six bottles and a set of wine glasses as an introductory gift. With no compulsory purchase required, you can choose two weeks in advance if you’d like to receive the next selection.

12. Corks Out

Founded in 2003 by Ruth Yates, Corks Out now has six retail stores as well as an online presence with over 300 wines to choose from. Stocking crowd-pleasers and fine wines from the Old and New Worlds from around £9 to £600 and a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan wines means they have most needs covered.

Delivery:
Corks Out has a £7.99 standard delivery charge or spend £40 for free delivery (good value!).
Returns:
Unopened cases may be returned within 14 days for a full refund, and in the case of Corks Out being responsible for the error, they will pay return shipping costs. It is a bit uncertain what would happen if there be any issues, so please let us know about your own shopping experience with Corks Out.
Promotions:
Six bottle mixed wine cases from £49.99, with ‘expert’ red cases including Barolo and Rioja at the discounted price of £85.
Organic selection:
Nine range of organic wines from around £10 to £35 in stock.
Other notes:
They will assist with wedding wine lists, food pairing for dinner parties and anything you might need help with is just a telephone call away.
13. Adnams Cellar and Kitchen
Adnams Cellar and Kitchen is a relatively new name on the wine radar, yet founded in 1872 they are best known as brewers of beer. Their website is clean and somewhat simplistic, yet it all clearly identified and easy to navigate (through wines, beers, spirits). Adnams Cellar also offers wine club, where you can get 10% discount and regular shipments of your favourite drinks.

Delivery:
Adnams Cellar has a £5.99 standard delivery charge or spend £60 for free delivery. £7.5 will get you a next day delivery service (as opposed to a standard of 3-5 days).
Returns:
They offer a straightforward returns policy offering you an option to return wines within a month of purchase. Delivery charge is non-refundable. Should you receive a damaged package you should indicate this to a delivery company straightaway, so the process is quicker.
Promotions:
No major promotional activity apart from free delivery on orders of £60 or more.
Organic selection:
Wide selection of organic produce (51 items currently) with a range coming from France, Italy and Spain, but also from other regions. The range is balanced, so you can find bottles around £7-£8 mark, but also £30 for some more premium positions.
Other notes:
They are not a wine specialist as such, so prepare to also find kitchenware, food, vouchers and corporate sections on their website. Tempted to see what they have in their range – visit their online shop here.

14. Waitrose Cellar
This top list will not be complete without Waitrose Cellar. With hundreds of wines on offer and a hefty number of awards received this year (Champagne retailer of the year, Egland specialist merchant of the year and more) Waitrose Cellar provides an ultimate joy when shopping for wine. Their range is quite big, covers most of the regions and can suit most of the budgets. Most of the range is within £7-£15 price mark, so will represent a good value as well.

Delivery:
Their site is currently not fully updated as on the homepage they note that the delivery is free on orders of £150 or more, however in their Delivery section they state that Standard delivery is free for all orders (2-3 days). You can order a named day or next day delivery service for just £4.95, which is a fantastic value for money.
Returns:
Damaged, faulty or cocked wines could be returned within 28 days. They can even come and collect them from you which is just amazing.
Promotions:
Waitrose Cellar is currently offering £15 off your wine shop of £120 or more, 1/3 off your sparkling wines selection and 25% off their own selection of wines.
Organic selection:
They have a rather small selection of decent organic wines in their range.

15. Marks and Spencer wine club
M&S is a reputable food retailer and has recently launched their online wine club, so you can benefit from a selection of their wines delivered to your door. A very straightforward selection of wines and only two options – Club Classic and Club Reserva are offered. Please see what is currently on offer in their wine club here.

Delivery:
£3.99 next day delivery or free for orders of £50 or more. This is another example of a great value for money. Don’t you think you will spend much more on petrol or public transport? Order by 10pm to get your case next day – what a fabulous offer.
Returns:
They state that most items bought online can be returned or exchanged for free. A variety of shipping options are offered, so you would have a convenient way to return something that is not up to scratch. Please see M&S site for more on returns.
Promotions:
Get £10 off your first wine club case.
Organic selection:
None so far.

Wine clubs and online wine stores: our verdict

15 online wine stores and online wine clubsWith such an overwhelming amount of choice, where do you decide to spend your cash?
It depends on what you consider to be important.

Organic wines, pricing, wine range, online wine clubs and website functionality

The ultimate online wine merchant offers a wide selection, with a good choice of organic wines, at non-inflated prices, it’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate and offers help when you need it; but finding those fitting all the criteria can be tricky and too many sites make it incredibly hard for you to find all the necessary information you need before making a purchase.
Some people regard tip-top customer service the main reason for staying loyal to a brand – similar to flying with a good airline as opposed to booking a budget flight, you know one will take care of you every step of the way and the other will turn the other cheek at the first sight of mishap. Laithwaite’s Wine and Waitrose Cellar both excel at all round wine shopping. For organic and sulphite free wines we turning to Organic Wine Club, they offer no headache wine but also easy and straightforward service.

Wine merchants with a great customer service

If good after-sales service is paramount, opt for Marks and Spencer wine club or Majestic Wine. The first one scores highly among online wine clubs for it simplicity and quality. The latter offers a dedicated delivery service that can be ridiculously efficient and quick, but also almost at any time during weekends. Fabulous! For personalised wine recommendations, try Wine Sulphites or Organic Wine Club.

If you have a particular favourite among online wine clubs and have found they meet all your wine-buying criteria, it would be interesting to hear who and why, please get back to us.
Cheers!

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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