Your Guide to Wine Cases – Counting the Bottles Inside

Embarking on a journey through the world of wine is akin to exploring a vast and varied landscape, rich with flavors, traditions, and stories. Whether you’re a casual enthusiast or a dedicated oenophile, understanding the essentials can profoundly enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of wine. One fundamental aspect that often puzzles both newcomers and seasoned collectors alike is the question: How many bottles are in a case of wine? This seemingly simple query opens the door to a deeper exploration of wine culture, economics, and personal discovery.

Our guide, “How Many Bottles Are in a Case of Wine?”, is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, aiming to not only answer this question but also to broaden your understanding of wine purchasing dynamics. With expertise drawn from the vineyards, wineries, and marketplaces that define the global wine industry, we delve into the nuances of wine case sizes, the significance of bulk buying, and how these factors impact your wine experience. From the “Costco Factor” of bulk purchase discounts to the art of assembling a perfectly balanced mixed case, our insights promise to elevate your wine knowledge and shopping prowess.

But this article is more than just a buying guide; it’s an invitation to explore the rich tapestry of wine culture. By understanding the logistics of wine cases, including the types of wines that fill them, you’re taking a step towards more mindful consumption, refined taste, and perhaps even the discovery of your next favorite bottle. Whether you’re planning a special event, stocking up your cellar, or simply curious about the wine world’s inner workings, our guide is designed to intrigue, inform, and inspire your wine journey.

So, let us raise a glass to the journey ahead. As you turn the page, prepare to uncover the secrets behind wine case quantities, the magic of mix-and-match curation, and the strategies for making every bottle count. Welcome to “How Many Bottles Are in a Case of Wine?”—your comprehensive guide to understanding, selecting, and enjoying wine by the case.

Understanding Wine Cases

Wine cases provide an excellent opportunity to stock up on wines to sample, share, and sip anytime. But what exactly constitutes a standard “case” of wine?

Standard Case Sizes

A standard case of wine typically contains 12 bottles of 750ml each, totaling 9 liters of wine. This standard quantity is common across the wine industry and is equivalent to around 60 servings of wine.

Cases aren’t one-size-fits-all, however. Certain wines, especially high-end options, come in specialty case sizes.

Special Case Sizes

  • 3 bottles – Common for premium Champagne and sparkling wines.
  • 15 bottles – Seen for some top-tier French Burgundies.
  • 18 bottles – Used for a variety of premium wines as a “year and a half” supply.

While 12 bottles makes a standard case, don’t be afraid to mix and match different case sizes when exploring new wines. Customizing your order allows you to sample sparingly before committing to a larger quantity.

Discounts and Online Shopping Perks

One of the best perks of buying by the case is the discount. Most wine retailers offer 10% off per case, while sales can bump that discount to 15-20% or more. When you find a wine you enjoy, stocking up will save you money.

Online wine retailers also incentivize case purchases by offering benefits like:

  • Free ground shipping on 12+ bottles
  • Discounted temperature-controlled shipping
  • Waived corkage fees on restaurant orders

For the best deals, look for free shipping thresholds, coupon codes, and regular sales on cases. Joining a wine club can also give you exclusive member discounts.

Buying in bulk and shopping online makes discovering new wines at the best prices even easier. Time to start filling your cart!

Building a Great Mixed Case

Building a Great Mixed Case
Building a Great Mixed Case

While full cases of a single wine can be useful for stocking favorites, mixed cases provide an excellent opportunity for exploration. Carefully curating a variety case allows you to:

  • Sample new wines – Try 3-4 bottles of various styles to determine what you like.
  • Please a crowd – Pick a selection to appeal to all preferences for gatherings.
  • Find perfect pairings – Tailor choices to complement upcoming menus or occasions.
  • Fill out your cellar – Balance lighterchoices for everyday with aged options for fine dining.

