Flash Sales & Marathons

Type: Flash Sale
Discounts: Deep, 40-60%
Specialty: Tuscany, Spain,  CA

Pros: Free shipping on the minimum amount, usually 4 bottles, sometimes 2.
Good email confirmation & tracking system.
Wide varietyof wines.  
Delivery to West Coast is slow but wines are well-packed.

Cons: NSFW alert. You really have to be be attentive and tuned in for alerts throughout the day which might create problems in an office setting.
Also, early daily start time favors East Coast followers
Offers an occasional wine that is too old and sometimes of dubious provenance
A few too many private CA labels


WTSO.com (Wines ‘Til Sold Out) is a major player I’ve been following and using since 2012. The concept is based on a “flash-sale” model and a featured wine remains available until sold out.

Each day at least 4 wines are offered; when sales are brisk, the number could be as many as 10.

WTSO is on East Coast time, so sleepy West Coast folks could miss out on a few early specials.

Having survived a lawsuit related to misleading suggested prices, the site was upgraded and slightly reformatted in early 2017.

Now relying less on numerical ratings and wildly inflated prose, the site is much improved both in terms of its wine selections and its wine commentary.

While still emphasizing Italian and Spanish reds, it has vastly improved its selection of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Sancerre and Beaujolais.

Even the CA wines now show better selectivity.

We have purchased wines from them, mostly French, and they arrived on time and in good condition.

It has scheduled a Cheapskate Marathon for September 19th. 

The price range for this marathon is $8.99-18.99

Preparing for a WTSO Cheapskate Marathon

It is easy to get caught up in the pace and hit the buy button early in the day only to end up with a wine that either disappoints or you really didn’t want that badly. 

To avoid buyer’s remorse, prepare a list of wines you truly need. And stick to those wines.

In general, don't be swayed by the big percentage discount by itself. 
You pay in dollars, and you dont pocket percentages.

If you are looking for Pinot Noir, Zin or a Chianti Classico, there will be several during the day-long marathon.

I'll be looking for wines from Oregon and Zinfandels from California.
I'll also be looking for wines from a hot new winery, Corner 103, especially the Chardonnay.

Now for the Gameplan: First, Know Your Opponent

Founded in 2006, WTSO has set the bar really high for full-throttle, fast-moving online wine merchants. The California offerings range from top notch names such as Caymus, Beaulieu, Foley, Beringer,  Kunde, Long Meadow Ranch, and Sullivan to numerous unknowns and new itty-bitty production Cabernets and Zinfandels.

Some of the wines are second labels or private labels which have no track recored at all. 

When dealing with imports,vintages vary widely, and some oldtimers showing up from 2005 and 2006 may be decrepit.

Stick with imports from 2010 or more recent years like 2015 or 2016.

For red Bordeaux, 2012 is a decent vintage; 2014 much better.
For the whites, 2015 is fine, and 2016 is even better. 2013 sucks overall.

2016 definitely is the very reliable vintage for Provence Roses and wines from the Languedoc region.

And, yes for all Bordeaux,  Rhone wines and Burgundy,  2015 is the go-to vintage.

For Oregon Pinot, 2014 is excellent, but 2013 is more than acceptable.

On occasion, WTSO comes up with a fabulous deal on Champagne.
But probably not in the marathon's limited price range.

Game On!