Is Wine.Com irrelevant?

Is necessary? I mean to ask, does the Internet really need the wine store?

Apparently someone thinks so. It appears that will receive another $12 Million   in venture funding, a seventh visit to that trough that has been filled with upwards of $200 Million over the past 8 years or so. In addition, it appears is getting yet another CEO. And in all this time, after all this money, after all the fine leaders of the concern, nary a dime of profit.

So I have to ask, what’s the point of

Better yet, considering THIS LIST, is there really a need for an unprofitable on-line wine shop called

I wonder if it is the perceived value of the name "" that leads to a sort of Manifest Destiny view of the company? One thing is for sure. No matter how many millions of dollars are sunk into the name, the name itself will never go away. It is prime "Real Etherstate". Maybe the problem is that it just hasn’t been zoned right all these years. Or, perhaps the moniker simply hasn’t found the kind of developer that understands its potential.

Is the URL better suited for a publishing venture than a retail one? Or maybe it is best used to identify a promotional site?

I don’t know. What I do know is that is irrelevant given the ease by which we can find just about whatever type of wine we want on the Internet using any number of other sites and search engines.

11 Responses

  1. Rick - June 23, 2006

    I like their wines, their prices, and their customer service.
    But you’re right, they have an opportunity to dramatically increase revenues by becoming more than just a seller and being the ultimate wine portal and they haven’t taken advantage of that. Maybe they’ll spend some time on that one with their newly found $12M.

  2. Paul Mabray - June 23, 2006

    with Chris Kitze gone, is going to need to find their soul – something that has been missing from that company since Peter Granoff left.

  3. tom - June 23, 2006

    I really don’t know what to make of There are a few very good wine info portals out there they would have to challenge. Plus, one needn’t go to to find their wine. Believe me, I love the domain and someone will probably pay well for it one day. Paul is right. They need to find their soul.

  4. GollyG - June 23, 2006

    In the UK people make money from selling wine on the internet! However, I’d always thought it was the bizarre US laws which make it much easier for me to buy an assault rifle and a crack pipe in Michigan than it is to order wine out of state that held back, not just its poor range/pricing/navigation/information.

  5. Jack - June 23, 2006

    GollyG: Keep in mind that England is the size of New York state. So, for example, shipping is one day to every place.
    Tom – Yeah, why does continue to exist?

  6. Tish - June 24, 2006

    Ironically, had a very progressive soul when it first started… back in the Virtual Vineyards days, when wines were actually hand-selected and presented with a proprietary stylistic chart showing relative levels of intensity, acidity, tannin, etc. Nowadays, the wines are treated like commodities, with the highest available rating(s) offered to aid consumers. I can’t believe this is a model that will continue to please customers who are actually looking to keep moving along the wine adventure route.

  7. tom merle - June 24, 2006

    With Peter’s graph gone there is really nothing other than size that sets apart from the 12,000 or is it 120,000 other cyberstores that have popped up along the information superhighway. The cost of entry into eCommerce is nil, so they can’t protect their market share.
    When Peter Granoff got all that initial funding to grow his Virtual Vineyards, his group is reputed to have paid $3 million to Dave Harmon who promptly went out and bought a Ferrari and stayed on with the company, often going to events in a logo man outfit. Today he has a pinot winery and is partners in the fulfillment company among other ventures. He’s been threatening to write a tell all book about the shenigans that sunk II.
    Anyway, I was able to purchase the URL for $165 from the registrar of this new upper level domain category. Any ideas on what I should do with it? Right now we are positioning it to be the anti, not in the sense of anti but as different from–it is slated to be a wine buying club which is one variation of cooperative associations.
    –Another Tom

  8. tom merle - June 24, 2006

    In addition to the InternetWineGuide compendium (which shows only the tip of the iceberg) that you have the link to, isn’t there a site like Nextag and the other comparison sites used for shopping for electronics, say, that allows the consumer to compare prices for a given wine…?
    TOM, too

  9. Martin Brown - June 25, 2006

    Yes, a better link showing the range of US wine stores is Over 2,800 of them.

  10. redan - April 11, 2007

    i like your site i hope i enjoy thank you?

  11. Online wine store - July 15, 2012

    Your blog is really inspiring! Completely unexpected. Now I understand what I’m going to complete tomorrow.

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