A cautionary tale about the financing travails of Wine.com includes this interesting point about investor Chris Kitzke's approach to righting the business:
He sought to sell wine more prudently -- for a profit, in clubs and as gifts.
Less than half of the wineries in The Winery Web Site Report mention a wine club on their home page. And almost none of them emphasize giving wine as a gift. Why not? Wine.com has spent a lot of effort on figuring out the wants of people who buy wine (e.g. clubs, gifts). Take advantage of their free market research (see my previous post What can you learn from Wine.com?).
Again, this isn't necessarily about building a sophisticated online system. It's about making sure your Web site makes it crystal clear how visitors can achieve their goals (subscribing to your wines, giving gifts). Being able to do these things online is convenient, sure - but being clear about all the ways to do them (online and offline) is even more important.