Amazon Preparing To Sell Wine

    March 6, 2008

I know beer; I can talk about Scottish and Belgian ales, Russian stouts, or whatever else you like.  But, to report on a drink about which I know nothing: Amazon seems ready to start selling wine.

Amazon Preparing To Sell Wine Senior Wine Buyer

The company most famous for moving books, CDs, and DVDs has placed an ad for a "Senior Buyer, Wine."  According to the listing, "The Sr. Buyer is responsible for the acquisition of massive new product selection, as Specialty Foods is an emerging segment and the Sr. Buyer will work to build out entirely new selection from the ground up.  Responsibilities will include sourcing leads, defining and tuning a leads qualification process, and calling on vendors directly, both from our Seattle corporate offices and in the field."

Do everything, in other words, and do it on a large scale and quickly.

Amazon has dealt with wine before; as Jonathan Birchall notes, a partnership with involving food baskets is still in place, and before that, an investment in fell through.  This history isn’t encouraging, but it must (one would think) indicate that Amazon has thought of some new and brilliant way to succeed this time.

If it does, if it doesn’t . . . my personal position is "meh."  Wake me up when Guinness gets mentioned.  But people in the liquor business, along with Amazon’s investors, are sure to be watching things closely.