Amazon.com, 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 today in a statement. Starting Thursday, Amazon will ship up to six bottles for $9.99 to 12 states and the District of Columbia.
The states are: California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
With its second foray into wine sales, Amazon is challenging Wine.com, a San Francisco-based online store founded in 1998 that 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 pairings.
“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.
Amazon’s shares rose less than 1 percent to $232.60 at 9:36 a.m. in New York. Through yesterday, the stock had increased 34 percent this year.