June 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

Wine.com refines its palate with a fine wine collection

Wine.com now has something for even the most sophisticated wine connoisseurs. The wine e-retailer has launched a fine wine shop offering what it describes as “cellar worthy” bottles.

Wine.com now has something for even the most sophisticated wine connoisseurs. The wine e-retailer has launched a fine wine shop offering what it describes as “cellar worthy” bottles.

“Our goal is to be the ultimate resource for the wine enthusiast--both novice and collector alike,” says Rich Bergsund, CEO of Wine.com. “With the launch of our fine wine shop, we hope to provide great value and easy access to hundreds of the finest wines in the world.”

The shop is a change for the e-retailer, No. 218 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, which is known for its wide selection of bottles priced under $20. Wine.com says the new collection will offer a mix of small production, limited-availability products from prestigious wineries. To help consumers gauge the wines’ worth and better understand each vintage or boutique bottle, Wine.com lists a “ratings pedigree” featuring ratings of past vintages as well as printable cellar notes.

Along with the new shop, Wine.com also launched a site feature that maps both the vineyard where the grapes are grown and the winery location where the wine is made, for over 9,000 wines on the retailer’s web site. By clicking on a special Map-It icon, customers can also see the neighboring vineyards and wineries.

“A significant appeal of wine is its sense of place, and that the place, or terroir, enriches the wine experience,” says Michael Osborn, founder and vice president, merchandising, at Wine.com. “Map-It provides Wine.com customers another dimension for the exploration and enjoyment of wine.”

Osborn says many of the wines in the new shop will come from Bordeaux, Borolo and the Napa Valley, as well as the Gaja, Frescabaldi, Guigal, Moueix and Rothschild estates.

The fine wine shop is accessible from a tab at the top of the Wine.com home page. A trip to the shop shows bottles ranging in price from $19.49 to $2,049.

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