Wine: the Web’s Final Frontier

Online sales are expected to grab an increasing share of holiday shopping this season. But one product category remains stubbornly resistant to the trend: wine.

While bigger online audiences and efficient shipping operations have enabled categories like pet food and diapers to become viable Web businesses, selling wine over the Internet remains thorny. Chief among the hurdles is a patchwork of U.S. and state regulations governing alcohol sales that makes shipping bottles directly to consumers’ doorsteps a mind-boggling proposition.

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