Online Wine Buying Booms in 2021

Your favorite restaurants and bars may be closed due to Covid-19, but online wine buying is booming—and already was before the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

A January report from Rabobank, a global food and agribusiness bank, estimated that U.S. online sales reached $2.6 billion in 2019, growing 22% year on year. At the recent annual Impact Marketing Seminar, Rich Bergsund, CEO of giant online retailer Inc., said the site pulled in $150 million in revenue in 2019. is No. 259 in the 2019 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

No matter what happens, wine consumers won’t abstain,” wrote Rob McMillan, senior vice president of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division, in a recent blog post. He predicts even higher wine sales are coming.

Gary Fisch, the CEO and owner of Gary’s Wine & Marketplace in New Jersey, can attest to that. In an email, he reported that sales during the week ending March 15 went up 62%. He also saw a 300% increase in local delivery and pickup orders.

During social distancing, popping a cork while viewing the free operas the Metropolitan Opera is streaming or gathering for a glass with friends over video chat virtual happy hour helps people in the industry keep going, whether it’s a small producer in Sonoma, Calif., France, or Italy; a retailer; or a slew of workers at a huge company such as LVMH (No. 20).

Direct shipments from wineries, virtual tastings

Winery shipments to consumers now account for nearly 11% of the value of all wine retail sales, according to the latest Sovos report, a collaboration between Sovos Ship Compliant and Wines Vines Analytics. Many are wines for members of wineries’ clubs, which are easy to join.

Since the closing of California’s tasting rooms, more of them are becoming extra creative.

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