Getting booze delivered used to be a headache (even with your neighborhood liquor store owner on speed dial). But thanks to some newish app-based alcohol delivery services, having beer, wine, and liquor show up at your front door is easier than ever. No, direct-to-consumer startups don’t always actually fix the problems they set out to, but in the case of alcohol delivery services they actually work pretty well. The best ones come with easy to navigate interfaces that make finding exactly what you want and ordering for immediate delivery from a store in your area as simple as getting some food through Seamless or DoorDash.
Even if you’ve tried alcohol delivery apps before the pandemic and had a sub-par experience, it’s worth giving it another go. A bunch of these brands have spent the past year working out the kinks of their delivery processes, and for the most part they’ve improved a lot. If you’re still trying to limit physical trips to stores, alcohol delivery services will ensure your bar cart never runneth dry. Just make sure you tip your delivery drivers well! And, it should be said, if you have a local beer, wine, or liquor store you love, it’s worth calling them to see what their delivery process is like. Ordering direct will almost always be cheaper for you, and does more to support local business. Plus, you can’t beat the expertise and guidance the good folks at a wine shop down the street provide.
The Best Place to Buy Beer, Wine, and Spirits Online: Drizly
Drizly promises to deliver beer, wine, or spirits in their 101 markets in as little as an hour after you order it. In our experience ordering in Brooklyn and Manhattan, it usually takes a bit longer than that, but much more important than speed is the company’s enormous selection. With everything from hard-to-find bottom-shelf liquors to oddball craft beers, Drizly is a good place to get anything alcoholic, as well as artisanal mixers. But you’ll find their very best prices and selection are in beer, specifically the large-distribution kind of beers you’d find at well-stocked grocery stores.
What we’re buying:
New Belgium “Fat Tire” amber ale (12-pack)
This amber ale from New Belgium is filled with malty goodness, perfect for any season.
The Best Craft Beer Delivery Service: Craftshack
Craftshack’s selection is a bit more limited and a bit more expensive than Drizly’s, except when it comes to craft beers from the West Coast. If your favorite brewery just so happens to be based in California, you’re in luck. As with Drizly, even though you can get wine and spirits from Craftshack, you’d likely get better prices and a wider selection from a different service.
What we’re buying:
21st Amendment Brewery variety 12-pack
San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery has great offerings across the board. This sample pack gives you the opportunity to try a bunch of them.
The Best Liquor Delivery Service: Saucey
Saucey looks a lot like Drizly and Craftshack, but it offers free delivery to fewer places than both of those services. Still, it’s a good spot to check if you live in a major metropolitan area, especially if you’re ordering hard liquor.
What we’re buying:
Bulleit bourbon (750 mL bottle)
Great for any cocktail, and more than serviceable on the rocks or neat.
The Best Wine Club: Parcelle
If you don’t need anything right at this very second, consider joining a wine club. Most wine clubs will send you a bottle or two at a regular cadence until you decide to cancel your subscription. The best ones are managed by sommeliers with direct relationships to wine producers themselves. They get you both excellent wine while also helping you develop your own understanding of what makes wine good, and then, what types of wine you like. Since it launched towards the end of last year, Parcelle has proven a superlative wine subscription. Each month gets you a themed shipment with three wines, plus descriptions and pairing information for each one. It’s a bit pricey—you pay about $30 per bottle—but each wine individually tends to be a bit more expensive than that, and otherwise hard to find. You can see a full list of wine subscriptions that we’ve tried and like, which includes some budget and upgrade options, right here.
Parcelle Wine Drop subscription (3 bottles)
The only wine subscription that will please wine novices and oenophiles alike.
A Different Kind of Wine Club To Consider: Winc and Firstleaf
The best wine clubs feel like actually clubs, allowing you access to a latent font of knowledge and special releases in the wine world. But there are a lot of wine clubs that don’t take this approach. Instead, they use artificial intelligence to try to unlock the latent preferences in your own head. Before you order, most have you take a quiz to determine what you might like. (How do you take your coffee? What’s your favorite kind of perfume?) Then they’ll match you with bottles that you might like. As you get shipments and rate the wine, the hope is that the company’s recommendations will get better and better. And if there are any misses will the algorithms work their magic, the companies usually refund the price of the offending bottle.
Winc wine subscription (4 bottles)
Firstleaf Wine club introduction (6 bottles)
Among the many companies that do this, the two most reliable and well-known are Winc and Firstleaf. Both offer a very similar quiz experience, though Winc’s is a little bit more straightforward, and both are currently running deals for new members. It’s simple to sign up and cancel either, if you think you’ll need to do so once you’re able to go to bars more frequently again.
The Best Place to Buy a Large Quantity of Wine and Spirits Online, If You Live in NY: Astor Wines and Spirits
If you live in New York City, you’ve likely been to the sprawling warehouse that is Astor Wines and Spirits. It’s a great place to buy liquor of all stripes, but there’s a reason the name has wine in it first. Its wine selection is unmatched. The thing that’s best about Astor Wines is that its site makes it easy to find exactly what you want, even if you don’t know exactly what that is. Rest assured, any one of the company’s “staff picks” are absolute bangers. However, there are some stipulations. Astor wines only offers same-day delivery to residents below 125th Street in Manhattan. But they offer ground shipping all over the country. In Brooklyn or Manhattan, that shipping is free if your order is more than $150. In the rest of New York state, free shipping applies if your order is more than $199.