The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has expanded the number of Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores which are offering curbside pickup this week, after last week’s launch of the program left customers struggling to get through to place orders by phone, only to find limited offerings available. Agency officials hope the expansion of curbside pickup to more stores and increased capacity to process online orders through their FineWineandGoodSpirits.com e-commerce portal will help meet demand and improve service. But for now Pennsylvania residents who wish to shop for wine from home may be better off tapping alternate sources.
Not all online retailers of wine can ship to residences in Pennsylvania. Many of those that do offer an array of wine that can’t be researched or assessed for value without tasting — typically offering wines under custom labels of fictional brands. Some of these can be well-made wines but require a leap of faith from the first-time customer. A safer bet is to look to established retailers that carry wines from known and trusted wineries and also ship wine to Pennsylvania residents. Some reliable options include:
Wine.com — Powered by the strength of their killer URL, the nation’s largest retailer has built their success on offering an extensive range of options to wine lovers of all stripes, from the bargain hunter to the collector. Their mobile-friendly platform appeals to younger audiences, and their live chat is managed by an army of wine experts who make it easy to quickly find and purchase exactly what you’re looking for.
Astor Wines — This iconic New York retailer’s website is a dream come true for Pennsylvania wine lovers, featuring a balanced mix of familiarity and adventure available for shipping to Pennsylvania addresses. While the New World is amply covered, the store’s strength is in its loving attention to the Old World, not simply in the classics of France and Italy, but with lesser-known gems from places like Austria, Portugal, and Greece as well.
JJ Buckley Fine Wines — A pioneer in the early days of online wine retail, this Oakland, Calif.,-based firm remains an established leader in the world of web-based wine merchants. While the company’s inventory centers on pricier wines for those building a cellar for the future, the selection does include some great values under $20 per bottle and a particular tempting list of discounted items on sale.