how to save money on wine

Do you pay too much for wine? Are you buying the highest-quality wine you can for the price you want to pay? Do you know how to find great wine at reasonable prices? Do you actually want to save money on wine?

Well, if you are wondering any of these things, Case by Case Wine clues you into the secrets.

Wine Pricing Unmasked

At Case by Case Wine, we’re concerned about the ever-increasing prices of wine. We believe in transparency about wine pricing, but the industry as a whole does not.

We’ve heard the long-standing joke about making a small fortune in the wine business. Start with a large fortune. But while some wineries do make a small fortune, others file for bankruptcy.

The business of wine is tricky, and many get caught up in its romance, but the reality can be harsh.

With high capital and labor needs, many factors complicate wine pricing:

  • Geography/geology/history
  • Land, AVA designation, land preparation
  • Planting costs/agricultural practices/certification costs
  • Climate/weather management/mitigation
  • Pest/disease control
  • Manufacturing costs
  • Marketing, sales, and distribution expenses
  • Consumption patterns/culture
  • Competition at every level/wholesale wine trade
  • Supply/demand
  • Reputation/brand/scores/premiumization
  • Taxes/duties/tariffs

In general, lower-tier producers drive cost containment to manage price, while boutique and ultra-premium wineries pour money into increasing quality and brand and image building.

Larger producers enjoy economies of scale, often manipulating the market by undercutting smaller wineries.
Though these many factors and more influence wine pricing in the U.S., the regulatory system for beverage alcohol has an extraordinary impact on the price at the retail level.

Let’s look at some numbers.

Basic Wine Pricing Model for Imported Wine

Basic Wine Pricing Model for Imported Wine

Let’s start at the cellar door with a $10 bottle of imported wine.

Traditional Imported Wine Pricing Model

This simple illustration shows the three-tier regulatory system’s impact on price.

Ex-cellar/Ex-chateau/FOB price of wine in country of origin $10.00
Landed Cost in the U.S. (includes federal tax) $12.00
Tier 1: Importer Margin (Profit) 35-50% $18.46
Tier 2: Distributor Margin (Profit) 35-50% plus state tax & freight) $27.69
Tier 3: Retail Margin (Profit) 35-50% (plus sales tax) $41.54
Excluding Additional Sales & Marketing Costs or brand-name markup 246% total Markup

The total markup of $29.54 represents 71% of the total price.

Case by Case Wine Pricing Model

Here’s how our pricing model works, using the same $10.00 bottle of imported wine.

Ex-cellar/Ex-chateau/FOB price of wine $10.00
Landed Cost (includes federal tax) $12.00
Importer/Retailer Margin $19.99
Includes Free Shipping on 6 bottles 67% total Markup

The markup of only $7.99 makes up 40% of the total price.  We remove $21.55 of expenses that typically goes to middlemen and overhead at each level.

Consumers save more than 50%, a HUGE win!

Let’s Talk About Value

The following illustration shows the composition of the components of a bottle of wine.


Inexpensive Wine Expensive Wine
Packaging $1.08 14.2% $5.25 15.7%
Wine* $2.58 34.0% $10.71 32.0%
Margin $3.94 51.8% $17.54 52.3%
Total Price $7.60 100% $33.50 100%

* ‘wine’ includes raw materials + production costs

On a percentage basis, the inexpensive bottle contains more wine but doesn’t necessarily correlate to the quality.

Knowing how any specific wine is priced is almost impossible. With no industry standards, pricing varies with every wine. Without transparency, you can’t know if you are paying a fair price.

Comparing wines from different regions, states, or countries raises more complications. Local labor, exchange rates, land values, grape prices, and other costs vary tremendously.

The cost of oak barrels, time and space for aging, and high land costs push the prices up for more expensive wine.

And the unacknowledged truth makes things worse: “margin is THE major component of a bottle of wine, especially a premium wine.”

At the end of the day, wine producers, distributors, and retailers will charge what the market will bear. They hate to reduce prices but are happy to keep increasing them.

Evaluating and buying wine based only on price doesn’t get the best result, because price does not guarantee quality.

Bringing Transparency to Wine Pricing

Bringing Transparency to Wine Pricing

At Case by Case Wine, we are dedicated to exploding the myths surrounding wine, including price. By disrupting the distribution system, we reduce costs and pass savings to consumers.

As passionate wine professionals, we want to bring high-quality wines at fair prices to wine drinkers everywhere.

Unlike many in the industry, we value transparency for consumers about ingredients labeling, price, and production methods.

We encourage consumers to stop buying wine at the local grocery store because groceries only sell what the large distributors bring them. With ongoing consolidation, more distributors get gobbled up, which reduces choice and raises prices.
By the time a wine gets to the grocery store, consumers pay much more than they should!

With our deep expertise in importing, evaluating, trading, producing, and selling wine, we know all the secrets.

How do we do it?

  • Buy directly from producers around the world
  • No salespeople
  • Lower overhead costs
  • Quantity discounts
  • Shipping efficiencies
  • Online only

Our business model allows us to offer premium wine at near wholesale pricing. We offer a broader portfolio of quality wines at unbeatable prices than our competitors.

Our selection is unmatched because we only work with producers whose wines meet our demanding standards.

Benefits Beyond Price

There has never been a better time to be a wine lover, but how do you choose among so many options without overpaying for mediocre wine?

In this vast wine world, you need a guide to help you find wine that delivers on both price and value.

Case by Case fills the gap.

We believe everyone should have the chance to taste the great, undiscovered wines of the world without overpaying.

Let’s look at some of the other benefits Case by Case offers beyond price.

  • An expertly curated selection of premium wines
  • Both domestic and international wine
  • Choose from red, a mix of red & white, or red, white and rosé
  • Save time, effort, and frustration
  • Rotating subscription cases, so you always try something new
  • Easy online wine ordering
  • Free delivery
  • Always have wine on hand
  • Drink better wine
  • If you find a wine you like, buy individual bottles from sister site, Big Hammer Wines

By exploring the world’s wines in this way, you learn about wine, the people, and the regions, while developing your palate.
You’ll enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures by sharing our fine wines with your loved ones.

How it Works

Just select your preferences, pay as you go, and we do the rest. Cancel when you want. No commitment. No hassle.

Through a simple online process, choose:

  • the type of wine: Red-Wine Lovers, Red & White Wine Lovers, or Red, White & Rosé
  • the case quantity (6 or 12 bottles)
  • the delivery term (monthly, every other month, every three months)
  • upgrade for a more exceptional experience
  • earn points toward future orders
  • join the rewards program
  • personalize your case (coming)
  • check out the Wine Affiliate Program

We guarantee you’ll be delighted, but if you receive something you don’t like, contact our excellent customer service team.

case by case wine saves you money on wine

Save Money on Wine – Case by Case Wine

Case by Case Wines evolved from over 20 years of experience across all aspects of the wine business.

Because we know the industry so well, we know all the secrets. It is insular, secretive, protective, and hidden.

We want to disrupt this system and promote knowledge, value, quality, and trust with our clients.

We have personal relationships with wineries around the country and the world. Our travels take us through all wine regions.

We have the knowledge and experience to find unique new wines from today’s crowded marketplace.

From tasting about 4,500 wines every year, we have the expertise to weed out the pretenders. Only 4% of what we taste meets our high standards.

You get wine worth twice the price, at half the cost due to our unique, low-cost model. You deal directly with us, not sales folks.

Trust our taste for great wines. Trust our business model for great prices.

We’re crushing the competition!

Order your first case today.

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