Monday, September 15, 2008

WSJ Try New Alcoholic Revenue Stream: Selling Wine

The Wall Street Journal has a wine franchise in columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher that’s hard to match on the content side. Now Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) hopes to capitalize on the combination of that reputation and its affluent audience by offering WSJwine, a direct-to-home wine service. Pairing with Direct Wines, WSJwine launched today promising a wide range of choices but without any actual connection to WSJ’s wine journalism. In fact, it’s not obviously possible to get from to The first bottle I found was a 2003 Roche Lacour Cremant de Limoux for $19.99 ($219.99 a case). Trying to buy a bottle took me right into an error page. Enthusiasts can join The Discovery Club with a 12-bottle case for $69.99, $120 off usual prices, plus tax and $20 shipping. That includes a free binder for labels and notes—and a wine-tasking kit in a wooden box. Every three months, members will get a new case for $140 plus shipping and tax unless they opt out. Oh, and I finally figured out the error pages: unless you pick a state and swear to being at least 21, you can’t order anything.

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