This is by far the best wine shop on the web. I am basing my recommendation on the following factors.
They have a huge selection. The inventory is deep on both international and domestic wines with a real breadth of west coast offerings. In addition to the big names, they have many small producers who may not sell through other sites. There is a large old and rare section that is constantly being updated as they buy collections. They offer many wine futures as well.
K&L prices are outstanding. The wine buyers travel abroad to buy direct from producers and negociants which results in lower prices because they cut out the middlemen. If you live near one of the retail locations, you can pick up your wines and not pay shipping charges.
The website is very clean. It is easy to browse by varietal, country, subregion, vintage or price range. There is an alert system that sends you an email when they receive a wine that you are interested in. There is a real time inventory system which displays the location of the selected wine. Wine reviews, scores and staff selections are displayed as well.
The monthly newsletter is comprehensive and interesting to read. It highlights the new offerings as well as providing high level information on particular regions and vintages.
There are several wine clubs which send monthly deliveries at reduced prices and offer discounts on other selections. These are a great way for inexperienced wine drinkers to gain exposure to the different regions and varietals. I was a member of the Signature Red club for a few years and learned a lot from the detailed write up that would accompany each bottle.
Whether you are a serious collector or a novice, K&L is a compelling choice for internet wine purchasing. I enjoy reading the newsletters and they are the first stop when I am looking to buy wine on the web. The retail stores are also quite impressive. Whenever I find myself near one of the retail locations I make it a point to stop in to see what's new. The knowledgeable staff and weekly wine tastings are also nice benefits of visiting the stores in person.
What did you think of this review?
K&L Wine Merchants founded in 1976. Website at http://www.klwines.com Store locations in San Francisco, Redwood City and Hollywood, California. 877-KLWines (877-559-4637) Publishes a free monthly newsletter. Named a 10 Best Online Wine Shop by Food and Wine Magazine and awarded Best Website by Wine Spectator