Why we're Accident-prone

Mont MarcalRips, stains and smudges: three things we hate to see in our wardrobes but have come to find very welcome on our wine rack, thanks to AccidentalWine.com.

Accidental Wine sells bottles whose labels are torn or spattered, have been replaced by new designs or belong to a winery that no longer exists—all of which make retail stores and restaurants reluctant to sell the wines at full price but none of which affects their drinkability. The gently frayed finds are discounted 20 to 40 percent. On a recent order, we paid about $14.50 a bottle for wines that normally would set us back $16 to $25.

Since the folks at AW come by their selections somewhat serendipitously, there is a surprise factor: Instead of ordering a particular wine, you choose a quantity (3, 6 or 12 bottles), a color (red, white or a combo) and a price tier. For the holidays, we asked Janice at AW to ship a mixed case of Champagnes and sparkling wines to our mother. (We, conveniently enough, planned to be there to "help” with the drinking.) The box contained both new discoveries and some marvelous bargains. And those dings and nicks didn't detract from the gift one bit. In fact, while we're usually tempted to squirrel away sparkling wines for some future special occasion, the less-than-perfect labels meant we felt no guilt about opening them all!


Lauren and Anne
The Purcell Sisters

The Purcell Sisters