How Pricing Works

The Wine-Searcher database holds price lists of 91,107 wine merchants from all over the world. Below is an overview of how they're displayed.

How are the search results ordered?

We order search results in ascending order by price, from cheapest to most expensive, so this tends to put halves before bottles, which are before cases. In PRO offers from sponsor merchants are listed in bold.

Tax Handling

We display prices as we receive them. For example, for our USA merchants, prices listed on Wine-Searcher exclude sales tax. For countries in Europe some merchant price lists may exclude sales taxes, but most will include them. We show the tax status of each list in the 'description' information. You may find it helpful to look at the sales and excise tax rates in the European Union and in the USA. Note: sales taxes are not always recoverable by trade or overseas customers - make sure you check the position directly with the merchant concerned.

Average prices and price ranges

These calculated prices exclude sales taxes. For more information on this process please look at our Average Prices and Price Ranges page.

Exchange Rates

Wine-Searcher uses inter-bank rates to convert currencies and updates them daily. If you are purchasing wine from abroad, be aware that credit card companies use a slightly less advantageous exchange rate than inter-bank.

Excise and Import Taxes

Wine-Searcher does not adjust for Excise taxes. Some merchants quote 'in bond' prices (i.e. Excise duty unpaid) - see the 'Common Abbreviations' section below. These taxes are usually much lower than sales taxes.

Does the merchant have the wine?

On average we renew all prices every three days, directly from the websites of the sellers. In theory they had the wine when our software collected the prices, but it should be noted that only very few merchants have 'real time' price lists - some update their lists only seasonally. We therefore cannot guarantee the retailer has the wine you want. Contact the seller directly to confirm stock availability and please let us know about consistent problems. While we know that every list will have the occasional inaccuracy, we remove any price lists which are consistently misleading. In PRO search results, each entry is marked with the date we collected it directly underneath the price.

The merchant's price is different from Wine-Searcher's

This may be due to the fact that the merchant has supplied us with a tax-exclusive price list. Additionally, the prices of some highly traded wines do fluctuate quickly. Some merchants have tried 'Bait and Switch' tactics (listing wines they do not stock at attractive prices); we remove such lists as soon as we become aware of them.

What does 'World Wide Delivery' mean?

For merchants we list as offering 'World Wide Delivery', we do not guarantee they will deliver to every country (although they will deliver to most). For example, there are import restrictions in countries where there is a government monopoly on alcohol sales (such as Canada and some Scandinavian countries). Furthermore, some non-US merchants will not deliver into the United States because of the complexity of regulations which currently exist. It is best to contact merchants directly to confirm their position.

Can the merchant deliver the wine?

Click the merchant's name to view delivery areas. Within the US we show the home state of each merchant. Check the US Wine Institute's list to see if merchants in that state are permitted to deliver to you.

Local Delivery Charges

Delivery charges are described where possible (click the merchant's name to view). International shipping and taxes are complex, so please contact the merchant for full details.

Auction Listings

For auctions running live over the web, we typically list the current bid price. For auctions that occur on a particular day we show the low estimate. Wines sold by auction are identified by 'AUCTION' displayed immediately below the price. You can search just auctions (or alternatively just retailers) by selecting 'Auctions Only' in the search box. Please note: in some auction situations, sales taxes are non-recoverable.

Bottle Sizes

The following are the standard sizes. Where we are unsure of the bottle size, a '-' is used. (Note: Our software does occasionally confuse case and bottle prices. We make every effort to keep such errors to a minimum).

Description Liter
Miniature < 0.250
Quarter 0.250
Half Bottle, H/Bottle, Demi 0.375
H/Liter 0.500
Pint 0.650
Bottle (spirits and some older bottles in 0.700 litre size) 0.750
Liter 1.000
Magnum (2 bottles) 1.500
Marie-Jeanne (3 bottles) 2.250
Double Magnum, D/Magnum (4 bottles) 3.000
Jeroboam (Burgundy/Champagne) (4 bottles) 3.000
Jeroboam (Bordeaux), Rehoboam (Champ) (6 bottles) 4.500
Imperial, Methuselah (Champ) (8 bottles) 6.000
Salmanazar (12 bottles) 9.000
Balthazar (16 bottles) 12.000
Nebuchadnezzar (20 bottles) 15.000
Melchior (24 bottles) 18.000
Primat (36 bottles) 27.000

Common Abbreviations

Wholesale merchants, auction houses and brokers use a range of abbreviations. A full list of common wine terms and abbreviations is available. Some of the most frequently used are:

Description Name
BN Base Neck Fill
BSL Bin Stained Label
DC Depressed Cork
DP Duty Paid
IB In Bond
LS Low Shoulder Fill
MC Missing Capsule
OWC Original Wooden Case  
RWC Rewaxed Capsule
SOS Signs of Seepage
TL Torn Label
TS Top Shoulder Fill