Navigating Cyber Monday Wine Deals: Make the Most out of the Sales

Cyber Monday Wine Deals

In order to get the best Cyber Monday wine deals, you need to consider the wine’s overall quality and rarity, not just the price. Photo Credit: Flickr CC user Britt Reints

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 A few years ago, I found an incredible Cyber Monday wine deal on two mixed cases of superb California Cabernet from a variety of different wineries, including Robert Mondavi and Aubert—I simply couldn’t pass up this opportunity. However, by the time my wine haul arrived on my doorstep a few days later, I realized that I had made a major mistake: not only did I have very little space left in my cellar to store these cases, I also had no idea what to do with so much wine. While some of the bottles I bought could be stored long-term, a lot of them were meant to be drunk young. I ended up giving away most of the bottles to close friends and family.

 
When you’re looking for the best Cyber Monday wine deals, it’s not enough to snatch up the lowest-priced bottles. You also have to consider what your plans are for your wine in order to make the most out of your purchases. By creating a Cyber Monday (and Black Friday) budget, limiting the number of bottles you buy, and sticking with trustworthy wine retailers, you could score some once-in-a-lifetime deals this holiday season.

1. Stick to a Budget

Before you check your email for the latest Cyber Monday wine deals, first come up with a budget specifically for this retail holiday. I recommend creating one budget for Black Friday wines, and another for Cyber Monday deals (if you intend to shop for deals on both days). To get these numbers, first think about how much you want to spend on wine for gifts this year; then, add this number to the total amount that you want to spend on special occasion holiday bottles, like Christmas dinner wines or New Year’s Eve Champagne. For instance, if you know that you plan to spend $1,200 on wine gifts, and about $800 on special occasion wines this year, then you would give yourself a total budget of $2,000 to start.

If you want to buy wines on Black Friday or Cyber Monday to keep in your collection long-term, as well as for gifts and the holidays, then you should add this number to your budget as well. I recommend spending no more than about a quarter of your total annual wine budget on Cyber Monday wine deals. Most collectors will want to save the majority of their wine budgets for En Primeur week and spring releases, though others may prefer buying aged wine throughout the year. By adding your wine gift budget, special occasion budget, and a quarter of your annual wine budget together, you’ll get your total Black Friday and Cyber Monday limit. From here, you can decide which you’ll likely spend more on: Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If you find more interesting deals on Cyber Monday, then save most of your budget for this date. However, if you find that most of the deals you want are happening on Friday, then feel free to splurge more on this date.

2. Only Buy What You Can Drink or Resell

In addition to your monetary budget, you should also have a bottle budget. With so many great deals available, even when you’re able to stay under your Cyber Monday budget, you may end up buying more wine than you can store. Before you buy any Black Friday or Cyber Monday bottles, clean out your cellar or wine fridge and sell off or give away any bottles that you know you won’t drink or use later. This will leave you more space for your upcoming holiday wines, and could even give you a little extra money to play with this season. After you’ve organized and purged your cellar, analyze how much space you have left, then plan on only using about one-third of whatever open space you see. This is because you still want to have room in your cellar to store last-minute purchases as well as holiday and host/hostess gifts from friends and family. Alternatively, you can store your wine professionally, which gives you greater flexibility in how much you can buy.

3. Watch for Red Flags

Shopping for wine on Cyber Monday is similar to shopping for wine on any other day of the year in that, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While I have found some almost unbelievable deals on Cyber Monday, like a pristine bottle of 2010 Margaux selling for less than $800, any deals should still appear reasonable based on the quality of the wine. In the case of the 2010 Margaux, I would have been suspicious of any bottle selling for less than $400, since this is a sought-after vintage from a reputable producer. As you look at Cyber Monday wine deals this year, think about whether the price fits the quality of the wine. You should also research wine tasting notes for each vintage to determine how the wine is drinking. Sometimes, retailers will try to sell off subpar vintages in bulk on Cyber Monday. It’s important to maintain your high standards, even if you’re looking for deals.

4. Know Where to Look for Cyber Monday Wine Deals

So, where can you find the best Cyber Monday wine deals? The deals that you’ll find most worthwhile will likely come from online retailers who offer promotional codes, special shipping discounts, and lower prices compared to brick-and-mortar shops. In addition, it’s easier to research and find the best deals online, whereas it’s more difficult to compare deals between brick-and-mortar stores. In general, the larger and more nationwide the shop’s distribution is, the better deal you will likely get during Cyber Monday events. These larger retailers are often able to negotiate special prices more easily than a smaller retailer can, and some of these retailers even have special relationships with high-end producers, meaning that they can offer rare deals on these wines.

For instance, last year, one online retailer sold most of their magnum bottles at a steep discount, in part because they were able to negotiate with the wineries to lower prices on magnums that year. Larger bottle formats are sometimes easier to find during Black Friday and Cyber Monday events because they are popular holiday gifts, and they attract a large number of customers. Traditionally popular holiday bottles, such as Champagne, magnums, and fortified wines also go on sale this time of the year in order to attract more customers, so be on the lookout for these deals as you shop.

Some retailers, like Vinfolio, offer special shipping discounts during the holiday season, which will save you a lot of money, even on full-priced bottles. For Cyber Monday, Vinfolio will also offer a 10 percent off discount on a selection of affordable (and gift-friendly) wines, including bottles from France, Italy, California, and more. This could be your best chance to snag some of these sought-after wines.

The bottom line, though, is that it’s important to do your research in advance and make comparisons to find the best deals. However, remember that the lowest-priced bottles aren’t necessarily your best options. If you aren’t familiar with the retailer, and the retailer isn’t considered a trustworthy source, then it doesn’t matter how great the discount is—it isn’t worth the risk. Instead, only shop with retailers who inspect their bottles for authenticity, and who store and ship their wines using the safest equipment available. This will guarantee that you’ll get bottles in good condition and with a traceable, provable provenance.

Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storageContact us today to get access to the world’s best wine.

At Vinfolio, we help our clients buy, sell, store, and manage their most treasured bottles of wine. But in our spare time, we’re just a group of passionate and slightly obsessed oenophiles--we love sharing a great glass of vintage Champagne, followed by a Burgundy, and then a Bordeaux, to get things started. We’re always obsessing over the latest (and oldest) vintages, and we want to share that knowledge and passion with our readers.