When building a mixed case, first consider:

Customization Based on Preferences and Occasion

  • Favorite varietals – Stock up on your standbys or expand into new types like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, etc.
  • Preferred wine styles – Include a mix of dry, sweet, sparkling, oaked, unoaked, etc.
  • Upcoming events – Select food-friendly, easy-drinking options for parties or bold bottles for date nights.
  • Season and weather – Lighter, crisper wines for summer; hearty reds for winter.

Creating variety six-packs for different moods, meals, and moments will ensure you always have the perfect wine on hand.

Cost of a Wine Case

Wine cases can range dramatically in price from just $60 per case on the low end to over $5,000 per case for rare finds. Where your case falls on that spectrum will determine the typical quality level of the wines inside.

Entry-Level Cases

  • Cost: $60-150
  • Wine Types: Basic table wines and mass-produced labels
  • Expect: Straightforward, budget-friendly drinking

Mid-Range Cases

  • Cost: $150-300
  • Wine Types: Branded varietals and blends from known regions
  • Expect: Good weekday wines with some complexity

Premium Cases

  • Cost: $300-500
  • Wine Types: Small production, single-vineyard, reserve tier
  • Expect: Elegant wines for special occasions

Luxury Cases

  • Cost: $500+
  • Wine Types: Iconic regions, famous producers, aged bottles
  • Expect: Life-changing wines for serious collectors

While cost often signals quality, also rely on reputable reviews and your own tasting experience. An $80 case of thoughtfully chosen wines can over-deliver, while poorly made bottles disappoint regardless of a high price tag.

Storage and Preservation Tips

To get the most enjoyment out of your case purchases, proper storage is key. With the right conditions, open bottles can last for weeks and unopened wines will continue evolving beautifully over months or years. Follow these tips:

Short-Term Storage

  • Fridge – Keep open whites and rosés cold for 5-7 days max.
  • Cool spot – Stash open reds like Pinot Noir for 2-3 days at 55-60°.
  • Air-tight container – Transfer to a canister to minimize oxygen exposure.

Long-Term Storage

  • Wine fridge – Optimal for aging with humidity and temperature control.
  • Cool basement – A budget-friendly 55-60° space away from light and vibration.
  • Wine cooler – Affordable plug-in units to maintain cellar conditions.
  • Interior rack – Display and store daily drinking wines around 65°.

With good conditions, unopened wines can develop beautifully for years before you crack the case open again.

Exploring Wine Varietals and Regions

Half the fun of buying cases lies in exploring new wines. Use variety cases to taste top grape types from renowned regions around the world. Discover which tender your preferences by sampling:


  • Chardonnay – Rounded and oaked from California or steely and mineral-driven from Chablis.
  • Sauvignon Blanc – Crisp with intense citrus from New Zealand and grassy, herbal notes from the Loire Valley.
  • Riesling – Light and fruit-forward styles from Germany, dry and aromatic from Alsace.


  • Pinot Noir – Light, earthy cherry flavors from Burgundy or bolder, fruit-forward Oregon styles.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Full-bodied, oaked, and tannic icons from Napa or complex, herbal Bordeaux.
  • Syrah/Shiraz – Peppery, meaty Rhône Syrah versus jammy, vanilla-laced Barossa Shiraz.

Use case purchases to compare regional differences and find favorite interpretations of noble grapes.

Wine and Food Pairing

One benefit of buying diverse cases is the ability to match wines to meals. Follow pairing principles to make food and wine shine:

  • Weight – Match light wines with delicates, heavy wines with bold dishes.
  • Flavor affinity – Complement ingredient flavors like oak with nutty cheese or fruitiness with duck.
  • Contrast – Use acidic wines to balance fatty foods and tannic reds with protein.

Pull pairing inspiration from your case to enhance the dining experience.

Navigating Wine Ratings and Reviews

With so many unknown wines to explore, ratings and reviews are useful starting points for case shopping. Seek out bottles with:

  • Expert scores – Consistent 80+ ratings from critics help surface quality.
  • Crowd praise – High user ratings reinforce mass appeal.
  • Tasting notes – Look for flavor descriptors that appeal to your preferences.

