Outrageous Wine Shipping Charges

When I travelled through Tennessee and Georgia in August, the signs I was seeing for Diesel was about $5 a gallon.

Get ready for that to go back up…

Many of them eat some of the cost to provide those prices. It is even a better win when the wine purchased are at great deals to begin with.


I am basing this on shipping rates folks post about on here all of the time - and knowing how much my shipping rates are. Yes, these third party shippers do add to the cost of shipping, but some of the rates posted simply do not make any sense. Do you not agree?


That great. I was recently charged $51/case from Portland, OR to the Seattle area.

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I dunno. But Winex just shipped me a case for just a hair under $40, and 6 magnums from winebid for $52, and $44 from Garagiste all to DC. So I think some places (cough… Millesme) do use it as a profit center. Its possible its based upon negotiated contractual rates, so smaller places have to pay more?

No doubt big shippers get better deals. Shipping a few cases a week you are paying top dollar but big volume big discount. There are still a few offering free shipping like WTSO and Wine Buyer on certain products.

I wonder if some of that is the “handling” part of “shipping and handling”. Packing staff costs money too, and those salaries aren’t going down. If I owned a winery or a wine retail outlet, I would certainly juice the cost of shipping to deal with my cost of the staff that has to pack stuff up.

When shipping and handling costs are high, it’s generally because there is a fulfillment company that is actually filling orders (and they treat it as a profit center because that’s their business) and because the winery doesn’t subsidize the shipping costs, especially for customers who are farther away.

I’ve never suspected a winery or a retailer was treating shipping as a profit center. If I owned a winery I would try to use staff I already paid a salary (including myself) to handle the fulfillment, and subsidize the shipping at some level. It’s very clear that most customers are happier paying a bit more per bottle cost than paying for shipping. So, treating shipping as a profit center is just a dumb idea.



It isn’t practical to ship magnums and 750 in the same box. The inserts are of different sizes meaning there will be movement in the box which tends to degrade the inserts possibly leading to damage. The composite package may weigh different than the dimensional weight suggests. Also, we ship large formats overnight due as they are more sensitive to small changes in temperature.

curious how the larger mass of a bottle is more sensitive to temp changes. Please explain.


Maybe large formats are hand filled so not equal comparison?

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Typically less glass in comparison to the total volume of wine? When comparing a magnum vs two singletons. But I’m spit-balling here.

The headspace is typically a smaller fraction of the total volume, so larger pressure develops as the wine expands for a given increase in temperature.



With the 6 mags that would be a super subsidized rate (or an error in shipping tables) vs a volume discount. That is price is awesome.

There are different tiers, but a yearly fee can drastically cut shipping costs (about a third for me per case for in-state ground), and makes a lot of sense if buying in volume from them. I see savings after about 8 cases.

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I’ve had a couple of retailers ship me a case of wine for $35…recently. So it can be done. California wineries, like Realm and SQN are charging $20 a bottle for shipping to Ohio. That’s not what it costs. SQN calls it shipping and handling. It’s like the rental cars with all of their taxes and fees. They quote you $250 for your car rental, but when you show up at the counter, it’s $380. It makes me appreciate a winery like Saxum that includes shipping in their per bottle cost. You’re paying for shipping either way, but it feels better to have it included. And, if it is included, you know the winery has the incentive to control cost as much as they can.

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10 bottles incoming from Benchmark to New Jersey. A little over $8 per bottle. Totally reasonable shipping cost in today’s environment IMO.

I have a need to send 1 bottle from a Napa winery to Illinois, looked at a couple online sites today, was consistently quoted $35-37 from multiple wineries. 1 bottle…

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