Total Wine now ships to MA [and why that might be useful even if you live near a Total Wine]

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The other day I mentioned how a lot of the limited production domestic Pinot Noirs I'd seen previously at Total Wine in Natick were vaporizing off the shelves or suffering from price increases.

One specific wine I noted being there previously, which was no longer, was the Roar Pinot Noir for $31.49. Looking at their inventory online now, I see that not only do they purportedly have Roar Pinot Noir for $31.49, but it's their most expensive Pisoni bottling that retails for $65!

But here's the catch: It's not available for in-store pickup and I didn't see it on the shelves. In fact, none of the Roar wines are available for in-store pickup.

Just because a wine isn't avialable for in-store pickup doesn't mean it's not available in-store. It just means you can't order it online and pick it up in store. Got it?
Just to be sure it wasn't a matter of a misunderstanding about which bottles are which, I consulted Wine Spectator's listings of 2013 Roar Pinot Noirs they rated.

It sure looks to me like the wine Total Wine is selling for $31.49 is the $65 Roar Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard - their most expensive bottling. Quite a steal. Perhaps a pricing mistake?
The 2013 Roar Pinot Noirs Wine Spectator Rated
The Pisoni bottling is their most expensive, and strange the cheapest at Total Wine
I seriously doubt the 88 point Spectator rating is causing them to price the 2013 Roar Pisoni Pinot Noir so low. And come to think of it, Total Wine isn't listing the vintage they're offering. So it could be anything.

But knowing Roar's pedigree and the track record of this specific bottling, I'd happily buy whatever recent vintage they were selling for $31.49.
Total Wine doesn't list vintage for Roar Pinot Noir
But the track record for this bottling is quite good
But what about shipping costs? Well, it's actually quite reasonable. Just $12.26 for 6 bottles. Or $13.81 for 12 bottles to my zip code.
$12.26 to ship 6 bottles - that's very affordable
Strangely, when shopping online not all wines are available for shipment. Some are only available for in-store pickup.
Not all wines are available for shipment
But that said, I think there are plenty of wines available shipment and I'd have no problem getting to 6 bottles for 10% off. Like this Washington State Cabernet that Wine Spectator just rated 92 points that sells for $20.69 (on a $22 release price).

It is getting a little warm for shipment here lately. But I'm more comfortable with ground shipping during warmer times in-state than cross-country, within reason. 

If you're concerned about speed of delivery and/or ordering more expensive wines it may make sense to splurge for overnight shipping. They offer that for just $27.66 which is insanely good compared to what most wineries charge. But I think I'll take my chances with Ground - it could very well be overnight as well if they're efficient about things.

I see a "Promo Code" box while checking out, but I haven't been able to find any working codes. They're probably illegal in Massachusetts anyway. But it would be great if we could find some codes that worked, for discounts OR free shipping. It would be cool if their Total Discovery rewards program kicked off some codes for those who shop their a lot, but again - that's probably illegal in Massachusetts.

I checked whehter they participate in online shopping portals and don't see any that they participate in. So it looks like the best you can do is use a credit card that offers 5% cashback on grocery since both Visa and AmEx code Total Wine as grocery. We'll see if that holds true for online orders.

I also don't see them participating in any affiliate marketing schemes. And in case you're wondering (like one local retailer emailed me to ask) I'm not affiliated with Total Wine.

Of course there's always a chance Total Wine might not fulfill an order, saying they're out of stock of a the wine or whatever. But we'll see. For particularly compelling deals I'd say it's worth a shot.

Update: A couple hours after ordering 2 bottles of the Roar along with 4 other "filler" wines, I got an email update saying they couldn't fulfill the 2 bottles of Roar. I called and was told that when the store went to package the order they couldn't find the Roar (similar to what I experienced in store the other day basically). The rep said online does see real time inventory but in this case there was a discrepency between the inventory the system showed for this wine vs reality. So I cancelled the entire order. :(

Bottom Line

Total Wine now ships to Massachusetts addresses. Thanks to their low prices and reasonable shipping costs this is a great option for thos who don't live near a Total Wine. And even if you do live near a Total Wine the convenience of being able to shop from home and potentially have access to some wines they don't sell in store could enable some big deals.


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