The Complete Guide to Online Shopping: Drink

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Indy Lifestyle Online

AdVintage

www.advintage-wines.co.uk

This independent wine merchant based in Wimbledon specialises in sourcing classic wines for those on a tight budget. Prices start at a bargain £5 a bottle (you have to buy at least six) and delivery is an equally good value £5 per case (free in London or for orders over £250).

020-8286 0089

Ballantynes

www.ballantynes.co.uk

A reliable, all-round wine seller with stores in Cowbridge and Cardiff, Ballantynes' online list is strong on fine wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, though it also covers Italy, Spain and the New World.

02920 222 202

Berry Bros & Rudd

www.bbr.com

Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchant, this is the shop for traditionalists, despite its excellent online shop. If your budget doesn't stretch to one of its wallet-popping fine wines, house bottles start from under £5.

020-7396 9600

Drink On

www.drinkon.com

The great thing about this online drinks store is how wide-ranging it is. Fancy a bottle of Jura "Superstition" malt? All out of Diva "Showgirl" vodka? Want to stock up on cassis? If you don't find what you're looking for on the site, its staff will do their best to source it for you.

01334 477 333

Farr Vintners

www.farr-vintners.com

This is one of the best fine-wine specialists in the country, great for wine buffs but a no-go zone for those on tight budgets. If you haven't got pockets as deep as a cellar, don't even bother; the minimum order is a serious £500 (plus duty and VAT).

020-7821 2000

Laithwaites

www.laithwaites.co.uk

The biggest mail-order wine merchant in the UK, Laithwaites stocks more than 1,000 wines. That doesn't mean quantity over quality, though. Most of its range consists of small-production wines rather than the big brands.

01189 030 903

Lay & Wheeler

www.laywheeler.com

More than 150 years old, L&W started out selling products from the classic French wine regions before diversifying. If you're thinking of investing, the company has recently set up Vinothèque, a bonded warehouse providing storage.

01473 313 233

Lovely bubbly

www.lovelybubbly.co.uk

If you can ignore the naff name, this isn't a bad place to source fizz online. It specialises in quality champagnes from small-to-medium-sized family-run houses, mainly from Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages.

08452 572 754

James Nicholson

www.jnwine.com

This award-winning wine merchant offers a good selection of wines (many from small producers) at good prices. It already has a loyal following in Northern Ireland but its reasonable delivery costs mean it's increasingly winning fans across the country.

02844 830 091

Noel Young Wines

www.nywines.co.uk

Boasting almost as many awards as it does bottles, this Cambridge-based merchant has a large, interesting list and reasonable prices. Only a proportion of its stock is available online but a wider selection can be ordered over the phone.

01223 844 744

Philglas & Swiggot

www.philglas-swiggot.com

The name may smack of a couple of 19th-century buffoons, but don't be fooled. This independent wine shop was set up only 15 years ago and sells a good range of interesting wines by thoroughly modern means.

020-7924 4494

Pitfield Beer Shop

www.pitfieldbeershop.co.uk

It's a case of good things coming to those who wait with this specialist beer supplier. While a comprehensive range of stock is listed on its no-frills website, ordering means laboriously phoning through your order.

08458 331 492

Stone, Vine and Sun

www.stonevine.co.uk

This wine merchant was only set up four years ago, but it has won friends and influence in the industry thanks to its interesting list. Most of its wines are sourced from small, family-run producers; some of these are introduced on the website if you want to find out more about a bottle's provenance.

01962 712 351

Tanners

www.tanners-wines.co.uk

If the BBC's location scouts were looking for somewhere to film a Dickens production, they could do worse than turn up at Tanners' HQ, an ancient building in Shrewsbury. There's nothing antiquated about this company's wine list, though.

01743 234 500

Vinceremos

www.vinceremos.co.uk

Like its main competitor, Vintage Roots, this Leeds-based company specialises in organic and biodynamic booze. From fine wine and champagne to plonk, this has it all, including interesting bottles from Morocco and Lebanon.

0113-244 0002

HOW TO USE YOUR CREDIT CARD SAFELY ONLINE

Before you buy anything, make sure that you know the trader's full address - especially if the company is based outside the UK. Look for a padlock in the corner of your browser window, which means people can't intercept your card details. The latest Mac software offers a framework for secure internet transactions.

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