So I went down the list and searched the top 25 wines to see if they were available in my state (North Carolina).  Only one was.

I checked the second 25. None were.

I didn't bother with the bottom 50.

What is the experience of other subscribers?  While it's nice to read about a great wine, it's frustrating to find that few if any are available to purchase.  I suspect none are ever even available at all in the US.   Those with only a couple thousand cases have little to no chance of the general population ever seeing the bottle even if one could afford to buy one.

I am aware that WS knows of this issue but geez, why bother going to all the trouble of finding a wine, tasting it, building people's hopes - if no one can drink them? 

Original Post

I don’t think it’s the magazine’s fault in this case.  A lot of these wines hit the shelves at the beginning of the year.  If you wait at the end of the year to find them, you’re SOL.  

Secondly, your state may limit the access to some of these wines.  Is NC one of those states that have a monopoly over the retail market?  Many of us here generally buy wines directly from the winery or out of state.

If the wines hit the shelves at the beginning of the year, how is the consumer supposed to know out of the 1000s of wines available it's going to be among the top 100 at the end of the year?  

I've purchased wines directly from out of state wineries without any restrictions.  Is it possible to buy  any of top 50 rated wines directly from the source?

It's not hard to buy them if you really want to. Subscribe to WS insider and when you see a wine get 94+ points that has decent production and is under $100 buy it. At the end of the year you will almost certainly end up with a dozen or more on the list.

If the wines hit the shelves at the beginning of the year, how is the consumer supposed to know out of the 1000s of wines available it's going to be among the top 100 at the end of the year?  

Buy every wine reviewed? Then you know you'll get them!

More seriously, why would it matter?

Not every wine released is reviewed (obviously) but even among those reviewed by WS throughout the year, very few of them get on the Top 100 list.   My point was - from the beginning - that very few of the Top 100 wines are available to the general public.  I'd venture to guess maybe 10%.

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