By Alistair Barr
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 8 Amazon.com Inc
unveiled a new online wine marketplace on Thursday, in the
company's second attempt to crack a sector curtailed by a tangle
of complex regulations.
Amazon Wine launched more than 1,000 wines from wineries in
the United States, including Francis Ford Coppola, Hall, Mark
Ryan, Eden Canyon, Pepper Bridge and Roadhouse.
The world's largest Internet retailer said customers could
order up to six bottles for a shipping fee of $9.99.
The service will be available to California, Connecticut,
Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, North
Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and the District of
Amazon said more states will be added "soon."
Indeed, the limited number of states highlights the
challenges of online wine sales due to regulations governing the
sale and delivery of alcohol across U.S. state borders.
Amazon had tried getting into the online wine business a few
years ago, but put the effort on hold.
Wine.com launched its own online wine marketplace earlier
this week, ahead of Amazon's move, which had been reported
Wine.com, which has been in the online wine business for 14
years, launched its marketplace with shipping to 20 states and
also offered wines from countries outside the United States,
including France, Italy, Spain and Australia.
"Amazon has not offered us anything at this stage," said
Jean-Charles Boisset, president of Boisset Family Estates. "We
have contacted them and would love to talk."
Boisset has wineries in the United States, including De
Loach and Buena Vista, and also imports a lot of wine from its
wineries in France and Italy.
Boisset is working with Wine.com on its new marketplace.
A marketplace approach is better than the traditional
wholesale distribution system because it allows smaller wineries
to reach consumers more directly.
Boisset has sold its wines through Wine.com for years. The
new marketplace will help the company offer more unique wines
that were previously only available from tasting rooms at its
wineries, Boisset said.