Amazon Turns Wine Merchant Challenging Wine.com Online

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the world’s largest online retailer, will start selling wines on its website just in time for the holiday shopping season.

The marketplace, called Amazon Wine, will feature more than 1,000 wines from around the U.S., the Seattle-based company said in a statement. Starting today, Amazon will ship up to six bottles for $9.99 to 12 states and the District of Columbia.

With its latest foray into wine sales, Amazon is challenging Wine.com, a San Francisco-based online store founded in 1998 which offers consumers unlimited free shipping for a $49 annual fee. Amazon’s service will let users search for wines by variety, peruse reviews, and see recommendations for food parings.

“Whether it’s helping customers find a favorite varietal, shop for holiday pairings or expand their cellar with a special hand-crafted bottle, we’re excited to provide the right tools and information needed to guide them to the perfect wine,” Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, said in the statement.

In 2008, Amazon tried to enter the wine market through a partership with New Vine Logistics, which later suspended operations. Previously, the Amazon invested in WineShopper.com, which is now a flash-sale site run by Wine.com.

Amazon’s shares fell 2 percent to $227.35 at the close in New York. The stock has increased 31 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Rapaport in New York at lrapaport1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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