Shopping from Home – Where to Buy Wine Online in Ireland
Just like book lovers can disappear between the shelves of their favourite store, there is something about visiting a wine shop that goes beyond a retail transaction. The casual chatting with like-minded people, the knowledgeable guidance of a friendly face, and even the occasional in-store tasting.
Buying wine online is a different experience, perhaps more impersonal but quite convenient, and fortunately, a number of Irish retailers are going the extra mile to bring some of the charm of wine shopping into the digital world.
Buying wine online opens up a world of information
When buying online, you can look at several shops simultaneously in different tabs of your browser, which empowers you as a customer to find exactly what you wish and compare prices or find an appealing sale.
Not just that, but you can take a look at sites like Wine-Searcher or apps like Vivino to see reviews of a bottle you’re thinking about.
When it comes to browsing a specific retailer, there are also benefits to be had from online shopping. Often, eWine shops will display useful information about the wines that some customers might not ask in person, from technical details that wine only geeks will appreciate, to absolute beginner questions which wine newbies might feel shy about bringing up to a sales assistant.
Where to shop?
This pioneer in the online wine retailing game in Ireland is a family-run business with over 18 years of experience. They offer outstanding variety at all price points and feature wines from the regions we know and love as well as some hidden gems from around the globe.
They have a very strong gift section as well as a comprehensive range of mixed cases and half cases, which are ideal to experiment and explore.
For the remainder of 2020, they are offering “virtual experiences” which include a wine tasting box plus a virtual call with one of their experts ranging from a 30 minute introduction to the bottles to an in-depth 90 minutes long guided session. You can also include add-ons such as cheese or chocolate.
More info: wineonline.ie
Another digital-first family business which imports wines and focuses on smaller and independent wineries from famous and worth-discovering wine regions.
Besides their range of assorted cases, wine lovers that enjoy being surprised can partake in their Wine Explorers Club and receive six different bottles every month (while you won’t know what they are until you get them, you can specify if you prefer whites, reds or a combination).
More info: winesdirect.ie
With over 1,000 wines from more than 180 wineries in their catalogue, you’ll be spoiled for choice, and thanks to a well structured online shop with very intuitive filtering and search, you’ll be able to easily find what you need.
One very handy feature of their online shop is that you can look for wines by style, for example “robust reds”, or “aromatic fruity white”, which makes life much easier in a sea of regions and grape varieties.
More information: obrienswine.ie
The acronym stands for “sommelier in your pockets” and this online-only business and community for wine lovers strives to offer bottles with authenticity. The spotlight here is on organic, biodynamic and artisan wines, call them natural, low-intervention or boutique from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Austria.
Treasure hunters might be interested in their wine club, which grants you access to rare wines you won’t find in any other retailer, sommelier advice, discounts and a carefully selected gift one years from the start of your membership.
More information: siyps.com
Bottle Project Home Delivery and First Look Club by WineLab
WineLab is no stranger to innovation and rule-bending. The Irish company, which sings the wonders of wine on tap since 2013, has pivoted to direct consumers in 2020 with two intriguing initiatives.
On one side, there’s the Bottle Project Home Delivery, in which users get 6 mystery wines delivered to their homes and connected by a theme (ie. “Natural Mystics”, “New USA”, etc) at a set price point. They start at just €60 for their “Everyday Heroes” half case, and move up for more upscale bottles.
For curious tasters, they’ve recently launched the First Look Subscription Box, consisting in a monthly mixed case featuring one bottle with the potential to enter the Bottle Project. The pack comes with an invitation to a group video meetup with the winemaker in which you’ll hear about their winery, the wine you’re tasting and you’ll get to discuss it with like-minded people (shy wine lovers, don’t despair, interaction is optional).
This independent Irish wine merchant has been in business for two decades and while they’ve built a strong network of restaurants and gastropubs featuring their wines, they’ve opened up to individuals eager to enjoy some of their carefully selected wines by family-run and artisan producers.
They offer an interesting selection of assorted cases with themes including popular regions, critic’s picks and seasonal assortments. For example, their Harvest Collection, in both half and full case, is an ideal mix of wines for the autumn season.
More information: shop.boutiquewines.ie
The brick-and-mortar store is a Dublin 2 institution, and their recently revamped online shop offers a digital space that reflects their philosophy: wines with character and high quality, from entry level to the very top. For those wine lovers that are still getting the hang of technology, they’ve a no-nonsense guide on how to buy wine online (and they’re happy to look after you over the phone).
They also do exciting mixed cases, including a Home Dining special with a free recipe booklet, and a Half Bottle Tasting Case, ideal for exploring fine wines without having to commit to a full bottle (great for couples or solo tasters).
More information: thecorkscrew.ie
Ely Wine Store
The newest addition to the Ely family celebrates fine wines with the same passion you’ve come to know at the wine bars.
They’ve embraced technology with their “Virtual Wine Testings @ Ely”, making it possible for you to enjoy a selection of wines and get experts tips via video. For customers near Maynooth and in Dublin, a matching seleccion of cheese and charcuterie is also available.
For those craving a live experience, zoom tastings guided by award-winning sommeliers, can also be arranged.
For a full gastronomic experience, you can try their food and wine boxes (in the proximity to Maynooth or their D2 location), which include restaurant-grade meals (with instructions for serving) along with a bottle of wine paired by a somm (you can add a second bottle from a pre-selected recommendations list).
More information: elywinebar.ie/shop
Martin’s Off Licence
This multi-award winning independent off licence hails from Fairview, and delivers nationwide (they do express delivery if you live within the area).
Besides featuring a wide selection of wines (and other drinks) within all budgets, they have a wine club subscription which allows you to discover some of their top picks (starting from 3 bottles up to 12) a month. You can select white, red or a mix, and get your wines delivered to your door. Looking for a once-off bit of wine fun? Check out their “mystery box” or their “Zoom wine quiz” half case, which comes with a themed quiz and tasing notes.
Moro info: martinsofflicence.ie
Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green
While they’re better known for their extensive selection of whiskeys and spirits, you’ll also find a reliable source of solid fine wines in them. They import the majority of their wine catalogue directly, so expect exclusive finds.
More info: celticwhiskeyshop.com
WRITTEN BY GABY GUEDEZ