But also:

  • Take with a grain – No rating is definitive and personal taste varies.
  • Learn from others – Seek context behind ratings from written reviews.
  • Develop your palate – The more wines you taste, the better you will get at selecting bottles you’ll enjoy.

Use scores and reviews as helpful inputs when selecting an adventurous mixed case, but trust yourself over any single rating.

Curating Seasonal and Thematic Wine Cases

Beyond basics like varietal and region, you can add color and creativity to your case purchases by tailoring selections to seasons, holidays, and themes.

Seasonal Cases

  • Spring – Bright, floral rosé and crisp white wines.
  • Summer – Light reds plus plenty of picnic-ready whites and bubbly.
  • Fall – Earthy Pinot Noir and bold Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Winter – Warming, spiced reds to combat the cold weather.

Event Cases

  • Date night – Elegant Pinot Noir and silky Chardonnay for romance.
  • Backyard BBQ – Crowd-pleasing Sauvignon Blanc and fruity reds with versatility.
  • Gifts – Prestige bottles wrapped with wine country flair.

Tasting Themes

  • Old vs. new world – Contrast historic French regions with upstart California, Australia.
  • Single vs. blended – Experience noble varietal purity next to masterful combinations.
  • Oaked vs. unoaked – Compare wines with and without oak-aging.

Mix up your routine with special selections tailored to the moment.

Wine Tasting Notes and Keeping a Wine Journal

Opening an adventurous case provides the perfect chance to sharpen your wine tasting skills and flavor memories. Approach each bottle by noting:

  • Color – Is the wine pale straw or rich gold? Murky or clear?
  • Aroma – What scents of fruit, earth, spice, or herbs do you detect?
  • Taste – Bright or dull? What flavors are prominent? How’s the acid, tannin, alcohol?
  • Finish – Does the flavor linger or fade quickly? Smooth or rough?

Recording tasting details trains your senses and vocabulary while creating a helpful reference to search previous impressions later. Apps like Vivino also let you snap bottle photos and rate wines for quick recall.

Journaling wine experiences deepens understanding and charting the evolution of a case over years can be highly rewarding.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Wine Choices

Case purchases also provide an opportunity to align your drinking habits with eco-conscious winemaking. Look for sustainable labels like:

  • Organic – Farmed without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms.
  • Biodynamic – Holistic farming approach with ecological practices.
  • Sustainability certified – Standards forenvironmental protection, fair labor, community engagement.

Supporting natural winemaking benefits the environment while often resulting in purer, more expressive wines. It’s feel-good drinking all around.

Legal and Shipping Considerations

Buying online makes finding any wine easy, but some legal and shipping rules apply:

  • State restrictions – Regulations vary on importing out-of-state wine.
  • Age verification – Online orders will check ID upon delivery.
  • Shipping methods – Certain fragile wines require temperature-controlled transit.

Reputable retailers will walk you through legal requirements during checkout and explain delivery timing. Opting for specialty shipping protects against extreme weather swings.

Last Word on Buying Cases

Hopefully this guide has illuminated the joys of buying wine by the case and provided practical guidance for selecting stellar variety cases. Finding trusted retailers who can share their expertise and shipping reliably will ensure many adventures with new wines lie ahead. Case-buying will not only unlock savings and convenience, but a deeper exploration of flavors and regions. Cheers to your next case!


Purchasing wine by the full case offers many rewards beyond simple savings. With thoughtful selection, cases become an engine of exploration, allowing you to sample new styles, revisit favorites, hone tasting skills, and enhance pairing meals. Seek out mixed cases that provide diversity. Experiment with specialty cases tailored to seasons and events. Use the options to find wines that bring you joy, curiosity, and a connection to the great wine regions of the world – all from the convenience of home delivery. Buying by the case takes wine from an afterthought to a journey, one where each sip tells a story.

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