Wholesale Wine: Information on Bulk and Wholesale Wine

Nick Mirev
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    As wines are among the most important items on a restaurant’s menu, many well-known establishments work with reputable wholesale wine distributors. That way, they can be confident that they can purchase wines from all over the world at premium prices. Even though wine is mostly associated with the restaurant industry, it is often purchased by other businesses as well. In this blog article, we’ll dive deeper into wine’s role in the beverage industry, how it pairs with other beverages, and why many businesses choose to find suppliers of wholesale wines. This article is part of our wholesale drinks topics. You can find out more about bulk juice, juice from concentrate vs juice fresh, tequila wholesale, and other beverage-related topics.

    What Is the Difference Between Wholesale and Bulk Wine

    Bulk wine is not bottled. It’s sold in large quantities and is transported or stored in tanks, barrels, or other containers with a large volume. On the other hand, wholesale wine means trading bottled and bulk wines in large quantities.

    Bulk wine plays an important part in the winemaking industry. It gives wineries flexibility in many ways. For example, they can further tamper with the wine even after the fermentation process is through. They can alter sulfur dioxide or tannin levels. Some winemakers also mix it with other wine varieties before bottling it to create interesting blends and unique wines.

    Restaurants and other food service establishments might buy bulk wines to offer as their house wines. Furthermore, some wholesale wine distributors might offer private-label wines for businesses that wish to sell to retailers under their own brand.

    Key takeaway: A variety of businesses purchase wholesale wines from distributors and importers. The term wholesale wine shouldn’t be mistaken for bulk wine. The main advantages of buying wholesale wine are the lower price and the wide variety of wines offered by suppliers. The main disadvantages are the potential for overstocking and limiting the business’s storage.
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    What Businesses Buy Wholesale Wine

    As wine is one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages in the world, it’s a huge industry. Many businesses buy wholesale wine from suppliers and importers. Let’s check the main ones.

    Food Service and Hospitality Companies

    Restaurants have wine lists that include both Old and New World wines. Fine dining establishments often hire sommeliers to advise guests on the best wine pairings with their preferred dishes. In addition to restaurants, pubs and wine bars might also have extensive wine selections. These establishments often serve various wine cocktails as well.

    Hotels and other hospitality businesses stock wholesale wine and wholesale champagne for their restaurants and room service needs. That’s especially true for hotels with higher ratings. They are often expected to have extensive wine lists.

    Retailers and Stores

    In addition to stocking wholesale energy drinks, wholesale water, and soft drinks wholesale, convenience stores also offer large amounts of wine as it is one of the most preferred alcoholic beverages. Other retailers such as liquor stores or eCommerce retailers of beverages and gifts will often benefit from the lower wholesale price.

    Event Companies

    Event planners and catering businesses often buy wholesale wine and include it in their catalogs as it is among the most consumed beverages at weddings or other special occasions. 

    In addition, as there are many wine enthusiasts, a number of businesses organize wine-related events. These experiences are usually related to wine tasting. However, some wineries or other businesses might organize wine-making workshops for true wine enjoyers.

    Private Clubs and Tasting Rooms

    Wine is among the preferred country club drinks. Golf clubs and other private clubs often buy wholesale wine and wholesale whiskey as these are among the most consumed alcoholic beverages at these establishments.

    Winery tasting rooms also strive to offer hundreds of wine options from all across the world. They often partner with multiple wholesale drinks suppliers and importers in order to be able to offer a wide selection of wines for their guests. The same is true for wine clubs. These subscription-based clubs ship their customers different wines on a regular basis. Some subscription services might combine wine with other products such as salami, cheese, or spirits. In that case, businesses might often buy not just large quantities of wine but other wholesale products such as wholesale liquor or deli food.

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    Pros and Cons of Buying Wholesale Wine

    There are multiple reasons why companies might buy wine in large quantities. However, there are drawbacks as well.

    Pros of Buying Wholesale Wine

    • Buying large quantities means cost savings and lower price per bottle compared to retail prices.
    • Distributors have large wine catalogs and offer diverse styles. 
    • Restaurants and other businesses that often restock their wine supplies might benefit from subscription-based and other automated solutions offered by wholesalers’ software like BlueCart.

    Cons of Buying Wholesale Wine

    • Buying directly from wineries might be an even cheaper option for businesses. That’s especially true for restaurants or other establishments that have few wine types on their menus and wish to eliminate the middleman.
    • As wine has specific storage requirements, businesses should have adequate storage space and conditions to ensure its quality. If these are not present, buying smaller quantities might be preferable.
    • The risk of overstocking on wholesale wines can be problematic for businesses. That’s especially true since distributors often have minimum order quantities. 
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Bulk and Wholesale Wine

    As wine is one of the most beloved alcoholic beverages, businesses and individuals might have different questions on the topic. Below you will find some of the most common ones.

    Can You Make and Sell Homemade Wine?

    Federal laws allow individuals to make homemade wine for personal consumption. However, sales are not allowed and are subject to additional regulations and laws. Let’s check some of the rules related to making wine at home.

    • The allowed quantity is up to 200 gallons per household per year. If the household consists only of one person, the allowed limit is 100 gallons;
    • An age of 21 is required to produce wine for personal consumption;
    • In addition to federal regulations, some states have additional laws and regulations related to the production of spirits and wine. The producer is responsible for the compliance of all regulations.

    Even though there are no regulations related to bottling and storing wine, a producer should be aware of how to properly do it. Check out our article on how to store wines to ensure their quality.

    Is Bulk Wine Cheaper?

    Bulk wins are cheaper than their bottled counterparts. The main reasons behind this are economies of scale and reduced packaging and transportation costs. Since bulk wine is cheaper, it’s often bought by businesses not only to serve customers. It is also used for cooking, beer brewing, mixing with other beverages, and other applications.

    Can Wine Age in Bulk?

    Yes. In fact, there is a whole process called wine bulk aging. It refers to storing wine in large containers like barrels or tanks. Even high-grade wines can be aged in bulk. By aging large quantities of wine together, wine producers aim for the beverage to develop specific flavors and characteristics. The aging process can then be continued in bottles.

    One of the benefits of bulk aging is the fact that you don’t commit to bottling the wine. That means that you can further alter the drink before bottling by introducing additional wine oxidation or correcting the color.

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