As we head towards level 3 and the glorious news that we can once again indulge in our favourite libations, we at Wanted think it’s best (and responsible — stay home folks!) to skip the queues and stock up your cellars from home.
Here are our top picks for online wine shopping.
1. GREAT DOMAINES
The best of Burgundy can be found in the cellars of Great Domaines, importers and distributors of the region’s most acclaimed producers in addition to an array of outstanding international and local boutique wineries. While you’ll need to get onto the allocation lists for the famed French Pinot (including the most prestigious of all, Domaine Romanée Conti) or perhaps Eben Sadie’s exceptional single-vineyard series, take time to explore their full portfolio which includes readily available gems from SA and abroad.
They also sell Coravin wine preservation systems which allow you to pour wine by the glass without pulling the cork – ensuring that a bottle is never wasted (and can be stretched should we find ourselves restocked and headed back into level four or five). Round off your cart with a set of spectacular, hand-blown stemware by Zalto for an added dash of luxury.
Where to order: greatdomaines.co.za
For those seeking the unusual, the renegades and the rebels need look no further. Publik’s portfolio plays host to some of SA’s most exciting and intriguing winemakers. The focus is on independent artisan wineries and tends to skew towards those with a natural, unfined and unfiltered approach to winemaking. Head their way if you’re looking for that stellar Swartland bottle or a limited release by an up-and-comer who spends his time between his cellar and surfboard. Whatever you choose, it’s bound to be interesting, exceptionally made and — in more cases than not — have an epic story behind the label.
Where to order: publik.co.za
3. PREMIER CRU
If it’s a French affair you’re after, Premier Cru is the site to explore. Hervé Delabesse, fondly known as “the French wine guy”, heads up this portfolio. His years of experience and in-depth knowledge together with his superb palate will ensure you’re stocking up on some seriously stunning French wines. He’s the guy to go to for the likes of that unknown, small scale champagne producer, an exceptional rosé from Provence or perhaps a heavy Bordeaux blend for these chilly winter evenings.
Where to order: premiercru.co.za
4. WINE CELLAR
This one is for the collectors. Those who, perhaps, regret diving into the older vintages when lockdown seemed to have no end in sight and that bottle of ‘86 looked like a good idea. Those who woke up the next morning and groaned at the sight of the empty bottle. Browse through their library of vintages and rare gems to find suitable replacements, and while you’re there, head to their “stock-on-hand” page to order ready-to-leave-the-warehouse stock once the clock strikes level three. In addition to their extensive vintage offering, they also sell a vast selection of wines from South Africa and around the wine world.
Where to order: winecellar.co.za
This fine-wine marketplace and online shop sources and consolidates offerings from an extensive host of leading retailers, importers, and producers. The idea is to offer the largest selection of fine wines while creating the shortest route for consumers to shop directly from numerous suppliers at the best prices. It can be a bit of a rabbit hole once you get started, as you jump from country to region and distributor to producer. They’re currently running “restock your cellar” specials which, at time of writing, include incredible deals on heavy weights such as vintage Château Cheval Blanc, as well as some incredible younger local offerings including Vilafonte’s seriously delicious, Seriously Old Dirt.
Where to order: port2port.wine
The wine company, helmed by SA’s arguably foremost wine authority Michael Fridjhon, offers a diverse portfolio of exceptional international wines and spirits. If Bordeaux is calling your name, you can expect to find some of the world’s finest and most famous while navigating through their online cellar – Château Pétrus, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Château Margaux are just a few of the prestigious names to be found. If you’re looking to celebrate with champagne, you’re in the right place too as Reciprocal also imports, among others, the renowned Louis Roederer range, including its flagship Cristal. While you’re there, explore the wonderful world of Riedel’s varietal specific stemware and magnificent decanters, you’ll be amazed at the difference the right glass makes to your vino experience.
Where to order: reciprocal.co.za