Even for avid wine lovers, trying to pick the perfect bottle from a selection of over 8,000 types of wine can be pretty intimidating.
With that in mind, Amazon has launched a new service in Japan to help customers navigate the online retailer’s large wine selection. Amazon Sommelier, as the service is called, allows shoppers to request a free phone consultation with a certified sommelier to help pick a proper bottle of vino. Between the hours of noon and 5pm, customers leave a contact number with Amazon and then patiently wait for a wine expert to call them back. “It depends on how busy the sommeliers are, but typically we believe that they will be able to call back in a few minutes,” an Amazon Japan spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. Amazon didn’t disclose exactly how many sommeliers it has on duty, but The Verge tried the service and got a call back instantly.
Unfortunately, for now, Amazon Sommelier is only available in Japan and in Japanese. There’s no indication as to whether the Seattle-based company plans to bring the service to its home shores, but there’s plenty of reasons why running a similar system in the US may be trickier. For one, as of now, Amazon is only legally allowed to ship wine to about 30 states. And as Engadget points out, Amazon’s wine selection in the US is even bigger than Japan’s 8,000 options.
For now, US customers will just have to use their tried and true method: Looking for Amazon’s second cheapest bottle.