6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: A toast to online wine

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: A toast to online wine

3:25 /

With old-fashioned liquor laws and complicated shipping procedures, selling or buying wine online has never been easy. But as CNET's Kara Tsuboi explains, it no longer has to be so hard.

>> Producing only 1 thousand cases of wine a year, Barello [assumed spelling] Winery - tucked away in the rolling hills of California's Napa Valley - is by all measures a tiny operation. >> I enjoy staying small because I get involved on every level and that's what got me interested in the first place with the wine business. >> The one job that winemaker Tom Farello [assumed spelling] leaves to outside help is marketing. >> Their job is to sell and my job is to make wine. >> He's partnered with Americanwinery.com: the latest start-up trying to attract the elusive online shopper: the wine drinker. >> Online sales is a relatively new concept in the wine industry believe it or not. >> Rather, make that a relatively new successful concept. >> It's kind of viewed as kind of too many hoops to jump through to get it. >> Complicated at individualized state shipping laws, combined with the consumers' hesitation to purchase alcohol online has stunted the growth of the industry. >> There's no reason why wine can't be sold online just like all the other goods and commodities that have now become big sellers online. One of the references I use to support that is the way people thought about shoes and the way people thought that you must try on shoes before you buy them. However Zappos has completely taken apart that stigma and is now transacting a billion dollar's worth of shoes. >> Unlike past failed websites that had limited inventories, Americanwinery.com showcases more than 25 hundred different bottles and carries no inventory since each winery ships directly. >> A '94 Merlot and '97 Merlot. I'm happy to pay a commission to a salesperson that makes a sale and I'm also happy to ship from here and you know garner the full benefit of it. >> The big benefit of some of these sites is that they can kind of be that personal [inaudible] for you. >> They get to you know give you a very dedicated experience in the way that they you know handle your wine and the information that they can give you. And also they make more profit on that sale and that's a really significant factor for wineries and their economy as a small business. >> Just 18 months old, one would think this challenging economic climate would be a horrible time for Americanwinery.com to ripen into maturity, but in fact some say the timing could be perfect. >> Moving into a recession you know people aren't going to buy these big expensive bottles of wine. They're going to be buying cheaper stuff. So if they need someone to tell them you know what's cheap and still good? So there's going to be a big need for that. >> Drops in prices just by a dollar or 2 do not significantly impact our business model. We can adjust and put our effort into different areas very quickly. >> People need their juice. I mean if you love wine, you've got to have it. It's really part of your meal. It's more like a food. It's more like you know supplies for the home kind of thing than it is this specialty item. The 800 pound gorilla in the online wine business is Amazon who says they have plans to start selling wine online. You'd think that could hurt the smaller online companies like Americanwinery.com, but wine makers like Tom Farello are actually pleased. They say that any way a customer base can get interested and comfortable with a buying a product like wine over the internet is a good thing. In Napa I'm Kara Tsuboi, Cnet.com.

New releases

What's coming and going on Netflix for April 2015
1:37 March 26, 2015
On April 1, Netflix is giving a lot of movies the axe, no joke. Not to worry -- here's what's replacing them.
Play video
Oculus discusses Crescent Bay and future of VR
4:02 March 26, 2015
Oculus research scientist Michael Abrash talks about the tech behind company's latest Rift iteration, Crescent Bay, and how it fits...
Play video
Facebook CTO talks up solar-powered drones
1:08 March 26, 2015
At Facebook's F8 conference, Mike Schroepfer, the company's CTO, discusses Facebook's plan to make Internet access more ubiquitous...
Play video
Lexus LFA: Inside the home of the beast
3:58 March 26, 2015
Even one of the best cars in the world needs a service now and then. XCAR took a peek inside at what might be the greatest car on the...
Play video
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has all the right curves
1:53 March 26, 2015
This doubly-rounded display makes the Galaxy S6 feel like a completely different -- and better -- phone, but is it worth the extra...
Play video
Samsung Galaxy S6 is cucumber-cool and built to covet
2:15 March 26, 2015
The slim, gleaming metal handset gives the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9 a run for their money.
Play video
Logitech MX Master Wireless: A luxury mouse for PCs and Macs
2:24 March 25, 2015
Logitech's $100 flagship wireless mouse is a smooth operator with a built-in rechargeable battery and lots of customization option...
Play video
Robot babies used in development research totally freak us out (Tomorrow Daily 150)
27:04 March 25, 2015
On today's show, Ashley and Khail talk about how the ESA might use nets to capture and dispose of space trash in Earth's orbit, give...
Play video